Steve Gilbert

Creative Director of Film production, Motion Graphics and 3D Animation.

The Cloud

To watch the film click here

The Brief. The Cloud required a fresh perspective on how they are being perceived in the wireless communications industry. They needed a strong, exciting message to primarily appeal to an investor audience that would communicate the massive influence they will have over Wireless internet services and infrastructure, as well as their constant innovation. The creative should use cutting edge technology to reflect The Cloud’s leading position in the industry and feature at trade events, at their premises, on the new website and across digital media channels to drive further search engine traffic.
Idea To storyboard, script and direct a movie showing a 3D world “powered by The Cloud”. Flying camera shots through a large city scene focusing on key target personas and locations would communicate how The Cloud will massively enhance the experience of mobile web users, increase the profits of businesses and innovate wireless technologies with industry partners. An exclusively licensed soundtrack for the film would also be commissioned.

Results Use of texture mapping, motion capture and leading edge video effects resulted in a highly engaging 3D movie that fully immerses the audience in a digital world “Powered by The Cloud”. Positive feedback from investors and trade event organisers, stake holders and visitors to The Cloud’s premises.

The Process was split into five stages, each one a mile stone for the client to feedback and approve before progressing to the next stage, this reduced the possibility of expensive revisions further along the production process.

Stage 1 – Treatment and style concept A written treatment containing a breakdown of each shot was created with the development of the voiceover script. At the same time the look and feel of the film was developed, with The Cloud we went through several looks and styles of animation, the final approved style using 3D animation with textured figures. We did push at this stage to go with coloured silhouettes’ for the figures but the client was keen on a more human look. To see the silhouette version see the Directors cut section below.
Stage 02 – storyboards/animatic Storyboards based on the written treatment were created and digital scanned in to the edit suite, from which we produced an animated sequence allowing us to define the length of each shot and how it fitted with the rough voiceover and guide music.

Stage 03 – Cameras It is at this stage we set up all the cameras for each shot within the 3D world the 3D animators had created, at this point we are only using wireframes as we want to avoid wasting budget creating any models the camera may not see. Once the cameras are in position the sequences are rendered and a new edit is presented to the client for approval.
Stage 04 – None texture pass. At this point nearly all the models have been built and we see how the sequence with the models in place is coming together. This is the last stage to make changes to the duration of the shots and camera positions as well as having the voice over script approved.
Stage 05 – Final 3D Once we are all happy with Stage 04 we can apply the final textures to all the models in the 3D world, set up the lighting and render the sequence. (As The Cloud was HD this took around a week!)
Stage 06 – Grade/Flares The 3D is finally taken into After Effects and a final grade to the picture is added with additional flares/lighting and the adding of the text. To watch these stages running together click here

Directors Cut As with most creative projects the original concept does tend to get watered down due to budget constraints, clients requirements and differing opinions. In the case of The Cloud we all felt that the use of the textured figures could work against us as the budget didn’t allow us the time required to animate them sufficiently to make them life like, hence the reason from an early stage to go with a silhouette, to separate the Cloud users from the rest of the 3D world. This is not to say that the final piece doesn’t answer the brief just my desire to see the final film as I originally intended. See you what you think