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Crash & Sues Creates 3D-Universe For Blank & Jones

New music video showcases highly-detailed CG scenario (November 16, 2004)

Crash & Sues created a complex, futuristic all-3D animated universe for ?Perfect Silence, a hypnotic track from Blank & Jones new album, ?Monument, released by Water Music Records. The hot German DJ duos music has been described as trance meets synthpop meets futurepop and Crash & Sues animation tour de force has created a visual reality as unique as their sound.

The music videos scenario was conceived by Crash & Sues, based on initial ideas from the client. C&S created the storyboards for the project and previsualized the action; their visual effects team also modeled, animated and rendered the hero character and her highly-detailed CG world, and composited all of the CG and live-action elements. The concept-to-completion project, which took over three months to finish, showcases the skills of Crash & Sues top-caliber visual effects and animation department which distinguishes this high-end transfer and post production house in yet another arena.

The music video features a stunning, futuristic 3D environment where an island houses cryogenic chambers in which super pods contain people waiting for the day their new lives will begin. Blown-out live-action performance footage of vocalist Bobo appears mapped onto walls in the hyper-modern industrial environment and on the screen of a small digital device monitoring the status of a cryo woman seen in a deep sleep.

Suddenly the device signals ?organism activity. The cryo woman is dreaming, seeing herself awake and alive, attracted to a mysterious ball of light and then breaking free of the tethers which have kept her in cryogenic state. The womans lips part and breath escapes. The digital device warns, ?organism online -- cryo thaw imminent.

The woman is then seen poised on a rocky precipice where she leaps toward the ball of light, becomes a ball of light herself and merges with the light shes pursuing. They fuse and become indistinct, abstract images of a cryo man and woman awakening together, and then melting away.

Back in the womans super pod, a robotic device surveys the scene. The cryo woman is gone and the digital monitor shows, ?organism disengaged, cryo complete.

To create the futuristic world, which serves as the ideal foil for Blank & Joness moody, mysterious music, Crash & Sues 3D animation department, headed by director of animation, Dave Novak, employed Newtek Lightwave 3D and Alias/Wavefront Maya for animating and rendering. Maya was used exclusively for the moving cryo woman.

?The video is very complex in its modeling, color and lighting, notes Novak. ?We dont often get the opportunity to showcase all of those areas in a single project.

The animation process began with an animatic based on the videos storyboards. The animatic was filled in with quickly-rendered CG imagery to nail down timings then the animators were able to drop finished shots directly onto the previsualization. This efficient process helped speed the project which was on a tight turnaround and linked Crash & Sues in Minneapolis with the band in Germany.

Adobe After Effects was used for compositing the live-action performance footage, supplied by the client, onto walls and screens and to layer individually-rendered CG elements.

"This was a labor of love for our artists, says Josh Malkin, executive producer for Crash & Sues. ?It was an opportunity for the guys to really test themselves and have some fun with their skills on a longer-format project. My favorite part of this experience is that our team proved once again that great creative still comes from Minneapolis."

The final animation was rendered in letterboxed PAL format for the music videos European release which, along with its US release, has yet to be determined. Blank & Joness new album, ?Monument, on Water Music Records, is due out before the end of the 2004.

About Crash & Sues
Crash & Sues is a full-service postproduction boutique offering premier transfer, editing, visual effects, animation and finishing services. For further information contact Executive Producer Josh Malkin at 612.338-7947 or go to


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Related Keywords:Crash & Sue?s, Perfect Silence, Blank & Jones, Water Music Records, animation, visual effects, 3D animation, Dave Novak, Newtek, Lightwave 3D, Alias/Wavefront, Maya, rendering, Adobe After Effects, Josh Malkin,


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