This is a shot I started working on about 6 months ago as a style pitch for a TV spot. The idea was rejected, but I liked the idea too much to let it die.
My original concept for the look of the shot was to make it look as if it were a 2D animation printed and torn out from paper and then stop motion animated inside a real live action miniature set. Immediately, however, I had some ideas on how to cut corners with modern technology to make the workflow more efficient as well as enhance the look: Inspired by tilt-shift photography I initially planned on filming a full scale house and lawn as if it were a miniature and then applying macro/tilt shift depth of field in post through a projected depth map similar to a modern stereo conversion. The plan was that I would shoot the live action lawn and house, camera track the footage and then blend it with the assitance of CG into the cg white 'paper world'. This plan was rejected though when I couldn't find a real location that I liked and I didn't believe I could get the desired level of hyper-detailed realism in an actual miniature so the entire scene ended up being CG in the final shot.
The paper doll man was Illustrated by Glen Greenwalt (greenwaltfinearts.com), cut up in photoshop, rigged in Biped in 3ds max and then transferred to Nuke's 3D space where the rigged walk cycle could be animated through the 3D scene. This allowed for a lot of freedom in making animation changes to the face inside of the final composite.
Once the walk cycle animation for the body was locked it was rendered and printed onto standard 8.5"x11" paper. Each printed frame of animation was then torn out by hand and photographed under a glass plate on a chroma background. In the 3D world, I rendered a flat white card to pick up translucent and diffuse lighting for the scanned paper from the 3D scene. The biped animation was then overlayed onto the photographed paper as an alpha and integrated back into the 3D scene.
Rendering was done in 3ds Max with Splutterfish's Brazil 2 Renderer. Some background and mid-ground elements were rendered with Nuke's built in scan-line renderer.
Final compositing and grading was done in Nuke.
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