Ghost Drummer is a multidisciplinary project that explores graphic qualities in process of playing on a drum kit. Besides being a musician, drummer when playing is unconsciously engaged in an elaborate choreography. The drum sticks are the extensions of drummer's hands like a brush is an extension of the painter's hand. Motion-captured movements become a visual map over a time revealing fragile rhythm structures and invisible notations behind energetic instrumental solo. 'Portrait of a Ghost Drummer' expands the understanding of drummers activity from purely auditory experience to spontaneous visual performance. From technical point of view motion trajectory was captured on Vicon MX system and raw CSV files were translated into visual language in 3d environment Cinema4D. My self-developed technique is inspired by areas such as drumming notation, action painting, choreography, japanese calligraphy and 3d digital drawing. Most important for me is that it gives me true feeling that I am my drawing.
"When I am in my painting, I'm not aware of what I'm doing. It is only after a sort of 'get acquainted' period that I see what I have been about. I have no fear of making changes, destroying the image, etc., because the painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through. It is only when I lose contact with the painting that the result is a mess. Otherwise there is pure harmony, an easy give and take, and the painting comes out well."
-- Jackson Pollock, My Painting, 1956 (source: wikipedia)
I worked on this animation during my recent artistic residency at Culture Lab in Newcastle. I would like to thank Atau Tanaka, Pussykrew, David Green & all Culture Lab team.
A Maya playblast from 18 March 2010 of Sara Pocock's little girl character animated via a simple mocap T-pose test. The T-pose test was performed in class by class member Justin Leon in order to double check that we had setup the MotionBuilder capture process correctly before moving on to a directed capture session. We came close do doing a brief capture session but ran out of time and had to postpone the session until the upcoming class. The realtime data from the T-pose test is all that we used here and no clean-up, filtering, retargeting, or other adjustments were done. Justin's simple casual movements gave the character an unexpected sense of presence. Justin and Sara later worked on directed performance tests in order to gain more experience with mocap --even though Sara's goal is to keyframe all of the animation in the final film.
Directors - Us weareus.co.uk
Producer - Medb Riordan
Production Company - Academy Films / A+
Motion Capture - The Imaginarium
Chief Technical Officer - Rich Holleworth
Development Producer - Tora Young
Editor - Ed Cheesman
Post VFX - Electric Theatre Collective
Lead 3D Artist - James Sindle
Post VFX Producer - Helen Sutermeister
3D Artists: Dan Marum, Alexis Vallauri, Paul-Jules Alchie, Andy Le Cocq, Thomas Lemoine, Franck Pagnon
Prop Master - Jonny Sabbagh
Commissioner - Jennifer Ivory
Label - Warner UK
We have roughly developed a kinect based mocap program that export a script for after effects with animated nulls on each joints of a skeleton.
Here's a quick test.
We used our script "CreateParticularLights" to link the nulls to some lights that are used by Plexus and Particular.