This is a short making of "ZKO Rollercoaster // GREAT EMOTIONS" (vimeo.com/20462506) not going too much into technical details but showing some main steps from concept and research to rendering and compositing.
The notes are synced to the first violine what is hard to realize in the beginning. But people who can "read music" will see and feel it anytime. The Zurich Chamber Orchestra got a lot of response by letter and email how nicely this is done. We are no musicians but as animation artists we knew how to make it right. In the final stage of the production we said "Yes, that's it. This is going to be very good." but we never expected all this awesome response from several awards and the internet audience.
We were asking for notes of the "main melody" but this didn't exist of course. Therefore the client delivered the first violine. The technical setup is not that simple to guarantee maximum creative freedom and changes.
The placement of the notes are based on converting them in a row into an outline EPS and an ASCII file generated by hand while listening to the music to transfer the right "human beat" by the orchestra. This file and more was used by a script in Softimage and the spacing of the notes and bars is connected to the timing of the camera and spline model of the rollercoaster track.
The 3d elements itself were placed automatically by analyzing the point number of the imported EPS of all notes. We could change the design in every way we like and change the camera. Everything was updated to it automatically to keep in sync. This was very important to adjust the final result by testing different features of the track. Alone this setup took three weeks to finish. At the end it had have been not such a big deal to replace the track with another instrument. Our setup and way to transfer the notes would make it possible. Doing it old school by classic animation without the technical skills of Technical Director Martin Chatterjee the mission had been a nightmare.
Making Of: Steffen Dünner