Working closely with Sam Brown from the important concept stage, we were heavily influenced by the Lexus design aesthetics in the involved evolution of the hero characters. In parallel to this, we pre-vised the animations for all shots. These 3D pre-vis co-ordinates were then sent to an electronics company called KMEL in Vancouver, who’s bespoke software then interpreted this data.
Jorge Montiel, Head of Animation explains, “Even though most of the shots had been done with real quads in motion, the animation team had to work on animating all the quads, for every shot before hand. The reason behind this was to add personality and character to these little quadrotors which was something Sam had wanted from the very beginning of the project. Their movements were choreographed in 3D and then transferred by Kmel. It has been a huge challenge bringing these little guys to life. The huge amount of technical detail was crucial to be able to animate these devices properly without having crashes or strange behaviors. Distance, acceleration, speed and the physics behind the helices were the main parameters we had to keep in mind whilst animating them. The way the quadrotors move is very agile but they also have a lot of limitations, which caused a higher level of difficulty when trying to make them expressive.”