9iFX was honored to participate in Wacom’s Pro Series with a look behind the scenes of art and magic!
Michael Miller and Keith Lay walked the audience through a history of the company and a breakdown of the process we use to do the work we do. Then they explored three different projects, starting at different phases in the production process.
First, Michael demonstrated what went into creating a variety of alien landscapes for “Prizm of Seven” and “Freesol,” two music videos for electronic artist Seven Lions. Walking us through the project, he explained how different layers of footage were composited together to give the project an ephemeral feel, and how matte paintings were used to create the new worlds.
Next, Keith showcased the work we’ve done with local creative agency DHX for Rehau, a German window company. These projects started at the very beginning of the production process – with storyboard sketches. From there, Keith walked us through various iterations of each project, from basic animatic, to full animation test, to final product.
Finally, Michael explained the steps that brought the Emmy Awards Ceremony key art to life – a project that started with creative already designed, but in need of animation. He showed how the project came together layer by layer, starting with low resolution rough cuts and working up to the lustrous gold finish of the final product.
Thanks to everyone who came out to the talk tonight – it was great to meet so many creative people, and thanks to Wacom for having us out!
This VR Project is the first of its kind for 9iFX – The creative genius that is the Juliet Zulu crew tapped our VFX team to create a fully immersive 360 degree VR short film experience chalk full of a wide range of specialized motion graphics and visual effects for the launch of Puma’s new evoTOUCH boot. Working closely with creative director Jayson Bosteder, our VFX supervisor, Michael Miller pulled a lot of late nights to see this epic passion project come to fruition.
The project is a full two and a half minutes of CG, 360 degree action. Taking a little under 5 weeks to complete, we rendered, In total, over 4500 4K CG finished frames. There are animated, swirling nebulas happening on all sides of the viewer – EG you have to actually turn your head to see them all. The piece also features flying asteroids, tractor beams, and projections of live action players in the sky – featuring Cesc Fàbregas who plays for Chelsea FC.
It’s really fun to play in the VR environment where we could have an amorphous ball materialize and be kicked from one end of the horizon to the other. But don’t look away for too long – you’ll miss what is going on behind you. With so many things going on in the VR space, you could experience the project multiple times, and still not catch everything.
To pull off these effects, we used a variety of plugins in C4D for the 3D elements of the project and composited it all using Adobe After Effects. One of the challenges we faced with this project was a constantly growing and changing delivery length – As new ideas for more epic VFX were brought into the project scope, we had to remain flexible to accommodate the changes and act quickly to meet our short deadline. To help manage each new addition and remain flexible with our animation as new ideas were introduced, animator Chris McCard used X-particles in C4D to dynamically add and subtract sequences with relative ease and speed.
We used the Mettle Skybox plugin and the HTC Vive to preview early renders of the project and test the rough animatics during each phase of the project. Using the HTC Vive, we noted quickly that getting the lighting to remain cinematic in a 360 degree environment was going to be a tricky endeavor because it is difficult to accomplish without some parts of the environment appearing flatly lit. We were able to solve this by rotating our lighting rig 90 degrees giving our subjects a rim and fill cinematic look.
9iFX also got to delve into app development to create the user interface video player for the Oculus Rift. To complete this, we brought in some outside help.
To finish off the project, Juliet Zulu worked with the sound team at Digital One to create stereoscopic sound effects to really give an immersive feel to the experience. In a 360 degree environment, it’s easy to miss the action if you happen to be looking the other way, so using a combination of sound effects and visual cues, we set up the project to pull the viewer’s eyes where we wanted during the experience.
The 360-degree immersive film can be experienced with Google Cardboard on mobile and on desktop with the mouse and WASD keys. We recommend you check it out with a VR headset, or Google Cardboard. You can pick up one of these cardboard head pieces here.
This year’s US Open International promo combines Motion Graphics and live footage in a fully 3D animated environment.
Another season, another awesome commercial for the US Open for ESPN International! The creative folks at Anderson3 teamed up with us to complete this 3D animated project which features crystalline, trophy-like buildings that rise up out of an epic fluid simulation and reflect feats of sportsmanship in their gleam. The project was creative directed by our very own VFX supervisor, Michael Miller, and co-creative directed by Anderson3’s Karl Baker.
This project was uniquely compiled with different 3D animated elements that allows for the client, ESPN, to create a variety of different commercials with a few simple elements. We modeled and animated a 3D version of famous buildings and monuments from New York City and adding in some stylized motion graphics, we set up the project to be easily edited by the client. We delivered 2 separate 3D opening sequences, 2 transition panels, and 2 ending panels all with similar stylized Motion Graphics and stacked in such a way that the client could swap out the footage of the athletes and put in new, more relevant footage as the season progresses. With all of the talented athletes playing at peak performance and recorded for posterity, there’s no end to the number of possible commercials that can be made with this commercial toolkit.
We’re excited to see how many different possible commercials the creative folks at ESPN are able to create with these elements! Anyone have access to cable TV from Latin America? This commercial was created specifically for a Spanish speaking audience and will be shown more prominently in the Latin American territory than up here in North America.
The project was completed at 9iFX headquarters in Portland, Oregon, and used a combination of Maya, AfterEffects, and C4D to complete. Check out the complete project below:
9iFX is hosting an Open House for Design Week Portland – and you’re invited!
Design Week Portland is back and bigger than ever! The event lineup and art installations of this year’s festival promise to be informative, eye catching, and mind blowing! 9iFX is thrilled to be participating in the biggest celebration of Portland’s creative scene!
Mark your calendar for April 20th from 4-7! Our open house will feature an impressive cheese platter (because, cheese) with local micro-brews to wash it down and a showcase of our collective works projected onto our 14′ green screen wall. Come check out our space, and let’s chat about how we can help you create stunning visual content for your next project or campaign!
VFX & EDM together make a complete sensory experience
During the month of October, 9iFX teamed up with the production crew at Vinton Depiction to create “Prizm of Seven” for EDM artist, Seven Lions. “Prizm of Seven” is a visual narrative consisting of 25 minutes worth of fantasy footage, blending stunning scenery from around the Pacific Northwest, with a potent blend of VFX, 3D and matte painting. The footage was broken up into 2 minute sequences that when played consecutively told a compelling story about an interstellar traveler, on a mission to sustain the life-force around the cosmos, overcoming obstacles and turmoil.
9iFX hit the ground running, with our 3D team modeling and animating a series of space ships that were then integrated seamlessly with the live action footage. Our skilled matte painters were able to create a variety of alien landscapes, blending the real with the unreal and adding a truly ephemeral effect to the piece. We worked around the clock, delivering over 85 vfx shots so that Seven Lions could have the footage by their Halloween concert in Los Angeles.
The talented musicians and VJs who make up Seven Lions, are on tour at present with this piece, blending the footage seamlessly with their music to create an unforgettable experience for their audience. Check out the making of this project, and a sneak peek at the finished product in this video:
9iFX had a blast working with the local creative agency, DHX, to produce internal promo video for REHAU and their new ÄSPEKT line of high-end commercial window casements! The project was filmed right here in Portland at 9iFX’s studio and features our best doggy pal, Lewie! Special thanks to Celeste Leizer for co-starring in this, along with Lewie and our funky red couch. DHX came to us with creative and storyboards ready, so we could take their vision from pre-production to post-production including Editing, Sound Design, Color Correction, and VFX. Along with CG rendered stills of the windows.
For the production itself, we wanted to get the cleanest look possible – so we brought in a 6 foot dolly complete with wheels and runners, to keep the zoom-in shots looking smooth.
We filmed the project on n FS7 with a Q7+ Odyssey Recorder and a Cannon 24-70 L2.8 lens. All that sexy camera tech was fun to handle and produced some pretty high quality footage.
We’re excited to open up our VFX tool belt and start building on the raw footed into what will be the final product! Stay tuned!
9iFX is excited to announce our new VFX studio! We’re located just minutes from OMSI in inner SE Portland, under the Hawthorne bridge! It’s a great area with tons of food cart options, eclectic antique shops, and the sound of jam bands practicing in the area’s numerous recording studios. It’s also home to some of Portland’s most prominent creative agencies and tech companies!
We had the great pleasure of finding our space in a blank-slate state; we got to roll up our sleeves and dive right into construction! As both digital and analog artists, we loved diving head first into a hands-on project – we built walls, painted doors, added flooring and even did some electrical work! Check out some of the features our visual effects studio boasts:
Dubbed the “Alice-in-wonderland couch,” this was a score we picked up at those antique shops we mentioned. How Portland of us. The dirigible lights up the space during those long night.
Our 16’x14′ green screen wall also doubles as a white screen!
These hand crafted steampunk VFX stations were built by a local artist right here in Portland. Here, our artists turn the gears of the company. Tony supervises from above.
This is the editing bay where our artists can get away from the hubbub of the main area and focus on film editing, color correction, and sometimes, accounting.
Here’s a beauty shot of our server in it’s corner office suite!
It looks like Adobe and The Foundry may soon be joining forces. The Telegraph reported last Saturday that Adobe may be bidding as much as $304 million to buy the Foundry from the Carlyle Group, who presently owns it.
Of course when asked about it, Adobe was vague and unclear in their answer, neither confirming, nor denying that any purchase would be made. The Foundry also has not come forth with information on the subject.
The Foundry’s prime software, Nuke, a node-based 3D compositor, along with Modo, Mari 3D, Hiero system, and Katana lighting would be a colossal addition to Adobe’s creative suite offerings, and cement some important inroads into the Hollywood scene.
If offered at the same price point as the rest of Adobe’s SaaS offerings, that could be a real game changer for small and medium sized VFX studios – we here at 9iFX are going to be watching this merger, should it come to pass, VERY closely.
Read more juicy gossip and the evidence that demonstrates its validity about this possibility on Studio Daily.
9iFX is excited to collaborate with the Silicon Valley’s premier drone startup, Airware. Airware is the premier Drone startup in Silicone valley with over $40 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz and Kleiner Perkins. Integrating cloud systems, hardware and software, Airware is helping enterprising businesses to customize and utilize drones to do a wide variety of tasks, from inspections, to surveying, to patrolling, to search and rescue. We’re excited to see where the future takes them! Read more about Airware and their exciting new service on TechCrunch.
We assisted with motion graphics and screen replacements for the launch video for their commercial Drone Operating System.
9iFX has arrived, and Twitter will never be the same.
Okay, we don’t buy into our own hype that much, but we really are on Twitter now, and you really should check it out!
Yes, it has happened – we have a Twitter account now, and it is truly the best way to keep up with all the latest, un-algorithmically-filtered news and happenings at 9iFX, the Portland film & VFX scene, and just general fun things. We promise we won’t spam up your twitter feed with too many posts, so drop on by, give us a follow, and help spread the word!
Sui Generis, AKA Martell Webster hits the music scene with a bang with the release of his newest music video “Disposition
We’re proud to announce the release of Vinton Depiction‘s latest music video “Disposition” for Martell Webster, aka Sui Generis! Filmed right here in the great north west, this video shows the juxtaposition between the nature we see, and the nature we feel. 9iFX really helped this story pop by giving it the gift of fire and water. It was such a blast to work with the talented folks at the EYRST team!
This is just the start, as Vinton Depiction and 9iFX are already making plans for our next big collaboration with the talented EYRST crew. Keep a look out for the next vid!
Z-Nation is the zombie flick that knows it’s a zombie flick.
9iFX was excited to deliver 23 shots for one of the final episodes of the first season of Z-Nation. We replaced lots of Zombie eyes, monitor burn-ins, and added blood smears all over this zombie show. Mmmm gory. The project was fun to work on (who doesn’t like a good Zombie flick?!) and the show is even more fun to watch!
Be sure to check it out – The whole season is now available on Netflix for your viewing pleasure – or you can watch it all on Syfy.com
We’re excited for the chance to continue providing top notch work for this fun show! Check some of these screen captures from the shots we worked on, and be sure to keep an eye out for them while you watch!
9iFX had the supreme pleasure of working with director Austin Will and Lion Attack Motion Pictures to provide top notch VFX to their short film “Long Way Gone”. In this film the storm is one of the main characters and we got to create a number of intense growing storm matte paintings to tell this story. Check out some of these before and after shots:
9iFX got the chance to work with the highly creative and talented team at Cinco Design on this beautifully shot minute and a half drone flight through the city for Gogoro, a scooter company based out of San Francisco. Can’t tell what we did here? Good! We’ll never tell!
Now you can see the whole shoe before you even arrive at the store.
9iFX teams up with Swanson Studios to make the shoes in Nike’s new Zoom web launch spin right off the screen and onto your feet. Using our VFX artistry we were able to make these shoes spin continuously 360 degrees to really make the launch of these great shoes pop! Check out some of these screen captures from the site:
Check out the Nike page and see all the fancy spinning shoes here.