projects

February 19, 2014

Eden 2045 was accepted to premiere at the Cineglobe Film Festival outside CERN in Switzerland.  The festival runs from March 18 - 24.  Here's a list of the selected films, and more about the festival:

"Situated just outside Geneva, Switzerland, CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) is the world’s largest physics laboratory. From the 18th to the 23rd of March, 2014, CERN will host the fourth edition of the festival.

Open to short film creators from around the world, the CinéGlobe festival is truly international, the first three editions having attracted more than 4000 entries from more than 100 countries around the globe. Thanks to the strong cultural commitment of CERN and the city of Meyrin (where CERN is located), the CineGlobe festival is poised to become one of the most important festivals worldwide for films surrounding the themes of science and technology."

November 4, 2013

Here's the trailer for the short film Eden 2045.  Full credits for the project can be found at the bottom of this page.


 Photos: Kim Allen plays “Jess” who shares memories of mourning with Robert, a man she meets in the park.  We filmed Kim using the RGBD toolkit, and then combined color and depth information to create videos that looked truly 3-D.  You can see how the projected memories were ultimately rendered in the trailer above.  Process explained below.

Memory Sharing

Characters in Eden 2045 inhabit a mass-simulation, consisting of a patchwork of projections that overlay on the real world, via specialized contact lenses.   Similar to the way people share photos on Facebook today, the idea was that people might want to share actual memories of events.   Via a search engine fully integrated into your brain, you could search a database full of archived video from the hundreds of millions of cameras that caught you taking your first steps, getting married, etc; there would be enough cameras to record that event from several perspectives, thereby allowing for 3D information to create 3D projections that could be shared on an interlocutor’s lenses.

Amsterdam-based visual effects house Hectic Electric designed and produced various effect shots for these projections and their interfaces, as well as rendered the memory shots in the film.   These were pieces of three-dimensional video that were made with open source software called the RGBDToolkit.

RGBD is an ingenious open-source combination of software and hardware, which uses color information from a Canon 5D DSLR, and depth information from an infrared sensor, and takes advantage of the Kinect’s depth-buffer to construct fully 3D video.  It was pioneered by James George and Alexander Porter, who also photographed the memory sequences in the film.

 

Members of the Hectic Electric team working on shots from Eden 2045.  From left to right: Patty Veenstra, Julik Tarkhano, Julius Horsthuis, Guidovan Rijbroek, and Robbert Lubken

The challenge in doing this was to take the 3d videos coming out of the RGBD process, and project them into the park environment of the film.

For this, we first needed standard 3d tracking of the shot of the park, and used Syntheyes ™ for this.

The RGBD process spits out a .obj sequence, which means each frame of video is rendered as a 3 dimensional .obj file, accompanied by a texture file.

With Autodesk Maya, we batch-converted all the .obj files, using the commands ‘reduce’ and ‘smooth’ so that the models could be lit and shaded in interesting ways. This is necessary, because straight from RGDB the .obj’s have all the polygons’ normals facing the camera, and this makes them impossible to shade. This operation also further increases the ‘jaggedy look’ which we thought was visually interesting.

First, we tried to render the .obj sequences with Autodesk 3DS Max, but soon found out that the software was very slow with handling .obj sequences, especially multiple sequences.

Then we came upon the After Effects plug-in Element3D from Video Copilot. This package was very adept in handling multiple .obj sequences, and would render a sequence directly into the compositing environment.  Also, we were able to shade the .obj’s in real time to create the desired look, including reflections.

For every memory, two .obj sequences were rendered: the original one with the original camera texture, and the converted one with the greenish shading. We mixed those manually together to get the desired finished look, which you can glimpse in the trailer.

 

Sept. 08, 2013: Eden 2045 is fully complete and shipped to festivals.  Trailer coming soon.

Eye closeup.jpg

Aug. 15, 2013: We've finally locked the edit and are nearly finished with visual effects and sound design on Eden 2045.  Follow the film here for updates.

Jun. 14, 2013: We just wrapped production on "Eden 2045".  The 10-minute short film stars Tyler Jacob Moore, from the Showtime series "Shameless", and Kim Allen from this year's Oscar-winning short film "Curfew".  We shot the film for five days in Prospect Park, in Brooklyn, on the Alexa.  The days were long and back-breaking, but everybody did a great job.  The film is a love story, set along a running path in the future.  It was shot by DP Rossana Rizzo, produced by Madeleine Sacklerand written and directed by me.   We're expecting to have the whole thing finished by late August.  More soon!

 

 

Writer, Director

James Lawler

 

Producers

Madeleine Sackler & James Lawler

 

Cast

Tyler Jacob Moore as Robert

Kim Allen as Jess

Katherine Warner Johnson as Katie

Tommy Walker as The Legs Model

Elinore Carrabba & Raffaello Perfetto as The Dancing Couple

Karikatura as The Band

Tonka as Robert’s Dog

Director of Photography

Rossanna Rizzo

 

Editors

Leigh Johnson & James Lawler

 

Visual Effects

Hectic Electric - Amsterdam

Julius Horsthuis, VFX Supervisor

Guido van Rijbroek, 2D Art Designer

Sander Mettes, 3D Modeler

Kees Sparnaaij, 3D Animator

Lars Snelders, Particle Dynamics

Robbert Lubken, 3D Artist

Julik Tarkhanov, Nuke Compositor

Efraim Gons, Color Grader

Jermy Verf, Intern

Remmert Makken, Freelance Matte Painter

Patty Veenstra, Producer

 

Music, Sound Design & Mix

BOD - New York | Paris - AOC

Pascal Bonifay & Maximillien Letaconnoux & Maxime Singer

Sound Producers: Pascal Bonifay & Fabrice Smadja

 

RGBD Director of Photography

Alexander Porter

 

Assistant Director

Clare Sackler

 

Assistant Camera

Behnood Dadfar

 

2nd Assistant Camera

Alex Waterston

 

Loader

Eric Paperth

 

Key Grip

Adam Barbay

 

Grips

Eric Fahy

Steven Schuermans

 

Gaffer

Raina Oberlin

 

Electricians 

Josh Batista

Darcy Schlitte

 

RGBD Gaffer

Paul Porter

 

Sound Mixers

Sawrab Karim

Brian Flood

 

Costume Designer

Valeria Picerno

 

Assistant Costume Designer

Alison Kopki

 

Hair and Makeup

Fiona Tyson

 

Visual Effects On-Set Supervisor

Julius Horsthuis

 

Production Assistants

Novel Robbins

Thomas Pappillon

Shalae Madison

Janelle Ashley Clayton


Driver

Mark Thysell

 

Additional Music

“Horns of Love” by Karikatura

Ryan Acquaotta - Vocals

Dima Kay - Guitar

Eric Legaspi - Bass
Morgan Greenstreet - Drums

Joe MF Wilson - Saxophone
Ric Becker (Performance), Daniel Linden (Recording) – Trombone

Find out more about the band Karikatura at

KarikaturaNYC.com

Download “Horns of Love” at http://karikatura.bandcamp.com/releases

 

Trailer Music

Christopher Hoag

 

Additional Voice Recording

Kate Clark

 

Saxophone Player

Alex Terrier

 

Stunt Coordinator

Roberto Lopez

 

Special Thanks

Omar Acosta

Anne Barliant

Olivia Briggs

Jonathan Darman

James George

JT Petty

Renae Robinson

Lawrence Timberlake

New York City Department of Parks & Recreation

 

Filmed in Prospect Park, New York City

June 10 – 14, 2013

Copyright © 2013, James Lawler Productions.  All Rights Reserved.