Psyop cracks the egg with artist Jane Morgan

Easter is just around the corner and if you’re over the age of eight, chances are you’re not fine tuning your egg hunting skills. That is, unless you’re in New York.

For the the first year since its inception in 2012, New York City is hosting “The Big Egg Hunt” – a tech driven twist on the classic children’s pastime, sponsored by jewelry mogul Fabergé. The charitable event is the world’s largest egg hunt and includes over 260 carefully crafted, larger than life egg sculptures, all integrated with beacon technology. Participants who download The Big Egg Hunt app, available via iTunes and Google Play, can “check in” when discovering an egg and receive information about the sculpture and artist. If that wasn’t enough, by logging in, participants are automatically entered to win one of three Fabergé keepsakes.

Psyop got the chance to speak with Egg #006 artist, Jane Morgan, about her career, her involvement with Elephant Family and her Golden Lincoln Cent egg for The Big Egg Hunt.

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Clash of Clans “Clan Wars”

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  • Game on: Psyop, BFG and Supercell for Clash of Clans

    Psyop and BFG got in the action with this combat soaked trailer for Supercell’s game of strategic chaos, Clash of Clans. “Anthem” drops viewers in the middle of an all out war to show what an intense round in the bedlam is all about.

    “We really embraced the bright, stylized and saturated look of the game,” noted Psyop Director Fletcher Moules. “We wanted to fully conceptualize what the world would look like if we were running alongside the horde of barbarians, what would it feel like to be covered in their saliva.”

    The Psyop team worked closely with BFG to bring the mayhem to life, developing the characters and creating dynamic backgrounds and environments to keep the explosive and goofy nature of the spot in tact while maintaining the game’s intrigue.

    “The scene with the giants became a favorite,” added Moules. “It added the heart and the warmth that was only achieved when we removed ourselves a little from the ruckus to enjoy it from their perspective.”

    Psyop also worked to find the middle ground of the narrative — striking the right balance between action and comedy, determining where to use gags, feeling out how long to feature each character and determining how many explosions were necessary but not overwhelming. In total, the team created 88 shots during previs* which were ultimately cut down to the final, tumultuous 20.

    “This job gave us a chance to flex the muscles of our new pipeline quite a bit,” commented Psyop CG Lead Stephen DeLalla. “Heavily customized and developed tools let us iterate quickly and try different cameras, actions and shots without much lag time. It was really amazing to watch a scene go from zero to 80% completion in a couple of clicks! and even more so because Psyop built it that way.”

    The video released on Monday, December 23rd and grabbed 4.5 million YouTube views within the first 24 hours, totalling over 14 million in one week. During production, Psyop even formed two warring Clash Clans and the triumphant cry of “hogriddddaaaaa” could be heard resonating throughout the studio, adding a level of entertainment all its own.

    “Of course we had to visualize the Clash characters and world at ground level!” smiled Moules. “This is what we do at Psyop. Character animation with a great story, and if it’s quirky or funny, then all the better!”

    Bring it on, warriors.

    *Previs: the planning and conceptualization to visualize scenes in a video before production

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JC Penney: ‘Blake Shelton Silent Night’ Behind the Scenes

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    Psyop and Doner got into the spirit of the holiday season with this heartfelt but high tech spot for JCPenney. Taking the lead of country music superstar Blake Shelton, the project features families of active US troops broadcast across 25 iPads, creating a virtual choir as they sing “Silent Night” to their loved ones overseas.

    “We wanted to use technology to create an emotional connection,” noted Psyop Director Eben Mears. “We had this great opportunity with Doner and JCPenney to make something really meaningful and augment the message by implementing a digital component in a way that no one has ever done before. And we did it all in camera.”

    With the help of the United Service Organizations (USO), Psyop collected submissions from the participating families and edited the videos to match the harmony and tempo of the song. Getting the iPads to cooperate was a different story.

    “Even if you were able to press play on all the iPads at the same time, by default they wouldn’t sync,” explained Psyop Creative Technologist Brian Kehrer. “We also had to take into consideration that the videos needed to seamlessly integrate around Blake’s performance without pause for technical issues.”

    In advance of the shoot, the Psyop Digital team developed new software to control the iPads and dictate the timing of the video playback. A server was created to ensure full wireless control while filming, which included a custom user interface for the crew. Although the network successfully linked up 25 tablets, Psyop arrived on set ready to support several hundred.

    “Psyop was founded to be that merger between art and technology,” added Mears. “The devices today have so much creative potential and this project was a great example of what we can accomplish. We were thrilled to have been a part of it.”

    Spreading holiday cheer has never been so high tech.

    *The participating families received SAG residuals for their talent and time in helping making this video.

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JC Penney “Blake Shelton Military Christmas Salute”

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  • SILENT_NIGHT_shot01

    SILENT_NIGHT_shot05

    Psyop and Doner got into the spirit of the holiday season with this heartfelt but high tech spot for JCPenney. Taking the lead of country music superstar Blake Shelton, the project features families of active US troops broadcast across 25 iPads, creating a virtual choir as they sing “Silent Night” to their loved ones overseas.

    “We wanted to use technology to create an emotional connection,” noted Psyop Director Eben Mears. “We had this great opportunity with Doner and JCPenney to make something really meaningful and augment the message by implementing a digital component in a way that no one has ever done before. And we did it all in camera.”

    With the help of the United Service Organizations (USO), Psyop collected submissions from the participating families and edited the videos to match the harmony and tempo of the song. Getting the iPads to cooperate was a different story.

    “Even if you were able to press play on all the iPads at the same time, by default they wouldn’t sync,” explained Psyop Creative Technologist Brian Kehrer. “We also had to take into consideration that the videos needed to seamlessly integrate around Blake’s performance without pause for technical issues.”

    In advance of the shoot, the Psyop Digital team developed new software to control the iPads and dictate the timing of the video playback. A server was created to ensure full wireless control while filming, which included a custom user interface for the crew. Although the network successfully linked up 25 tablets, Psyop arrived on set ready to support several hundred.

    “Psyop was founded to be that merger between art and technology,” added Mears. “The devices today have so much creative potential and this project was a great example of what we can accomplish. We were thrilled to have been a part of it.”

    Spreading holiday cheer has never been so high tech.

    *The participating families received SAG residuals for their talent and time in helping making this video.

    CloseUp

    SILENT_NIGHT_shot08