Blending a simple story with complex animation, the winner of iPi Soft’s June filmmaking competition — “Shadow Boxing” – falls just short of a minute and a half. But in that small amount of time, director Timothy W. Leeds shows how much iPi Soft’s iPi Motion Capture markerless mocap solution can achieve in depicting a cinematic battle between a man and his super-powered shadow.
According to Leeds, a freelance artist and owner of the company Inviizion By Viizro, the creative spark behind the film was simply to test iPi Motion Capture with inexpensive Kinect sensors to see how it could be incorporated with his own animation. Exploring the exercise of shadowboxing, Leeds used the trial version of the software and a green screen, to record himself without a shadow and then CG one into the footage. The smoothness of the animated shadow character next to his live action footage led him to create “Shadow Boxing.”
“iPi Motion Capture allowed me to create this video in half the time it would have taken me to animate the shadow myself,” Leeds says, “and it gave the shadow character more natural movement.”
Leeds said that the biggest challenges he faced centered on the scenes in which he had to interact or physically fight with the shadow. He used iPi Soft to play back the shadowboxing portions of the video next to his green screen human self, and married the two elements seamlessly using Blender3D for all of the modeling and fire simulation, and Adobe After Effects to fine-tune the final look.
Leeds adds, “It took many takes and my arms and legs still ache from punching and kicking the air, but iPi Motion Capture helped me capture the natural movements of a human body”
For more on Leeds’ iPi Motion Capture workflow, visit www.inviizion.com.