Artist uses once forbidden martial art to change lives, starting with his own

Capoeira: Live The Game, screens at oldest film festival in United States.

Mention martial arts and most people instantly recite disciplines such as Karate, Kung Fu or various fighting styles like Wushu, Akido or Tai Chi. But mention the Afro Brazilian art form known as Capoeira and glazed eyes usually follow.

“Capoeira was born of the African slaves need to develop some sense of harmony with their environment. The need to protect themselves while hiding their true intentions by cloaking it in the only creative art form available to them… dance.” Says Director Joddy Eric Matthews.

 

Live The Game’s program director, Anthony Santo Domingo, himself was an individual who found personal harmony, despite a somewhat troubled youth, and a positive roadmap for his life in the practice of the Brazilian martial art. He now uses the tenets of the centuries old melding of dance, whirling kicks and high flying aerial displays to change the lives of Cleveland’s at-risk youth.

“Before I started the program, I was very introverted and given the neighborhood I grew up in, I struggled to stay away from those who would offer me false confidence – like gangs.” says Demetri Tye, Live The Game student.

 

Live The Game Ad One Sheet

“When the kids leave the program I just want them to know that there is a community around them and their actions impact that community.” Domingo remarks.

Live the Game is directed by former MadWerkz head Joddy Eric Matthews, lensed by Yasmine Lawler and produced by CK and Obadiah Baker. The film has been officially selected for multiple film festivals across the country. The selective LA Dance Film Festival, the prestigious Columbus International Film and Video Festival and the Greater Cleveland Urban Film Festival are a just a few.

Interested in Live The Game? Reach Anthony Santo Domingo on Facebook

TenderHearts Crusades +(877)320-2228
www.tenderheartcrusades.com
Obadiah.baker@tenderheartcrusades.com

First Look, Canon’s C700 High-end Camera

Canon C700 Camera

The EOS C700 is Canon’s no-compromise, high-end, cinematography camera. Here’s some of the first available footage from it, shot by Brett Danton, in a spectacular fashion. Australian sun, luxury cars, shot from a speeding helicopter. What’s not to like?

Brett Danton and the fellows at RedShark have written an amazing review of Canon’s amazing C700 cinematography camera. Read the article at Redshark Canon C700

Watch the footage here:

Director Brett Danton

Autodesk serves up some eye candy

 

Autodesk posted its latest games reel in time for GDC 2017, its all AAA titles and some VR work. The usual suspects such as Halo (Wars), Creed, Deus Ex and Battlefield are there along with indie hits such as We Happy Few and Firewatch.

In game play has gotten so good that it can be included along with cinematics giving the reel a definite appeal to the gamer. Of course our focus is on the Autodesk tools and the process.

by Chris Kennedy

Read more about Autodesk’s tools for game design on their website

Building a 5X brand

MadWerkz creates branding, splash page and product labeling for S5X supplement line

AB Style agency tasked MadWerkz with creating Branding and Product Labels for the digestion aid supplement S5X.

“The agency wanted a clean style with a clear way of determining the various types of supplements in the product line, we determined that a numbering system, color varied, would do the trick.” Stated project director Christopher Kennedy.

Product Label

Joddy Eric Matthews designed the labels, then handed them off to Jay Mitchell who created them in Adobe Illustrator before they were then rendered in Photoshop. The next step was to map the labels on to a CG bottle which was done by Christopher Kennedy in Maya. The Bottle was lit and rendered, using a custom shader in Vray before being submitted to the client for approval.

 

Splash Page

Once the product designs were finished, a quick responsive splash page was mocked up using Photoshop and Adobe Experience Design. The tagline, Take 5 & Revive was added along with the product lineup and the S5X Logo. In the end, the splash page mockup was rendered and delivered to AB Style.

MadWerkz develops website for leading Cyber Security solution

MadWerkz Studios has created a custom website for cyber security solution provider Sepio Systems of Israel. The supply chain security startup is focused on protecting an organization from the effect of an attack—instead of trying to prevent it. The suite stops rogue hardware before it damages the normal operation of an organization or degrades system performance. Leveraging hardware, software and cloud technology, it protects organizations against device supply chain attacks.

MadWerkz designed a custom parallax site which incorporates the highly graphical nature of Sepio’s solution into its style. Thus making its offering highly visible and easy to understand.

Click here to view the Sepio Website and learn more about the Sepio security solution.

Seeing Tomorrow VFX – Part Two: The Making of Metal and Men

Independent Filmmaker Series

Some time ago we were approached to conduct a workshop on successful workflows in Shading and Material construction for Independent Filmmakers.

PART ONE: The following videos (see below) represent Part One of the Workshop which deals will laying a solid foundation for Independent Filmmakers to be able to follow. Part Two, which is more of an application workflow tutorial is in production now. SEE BELOW FOR PART ONE VIDEOS

  • Designed for the Filmmaker who wants basic education on Shading Next Steps
  • Foundation aspects of Shading and Material Creation
  • Role of Production Design
  • Use of Color Palette creation tools
  • Identifying Render Engines

PART TWO IS IN PROGRESS AND WILL BE RELEASED THROUGH INDEPENDENT FILM SERIES NEXT WEEK

  • Step by Step Vray Shader Creation
  • Creation of Color Palette
  • Texture Material Creation in Photoshop and Mari
  • Diffuse, Normal/Bump, Reflection/Spec Map Creation
  • Scene Reference Linear Workflow Explained
  • HDRI Light Setup

If you have been invited to ask a question, for the workshop, please use the link here: Send Shading and Material Questions Here or Send an email with your shading question to operations@madwerkz.com subject line: IFS Shading Video Question

 

Medium Rear Shot of Communications port
Medium Rear Shot of Communications port

The IFS Price for the Video will be $34.95, follow the link belong to get the video from us at a discounted rate. If you would like to advance purchase the IFS Shading Video, go to the SideBar and Choose BUY NOW.


 

THE FOLLOWING VIDEOS ARE FREE:

PART TWO IS IN PROGRESS AND WILL BE RELEASED THROUGH INDEPENDENT FILM SERIES NEXT WEEK

The IFS Price for the Video will be $34.95, follow the link belong to get the video from us at a discounted rate. If you would like to advance purchase the IFS Shading Video, go to the SideBar (Right) and Choose IFS Shading Video and click BUY NOW.

Seeing Tomorrow VFX – Part One

 

Wide Medium Shot of Jezebel Gerri
Wide Medium Shot of Jezebel Gerri

Freedom

Seeing Tomorrow is a thrilling science fiction cable/web series, set in the near future. The three part series, produced by Donna Dabbs and Joseph Primes of Triangle Park Entertainment. Written by Mona Golden and directed by Joddy Eric Matthews, Episode One finds a lonely accountant, Joseph Primes who orders a simple lunch date with a Companion, artificial life-forms that serve as cures for an increasingly disconnected world. In walks Nina (Katrice Headd), a Companion with a complex past and a plan that takes Jeremiah on the ride of his life.

“Science fiction often gives society a chance to look at difficult concepts such as freedom and death without compromise, that’s what this film does. At its core, it’s a film about rights, the right to be free, to live, to determine your own destiny” remarks Producer Donna Dabbs.

Central to the plots storyline are the deeds of global conglomerate, Blade/Hrushu and two of its products, Urban Law Enforcement Drones and the Gerri Robot. “These two characters are important to our story” stated Matthews. “Even though we were operating with a really low budget, the creation of these assets needed to be done at a high level to sell the story” he added. To that task, Animation Supervisor, Chris Kennedy set forth to complete a daunting effort, create engaging images on a virtually non-existent budget.

Medium Shot of Jezebel Gerri
Medium Shot of Jezebel Gerri

The Gerri Robot

In the Film, The Gerri Series robots were created by Blade Technologies in 2014 and were constructed as Robotic platforms that would serve a multitude of different services ranging from being soldiers in the military to working in the service industry.

“In concept, we decided that the robotic should rely on as much real world design and functionality as possible. Not scientific accuracy but something a consumer could see as real.” remarked Producer Joseph Primes.

To save on cost, MadWerkz used an existing frame and built on it, reconstructing it’s polygons to be more robust and to ready it for UV layout, to which Chris knew would be difficult considering the models initial state. “It was very time consuming to layout the UV’s since the model contained so many little parts.”

The look development and Vray shader construction was handled by Matthews himself. He states, “The color palette behind the Jezebel robot in Episode 1 is tied to the Cajun themed restaurant, which employs a rich purple and gold yellowish color scheme. Working from the original concept, this particular Gerri Series machine had seen years of service and to illustrate this we used deep scratches and food smudges to convey this to the audience.”

Medium Rear Shot of Communications port
Medium Rear Shot of Communications port

To aid in the up close realism, Kennedy developed several files of decals to add to the Robots look. “Most of them, you’ll never see but it sells the realism of the material. Which Joddy simply had to have.”

Rear Shot of Communications port
Rear Shot of Communications port

That also mandated textures that reached 8K in pixel size in order to accommodate the numerous close-up shots needed. “We needed the image to stand up as real close-up.” added Texture artist Jim Hagar. The ideal tool for the character texturing would be Mari, but because not everyone was experienced in its use, Mudbox and Photoshop were the primary texturing platforms. “Jim did a great job in finding these high resolution metal textures and I painted them, adding scratches and several dirt layers”. The final outputs were linear 16bit Tifs, ranging between 8k to 4k diffuse, specular and normal maps for each metal object. “It wasn’t unheard of for the file size in Photoshop to exceed 2 gigs” stated Matthews. The textures were combined in Maya using custom Vray metal shaders, some of which were supplied by Paul Dreisen or built by Matthews. “We wanted the Jezebel Gerri to made out Aluminum, but not reflect all the interior of the restaurant, as we felt that would look fake”, remarked Primes “I think the final render captured that effort perfectly”.

Close up of Head
Close up of Head

The final renders were accomplished in Vray using a Dome Light and 2048 pixel HDRI Textures along with Vray area lights for some of the directional highlights mimicking the restaurant lighting setup. “Most of the highlights come from the HDRI Lightmap so the render time was pretty good at about 8 minutes a frame”, states Kennedy.

 

Police Drone in front of Jezebel's Restaurant
Police Drone in front of Jezebel’s Restaurant

Police UAV Drone

“Very early on Joddy and I spoke about the fact that the police UAV drone needed to be believable as an urban law enforcement tool but not betray its owner’s future military plans.  In other words it had to be constructed in such a way that people would respect it and see it as a possible weapon of war, but not run away in terror from it”, stated Chris.

Police Drone
Police Drone

Different concept ideas were pitched concerning the ship’s overall design and everything from propeller-based engines to jet based engines was discussed. The final product ended up being a car size craft that employed a propulsion based engine set up and a sleek, steel/aluminum body design that civilians would respond well to. The drone employs an arsenal system, camera, motion sensor and two separate engines that can rotate independently of one another. The design decision behind the independent engines was made to allow the drone to be capable of hovering in place, tight cornering while patrolling the streets, and high velocity take-offs.

Police Drone
Police Drone

The color palette for the UAV drone was constructed in a way with colors that were easily identifiable with police vehicles but also would standout with civilians. With this, red and black colors were selected to be added to the plastic rib backing on the drone while the rest of the body would sport a grey, scratched steel and aluminum material.

The drone was constructed in Maya with Look Development completed in Mudbox and Photoshop. The ship was rendered in Vray with HDRI textures acquired onset.

“As producers we’re really happy with the work of Joddy, Chris and the gang at MadWerkz in bringing this story to life, especially given the budget and time frame” adds Primes. “It looks outstanding and we think audiences will really enjoy Seeing Tomorrow!

To see the film, visit seeing tomorrow on facebook: seeingtomorrow

Welcome, To The Future: Cost effective pixel creation

Director Joddy Eric Matthews has teamed with Writer/Director Steve Lidrbauch to produce a provocative music video for indie music group, Seconds Before Landing. The song, Welcome, To The Future is the first release off their new album, The Great Deception, melds a combination of viral videos, 3D CG, particle animation and stock footage.

“I tried to write a visionary story, that would fit with the Producer’s vision of what the song was really about. They have a huge following in Europe and I tried to use that knowledge to aid in delivering the message they wanted to tell” says Lidrbauch.

The initial draft of the song contained about 25 HD stock images of a man or people in a gas mask or surrounded by smoke. “The budget wouldn’t support it, and as much as we loved the concept, some of the imagery was over $400 per clip! We needed other options.” stated Producer John Cristino.

See the video here: Welcome, To The Future

Creating cost effective pixels

Co-Director Joddy Eric Matthews decided to create the various imagery of a person with a mask in 3D. “It allowed us to mimic most of what Steve envisioned at a smaller budget”, quipped Matthews. We always wanted to show a human emitting smoke or material from the mask instead of filtering it as it entered the body, doing a fully CG environment allowed us to control the situation more fully”.

Finished Playground and Jail Cell

Animation Lead Chris Kennedy oversaw concept of the videos jail cell and playground of desolation, both of which were modeled in Maya by Matthews over the course of a few days. The human skeletons and a lounge chair, last minute additions by Matthews, were the only stock models added to the design. The mask was quickly modeled and UV’d by Kennedy in 3D Max and sent to Maya for shading. Texturing was also handled in Maya via Mental Ray’s Mia Material shaders. “We had some thoughts about using Arnold, but since time was short we decided to stick with a more proven workflow” says Kennedy.  Lighting was accomplished using Final Gather, Mental Ray’s Portal Light solution and several Area Lights using CIE Blackbody using Quadratic decay rates. Each Camera used the Mental Ray lens shader, mia_exposure_photographic in order to get the closest exposure match to a real camera as possible. “The initial render is really dark. We under lit the scene at 800 ASA and 5.6 since we knew we would be adding a ton of atmospheric layers in post.” stated Matthews.

CG Breakdown

Modeling – 3D Max/Maya
Animation – Maya
Lighting – Area Lights/CIE Blackbody/Portal Lights/Final Gather (100 rays)
Camera – MR Lens Shader/Mia_Exposure (800 ASA/F5.6)
Render – Mental Ray

A custom Trapcode Particular particles script that allowed for the creation of a hundred thousand particles per frame allowed for the emitter to be set up and designed in a day. Three emitters, each sync’d to the Bass, Treble and midrange of the song, generated between 8,000 to 120,000 particle per frame. Turbulence and Physics were added to influence direction. The final composites were sent to Adobe Premiere CC for editorial.

Welcome To The Future has logged over 30 Thousand views worldwide since it was releases a day ago.

Title: Welcome, To The Future
Artist: Seconds Before Landing
Producer: John Cristino
Directed by Steve Lidrbauch and Joddy Eric Matthews
Creative Director: Joddy Eric Matthews
Animation Lead: Christopher Kennedy
Particle Animation: Joddy Eric Matthews
Editor/Colorist: Joddy Eric Matthews

Festival Series: BluRay versus DCP

Still From Film Derby Baby
Still From Film Derby Baby

Our latest DCP was for the Indie Doc Derby Baby, produced by Dave Wruck and Robin Bond for Robin Bond Media. The film, which has no less than 100 Showtimes across the country Derby Baby showtimes, is a great project which we were proud to help get on the big screen. The film’s Producer’s contacted us seeking to find out more about the DCP option. They understood BluRay or even a HDCam tape delivery were options but they wanted to see if a DCP could be done quickly and inside the Indie Budget they were working with. One of their first questions centered not around price but around the benefits of a DCP over a BluRay.

The wide adoption of BluRay, after the HD-DVD/BluRay Wars (remember those?), gave us a standard that has allowed theater owners to offer a presentation platform of high resolution and reliability to today’s Independent Filmmaker. The ease at which a disc can be authored and played back on almost any machine, worldwide, coupled with the fact that the 1080p format scales nicely with the Digital Projection 2K standard and it’s relatively cheap disc/burner cost, make it a great tool for the filmmaker looking to release his/her film.

So why use a DCP?

First let’s answer the question, what is a DCP? DCP stands for Digital Cinema Package. In short, a DCP is the digital equivalent of a 35mm film print.   It is what you give to a commercial theater so that they can screen your movie on a digital ( also known as “D-Cinema”) projector.  Like a 35mm print, a DCP is a world-wide standard.  If you walk into any D-Cinema theater, anywhere in the world, they can play your DCP without a problem. It can handle files up to 4096k in size and runs at speeds up to 250 Mbit/s! It also operates in XYZ Colorspace rather than videos YUV/RGB Colorspace. So in short, it is made to as closely simulate the image complexity and fidelity of film as possible.

But why spend the money on a DCP? Is a DCP really that much better than a BluRay. In short, yes!

BluRay, DCP Frame compared

A BluRay gives you easy access to the 1080/24p spec, and 5.1 Dolby Surround audio. and having seen many BluRay projected films, It can look stunning given the author encodes at the highest rate allowed, color corrects with D-Cinema in mind and uses as close to master quality as they can. But even with those pluses, the BluRay has the following limitations;

  • Since the Projector screens at only 2k or 4k, any HD material will introduce bars on the sides.
  • Most likely your compression will come in somewhere around 12 to 25 Mbit/s, falling way short of the 250 allowed by the server.
  • Since there is no standard on authoring, encoding from say a H-264 web release to BluRay is allowed, meaning there is nothing to prevent you from burning your 640 x 480 scaled Youtube video to disc.
  • A mistake in the authoring process can result in an unplayable disc.
  • Films, can for the most part be copied by anyone.

DCP standardizes the process, giving the filmmaker full access to the 2048k/4096k image format, and it allows films shot in 2:35/2:40 to be projected as intended. The DCP will not be created if the source footage is not within the strict DCP spec. Another benefit is that DCPs don’t wear out like 35mm or scratch like BluRay’s.  Digital copies do not degrade, so you’ll never have a broken, scratched or dirty DCP.  The 1000th screening will look just as perfect as the first. Also as stated above, If you walk into any D-Cinema theater, anywhere in the world, they can play your DCP without a problem. Often housed in a military grade USB drive, factors such as scratching and damage from transport are nonexistent. And since the package is housed on a Linux formatted hard drive and in a muxed jpeg2000 format, copying a film is extremely difficult.

Another factor, and a very important one if you care about the look of your film or your film depends on the look to enhance audience participation, is regardless of what you deliver on, that your film will be projected in XYZ Colorspace not in the YUV/RGB Color we are all used to from our television sets. DCP’s are automatically converted to XYZ in the packaging process. DCPs and theatrical D-Cinema equipment will make well-shot and color-corrected footage look absolutely fantastic.  The color gamut and contrast are far superior to anything you’ll see on your computer monitor.

3D DCP’s are easy to encode and package. There currently is no solution below 5k for authoring 3D BluRays.

Lastly, In order to be considered for an Academy Award, your film must be delivered on either a film print or a DCP. For full specifications, go here, http://www.oscars.org/awards/academyawards/rules/digital.html

Derby Baby Logo

Derby Baby DCP
A darling film, about love, addition and ring rash, Derby Baby was turned into a DCP from a sequence of Tif files and a set of discrete 5.1 audio files. The original film was uprez’d from 720p to 2k by Dave Wruck and sent to us via a Hard Drive. The finished 90 minute film was sent to a D-Cinema in Los Angeles for screening on a CRU 100 gig hard drive. To get more information on the film, go to http://www.derbybabythefilm.com/

So what special steps do you have to do in order to prepare your film for a DCP? Contact us and we’ll gladly walk you through the steps.

The price of DCP’s have come down drastically in the last few years. The choice to go with the format used by all the major studios versus BluRay is a much easier one today. The ability to compete with the majors is now fully within your grasp. For instance, we offer dynamic packages starting around $10 per minute. Visit us at www.madwerkz.com or contact us at madwerkz for more info on creating DCP’s. Happy filming.

Joddy