sz live [ live hockey broadcast | open, package ]

I directed,  composited, animated, and supervised animation for the SZ Live open.

The concept was that a city of ironwork would smash upwards through the ice, revealing the RIT Tigers logo. Large screens mounted on the city towers would flash through highlights from a previous season as well as power shots of the various captains on the team. Finally the logo would slam into place atop the highest tower, which would be mechanically assembling throughout the piece.

I directed the players in our greenscreen studio and had one of my stellar 3d artists, Kat, whip together a reflective i-beamesque room.


I used the Blender internal raytracer to achieve a fast-rendering, reflective look. Using an hdr environment from video copilot, I was able to illuminate almost every scene without any lights. This made it much easier to keep the look consistent throughout, and sped up the process. When compositing the final scenes, I could use that same environment map as a deeply out of focus background, and it matched the lighting exactly. 

All of the animation was done in blender, both keyframe and simulation.

I used blender to simulate the city smashing up from beneath the ice. The city was modeled by Kat at a relatively high resolution.


Using the actual building meshes to calculate the simulation was out of the question due to their high resolution. I created a few simple meshes (the yellow ones) to push through the ice.


Particular was used to create the falling snow. Exporting the camera animation from Blender to After Effects was a simple enough process, and this allowed me to implement Particular pretty easily. For a few of the shots I took in the depth pass and used it to mask the snow falling behind the rendered 3d objects.