|Rick Schrand, a three-time Emmy Award Winning
writer and director, let us have the first sneak peak at some of
the behind the scenes shots from the new music video Bigfoot Rides
With Santa, performed by Jim Ed Brown. 2004, Broadsword
This whimsical new video is set to air on Country Music Television and Great American Country network this month.
Question: How did you end up working on this project?:
Rick:Its a little convoluted, but here goes: I had appeared on some of the local television stations in the Nashville area to promote the new Bachelor Degree in Graphic Art and Design at Nossi College of Art where I am the Computer Graphic Department Chair.
|The program is designed to teach the basics of 3D animation and
modeling for broadcast.
Jim Ed was working on the song Bigfoot Rides With Santa and wanted to make a music video. He contacted the college, and after a meeting with him discussing various methods for producing the video, we decided to give this a shot. We decided to blend cartoon elements with more realistic backgrounds to give it a unique look. And, as an FYI, Bigfoot Rides With Santa is basically the first country music video that was produced virtually entirely using 3D animation. And I know its the first full-length music video produced using the programs I used.
|How long did it take?
Rick: This is the scary part. I had six weeks to do all the animations for the video, which comprise about two minutes total. But the six weeks is a bit of a falsehood, because it took two weeks to decide on what Bigfoot should look like. Which then took us down to four weeks to get everything done. Due to the various elements used in the video and those time constraints, there was literally no time for tweaking of the animations; what rendered out was what was going to have to be used. So, I like to say that this video is an homage to claymation. Claymation meets 3D, as it were.
|To meet deadline, there are scenes I had to do as stills and
then animate in the video editing software. We all knew the
schedule was massively tight.
What programs and tools did you use?
Rick: The animation elements were created and rendered in Poser 5 and in Vue 4 Professional. The video was edited in Final Cut HD and the DVD master was created in DVD Studio Pro. Compositing was also done in Final Cut.
|Of all the different 3D graphics software packages
available, why did you use Poser and Vue 4 Professional?
Rick: First, time. I had absolutely no time in which to build characters or elements from scratch in Lightwave (the modeling program I use). Poser 5 gave me the versatility to create and/or modify the characters used The Freak, Ichiro, Koshini, the old Daz cartoon Santa and Elf, and most if not all on this site will recognize elements from different Marketplace packages -
|- to give them unique looks that fit the style we were going
for without taking up inordinate amounts of time. Plus, Jim Ed
wanted hair on Bigfoot, so Poser 5s hair room came to the
Regarding Vue 4 Professional, it supports atmospheric animations such as branches blowing in the wind. That was important to me; I wanted to have the backgrounds animated, not static, so Vue Pro was the natural choice.
|Were there any scenes or effects that were difficult to
accomplish? If so, how did you resolve it?
Rick: I tried not to go over four seconds per scene. But one, near the end of the video, was a bear render time-wise. Its a scene inside of a room with an elf peering into Santas sack. The elf stands up, looks at Bigfoot, who in turn turns to look at Santa. All the while the camera is panning across the room. This comprised 300 frames ten seconds. That was the last of the animated scenes. I began the render at 9:15a on a Saturday morning, it finished sometime overnight the next Wednesday.
|If I hadnt removed a lot of the hair elements from the Bigfoot
character, it probably would have taken longer. You figure that
even the big boys out in Hollywood figure its going to take a
minimum of 45 minutes per frame when doing animations. So even
rendering on my Dual 2-Gig G5 with 8 Gig of RAM, Im happy with the
time it took to render. My blood pressure wasnt, though!
Another scene was the blizzard. That was a complete composite using to layers of Photoshop snow and an animations built in Vue Pro.
Bigfoot Rides With Santa Legal Information
Bigfoot Rides With Santa
2004, Door Knob Records, Mt. Juliet, TN
Written by Jack Franzen and Jim Ed Brown
Produced by Gene Kennedy
Video produced by James E. Brown, Gene Kennedy, Richard Schrand
Animation: Richard Schrand, Broadsword Productions, Nashville, TN
Videography: Richard Schrand
Editor: Richard Schrand
Used by permission.
Duplication is forbidden without the express written consent of the copyright holder.