Retro Rotoscoping: Campbell Logan on Channeling ’90s Video Game Graphics for “Orion Beach”

Vimeo’s Riley Hooper recently posted a fun and informative Q&A with Los Angeles filmmaker Campbell Logan about the techniques he used to develop quirky music video “Orion Beach” by D/A/D, which has been receiving a lot of buzz from the likes of NPR, The Creators Project, and obviously the staff at Vimeo HQ.

The Creators Project describes “Orion Beach” best as  “the video you need to watch if you want to see a team of androgynous aliens pal around and fight a massive, disembodied head in a universe that looks like something out of Nintento classic, Wave Race 64.”

“For his video, Logan played with the idea of translating nostalgia into a grand artistic statement by channeling William Gibson’s cyberpunk tropes and video games from his ’90s childhood,” says Mike Sugarman of The Creators Project. “Using a century-old animation technique, Logan crafted a story of a “group of electronic alien children who travel to a forgotten island to chill really hard with each other, explore, race, and discover the secrets of the universe.”

Logan’s hilarious Q&A and behind-the-scenes video with Vimeo’s Hooper provides insight into his editing techniques ,which did not involve motion-capture equipment, but old-school rotoscoping methods– “a camera, tripod, five friends, a trampoline, Final Cut Pro, Maya, and Realflow.”

“I wanted to do some really elaborate character animation for this film, but didn’t have access to crazy motion capture equipment, so I came up with the idea of shooting the whole video in live-action and essentially rotoscoping it, but in a modern way,” says Logan to Hooper. “I’ve actually just uploaded the animatic/motion capture template I shot and edited together.”

Watch this entertaining behind-the-scenes video below and read the full Q&A on Vimeo.

Orion Beach Animatic/Motion Capture Template from Campbell Logan on Vimeo.

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Author: Mani O'Brien

Mani O’Brien is the Online Editor for the FIDMDigitalArts Blog and the Social Media Marketing Manager for FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in print journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communications at Arizona State University in 2006, and Associate of Arts degree in Graphic Design (Professional Designation) at FIDM in 2010. When she’s not brainstorming social media marketing ideas or writing about the graphic design and digital media, she enjoys practicing yoga, reading magazines, and hanging out with friends and family in Los Angeles.

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