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London's VFX Superheroes


By Henry Winchester


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Date Added: 21st October 2013

A group of London's finest artists and animators are challenged to create the perfect CG short. 3dtotal investigates...


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Fred and Eric used a distinctive stop-motion aesthetic for their lazy teen superhero


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In an unassuming and tucked-away old warehouse in London's Soho district something rather marvellous is happening. A group of CG artists and designers are facing their toughest challenge to date: to create a short CGI movie about a London-based superhero in less than 5 hours.

It's being created in an exquisite corpse style between six teams of two, with each pair only able to see the previous pair's last 30 frames of animation. It's a herculean undertaking – and the artists will have to draw on their own CG super powers to finish the project in time.

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Cut and Paste present the final video


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Blackmeal's segment of the film shows the superhero while he's in nappies


Despite their incredibly tight schedule, we were able to talk to Territory Studio's Marti Romances and Nick Hill about the ongoing project. The studio is best-known for creating on-screen graphics for movies such as Zero Dark Thirty and Prometheus, and the dynamic duo were charged with creating the superhero's midlife crisis – think along the lines of The Incredibles with a suitably British twist.

"His superpower doesn't seem to work the way he was expecting, and rather than solving the problem it gives him a beer belly”


"We start with an opening scene of him cruising in his sports car, and he's loving it,” says Nick. "Maybe he's just divorced his wife and replaced her with a Ferrari. He gets a call on his old English pocket watch, which he uses in conjunction with his umbrella, and attends to this event but his superpower doesn't seem to work the way he was expecting, and rather than solving the problem it gives him a beer belly.”

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London's Soho is home to many VFX companies, so naturally lots of people attended the event


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As a child, the superhero comes face to face with a giant pigeon, in Mummu's vision


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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
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(ID: 228358, pid: 0) John Fiorelli on Thu, 24 October 2013 2:38am
Preston - tks for the feedback. A deep story would have been fun to do, but you're right, it wasn't the focus of this project. We wanted to play with a sort of exquisite corpse format, giving each studio the autonomy to show their impression of a fun hero character in their assigned life stage. At Cut&Paste we're experimenting with new formats that do provide for narrative. The trick is how teams/studios collaborate, share creative elements, while allowing them the chance to let their style distinguish itself. All told, we have good problems. :)
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(ID: 227281, pid: 0) Preston Platt on Mon, 21 October 2013 8:56pm
I know the focus was not on story but when it comes to a short, artistic style and feels are nice but completely irrelevant in my eyes without depth of story. it was interesting to watch but left absolutely no impact on me.
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