Ghost Town Media have created VFX for some amazing music videos and on-stage projection graphics for Linkin Park. In this blog post we'll have a look at some of this work and see how Trapcode software was used.
Ghost Town Media VFX team: Brandon Parvini, Jeff Lichtfuss and David Torno. Freelancers: Gabriel Perez and Tae Lee
To fully see this awesome work, please watch the vids in HD and fullscreen.
Waiting for the End
David Torno of Ghost Town Media explains:
For Waiting For The End (WFTE), Brandon had tweaked and played with Form for a few days to develope a look which was based on some graphics we had made for the concert tour a few weeks prior. Basically running the footage through Form three different times to create a layered effect. The first layer being the main particles which held most of the fidelity of the image that shows and then two more passes to create floating yet somehow still attached brighter particle accents. All of these were based off of luma values from the source footage and audio reaction to different audio stems of the song. Various color grading was placed on top of that and then a focal depth plane was added and radomized to throw the focus in and out of the Form particle field just to give it more depth.
Once this entire pass was done, all of the artists sat down to watch it and to start picking it apart for weaker shots that either didn't work as is and needed more impact and also had to find spots for the director's creative notes that involved the 3D enhancements and geometric shapes/lines. A lot of 3D object tracking was done with Syntheyes to allow us to attach various 3D elements directly onto the band members, stuff like crazy polygon shapes flying of Mike Shinodas back, skull sections that are diconnected yet move with Chesters head, and various other geometric shapes that extrude or move with the shot.
After a few weeks of design, tracking and processing, the entire video was then put back through Particular using the Layer Emitter option to add the subtle particle cloud that emits from every shot. Optical Flares was then placed on top of that to make everything pop. Some more controled shots like Chester's arms peeling away and the last shot of Chester's face decintergrating into particles was a combination of Form and Particular to accomplish the fluid movement. Both of those shots were double processed through Form, by double processed, I mean that the source footage was put through our initial Form preset we built earlier and then I had pre-rendered it then put it back through some slightly different settings of the same Form pass. This gave the image an extra gritty feel. A Particular layer was added and hand keyframed to follow the path that I wanted the particles to peel away to and then using the fade in and out curve for the scale, I blended both plugins together.
The Linkin Park Thousand Suns 2010 Concert Tour was actually where the WFTE base foundation was created. Our team was put in charge of creating close to three hours of animated content that is being used as stage projection for the band while on tour. Some of the work has already been seen in New York, Buenos Aires and Santiago Chile. Here is a video from a fan that shows some on-stage graphics:
David Torno explains:
With New Divide, we used Particular and Form. The opening shots of this video with the figures flying to and from camera while breaking apart were done with Form and the Audio Reactive option. A camera flythough was hand animated to pass through all of the clips of Chester and then reprocessed a few times to blur and warp it at times. There are a few other random shots that form was used to warp a band member. All of the atmopsheric sparks throughout the video that are flying by camera are Particular.
David Torno notes:
On The Catalyst, there was more of a need for realism and a VFX approach was needed more than a motion graphics feel. We had used Particular in this case to add falling ash in a few shots for a post appocoliptic world. Horizon was also used to add a sky to a bridge shot where the camera flys around to reveal a city in ruins.