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DEADMAU5 ‘PROFESSIONAL GRIEFERS’

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When it came to debuting the music video for his latest single, the international superstar DJ Deadmau5 chose airtime during the pay-per-view UFC fight between Jones and Henderson. This was particularly apt thanks to the theme of the video – giant battling robots!

Method artists in Vancouver got their hands dirty on this exciting project and created the fully CG giant robotic mice Mau5bot & Gerardbot who engage in hand to hand combat and also a life size cybernetic cat (Meowingtons) that caused mischief behind the scenes  before ultimately bringing about the demise of the players.

The Mau5bot characters were a conglomeration of junkyard wreckage and textures with bits of aircrafts, ships and tanks modeled and merged together. The mechanical movements were designed to be powered by crude internal engines and the illumination of these components can be seen to peek out through cracks and chinks in the armor. 

Meowingtons was in complete contrast to the brutish robots. The cat’s elegant frame was designed to be covered in a shiny metallic surface with a sophisticated internal power source and eyes that glowed with an eerie fluorescence.

In terms of the mice, the creative brief required that they had to be epic in scale, with a post-apocalyptic and ram-shackled look.  Their animation was an interesting challenge for the team as the characters’ waging blows had to give the feel of a UFC fight, dynamic and visceral, while maintaining a motion that looked realistic for their immense size.  The chosen fighting moves blended bar-room brawling with anime martial arts, and a sense of humor which kept each shot looking unique. 

Although huge battling mice is clearly an unlikely scenario, the artists spent time adding in fine details to aid believability. Flying sparks, realistic reflections and organic movement all help to sell the story. While the lighting was dark and moody it was important to render enough detail to get across the subtle elements crafted by the team. Christopher Anderson, Method’s VFX Producer summarizes, “Finding the balance between realism versus excitement, and how to constantly adjust the balance to help tell the story was a great challenge for us.”


Keywords

  • Characters
  • Hard surface
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