D/A/D, 'Orion Beach'
You know how it is: Fun-loving electronic aliens hit up an island to discover the secrets of the universe and shred the gnar on jet skis for the ultimate chillzone. (Considering the bombogenesis currently snowbombing the East Coast, that sounds pretty good about now.) That's what happens in this computer-animated video for D/A/D's "Orion Beach," a highlight from the '80s-synth-inspired The Construct, one of my favorite cassettes of 2013. There's also mini-boss and a lot of thrown shakas in what now needs to be a game retrofitted for Playstation.
D/A/D's Zach Robinson and animator/director Campbell Logan have known each other a long time — Logan writes over email that they've gone to "tons of concerts, movies, and played a fair amount of Super Smash Brothers." So when it came time to collaborate on "Orion Beach," Logan explains that they were already on the same page:
[Robinson] said he wanted it to feel like the characters had a salty, Top Gun sort of relationship with each other. They give each other a hard time, but you know they're super best friends.
At the very end of the video, you'll notice that the end credits include some live-action players, but it isn't some Gollum-style motion capture.
This actually wasn't done with motion capture; it was a live-action rotoscope. In other words, I took live-action footage and animated the characters' movement using the video as reference. What I did was shoot footage of my friends in my living room pretending they were riding jet skis and throwing shaka at each other. The footage by itself is pretty hilarious. The process is a relic of an animation technique. It's a technique studios like Disney have been doing for years. Hope I don't get whacked by some animation mafiosos for sharing that.