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Estranged Stars

"My heart has passed thousands of miles from the past, back to the wide wide world."

Video

Project Time: 2017      Partners: Stanlyn Lu (Screenwriter, Editor), David Chen (Original music), Manning Qu (Mo-cap performance)      Advisors: Mimi Yin, Todd Bryant
Tools: Unreal Engine, Motion Builder, Maya, Rhino, Blender, Adobe Fuse, After Effects
Shows:
Dec 8, 2017 – IAC, 555 West 18th Street, New York
              Aug 2, 2018 – Expanded Cinema, Vol.3 Opening Reception @NY Media Center by IFP

Estranged Stars is a non-linear storytelling and three minutes’ animation film created for InterActive Corp’s 120-foot long video wall in West Chelsea. The story is about a reunion of two old friends, who were both musicians and chose different life paths after a turning point of their career. Using montage and flashback in storytelling, we tried to depict the inner activities of the two figures.

I used motion capture to create all the characters’ animations, Adobe Fuse to build up the models and Unreal Engine to render the whole story, and lots of other 3D softwares got involved, of which some were totally new to me. I also learnt to be a film director to set the cameras and move the characters. In just 3 months, I’ve taken away so much from this project.

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Making Process

Using Motion Capture to record the motions data

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Modeling characters and using Motion Builder to attach motion data on models

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Building the scenes in Unity and setting camera sequencers

Screen shots of Unity 3D

Cinematic rendering

The ratio of the screen is 10.666 : 1.0. It was huge and a challenge of composition of each frame. I found out that there were several scenes like piano keys, a crossing train, menus of Japanese restaurant, and subway platforms or Time square were particular looking good in this ratio. That’s why I put the story under these camera angles and how we developed this story.

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The final show at IAC