Red Creates Cityscape for Kylie Minogue With Discreet Tools, Softimage XSI
SOHO, UK Aug. 23, 2001 -- Can't Get You Out of my Head' the first single to be taken from Kylie's forthcoming album, features the pop princess driving and strutting her stuff in a futuristic Manga-esque city. Pretty run of the mill stuff until you discover that the only things that were shot for real were Kylie, a handful of dancers and a static car. Black Dog tasked Soho-based visual communications facility Red, with creating the rest from scratch to designs developed by director Dawn Shadforth.

Red utilised the full gamut of its Discreet arsenal -- 3ds max, fire, flame and inferno -- to create and animate the backgrounds with some SoftImage XSI thrown in for good measure. Initially they employed Macs to produce rough sketches of the buildings and landscapes of the desired style from 'recce' photographs.

Perspective changes and environments had to be developed to show the car, with Kylie in the driving seat, approaching and entering the city for the promo's opening sequences. Laurence Dodd at Red used XSI to model the city environment, roads, bridges and buildings for the two opening wide shots. David Kiddie then used fire to layer live action sea, sky and landscape backgrounds to match the style of the promo.

The very tight schedule of three weeks for post-production meant innovative solutions had to be worked out to give the director the flexibility she required in building the moving backgrounds but still retaining the quality and style of image to suit the art direction. This was very important in the close up of Kylie driving and the nighttime rooftop sequences. Here 3ds max was used to build and texture simple CGI models that were then imported directly into fire and inferno with the textures already associated.

The CGI buildings were then matched in perspective to camera moves or to build up tracking shots. Tim Rudgard used fire to animate buildings for the driving scenes and lit and composited the sky and cityscape backgrounds. Laurence Dodd also created surface models for the car that were used by Rudgard to put city reflections into the car and windows. Editing techniques were then used to change the shape and size of the buildings to match the rhythm of the song.

The next sequence in the video sees Kylie and a troupe of dancers on a concourse with the city in the background. As no perspective was needed for this shot, Glyn Tebbutt and Paul Dixon used flame to generate the buildings from photographic stills. Light effects and real plant elements were used to build a realistically styled environment.

The dancing ensemble are then shown in a bright, crisp white room - again completely generated in XSI by Oscar Gonzalez and composted by Glyn Tebbutt in flame. The final sequence finds Kylie on a rooftop in the midst of the city at night. 3D models and textures of the buildings were pulled into inferno where Dan Williams undertook the gargantuan task of matching the movement of the buildings to the camera moves, building backgrounds and animating light textures within the 3D models to switch the building lights on and off in time with the music. The whole video was then overlaid with specially shot light effects to join all of the sequences together.

The finished product is a very smooth production that leaves the viewer wondering whether the landscapes are real or not. The promo began airing on August 11.

Title: 'Can't Get You Out Of My Head'
Artist: Kylie Minogue
Record company: Parlophone
Production Company: Black Dog
Director: Dawn Shadforth
Producer: Cindy Burnay
Post-Production: Red
Red Post-Production Producer: Carl Grinter
Red 3D artists: Laurence Dodd & Oscar Gonzalez
Red fire artists: Dave Kiddie & Tim Rudgard
Red flame artists: Paul Dixon & Glyn Tebbutt
Red inferno artist: Dan Williams

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