• B-Movie CGChallenge

    The Rheo team talk about creating
    The Night of All Fears for the B-Movie CGChallenge.

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    CGSociety :: Tutorial
    15 February 2011, by Cyril Corallo

    It has been a long time goal of mine to form a small team of artists that could work together on special projects during their free time. The idea was: gather a group of people with different skills from different studios, and focus their efforts on creating something that was bigger than any one of them could do on their own. The CGSociety contest was the perfect opportunity to make this a reality… Thus the Rheo team was born.

    * Cyril Corallo (Beuda)
    * Jonathan Erwin Malnoury (DjoPetitRat)
    * Emmanuel Briand (tokyobanana)
    * Gaëlle Rouby (MrLeChatNoir)

    B-Movie CGChallenge
    B-Movie CGChallenge
    B-Movie CGChallenge

    After our idea creation phase, we began working on a screenplay to combine all these different ideas into one cohesive story.

    My first task was to create the storyboards for the scenes on sheets of paper so that I could move them around and remove them as needed. During this process I always had to keep in mind that our timeframe was very limited and we wanted to get the most out of every shot. Once I was satisfied that I had all the scenes we needed, I scanned them into my computer and began the task of creating an animatic to determine the pacing. We had decided that we would only participate in the contest if we could create something interesting with this animatic because this gigantic effort had to be worth our time.

    That was February 13 and the contest had already begun one month earlier. We knew the basic idea, but we were still fiddling with the pre-production details, and so much work had to be done…


    Emmanuel Briand (aka. Manu, TokyoBanana) did a fantastic job with the character concept art, and thanks to him we quickly settled on a graphic style for the trailer. The actual mummy was the first finished character and all the rest followed easily from that point. A lot of paper was used, we must apologize to the planet, but Manu is a wealth of creativity and his brain was overflowing with ideas. Finally we decided on the designs that we would use, and Manu scanned them in to create a cartoon render. He used Flash CS3 to recreate his designs into vector graphics that we could use.

    I have a personal preference for lighting and coloring over the aspect of pure graphic design. I like to focus on composition and ambiance before getting into the details of the scenes. I began with blue as the dominant color for the scenes to represent a peaceful, and normal, night. As the scenes progressed I began to shift the hue to a sickly green in order to augment the eerie feeling and terror of what was occurring in the trailer. As Manu did, I created the backgrounds and lighting effects in Flash CS3.

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  • B-Movie CGChallenge
    B-Movie CGChallenge
    B-Movie CGChallenge

    There are very few true animations in this trailer because in reality a real good animation takes a lot of time, and we were out of time. Instead, we focused on specific areas that we knew needed to be clean. I concentrated on the mummy hands that jumps out in front of the moon and Gaelle Rouby did some fantastic work on the mummy who approaches the camera after stepping out of the spotlight. Because the rest of the animations were fairly simple, they were completed as I was working on the compositing in the same time.

    This was my first attempt at compositing, and my best friend during this period was Andrew Kramer from Videocopilot.net. Once I got the hang of it, the rest was pretty straight forward. When the work was mostly done I just needed to merge them together and add a camera shake or effect here and there. Again, my favorite part was adjusting the color values to get the ambiance I was looking for. I used AfterEffect with .png support to export the backgrounds and .swf export for the animations.

    Jonathan “Djo” Erwin was in charge of creating a soundtrack that would blend in perfectly with the pacing and attitude we wanted for the trailer. Djo did some incredible work and he went so far as to record actual singers to incorporate into the music. It was much more than we expected, and the effect it had on the trailer is immeasurable.

    I had the pleasure of meeting him in Paris, and we worked together closely during the mixing phase. Everything was recorded using real instruments and the sound was amazing. We worked through the night and into the next day, and it was an outstanding experience. His work has given real depth to the scenes and it is a pleasure to hear music that so perfectly matches the pace and ambiance we wanted for the trailer.


    The Montage was really quick even if I had to retake it several times to polish the correlation between the music, the images and what we wanted to tell.

    We started as a motley collection of freelance artists, and now we at Rheo have become a dynamic team in large part due to the challenges we've faced together while completing this project. Thanks to the contest we are now working on our first professional project as a team, with a new video game company based in Florida called Moon Spider Studio. We are in charge of the artwork for their upcoming 2D HD game for the Xbox 360. It is a brand new adventure for Rheo.

    Currently living in Lyon, Cyril Corallo studied drawing techniques for three years and eventually found a job as a 3D background artist for a video game company. He worked there for two years until he landed a job that allowed him to work from home as a 2D background artist for a French TV series. Today, with the Rheo team, Cyril is working as co-artistic director and background artist on 2D video game projects.

    CGSociety is nearing the completion of the latest CGChallenge XXVI 'Dreamscape'. Go HERE to check out the many entrants to what is, like the B-Movie CGChallenge, is becoming one of the most amazing displays of artistic talent seen online.

    Related links:
    B-Movie CGChallenge
    B-Movie winners Feature
    Rheo Team
    Cyril Corallo
    Adobe Flash


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