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Bulding LA: doing the credits

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In the previous entries, I had built a small section of LA,placed the Hollywoodland sign, put some buildings in there and some cars. Now its time to think about the actual intro.

Talking to the Director, he wanted to have the majority of the cast over the rain in the sky, before sweeping through the streets of LA with some of the cast and crew credited in shop windows  but that would require a huge section of LA to be built, so I decided to split the credits between cast and crew, with the cast being shown in the street somehow.

I decided to make a proper animatic, I used the overture to help me time out the intro. The Cast names were added as text overlays and I added wipes in and out to give it a more retro look and because cutting to the next name seemed very jarring. Once I had the main cast in there, I was able to check how long the camera would need to hold before i moved it to the Theatre, approximately 3 minutes or so. This meant that the camera is essentially static for nearly 3 minutes before moving to the chinese theatre showing the crew in the street. There are 12 crew members to place in the street, but where? That’s when I had the idea of using the star of building LA part 1, The El capitan theatre

The El capitan theatre is just down the street from the real Chinese theatre, and has a foyer with 6 posters in it, Looking at the foyer, you can see that one side is mirrored from the other.

capitan 1

Left Side posters

capitan 2

Right Side posters – note the text is backwards






What we want to do is replace the posters with 6 different posters with 2 crew members on each and 2 with one each on

Ok, so in 3ds max, I created a set of polygons on top of each poster. I then set out to find suitable posters that could be altered to add crew members. I spent ages removing type from the posters before adding the crew member names and credits:

MoonOverMiami-Feb2012MWC  congs and costume
wallpaper-212772   credit2
 creature-from-the-black-lagoon-2  production credits
1405041892.film_.noir_.poster.-.customs.agent_.01 credit4
tophat choreographycredit
The_cameraman_poster directingcredti

I planar mapped my altered poster imaged on these newly created polygons

I then made a camera move that swooped from the hollywoodland sign down the El Capitan theatre, looking at each poster before swinging around and moving towards the Chinese theatre, I animated some cars so they could be seen

While I was working in GIMP/Photoshop, I decided to remove the shadow from the Chinese theatre front wall, and swap out the poster for the film it was showing ( 300 ) to the one in the script ‘the Royal Rascal’

it looked ok, but it really lacked pizzazz, looking at the film this is the establishing shot of the chinese theatre:

royal rascal

I decided I would replicate the same text I used a font called K22 Spotty Face and used that to make a texture that was mapped to a polygon roughly in the same place

the intro, was a massive animation in 3dsmax, which meant I had to tweak the particle system to show the rain. with all the objects in the scene, it became hard to actually update the display, it would actually take time for the screen to redraw, so previewing the results in realtime was out of the question. I made a series of small preview renders at low quality to let me see how the animation was coming along.

Once timed, it was ready to render. Render time was 4 hours after than I dropped it into the animatic, and rendered it out to an .avi file, which I then dropped into my animatic and rendered out for a final piece of animation


Phew! thats the hardest shot in the show out of the way- next up a starry night sky with some rolling clouds


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