Apr 23, 2016 | By Kira

A short film by New Media Ltd and Ooh La La Records showcases a stunning, 3D claymation universe created with 3D scanning technology. A bizarre horror-love story featuring catchy music from the band Fort Lean, Night Stalker captured audiences at the SXSW 2016 ‘Midnight Shorts’ film screening, and shows how 3D scanned animation can be used to express the darkest, creepiest and downright weirdest corners of the imagination.

We’ve all been there before, I’m sure: you’re on a date and things are going pretty well. You order some greasy takeout food and head to a karaoke bar where, before you know it, you’re dancing and singing along to some catchy pop songs. What could be better?

Suddenly, your date starts to feel a little queasy and makes a quick break for the bathroom. Within seconds, you yourself aren’t feeling too hot. The next time you open your eyes, you’re in a seriously freaky underground universe watching your boyfriend get ripped apart by a muscular, tree-like 3D monster.

Ok, so we (hopefully) haven’t all been through that last part before. But that’s precisely the world we're invited into in the first few moments of Night Stalker.

The 10-minute clip a hybrid of sorts: two music videos loosely tied together by a short-film narrative. At the same time, it is a visual hybrid: half live-action, half 3D digital animation. The crossover between these two worlds, however, is impressively seamless thanks to gorgeously rendered 3D animation.

Just like the Chemical Brothers’ recent music video for Wide Open, easily one of the best 3D scanned videos to date, Night Stalker stars a talented and beautiful female protagonist who undergoes the transition from live-action human to skeletal 3D corpse.

In this case, the protagonist is played by Maya Kazan. In order to create her 3D self, the filmmakers at New Media Ltd. explained that they used 3D scanning to capture her face in perfect detail before rendering it into their 3D claymation universe.

“We’d been experimenting with making stuff out of clay and then 3D scanning it and putting it into the computer and then rendering that stuff out,” explained filmmaker Mike Anderson in a ‘behind the scenes’ clip, shown in full below. “We also knew that we were going to 3D scan Maya’s face,” he continued. “She held a look of intensity while we 3D scanned her that somehow came through having 30-something photos panoramically stitched together.”

He added that almost every single frame in the video was handmade, which was a long and painstaking process—though entirely worth the effort.

Indeed, the actress’ gaze is incredibly intense, yet it perfectly suits the character's storyline, which sees her go through the traumatic experience of eating poisoned takeout food not once, but twice, and being transported into a hell-ish, 3D animated alternate universe where she must eventually face her fears to save her boyfriend.

Though the narrative isn’t exactly bulletproof (no explanation is given for what the heck was in that takeout container), the music and visual elements—including eerie neon lighting, a great performance by Kazan, and of course, the 3D rendered animation—make Night Stalker worth watching.

We’ve seen our share of creative and entertaining films brought to life via 3D printing and 3D scanning technology: the above-mentioned Chemical Brothers’ Wide Open (and it’s equally impressive making-of video); Charlie Kaufman’s Anomalisa; and the now-classic Chase Me, made using a Form 1+ 3D printer, to name just a few. Night Stalker, however, just might be the most mind-bogglingly-bizzare, 3D animated, horror-love story/anti-takeout food PSA we’ve ever seen.

Check it out below to see for yourself:

Night Stalker from New Media Ltd on Vimeo.

Behind the scenes of New Media Ltd's Night Stalker from Vimeo Podcast on Vimeo.

Night Stalker made the official selection at SXSW 2016 and was shortlisted for the D&AD Next Director Award. It stars Maya Kazan, Keenan Mitchell, Michelle Dickie, Michael Dickie, Rommel Genciana, and features the songs “Cut to the Chase” and “Might’ve Misheard” by Fort Lean.



Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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