The Washington Post published my animated film as some of the first content under a new vertical focused on covering video games. As part of covering an expansive industry, the film pays homage to art from almost every corner of the medium. The resulting journey is full of wildly varied set pieces and unexpected cultural touchstones.
For the project, I reported the story, wrote the script, created and animated tons of 3D models, painted some frame-by-frame 2D animation, did the voiceover, and put together the sound design.
The project was viewed by hundreds of thousands of people, and won a White House News Photographer’s Association award.
The style for the animation came from a desire to bridge the iconic 8-bit look with what modern game engines enable. The answer? Some sweet volumetric pixels using Blender's "remesh" modifier. I could use a polygon modeling workflow and still get voxels as a result. This style and approach also left me room to mix in subtle details like subsurface scattering and more dramatic stuff like smoke simulations.
To avoid re-rendering when revising charts or maps, I composited 2D graphics in Adobe After Effects rather than using textured meshes. This meant using a material identifier render pass and getting some null object/camera data from Blender.