Territory – Miles Concept Film

February 17, 2015
by Tim Rabjohns

    [vimeo http://vimeo.com/116108307 w=573&h=322]
    It seems like Territory have been working on some more top notch motion graphics for the big screen.  Having just finished future tech look for all the screen graphics on box office hit Ex Machina, they have also been working on a small but just as intriguing project called Miles

    It’s a proof of concept short film called Miles, directed by Oliver Daly with screen graphics, holograms and end titles by Territory and VFX photographer Andrew Gant shooting with a new Xbox Kinect piece of tech called Depth Kit.

    Miles is the story of a teenage dirt bike rider (Rasmussen) who stumbles upon M.A.X., an escaped prototype of the most advanced military creation in history.  The film explores M.A.X.’s abilities and the creature quickly develops into something fiercely loyal, intelligent and nearly unstoppable.

 (as it happens something similar to MAX, made by Boston Dynamics,  already exists in real life)  Soon, he discovers that M.A.X. was developed in absolute secrecy as a remotely controllable AI, engineered to replace American soldiers on the front lines, and kill autonomously.

    As M.A.X. becomes less conspicuous and as their bond grows stronger, Miles is forced to make decisions that will affect not only his life but also the lives of those closest to him.

  I spoke to Territory’s creative director David Sheldon Hicks to find out more – “Working closely with both Oliver and Andrew, we created the UI for M.A.X’s visual field.  The thinking and process is really indicative of how film making is developing using new technology to innovative in the VFX space.

    Territory Miles Film for dotmogoPart of that new tech is the way Andrew Gant filmed some of the sequences using the Depth Kit, which is a piece of software that was developed using Microsoft’s Kinect technology which allows you to sync to a camera (Andrew used a Cannon 5D), then film 3D and live action at the same time – in effect a marker-less motion capture device – giving an output a bit like an animated sculplture, (see the pic and the making of video), which is what we imagined was MAX’s interpretive view.  We also added lots of layers in Cinema 4D and extrapolated other types of camera views like CCTV – borrowing from tech we researched in current MIT papers

    [youtube http://youtu.be/PlEHY8tQkXo#t=23 w=573&h=322]

    With a concept that builds on a 3D mapping effect that draws on scans of the terrain, infrared imaging and wireframe schematics as a way to process visual input.

    The Depth Kit enabled Andrew to film actors, objects, and even live motocross racers, and instantly turn them into 3D models. This meant that once a scene was filmed, Andrew and Oliver could fly virtual cameras around the actors, change angles, and export the files OBJ files to us, to add other effects to that same data.

    From that point, we comped and added UI to the visual field, drawing on our experience of working with next generation military HUDs and intelligence systems, and creating UI for FPS games.  The finished graphics present a distinctly non-human visual field in the way that it interprets what it sees, and yet once the audience’s eye has had a chance to analyse that data, they begin to recognise certain conventions that are used to map the world around us.

    The final result is an impressive, if slightly sinister, near future vision of how advanced robotics might interpret our world. But for us, the most revolutionary aspect of the project was seeing the Depth Kit in action and experience how accessible it makes creative applications.”

    The good news is that Miles has now been signed to a producer and will hopefully get the necessary funding to start filming soon – which I’m very excited about.

    Credits: 
Direction: Oliver Daly, 
Producers: Adam P. Schneider & Meagan Judkins
, Executive Producer: Luke Gilford
, VFX Photography: Andrew Gant

, Territory, 
Creative Director: David Sheldon-Hicks, 
Producer: Sam Hart, 
UI Motion Designers: Peter Eszenyi, Ryan Rafferty-Phelan, Yugen Blake, Corey Bramal, Jay Dingle, Sam Keehan, Ian Sargent, 
End Titles: Nik ‘nikill’ Hill.  

Special Thanks: 
DepthKit
, James George and Alexander Porter

    Territory Miles film for dotmogo

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