When British indie rock group, The Shallows, wanted a video for their song, “Honestly,” they turned to Jamie Fraser of Super Mega Action Plus. Jamie and his partner, Debs, are the creative forces behind Super Mega Action Plus, incorporating live action film with both 2D and 3D animation.
The Shallows loved SMAP’s style in another artist’s music video, so when it came to “Honestly,” Jamie expanded on some of that video’s themes with a dystopian twist: “[We] tickled ourselves with the idea that picking something up in the street could cause an apocalyptic flood. Just wanted to seed that idea, so that when folks see odd things on the street they might wonder about it.”
What came out of it was this, their first fully-animated video, smoothly combining 2D characters in a 3D world:
Jamie: This idea was made possible by Video Copilot’s Element 3D plugin being released recently, which has meant it’s possible to bring OBJ files into After Effects and work with them in 3D space.
Working mainly with After Effects (and distressing the models a bit in Blender), the video incorporates numerous TurboSquid models that help lend a cool, grungy twist to the 3D cityscape. In detailing the set, Jamie made the most out of his budget:
“There is so much great stuff available out there, but I honestly always come to TurboSquid first, as the models are almost always exactly what I need, and a lot of it is affordable or free,” he says. “I would love to pay for more expensive models more regularly, as they are stunning and totally worth the investment, but most of the time, budget is a big issue for clients. We’re trying to make high production value films on low budgets, and TurboSquid models have definitely helped with that over the years. ”
Though he has been tinkering with film and animation since his college days, Jamie also teaches himself animation techniques to bring his vision to life. When it comes to working creatively within time constraints, he says, “It saved me sooo much time to be able to use these models. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to do it all in the time that I had. Modeling all these amazing models would’ve doubled the time it took to make the whole thing, and I’m not even sure I could make half of them!”
You can hear more music by The Shallows (for free!) on their website. And if you’d like to keep up with more of Super Mega Action Plus’s work, you can keep an eye on their growing portfolio, where they are working on a full length film called Out Loud.
See if you can spot the many models that appear in the video! Check out the full list below.