LOS ANGELES — Disney Channel recently launched 12 short exclusive films via their new digital platform, Free Period. LA-based creative studio Cinevative (www.cinevative.com) helped co-produce the short film How to Catch a Ghost, which was written and directed by Christopher Scott (
So You Think You Can Dance).
How to Catch a Ghost features Jase (played by Kaycee Rice), a teen girl who has just moved to a new home. She is surprised to find her new home filled with ghosts who love to dance. Under the visual effects direction of Cinevative,
How to Catch a Ghost features a three minute dance sequence in which Jase is partnered with her new ghost friends. Jase and ghosts dance under sheets and scarves, and among cardboard boxes, which levitate, lifting her off the attic floor.
Cinevative designer and VFX artist Jino Savaglio was present on-set to lead the VFX process. He relied on tools inside of Maxon’s Cinema 4D. Cinevative was to make it appear that the boxes were moving with the help of the ghosts.
Savaglio says, “We had initially planned to motion track the boxes in Chris’ choreography, and use that information to drive the animation of the CG boxes. After seeing the choreography for the first time, however, we knew their movement would be too fast to motion track and, therefore, would have to be animated by hand while using reference video of the choreography as a background in Cinema 4D.
“We took it a few steps further and built a pseudo-set in Cinema 4D, consisting of four walls, a floor and an angled ceiling, spaced apart like the practical set. We then took separate HDR images of the practical four walls, ceiling and floor, and mapped them onto the planes of our pseudo-set. This not only gave us highly accurate reflections in the packing tape, but also allowed us to selectively manipulate the intensity of the primary and secondary bounces on all sides of the boxes used in the global illumination process.”
The studio has a little over six weeks to complete post production on the dance sequence.