VICON House of Moves (HOM), a leading motion capture and animation service company, was contracted by Guardian Media Entertainment (GME), a new joint venture between the National Hockey LeagueÂ® (NHL) and SLG Entertainment led by Stan Lee of POW! Entertainment, to develop animated content for a new superhero franchise.
GME will produce The Guardian Project franchise; compelling tales of good vs. evil based on 30 superhero guardians (one to represent each NHL team) told across a variety of content delivery mediums including television, print, social media, Jumbotron and more. The new venture will be introduced tomorrow at the NY Comic-Con convention during a panel featuring VICON House of Movesâ€™ Director Peter Krygowski and VP of Production Brian Rausch, alongside Stan Lee, Chairman, POW! Entertainment, Brian Jennings, EVP Marketing, NHL, Adam Baratta, CCO, GME, Tony Chagrin, Co-Founder, GME and comic book artist Neal Adams.
VICON House of Moves was approached by GME with a concept by Stan Lee (creator of many legendary franchises including Spiderman, Iron Man, The X-Men, The Incredible Hulk, The Fantastic Four and others) and comic book character drawings. HOM took the original designs and turned around full computer generated (CG) finished animations built around each of the 30 characters. HOM directed and/or developed all assets including models, animation, character rigging, motion capture, lighting, rendering and final output.
â€œThe viewers and fans are never going to expect how truly great this production is going to be thanks to the magic of VICON and the spectacular effects that theyâ€™re able to pull off,â€? said Stan Lee.
In just six months, the HOM animation team was able to turn around several animated shorts, the first of which will be teased at Comic-Con in New York, with a complete roll-out slated over the course of the NHL season. â€œThis is by far the most ambitious project to date for both our mo-cap stages and our animation team. Weâ€™re developing hundreds of CG assetsâ€”from a film short to broadcast and in-stadium promotional clips and a host of other animated assets for delivery on multiple content platforms,â€? said Tom Armbruster, Vice President, Sales & Support, VICON. â€œIt was an honor to work with Stan Lee, and to collaborate with the NHL as weâ€™re all huge comic book and hockey fans over here!â€?
In order to accommodate a challenging delivery schedule, HOM chose to render final animation in the Unreal Game engine. â€œOur render time goes from roughly 1Â½ hours per frame down to about 30 seconds. With traditional rendering methods we wouldnâ€™t have had time for iterationâ€”and to develop such a breadth of characters in such a short timeframe, we needed to be able to march forward as quickly as possible. The Unreal Engine lent itself very well to this project because not only did it provide the freedom to generate a tremendous volume of effects very quickly, but also provides an incredibly high quality output. Because weâ€™re delivering final product to a variety of arenas and broadcast venuesâ€”all with different playback methods (HD, SD, banners etc), a standard rendering engine wasnâ€™t really an option,â€? said Brian Rausch, Vice President of Production, VICON House of Moves.
About VICON House of Moves
VICON House of Moves has been the go-to studio for film, television, game and commercial creatives for over 10 years and has recently worked on projects for clients including Microsoft, Activision, EA, Bandai, Rockstar Games, Capcom, THQ, Naughty Dog Studios, SCEA, Bungie and others. In addition to the HOM main stage, the 26,000 square-foot facility is also home to a full performance capture volume capable of recording simultaneous high-quality audio with a capture session without any interfering background noise.
Academy AwardÂ®-winning VICON is the worldâ€™s largest supplier of precision motion tracking systems, and match moving software. It serves customers in the CG animation industry, film, visual effects, computer games, and broadcast television, as well as engineering and life science industries. VICON operates in four offices worldwide, including its Los Angeles-based Entertainment headquarters: a 26,000 square-foot facility equipped with three performance capture stages for VICONâ€™s service company House of Moves.
VICON is a subsidiary of OMG (Oxford Metrics Group – LSE: OMG), plc., a group of technology companies that produces image-understanding solutions for the Entertainment, Defense, Life Science and Engineering markets. Other holdings include: 2d3, a manufacturer of specialized image understanding software for defense applications; Yotta DCL our highways surveying business in the UK; and Yotta MVS, a leading US provider of data collection services for the assessment of property taxation.
VICON and OMG global clients include: Life Science leaders University of Pennsylvania, the VA Hospitals, Shriners Hospitals for Children, Titleist Golf, The Andrews Institute; Engineering industry leaders Ford, BMW, Airbus, Lockheed, Pratt-Whitney, NASA, Caterpillar, International Truck, and Toyota; and Entertainment companies Sony Pictures Imageworks, Sony Computer Entertainment, Industrial Light and Magic, Sega, Nintendo, Ubisoft, Vivendi, Electronic Arts, Square Enix and many others.