Friday, November 8, 2013

Low Vs. Diamond Shake It Up With Their Heart Attack Video

Heart Attack - Low Vs. Diamond
Directed by Marc Klasfeld

Low Vs. Diamond is an alternative group signed to Sony records in 2008 that had a short-lived success until they broke up in 2010. During that time, they released one of my favorite music videos for their single Heart Attack, the one music video that sticks in my mind years after I've seen it. Seriously, I haven't seen this video in five years and I still thought of it. The haunting video features a time lapse during which a couple is pictured kissing and aging all in what appears to be one take, during which the entire story of this couple's relationship is told. 

Music video director Marc Klasfeld and VFX supervisor Chris Zapara created the video by patching together pieces of multiple takes, which included performances by two different sets of actors, into each frame to create a vision of the aging process. These visual effects were created though the program Shake, and image compositing software, widely used in visual effects and digital compositing for film, video, and commercials. Marc Klasfield wanted to morph the aging at five or ten second intervals. They shot several takes of each set of actors with several seconds of overlap between them. They ended up with thousands of frames and picked out the ones they liked in the editing process. The final frames were all a combination of several frames, all re-tacked, re-roto'd, and re-morphed to become one image. Along with Shake, Zapara also used rig-removal in After Effects. There was a lot of back and forth in R&D on the look as the actors age and fall apart. Unable to do a full 3D animation, Zapara put together a front-projection of 3D shells of faces based on generic heads in LightWave and then composited in After Effects, and there was some CG elements done with ParticleIllision. The difficulties the FX team encountered was making the aging so subtle that the viewer would hardly notice it happening. When you focus on one part of the face to watch it aging, everything else changes without you noticing it. And while all of these low budget effects are happening, a story is being told with a simple kiss. 

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