Monterey Bay Aquarium exhibits and films
Sabertooth Productions has been working closely with the Monterey Bay Aquarium for over 10 years. Sabertooth provides high-quality 3D animation, editing, compositing, and color grading services for the Aquarium's live animal exhibits, theatre shows and interactive installations.
This video is a compilation of several different animations created for the new Deep Sea auditorium show debuting in 2015 at the Aquarium. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is well known as a research and educational institution and their award winning auditorium shows are always packed. These animations showcase the various underwater vehicles (ROVs, AUVs and a Benthic Rover) that researchers use to study the deep sea.
The vehicles and terrain were modeled in MODO (using rough CAD files as a template). The MODO plug-in Mesh Fusion was used to great effect to create seams, cutouts and complex shapes on each of the vehicles and made the job much easier. All of the animation and rendering was done in MODO, both MODO and Mudbox were used for painting. Some of the terrain was created in World Machine before being brought into MODO for further sculpting. After FX was used for compositing and Colorista for color correction.
This little cuttlefish is from the new Tentacles exhibit. Sabertooth worked on a number of different projects for this particular exhibit. This little guy is part of an interactive 3D experience that allows visitors to morph between different cephalopods. Sabertooth created fully animated 3D models of a cuttlefish, a pacific octopus, a nautilus and a humboldt squid. It was quite challenging since each animal had differing topologies and required it's own animation rig. Furthermore, the models had to be responsive enough for real-time interactive in the final Unity environment.
One of the most popular animations we've done for the Aquarium is the seahorse mating ritual 'Shall We Dance'. Prominently displayed in the Seahorse exhibit the animation depicts two seahorse's engaging in their complex, ritualized mating dance. The seahorses were modeled in MODO, rigged and animated in Maya, and then brought back into MODO for rendering. The light rays and passing sun were created in After FX. The music was composed specifically for the animation. 'Shall We Dance' continues to be a very popular exhibit at the aquarium and has even inspired a live action version performed by a drama group.
Project White Shark is an Aquarium theatre presentation covering ongoing research of Great White Sharks off of the coast of California. The animations are played in conjunction with a live speaker to inform the audience about current research on White Shark mating and migration habits, as well as giving the audience a comprehensive overview of shark's physical features. The animations shown here depicting how researchers collect tagging data was also shown on the Discovery Channel's 'Shark Week'.
The bottom animation is played in conjunction with the live speaker presenting physical and physiological facts about the Great White Shark. An interesting note if you see the show, the screen at the Aquarium's theatre is 20 feet across, the shark model was created to display 'actual size' (just over 18ft) on the screen during the presentation.
The Tiny Drifters exhibit at the Aquarium showcases the myriad of plankton species adrift in our oceans. Sabertooth was in charge of creating the 'river' of tiny creatures that flowed across the exhibits walls, projected from multiple HD projectors installed in the ceiling. The 'magnifying' lens gives the visitors a close up look at the detailed creatures adrift in the water.
Another aspect of the exhibit was an interactive 3D touchscreen. The specially made massive circular touchscreen interfaced with an interactive Unity program created by Lindsay Digital. The plankton models used in the animated 'river' were available for visiting children to touch, move and spin around while displaying scientific information on the organism.
The Aquarium's Mysteries of the Deep exhibit showcases the animals and geography of the deep Monterey Bay. Sabertooth created 3D animations of deep sea mapping ROVs ranging across the landscape at the bottom of the Monterrey Canyon. Additional animations gave a glimpse of the Aquarium's remote deep sea research camera system.
Jellies Living Art is one of the most popular exhibits at the Aquarium. Sabertooth was brought in to create several jellyfish animations, both for the exhibit and the accompanying theatre show. Maya and MODO were used to model, animate and render the various jellyfish species, as well as the 'blooms' of jellyfish that sometimes occur in damaged ecosystems.
Whales for Windmills is an award winning Aquarium theatre show that educates the audience on numerous 'nature inspired' scientific innovations for a green planet. Wind turbine blades modeled after humpback whale pectoral fins, car chassis modeled after boxfish, high-speed trains with aerodynamics inspired by kingfishers, and boat hulls covered with a hydrodynamic material similar to a shark's skin. The animations are played in conjunction with a live presenter and questions are encouraged from audience members.
Oracle contacted Sabertooth for this introductory video that played during the 2014 Oracle Cloud conference. We used a combination of Adobe Premier and After FX for text effects, keying and color correction, background creation and particle effects.
For Oracle Retail's Crosstalk 2013 event, Sabertooth Productions was engaged to create the opening animation and graphics for their live event's big screen. In addition to the opening motion graphics, a number of retail partner executives were shot on greenscreen and composited over entirely 3D generated backgrounds.
Different rooms were created for each partner and rendered in ultra wide aspect ratio. The greenscreen footage of the various executives was color corrected and composited on top of the photorealistic backgrounds.
Opening and closing motion graphics, as well as background motion graphics and titling were created for Oracle's 2013 Excellence Awards opener for their live event. Partner executives were again shot on greenscreen and composited over stylish motion graphics. 3D animation software was employed to give dynamic motion to the opening and closing segments.
Sabertooth created this video detailing the Oracle Cloud for Oracle World 2014. Extensive keying and color correction work was done to pull all the disparate footage together into one cohesive edit. Titling was done in Adobe After FX.
Lutronic Product Showcase
Photorealistic images and animated turntables were create for Luntronic's entire product line of medical lasers. Detailed CAD files were provided to Sabertooth by Lutronic. These were converted, processed and articulated in MODO, The Foundry's 3D application. After the geometry was prepped physically plausible materials were created for all of the product's various surfaces, and image based textures were added for control screens, logos and identification for buttons and ports. The 'PhotoReady' 3D assets were then used to render out still images for marketing, advertising, web, print as well as animated for trade show and advertising videos.
This animated trade show video showcases 3D animation of Lutronics line of medical lasers. The 3D animated footage was combined with text and motion graphics in Adobe's After FX designed to match the booth graphics at the trade shows Lutronics attends.
This short video is intended to be shown in the lobbies of Lutronic's medical clients. Lutronic requested a short and concise video promoting the technique of laser hair removal and wanted to give some insight into the technical processes behind laser hair removal. Sabertooth accomplished this with a number of stock and custom shot video combined with 3D animation of Lutronic's Advantage product and some custom MOA ('Mechanism of Action') animation.
Cindy's Waterfront installation
Towering over the entrance of Cindy's Waterfront Cafe in Monterey California is a massive video pylon consisting of 6 giant HD screens. Slow motion waves, beautiful sunsets, and schools of sardines are some of the imagery you will see flowing in perfect synchronization across all six screens.
Cinematographer Chuck Saltsman shot the footage at a staggering 5K resolution at up to 100 frames per second on a RED Epic camera. By turning the Epic on it's side Chuck was able to obtain maximum vertical resolution. The RED files were brought to Sabertooth and color graded in the DaVinci Resolve suite. After grading the RED files were brought into Adobe After FX where they were formatted, assembled and sliced into 6 HD video streams. The streams were then made loop-able and encoded into high-bitrate mp4 files that are played back by industrial strength Brightsign hardware. Brightsign enables remote management of the playback files so different video streams can be played depending on the time of day, month or mood desired at the cafe.
Below are four of the many sequences captured on the RED Epic at 5K resolution @100 fps.
Optimedica approached Sabertooth Productions to create a number of MOA ('Mechanism of Action') animations for their Catalys surgical laser product. In a Mechanism of Action animation 2D or 3D animation is used to explain a particular technical process or product. In this case, the role of the Catalys system in laser eye surgery. Optimedica wanted to create a video for prospective patients comparing the role of it's Catalys system in cataract surgery versus the use of manual surgical instruments.
In another MOA animation Optimedica wanted to give surgeons an in-depth look at how it's Catalys laser system scans and creates a 3D model of a patient's eye to aid in the surgical process. Complex processes like this are readily visualized with the use of 3D animation. In this case Sabertooth employed MODO's particle system to visualize the scanning being done by the Catalys laser.
A photorealistic 3D model of the Catalys laser system was created with the help of CAD files provided by Optimedica. Sabertooth Productions has a very refined process for transforming CAD files into photorealistic, animate-able 3D assets.
Adobe once again came to Sabertooth Productions for the Photoshop and Premier Elements 2014 product launch. New videos were created detailing PEPE 2014's newest features, such as PhotoMerge Compose, Video Story and their Facebook integration. We used Camtasia Pro to capture sessions of the software in action and utilized both Adobe After FX and Adobe Premier for the compositing and editing. Being able to edit After FX compositions directly in Premier as if they were just regular footage was key due to all the small changes being done throughout the project.
Adobe engaged Sabertooth Productions to create featurette videos for the 2013 release of Adobe Photoshop and Premier Elements (PEPE). A number of videos were created detailing PEPE's new features, Sabertooth utilized advanced screen capture techniques to capture interactive sessions at 30fps running at full 1920x1080 HD resolutions. The screen captures were then edited and combined with motion graphics, Voice Over tracks recorded at Polarity Post were later added and synced up to the edit.
In addition to overview videos of Photoshop and Premier Elements, videos showcasing individual features like Content Aware Move and Adobe's Mobile Albums were also created.
Additional footage was shot in a number of locations for the project by Sabertooth's production crew. The HD clips were color corrected in either Adobe After FX or DaVinci Resolve before being incorporated into the edits.
Teledyne and Axis CAD solutions came back to Sabertooth to create an animation of their above ground ("topside") equipment. Once again MODO was employed to bring in both CAD, custom modeled and purchased assets. After FX was used for compositing.
All of the different equipment setups and environments existed in a single scene in MODO. Replicators were used for the rocks, plants and trees and MODO's painting tools were used to create masks for the ground and snow displacement. The scene was sent to Rebus Renderfarm for final rendering due to the rapid deadline - Rebus's new plugin and system tools made the process really easy (thankfully ; ) ).
Rob Rodriguez of Axis CAD Solutions came to Sabertooth Productions to collaborate on a complex underwater animation for Teledyne Oil and Gas. The project was quite extensive and required a fair amount of back and forth between MODO and Solidworks. With a dozen or so detailed CAD models of complex underwater drilling equipment a lot of geometry prepping and texturing work needed to be done prior to any animation starting.
The project's goal was to showcase the role of Teledyne technology in the underwater Oil and Gas ecosystem. Once the scene had been set up with all the equipment in the correct place the entire animation was orchestrated in a single long camera move. Deep water ROVs were articulated as they roamed around the underwater landscape maintaining the equipment. MODO's renderable curves were used extensively for cables and pipes, and the particle system was put into effect for underwater detritus.
For the above water sections a deep water oil rig and oil tanker model were purchased. All of the shots were rendered in layers so fog, depth-of-field and and particle opacity could be adjusted later in post. A render farm was employed for this project due to the vast number of frames and HD resolution.
In this short animated 'stinger' - Adobe wanted to introduce the Flash Catalyst platform. Sabertooth pitched the idea of using a Periodic table with Adobe's application icons mixed in as the starting point for the animation. Short and energetic, the 'stinger' is a mix of 3D animation and After FX motion graphics.
Adobe turned to Sabertooth Productions to introduce it's DIgital Publishing Platform based around their popular InDesign layout application. Using Wired Magazine's digital publication as an example, Sabertooth uses 2D and 3D animation to guide the viewer through the publishing process on Adobe's Digital Publishing Platform.
For Adobe's Coldfusion 9 launch, Sabertooth was once again engaged to create a short, energetic stinger animation. Using a combination of 2D and 3D animation with custom sound design Sabertooth Productions delivered this stylish animation for the Coldfusion 9 product launch.
For Adobe's Flash Catalyst and Flash Builder Platform launch Sabertooth went with a retro 'TRON-style' creative design. 2D and 3D animation combine with custom sound design to deliver a short high-energy stinger with a visual palette from the 80's video game era.
Adobe contracted Sabertooth to create a short, stylish animation that gives the viewer a dynamic timeline of Adobe Air's evolution and impact on the industry. The entire stinger was accomplished in Adobe's After FX using the program's 3D workspace.
Lumenis contacted Sabertooth Productions to create a number of product tours and MOA ('Mechanism of Action') animations for their surgical and aesthetic medical lasers. In this animation they wanted a short, high-energy 'stinger' animation that introducer their new AcuPulse laser system. CAD files were converted to photorealistic 3D models which were animated and mixed with motion graphics.
In this product tour Lumenis introduces it's M22 aesthetic laser. CAD files were again the starting point for creating photorealistic 3D animation. After the CAD files were prepped the geometry was rigged for 3D animation and physically plausible materials were created for all of the M22's surfaces. The final animation was delivered in several different resolutions and formats so it was compatible with web, mobile, and broadcast resolutions for trade show purposes.
Another product tour detailing the Lume 1 medical laser. Created in the same manner as the M22 product tour, the CAD files were heavily prepped in MODO before physically plausible materials were assigned. A number of items were lacking CAD files so the geometry was custom modeled by Sabertooth in MODO.
In this mechanism of action video Lumenis wanted to give a clear, technical overview detailing the differences in laser pulses between the different medical lasers they offer. 3D animation and Adobe's After FX were used to create the tissue cross-sections and corresponding pulse graphs. Animation is a terrific medium for conveying complex mechanism of action (MOA) processes for technical products.
Thermal Relaxation Time is a concept that's not particularly easy to explain, but is a vital concept for Lumenis's laser hair removal products. Sabertooth was engaged to create an MOA animation illustrating this concept. 3D tissue cross-sections were combined with text, animated graphs and voice over to guide the viewer through the concept of thermal relaxation time.
SinuSys came to Sabertooth looking for a mechanism-of-action animation showing how their Vent-OS SInus Dilation system treats patients suffering from sinusitus. Starting with a CAD file provided by SinuSys, Sabertooth proceeded to make a photo-real 3D asset of the device. Detailed sinus cavities were modeled and the device deployment was animated using MODO.
The final animation was handed off to SinuSys for inclusion into a larger VNR (video news release) edit.
A slightly different version showing a tool and procedure to reach the frontal sinuses.
This short animation for PayPal was created to illustrate usage of the PayPal Mobile Payment Device. The PayPal Mobile Payment device and the iPhone 5 were modeled and animated in MODO. The rendering this time was done using Next Limit's Maxwell render in conjunction with the MODO plugin. Maxwell Render is known for it's physically correct lighting, shading and camera modeling. The animation was then tweaked a bit in After FX and music was added in Adobe Premier. The resulting animation was provided to PayPal in 4:3 and 16:9 formats.
Some still images from the animation.