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HomeIndustry SectorCommercialsIngenuity Engine Delivers 3D VFX for Katy Perry’s "Wide Awake"

Ingenuity Engine Delivers 3D VFX for Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake”

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Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake,” directed by Tony T. Datis. (Photo: © Capitol Records).

Ingenuity Engine recently completed extensive work on the 3D music video for “Wide Awake,” which was written for the 3D Katy Perry: Part of Me film which opened July 5. The video was directed by Tony Datis of production company DNA.

Ingenuity Engine delivered a wide range of shots in both 2D and 3D for the elaborate fantasy video that takes Perry on a journey through her imagination. “Wide Awake” begins with Perry completing the video for “California Gurls.” When she gets back to her dressing room, she falls into another world. In that magical place, she meets a younger version of herself, and the two face obstacles together while they make their way through an elaborate 3D labyrinth.

“All of the visuals we created for ‘Wide Awake’ had to start as 3D elements,” explained David Lebensfeld, Ingenuity Engine creative director. “With fast-paced music videos like this, we generally use a lot of 2D elements and spend most of our time in compositing, but for “Wide Awake” all of the smoke, particle effects, and matte paintings had to be created in 3D and rendered for both eyes, which required significantly more work in the same tight schedule.”

Ingenuity Engine delivered over 140 shots in less than three weeks, including matte paintings, set extensions, various smoke, fog, fireworks and sparks effects, as well as CG elements, including a flock of CG butterflies that fly off Perry’s dress.

“To create the flock we modeled several unique butterflies, using reference photography taken on set,” said Lebensfeld. “Then these individual butterflies were rigged and animated with an initial flight cycle, which was augmented in a particle system to give each butterfly its own unique animation and flight path. Foreground butterflies were hand-animated to facilitate the transition to the next scene and to take advantage of the depth we were working with in 3D.”

Compositing for “Wide Awake” was done in The Foundry‘s NUKE and NUKEX, and tracking was completed in Andersson Technologies‘ SynthEyes. The CG was created in Autodesk 3ds Max along with Sitni Sati‘s Fume and Thinkbox Software‘s Krakatoa.

“We are lucky to have a long history with DNA. Working closely with Tony and the DNA team allowed us to visualize and then execute the look they imagined,” said Grant Miller, Ingenuity Engine creative director. “Because of the fast-paced nature of the music video industry, speed is essential. We are very proud that we were not only able to deliver this caliber and quantity of work with a very tight post schedule, but in stereo as well.”

The video is currently airing worldwide and can be seen at www.katyperry.com. Panasonic will showcase the 3D version of “Wide Awake” at consumer electronics trade shows, including IFA in Berlin as well in stores with Panasonic VIERA TVs on display around the world starting this fall.

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