Lightfarm Studios - Mocap in a high-end short film

November 12, 2019
5 min read

Director Milton Menezes and the Lightfarm team in Rio de Janeiro created one of the most captivating and exceptional projects we’ve ever seen carried out with our tools. The short film “Snooze” follows an invisible dancer through the streets of Rio and features some mesmerizing effects and shots. In this user story, Milton explains how our tools helped Lightfarm create a fast and efficient workflow.

Lightfarm created “Snooze” as the opening video of UNHIDE Conference 2019, the largest digital art festival in Latin America. It was created using a range of diverse software and practical film techniques. Although the dancer is invisible, her clothes are not, and so Lightfarm needed to be able to translate the real world dancing of their actor to digital geometry using motion capture - Lightfarm selected the Rokoko Smartsuit Pro as the optimal motion capture solution for the project.

"The Rokoko Smartsuit Pro was really good from the start. It’s very easy to use the suit and add to the pipeline. Without the Smartsuit Pro, we wouldn’t be able to animate an invisible dancer for four minutes."
Based on a real story

The inspiration for “Snooze” is the real life story of the film’s principal dancer, Gabriela Silva. The film is about breaking the routine and the resilience required to follow your dreams. Silva works several jobs to support her daughter but hopes to work full-time as a professional dancer - the film is a reflection of her passion and drive to accomplish her dream.

Lightfarm shot each scene practically with Silva for light and movement reference, and then shot the scene again without her as a clean plate for compositing. They then took the motion capture data recorded from Silva’s performance, added digital geometry and did cloth simulations in Marvelous Designer with custom designed digital clothing created in-house. They then tracked the resulting animation back into the clean plate to produce incredibly realistic shots. The Rokoko Smartsuit was instrumental when it came to recreating the personality and motion of Silva’s performance.

"With the Smartsuit Pro, we see a lot of new possibilities in our pipeline. We don't have to create every animation by hand. Instead the suit can give us a base to understand how it really looks in real life with gravity, physics, everything. For the animators, it really helps get to the final result faster and better. "

From humble beginnings in New Zealand, over seven years Lightfarm has grown to become a global network of offices that handle projects ranging from the creation of complete CGI environments and photography to VFX and animation in a variety of fields. Milton is a director at Lightfarm's Brazil office. Lightfarm has harnessed the talents of a diverse group of artists to create content that is engaging and original with a high production value - we can't wait to see what they come out with next!

Watch the full Snooze video and find more material here.

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