A SCANNER DARKLY
After a month-long audition with Richard Linklater's animation department in Austin TX, I joined the team of fifty animations to rotoscope the film using a proprietary interpolation animation software which created a hyper-realistic, nausea-inducing effect to emphasize the feeling of paranoia the film's characters were experiencing.
The bulk of my work involved scenes of Keanu Reeves' undercover cop character in his "scramble suit," which is a smart membrane that is constantly shifting the identity of the wearer with images and features of random people (yes, it's a metaphor). This film was a very enjoyable experience to help make.
Here is a sneak peek of the process of creating the film using the software ColorEngine. The actors did not require make-up and barely any costuming outside of their street-clothes as we would be taking care of a majority of the film in post-production.
The software "interpolates" via keyframes and is vector-based. We would create multiple layers (in the fashion Photoshop or Flash), usually line art, a flat color, highlights and shadows, each of which would be controlled via keyframes. Depending on the articulation of the performance, we would paint a line, or color fill, and scrub to the next major keyframe and the software would "guess" the transition in between. For the time it was revolutionary.