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More to be revealed soon…

(image courtesy The Perry Boys)

MGFX: Face/Head Replacement

This past week the Motion Graphics Department at SuperHeroes has been busy doing some research and development for a technique to be used in an upcoming project.
The aforementioned technique is matchmoving/face tracking and replacement.

For the technically inclined, more details after the video:

While the video is fairly self-explanatory, there are some factors that got left out due to editing. The main one being how we incorporated the use of Microsoft’s Kinect camera to do a scan of Chris’s face.

So yes, not only did we photograph him and have that 3d head & face that you see, but there’s even yet another one that is significantly more detailed and accurate. However where the face in the video has a texture based on photographs, the Kinect scan is purely a mesh used in conjunction with the textured model as well as tracking markers we specified.

Technical enough yet?

To delve even deeper into the jargon/nerd-talk, we made two prototypes for tracking markers (which you can see for a bit in the video). Our first attempt was a headband with 3 sticks attached to it, with tracking markers at the end of said sticks. While that gave us lots of parallax and tracking data, it wasn’t sturdy enough and the wiggling around was giving us bad data. Our solution was to acquire an Orgasmatron (weird name, we know), and attach a single (but larger) tracker on top.
The latter tracking rig yielded the best results, so we plan on developing that one further for the actual project.

And a final bit of motion lingo: the 3d tracking is a mix of user-inputted tracking points, as well as geometry/object tracking (which is why we generate the face with photos and Kinect scans).

If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! Here’s some stills of the process:

Tim Maia Vimeo Staff Pick!



Viva Tim! Our Tim Maia animation is doing extremely well and was just awarded a ‘staff pick’ by Vimeo, one of the most influential awards from a video site.  In 4 weeks it has already reached over 200k views on YouTube, Vimeo and Daily Motion and keeps generating great feedback (several thousand likes on each platform, and on average more than 10 tweets about the film per hour).


See the video here:


Awwwards Season for Diesel Magic of Christmas

Diesel Magic of Christmas


Rubbing our heads and wiping the post-festive gunk from our eyes, the New Year bought with it some rather exciting news…

Not only did our work with Diesel for The Magic of Christmas get featured on some of our favourite websites (Design Licks, AdAge, Creativity Online and SiteInspire to name but a few), it was also added to the public shortlist for The FWA, won a top award from the French Design Index and smashed the board to win top prize at the CSS Design Awards.


If that wasn’t enough, most excitingly, January 1st saw The Magic of Christmas featured as site of the day on Awwwards – the top banana in recognition and prestige for web designers.

Also appearing in their annual book “The 365 Best CSS Websites Around The World“, SuperHeroes will be added to their Winners’ List.

Proud is an understatement, so much so, our attempts at a dry January have flown right out the window. A SuperHero’s gotta do what a SuperHero’s gotta do – now pass the champagne!!

If you didn’t see the videos first time around, here’s what you missed:

The Anticipation

The Joy

The Goodwill

Behind the Dreams

Thanks to Diesel for making it all possible…

The Existential Adventures of Tim Maia… Narrated by Devendra Banhart

Ladies and gents, finally we’re launching the official long awaited Tim Maia life story narrated by the one and only Devendra Banhart!

The video’s already had over 20,000 views in the first day and is featured on the front page of Dailymotion in 20 countries! Tim Maia might well be the greatest (and wildest) soul singer you never heard of but we want to change that with this story about his life. Its a CRAZY BUT TRUE tale of humorous excess in every way imaginable and has something for all the family: drugs, women, money, guns and even a UFO cult thrown in. He lived the dream, always with a smile on his face.

The film celebrates the legacy of one of the world’s greatest soul singers and is a central part of the promotion around TIm’s first big international release…

Earlier this fall, Luaka Bop released “Nobody Can Live Forever: The Existential Soul of Tim Maia” to commemorate what would have been the Brazilian legend’s 70th birthday. The Rolling Stone called the record “a soul grenade” while SPIN referred to him as “the Brazilian Sly Stone”, then saying that “actually undersells his uniqueness.” A more in-depth feature of the artist, including a stream of the record, is available at The New York Times.

The campaign has been a close and loving collaboration between SuperHeroes Amsterdam, Shop Around and David Byrne’s iconic record label in NY, Luaka Bop, and made to celebrate the legacy of Tim Maia. So don your white robes, drop a tab or two and get wild for Tim Maia’s first big worldwide release.

After an exclusive preview screening at Videology in NYC this weekend we now release this out to the world (and it’s already been picked up by major newspapers in Brazil before we even had a chance to post about it on our own blog!)

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