San Antonio Spurs “Our House”
By Troy Davis, Animation Director, Geomedia
The lights go down…tip-off is near. You’re the home team and you want your fans pumped up.
Geomedia was recently approached by the San Antonio Spurs to help do just that by creating a series of in-arena presentations including the player introduction video for the Lighthouse Jumbovision display at the AT&T Center.
The project started with development of our in-house creative treatment. The intro needed to be entertaining, but with the opening of the NBA 2010-2011 regular season only weeks away we also had to consider the tight deadline and how to feature all the team’s players. As Geomedia perused various concept directions, ultimately we had to be realistic about the time available to shoot each player. For a typical promo shoot, access to players is usually extremely limited; here we were only allowed a maximum of 5 minutes with each player.
Our original concept involved a “futuristic warehouse” and the individual players moving toward a unified destination. As the storyline developed and the Spurs Game Entertainment team selected Bon Jovi’s “This Is Our House” as the soundtrack, the stage was set and the entire AT&T Center became the players’ environment. While setting the players among iconic locations throughout the arena we focused on each player’s signature move and ultimately the team’s unity.
We were able to take advantage of Spurs Media Day to shoot all the players at the team’s practice facility. Geomedia DP Zach Nasits prepared two entirely separate green-screen sets to enable quick capture of both wide and close-up scenarios. To capture player emotion, ominous and intriguing high-contrast lighting was utilized evoking power and strength.
Murray Breit directed the action utilizing a pre-determined checklist of poses created to efficiently gather the required moves for each individual team member.
A three camera setup with two Red Digital Cinema cameras and one Sony EX3 was used to capture over 60 minutes of HD motion.
Editor Jeff Chesnut cut the green-screen footage into a quick-paced montage that became the backbone of the developing player introduction piece. Post production continued as the project entered the 3-D animation and compositing stages.
Through a combination of dimensional scene geometry and photographic plates, custom sets were constructed for each of the 14 players. Rudy Martinez combined multiple-exposure digital photos into clean high-dynamic range imagery that, combined with SoftImage XSI set extensions provided a dimensional environment suitable for synthetic camera motion.
Extruded and reflective 3D text placed into the sets provided visual interest as well as player identification. Live-action image planes were incorporated into the scenes to allow players to reflect onto set pieces including the floor and text.
Once animated backgrounds were completed Jeremy Kenisky removed the green screen and composited the color corrected players into the scenes. In addition, dramatic optical effects and camera movement were added to complete the visual treatment of each shot.
Using After Effects, Joe Schaertl created a team shot at the end of the piece by joining 14 individual shots of players into a unified crowd match-moved into an animated rendition of the AT&T Center’s main lobby. Martin Jaeger utilized Cinema 4D to construct and animate the heroic Spurs logo.
In addition the the main video, Geomedia also supplied the content for the 360-degree LED ribbon and digital signage that surrounds the court.
Thank you San Antonio Spurs for choosing Geomedia to team up with you on this project.