Creating a 3D animated video - see Santa twerk

Every Christmas at Tribus, we love to create something fun to celebrate the holiday season. Last year we delved into the world of AI generated images to create a Christmas Film quiz and this year we explored new technologies to create a fun animation showcasing Santa's first TikTok video.

The animation was created with the 3D modelling and animation software, Cinema 4D and the scene was composited from a range of pre-built 3d and custom made models.

In 3D you have complete control over every aspect of the scene which means you need to define all aspects of the final composite such as surface textures, lighting and even the camera setting to ensure you get the look you desire. To add some additional personalisation to the animation we created some ornaments within the scene such as the decoratively lit lettering spelling out Tribus in the background. And as we had also recently undergone a rebrand, we placed our new Tribus north star at the top of the tree!

Before we could do any animation, we needed to rig our Santa model with a skeleton. Rigging is a technique to add digital bones to a 3D character so that all of the internal joints move naturally, this means that the model can be manipulated like a puppet ready for animation.

For all the dancing animations, we used an Adobe motion capture library called Mixamo. Mixamo has thousands of full-body character animations all captured by professional motion actors which can be downloaded and attached to your skeleton rig.

Once we have all our dancing animation imported into Cinema 4D… its render time. We render out each of the 1,582 frames as a sequence of images to maintain the highest quality and import all of the frames into Adobe After Effects. From here we’re able to further composite, colour grade and edit our scene  in time to the soundtrack.

The last step of the process is to render the video out again using Adobe Media Encoder maintaining a balance between colour, file size and file format to make sure it’s ready for any platform.

Check out Santa's moves...

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Elliott Holmes
Lead Designer

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