12.11.2009 Ingenuity Engine Transforms Chris Brown in ‘I Can Transform Ya’ Music Video
Boutique visual effects studio Ingenuity Engine has collaborated once again with director Joseph Kahn on a futuristic new music video for R&B singer Chris Brown’s track “I Can Transform Ya,” the first single off his forthcoming album Graffiti (due Dec. 8). Ingenuity Engine created a VFX-intensive and hyper-stylized world for the video, which premiered Oct. 27th and features Chris Brown, producer Swizz Beatz and rapper Lil Wayne as they deconstruct and shapeshift into sports cars, armored tanks, helicopters and other objects.
Ingenuity Engine has had a longstanding relationship with Kahn, having previously worked with the director on the Chris Brown music videos “Crawl” (the next single off Graffiti) and “Forever,” as well as numerous television commercial projects. Ingenuity Engine’s ability to work in “short hand” with the director, along with the nimbleness and multi-disciplinary make-up of its team, enabled the studio to complete the music video with a team of 10 in just a week-and-a-half from start to finish.
The “I Can Transform Ya” music video opens as a jet-black sports car careens across the screen. It morphs into Chris Brown, armed with a can of spray paint and tagging the name of the title track on the wall. Set against an entirely all-white backdrop, the clip highlights Brown’s dance moves, which he performs alongside a ninja-outfitted crew. Ingenuity Engine contributed numerous signature effects, including shape-shifting Brown and company into tanks, motorcycles and other fantasy toys, which the team modeled and animated by hand in Autodesk 3ds Max, building a particle system comprised of engine parts to fill the interiors of the various vehicles. Ingenuity Engine also custom developed a transition effect in which the performers morph into clusters of CGI ribbons, and contributed CG extensions to a robot-enhanced suit worn by a voluptuous biker babe.
“The music video production industry today requires a creative team to be agile because our turnaround times are shrinking down to mere days,” said David Lebensfeld, founder and lead artist, Ingenuity Engine. “But we’re still held to high creative standards to produce engaging content that can live across MTV, YouTube and mobile devices. Fortunately, because we do a large volume of visual effects work for commercials, we’re able to apply those production-proven workflows to our music video projects. We’ve also culled together a very well rounded team that aren’t just 3D artists, but equally skilled compositors, animators and motion graphics artists.”
Ingenuity Engine used a software package consisting of Autodesk 3ds Max for 3D modeling, Prime Focus Software’s Krakatoa for particle rendering, with all compositing done in Nuke. In its first hour of release, the “I Can Transform Ya” music video was downloaded over 500 times and went on to be viewed over 750,000 times. It premiered Oct. 27th on MTV Hits, MTV Jams, and MTV.com. Ingenuity Engine is currently completing VFX work on Chris Brown’s “Crawl” music video, which is also directed by Kahn and is slated to premiere on Nov. 13th.