“Who’s Gonna Save My Soul” by University of Southern California

  • ©Chris Milk  University of Southern California



    Who's Gonna Save My Soul


Company / Institution / Agency:

  • University of Southern California


    A music video featuring human features and qualities in an unlikely CGI character set in the backdrop of a live-action world.

    HDRI allowed us to match the lighting exactly in animation. To make the heart look wet and bloody, we broke the shading into two layers of sub-surface scattering and then added the bloody part. Both required internal R&D. We had to come up with texture structures to control the effect of how the light scatters on the tissues. For the sheen and bloody wetness, we wrote our own shaders and combined them in Maya. We did a stress simulation on the heart’s geometry. We fed RealFlow with our proprietary data to simulate where the heart would bleed. Using Python DSOs, which are pre-compiled extensions to the scripting language used in RealFlow, we fed RealFlow our proprietary datasets. With motion capture and facial scanning combined with proprietary programs, we were able to create a fully animated mouth taken from the singer, Cee-Lo.


    Autodesk Maya Realflow, mental ray, Flame, Image Metrics

Additional Contributors:

    Writer & Director: Chris Milk

    Client: Downtown/Atlantic Records

    Producer: Anne Johnson

    Executive Producer: Jennifer Heath, Frank Scherma

    Director of Photography: Danny Hiele

    Production Designer: Zach Matthews

    Colorist: Dave Hussey/Co3

    Editor: Livio Sanchez/Filmcore

    Principal Talent: Woman – Aasha Davis, Man – Jorma Taconne

    Heart Design and Animation: Gradient Effects

    VFX Supervisor: Thomas Tannenberger

    VFX /CG Supervisor: Olcun Tan

    Producer: Maya Martinez

    Compositor, Flame: Simon Holden

    Lighting Supervisor: Rick Sander

    Lead Modeler: Tom Curnan

    Look Development, Shader: Raphael Protti

    Modeling, Textures: Gina Kim

    Rigging: Chris Christman

    Lighter: Alex Marin

    Animators: Randall Rose, Keith Sintay

    Blood Simulations: Eric Ehemann

    Editor: Dylan Highsmith

    Coordinator: Ian Barbella

    Mouth Animation: Image Metrics

    Assistant Producer: Pampata Jutte

    Production Manager: Peter Busch

    Lead Animator: Cesar Bravo

    Animator: Christian Brierley

    Lead Rigger: Oleg Alexander

    Modeler: Tom Tran

    Tracker: Bryan Burger

    Motion Capture and Facial Scanning: University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies

Animation / Video Overview: