A sci-fi world of futuristic humanoid robots, adrenaline-charged auto racing, and the crushing spectacle of a fatal crash come together in Sky Cry, the new animated music video for artist PINK NOISE, directed by Kim Chapiron and co-produced by international, award-winning animation studio Mathematic, Phantasm, Quiet, and Viral. The music video debuts the launch of Crashtag, the crash test dummy hero character of the video and the world’s first robot influencer – already gaining an early following on Instagram.
Co-director and CG supervisor Jehan Bouazza led Mathematic’s team of skilled artisans and animators throughout the nine-month production, encountering challenges in developing a modern and first of its kind music video world, solidifying a unique character design for Crashtag, and managing a high volume of assets required to create the racetrack arena. Lead Character Artist Camille Gurruchaga oversaw the creation of Crashtag, crafting the character’s background story and psychological profile to inform design decisions, while concept artists simultaneously developed the look of the environments, including the racetrack and larger arena. Once the look was finalized, the team set out to produce the five-minute animated sequence, using Zbrush for modeling, Maya for animation, Substance Painter for textures, Nuke and Flame for compositing, Resolve for color grading, and Arnold for the final render.
To bring the anthropomorphic Crashtag character to life, Mathematic motion-captured a performance by Ladj Ly, the acclaimed French director of the 2019 film Les Misérables. Ly’s performance imprinted human-like qualities – including a distinct personality and authentic emotion – on Crashtag, making the character a relatable protagonist in a dystopian android world.