Post Office and Gully Gang Records have created India’s first music video using Unreal Engine’s MetaHumans framework for their new song Spaceship. The piece showcases the incredible potential of this new technology and the exciting possibilities it presents for creatives.
The song brings together three emerging stars of the Indian hip-hop scene Sammohit, Ikka and Shah Rule as they rap about their ambitions and passions in their career, comparing these to travelling in outer space.
Creating the video involved a multi-step process, beginning with photo scans of the artists’ faces from multiple angles to generate their digital likenesses. Post Office – the content studio of Kulfi Collective – used a process called photogrammetry. This includes creating a 3D model of a face using photographs. High-quality photos were taken from different angles and processed using MetaHumans to create an accurate 3D model. The resulting 3D model was then refined and edited to create a digital twin that closely resembles the original face. The rest of the body type, hairstyle and other features were also adjusted to create characters that closely resembled their real-life counterparts. By using this technology, the studio was able to capture the facial expressions of the artists to match their real human expressions and add additional details such as wrinkles and creases.
The team also explored hacks by using an iPad and UE Live Link Face (an app that uses the front-facing camera and IR sensors from the face ID cluster of an iPad to capture facial movements in real-time and stream the data to a computer running Unreal Engine) to capture realistic facial expressions without the need for expensive camera tracking equipment or facilities. The resulting digital characters were able to convey a range of emotions and movements, making it an effective tool for their project. To ensure accurate lip syncs that matched the facial expressions, they recorded various voiceovers of the artists for the software. Finally, the team created various digital worlds for the characters to inhabit, enabling them to scout for interesting camera angles in a virtual environment. The video was directed by Post Office associate creative director Vaibhav Negi, and creatively led by Aadhav Ravi, Arnab Bose, Ajeeta Srivastava, Akshat Gupt, Aditya Tawde and Harsh Sharma. The production was handled by Catherine Nazareth and Ankur Chakravarty.
Negi said, “Real-time CGI film production is a fascinating medium that seamlessly merges the dynamic energy and collaborative spirit of live-action production with the boundless creative freedom and flexibility of digital animation. It offers a veritable playground of creative potential for all those involved, a place where imaginations can run wild and ideas can be brought to life in vivid, spectacular detail.”
Post Office co-founder and chief creative officer Aditya Tawde said, “New technologies like Unreal, MetaHumans and Mixamo Preset are revolutionising animation production by providing stunningly realistic 3D models and environments in real-time. They offer more creative freedom and accessibility, empowering us to bring ideas to life in truly immersive and mind-blowing ways. They are slowly but surely transforming the industry, and we’re excited to explore the possibilities they bring.”
Gully Gang A&R and marketing associate Anmol Singh Dhand said, “Spaceship is a marquee project for us as it has three star rappers coming together to create something that’s really out-of-this-world.”
This project is sure to captivate hip hop music fans and animation enthusiasts from across the world.