Leibbrandt and Loos are both 3D animators and motion caption actors for the film. Their favorite part of the process was practicing and performing choreography for the sword fight, which acts as the climax of the short. They dueled with wooden dowels as people watched in the Sports and Fitness Center Multipurpose room.
With rehearsal over, it was then time to suit up for their character performance in UW-Stout's Motion Capture Studio. Using the Vicon system, keyframe animation and facial capture, they recorded the duel and other character sequences for animation. Loos thought this was the most rewarding part of the project.
“By the time Ian and I recorded the final take in the Motion Capture Studio, we had already broken six dowels,” Leibbrandt said, referring to their makeshift swords.
Leibbrandt gained more knowledge of animation workflows, how to clean up mocap data and apply it to rigs, setting up the Motion Capture Studio and acting in the mocap suits, he said.
“It's wild to see the students, albeit a little altered, in the computer performing in the scene,” Heagle added.
For 3D props, the group custom-designed much of their own and used stock assets from the Unreal Marketplace. Swearingen designed the spy gadgets used by the agent and modeled, textured and rigged two other gadgets.
“In Unreal Marketplace, we were able to find high quality assets to populate our sets that otherwise would have taken months to model ourselves and were able to focus our efforts on the more prominent props,” she said.