“Birds” is a song recorded by Dutch singer Anouk, released as the first single from her eighth studio album Sad Singalong Songs. With this song she entered the Eurovision song Contest in representing The Netherlands. Fun fact: Anouk managed to qualify for a spot in the final on 18 May 2013, the Netherlands’ first qualification in 9 years. For the videoclip Postoffice was asked to visualise the story of a ballerina being replaced by another by another ballerina. Being pushed aside see looks outside and sees flocks of birds flying.
To create this directable effect of flying birds we made a dynamic particle system in Maya with each particle being a bird. On top of that still keeping the control of the whole flock. Once we had that we were able to scale it up and generate thousands of birds. This system is also able to create other creatures like butterflies, people or cars on a highway. In nuke we put everything together, added a rooftop to the theatre and replaced the sky all to the likes of the director, Dana Nechushtan.
The advantage of this job was that everything was done inhouse, editing, vfx, grading and sound design. This gave our artists the opportunity to work close together and be more flexible.