Deadmau5 with Nick DenBoer

By Chris Rawlinson


We introduce Nick DenBoer, Director, Animator, Editor, Music Producer and Remix Artist.

He recently collaborated on a new deliciously surreal music video for deadmau5. Nick used 3d scans extensively in the production, many from our own 3d Scan Store. I ran a few questions by him to hear his ideas and reasons for using scan data.

Have you been involved in 3d scanning much before the deadmau5 project?

“I've been dabbling with photogrammetry quite a bit in recent years and I actually got scanned myself for a VR project I did for Vice & SamsungVR.

But Ten24/3DScanStore was the first place I got my hands on such high-quality scan data and I got hooked and kept buying more and more. They've become a huge part of my toolbox for fun experiments. The deadmau5 video was also kind of experimental with no real rules or plan other than to populate the scenes I shot with weirdos so I just used these scans to make some strange characters and had some fun with it.”

How did you manipulate the scan data?

“I warped a lot of the scanned heads to make caricatures, like the pinhead guy dancing near the end of the video and the sketchy lady with the blue hair. I do this by creating a low poly proxy mesh of the scan and then I use the mesh deformer in Cinema4d to manipulate the high poly mesh with the low poly cage”.


Cinema 4D Workflow videos 

Was it easy to create/develop your new characters using 3d scan data as a base?

“I did some Frankensteining by using heads from Ten24/3DScanStore expression packs and put them alternate body scans. Like the clown on the intro scene up the driveway. I use Adobe's Mixamo a lot for a quick and easy mocap solution so I had to do a bit of polygon reduction and decimate the scans down to <250K polys or else Mixamo can't seem to deal with the scans. Luckily the models have such huge textures they still look great at reduced poly count.”

“Using Cinema4d's sculpting tools to stretch and warp the face/head, it's amazing how you can create new characters from these 3d scans that look like entirely new people, or like total freaks. It's my favourite thing to do to these scan data, kind of makes them feel like they are my own creations and not just a stock asset of a person who got scanned”.


Will you use scan data again in the future or was it just relevant to
this project style?

“I'll definitely keep finding ways to use scans in the future. Actually, I'm about to shoot a new Deadmau5 video this weekend at a live venue so I hope to add some CG dancers and mix some ridiculous madness into the scene.”

Nicks 2018 showreel

Check out the full ‘Monophobia’ music video from deadmau5 & Rob Swire here in all its mad glory!


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