Kory Martin Juul is a one-man movie making machine.  For the past four years, Juul, a Hollywood visual effects artist – whose screen credits include “Avatar” and films in the “Lord of the Rings,” “Star Wars” and “Matrix” series – has almost single-handedly animated a Pixar-style feature film called “White Tiger Legend.” It required him to travel over 2500 miles across China in a special body suit.

Juul turned to a technology from Phasespace Motion Capture to capture his body movements. “They have suits that light up, and each light flickers at its own frequency,” he said. “This drastically reduces the number of people required to fix fast and complex acrobatic motions. It also allowed me to run the system on my own.”

The film also required Juul to go on the ultimate adventure. The solo mission took him up thousands of steps in Wudang, China and he climbed so high he was altitude sick in Tibet. Footage from these exotic locations has been deftly woven into an hour-and-forty-minute action/adventure film.

In talking about his inspiration, Juul said: “On ‘Avatar,’ we were working alongside a very elaborate pre-visualization. It was the sets, characters, performances, even the lighting direction. It was unfinished, but you could watch it. James Cameron constantly referenced it whenever an artist had a question – because he had thought it through already, and he could show them. Seeing that was the key for me. I felt like I was up against a wall, trying to explain how ‘White Tiger Legend,’ even though it was martial arts, wasn’t like every other Kung Fu movie out there. Here was a tool I could use to show them, show them how we were unique. So that’s what I did. I ‘pre-vized’ a whole movie.”

Juul turned to a technology from Phasespace Motion Capture to capture his body movements. “They have suits that light up, and each light flickers at its own frequency,” he said. “This drastically reduces the number of people required to fix fast and complex acrobatic motions. It also allowed me to run the system on my own.”

As a trained Bok Fu Black belt, Juul also did the choreography for nine fights for the film. Technically, he was fighting against himself.

“I could go full speed, without fear of hitting anyone else, or pulling any punches,” he said. “Normally with fight scenes you’re confined to certain camera angles – to keep the appearance of contact – but with motion capture, you can reposition the motions to create contact after the fact, and put the camera wherever you want – it’s total freedom.”

Thirty voice-over actors were then assembled from the theater, video games, and independent film to breathe life into the characters.

The suit allowed Juul to perform over 30 different characters for over 2200 shots. The capturing process took him 20 weeks. He spent another and a further 16 months to assemble the first edit.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/GV_JIExFmW8[/youtube]

 

There’s an ambitious Indigogo campaign raising money to do the final cut and edits.