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Last updated on April 21, 2014 at 1:20 EDT

Gradient Effects Makes Gnarls Barkley’s Heart Sing

July 23, 2008

When director Chris Milk of @radical.media needed to create a walking, singing, photo-real human heart he turned to Gradient Effects for its design and animation. The video, featuring Saturday Night Live’s Jorma Taconne in a heart-wrenching performance as a jilted lover opposite Aasha Davis, was lensed on location in a Santa Monica diner with additional motion-capture provided by the Institute for Creative Technologies Graphics Lab, (ICT).

Thomas Tannenberger and Olcun Tan, founders of Gradient, used ICT’s technology to scan Cee-Lo Green’s face while performing and used the data to apply his facial movements to the digital heart. Utilizing in-house software, Tannenberger and Tan were able to predict where real blood would flow from the severed heart and give it the requisite “wetness” needed to make it believable. Additional animation of Cee-Lo’s lips was provided by Image Metrics.

MTV’s Subterranean blog states, “…this will be your favorite video today – and that is really saying something considering how good some of the past Gnarls videos have been.”

Editors: Multimedia images are available.

About Gradient Effects

Located in Marina Del Rey, Gradient Effects is a visual effects company dedicated to delivering dynamic visual artistry for feature films and other forms of entertainment.