Bird Studios creates CG world for Iron Maiden's Eddie

Animation production company, Bird Studios, has completed the latest promo for veteran rock band Iron Maiden.

Scripted by Howard Greenhalgh, Different World‚ is a bleak take on the Nature vs Science story and features an animated Bruce Dickinson, as he struggles to out-run the evil ruling power.

With a running time of over four minutes, the promo for Different World was produced using Maya 8.0, Shake, Z-Brush, Paint and Photoshop – and took the animation studio eight weeks to complete.

"The treatment from Howard was extremely detailed – almost a film script – and required a very narrative led piece which gave us enormous scope to work with. We needed to present a grim and dark vision of the world, and create scenes that would hold the viewer as a real‚ action thriller would do," explains Ian Bird, animation director and producer at Bird Studios.

Reminiscent of Soylent Green‚ The Matrix‚ and even bits of early Star Wars‚ Different World‚ opens on a massive Eddie (Maiden's archangel mascot‚), holding a planet in the palm of his claw. The camera then zooms into that world where Bird and team have created a harsh, monochromatic and incredibly detailed cityscape, which seems to be growing before our eyes.

Howard Greenhalgh, director, continues "The brief was to create a future world that would (courtesy of Eddie)
destroy itself. I referenced stylistic movies such as Metropolis‚ and Soylent Green‚ but stressed that we had to create a contemporary version of these, not simply emulate them. I hadn't originally intended Bruce to be the star of the video, but the animators thought they could deliver him as the protagonist and I think it really helps the audience (fans) to engage with the storyline, and I'm sure Bruce had a laugh when he saw his awesome agility (although he's one hell of an athlete in real life). The guys at Sanctuary gave us enormous freedom to go with it‚. This kind of confidence is very rare in these controlling days within our industry. They wanted the next step from Wildest Dreams – the previous promo from Ian and his team – and Bird Studios has pulled off a miracle to deliver so much in so little time. Not just a small step, in my opinion they jumped a whole staircase."

The film consists of a number of complex shots, such as Dickinson throwing himself through a tiny hatch, before the camera pulls away and we see him swinging 1000ft off the ground, clinging to the side of a colossal skyscraper, then falling to bounce in the top of a Zeppelin air ship. Equally impressive is the level of detail and texture within the
piece – as in one particular instance where the camera is speeding over an open sea.

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