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The Impossible Skateboard Trick (with the help of some 3D)

We animated a 3D skateboard to let it do an impossible skateboard trick and let Jordy beat Tony Hawk! See our creative process.

Modeling takes Time

Spoiler alert; the ultimate skateboard trick that Jordy pulled off is a 3D animation. We tried modeling the skateboard at first, which went surprisingly good. Measuring Jordy’s real skateboard, I was able to get all the details of the trucks and bolts in place.

But I’ll be honest; it was time consuming. Time we didn’t have, so the best option for us was to make use of a stock 3D model. Turbo Squid is one of such libraries where you can purchase 3D models and their textures, ready to use.

Skateboard 3D Model
3D model that Turbo Squid provided

Textures for 3D Models

We got ourselves a 3D skateboard model and it’s texture. The only issue was that the 3D file was made in 3D Studio Max. Since we’re working in Cinema4D, the textures weren’t linked to the model.

In essence this isn’t a huge problem, but not having so much experience yet, it was challenging. I had to figure out a way to link the textures to the model manually. With some searching, I came across a Reddit post that explained it very well. Not much later, the texture was linked and we could start with the animations!

Redshift Nodes Connections
Infographic on how to connect PBR Textures in Redshift

Removing the Real Skateboard

The setup was simple; Jordy does a skateboard trick and we had to swap the real board with our 3D model. The execution however was a little more tricky.

Removing objects with Adobe After Effects involves animating a mask over the real skateboard. It was pretty time consuming, but it turned out great. The biggest problem was painting Jordy’s feat back in the areas where the real skateboard came in front of him.

Frame Skateboard Painted away
Before and After of removed skateboard

Storyblocks Video

Big thanks to Storyblocks video for sponsoring this episode of Copy Cat Friday! Create your account now and start downloading unlimited video assets like 4K stock clips, After Effects templates, overlay effects and so much more.

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