Najma designed and directed a promo for the Samaritans which involved some beautiful plate shots and tattoo designs which animate on the surface of the people's skin. The trick in these shots was to make the tattoo artwork not feel superimposed but feel like it was really on the skin and wrapping with the skins contours as they move.
There were four main shots to compose - a tear, a heart, chains and the most difficult a set of swallows flying over a mans hands and wrists.
I drew the original designs for the tattoos in my sketchbook and we scanned them in to split up and colour in Photoshop. The 2d animations of each tattoo were then made in ToonBoom for the swallows and the tear - Aftereffects for the heart being sewn up and Nuke for the chains which needed warping.
Next up the 2d animations were put onto 3d geometries which matched as closely as possible the contours of the body parts they were to sit on. Using Maya for the back and chains I created four variations of the back and carefully keyframed a blendshape warp between the four positions- so the back deformed as it straightened. The 2d animation of chains was then UV mapped to the back as a jpeg sequence and rendered in two passes - one for the colour and one as a matte pass to cut it out.
Back in Nuke the final sequences were put together - some masking, grading and slight repositioning of elements were needed for the best fit. In the heart sequence there was quite a lot of tracking and warping needed also. All the tattoos also had a soft shadow effect in a dark reddish colour.