“Royal Pains” Rap


The USA Network Series “Royal Pains” returned for its Second Season on June 3, 2010.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the comedy television series, here is a brief summary to fill you in. Royal Pains is about Henry “Hank” Lawson, a young E.R. doctor played by actor Mark Feuerstein, who moves to the Hamptons after being wrongly blamed for an important patient’s death and becomes a reluctant “doctor to hire” to the rich and famous in a resort community. When the administrator of the local hospital asks him to treat the town’s less fortunate, Hank (the young doctor) finds himself walking the line between doing well for himself and doing good for others.

This entertaining rap video consists of the Royal Pains cast as well as a few new and familiar faces. Henry Winkler is joining the cast in Season 2 as the no-good father of Hank (Mark Feuerstein). The video promoting the new season features not only The Fonz rapping, but Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) of “Burn Notice” and Neal Caffre (Matt Bomer) of “White Collar,” two other USA Network Series.

On a very limited budget, The Molecule was asked to spice up the video with some key-framed 3D animation and compositing.

First, the scene was match-moved using Maya Live. Using the track, we were able to keyframe a rigged 3D skeleton into the scene, and composite it to look like an x-ray. The rendered skeleton uses an “X-ray” shader, which uses the facing angle of geometric surfaces to derive opacity. The skeleton is interesting because rather than using a rigid IK rig, it has a “squishy” effector that allows bones to be stretched. This makes matching the skeleton to the underlying video easier, because Henry’s proportions could be matched and fudged.

The track from Maya Live was solid, which made adding monitors very simple. Once everything was rendered together with motion blur and some color work, this fun little piece was cut into the edit and delivered to the network and Youtube, for everyone to view.