Kuuhyppy

Kuuhyppy (Moon jump) short film

A short film we created with our daughters when they were 3 & 8. Both of them also drew the characters they acted. This was a lovely little weekend project!

Animation:Jussi Kemppainen
ScreenplayMyy Kemppainen, Ruu Kemppainen, Kiia Kemppainen
Illustrations:Myy Kemppainen, Ruu Kemppainen, Kiia Kemppainen, Jussi Kemppainen
VoicesMyy Kemppainen, Ruu Kemppainen, Kiia Kemppainen, Jussi Kemppainen

Trafficking game development blog

Footage from the game in progress. AI car mechanics and some art asset evaluations. The environment is a Google Earth capture placeholder.

This project has been my hobby for a while now. A game I am slowly working on all by myself! I set up this blog to chronicle the progress of the development.

10 latest posts from the blog:

  • Introducing our AI overlords
    by Jussi on May 29, 2022 at 16:00

    With the emergence of AI image generation tools such as Google Imagen, DALL-E 2 and Midjourney and my day job keeping me too busy to create any hobby project content myself, I thought it might be possible to create a short adventure game with the help of these AI tools.

  • First Pivot
    by Jussi on August 9, 2021 at 13:38

    My goal for this project has always been to create “mini games” under a larger umbrella. To create varied experiences bundled in one game under a larger story that unfolds slowly. I have now begun to challenge this idea.

  • Pushing a car into the ocean
    by Jussi on April 15, 2021 at 10:00

    In this post I will tell about the game scripting in more detail. We will start by pushing a car off of a container ship.

  • Planar Reflections and Patrol Boats
    by Jussi on February 24, 2021 at 18:26

    After modeling a small patrol boat I realised that I need real reflections in the water!

  • Isometric, large location learnings
    by Jussi on February 15, 2021 at 20:27

    After working on the ship location for a while, I ran into some issues that came from the fact that I was working on a game that had fewer spatial limitations than adventure games usually have.

  • Very early gameplay
    by Jussi on February 12, 2021 at 20:40

    I started to work on the actual story content after making the first script for the opening act. I captured some footage of that progress.

  • Procedural tools introduction
    by Jussi on February 8, 2021 at 18:45

    I added procedural level creation tools into the mix and set up the ship level to test them!

  • Uncharted charts
    by Jussi on December 26, 2020 at 15:59

    Creating a vertical slice of the game with around 1 hour of gameplay is my goal for 2021!

  • The origins of the game
    by Jussi on December 19, 2020 at 20:18

    This is the story of how the idea for the game came to me during an 8 year period.

  • Ship location update 2
    by Jussi on December 14, 2020 at 12:59

    I did a quick pass on the ship location populating some areas.

3D Characters for Sanoma Pro

I modelled, textured and rigged a set of 3D versions of 2D characters created for Sanoma Pro Educational books. They are used on AR content on an ABC book called “Ystävien Aapinen”, ”Ystävien Lukukirja” and an English language book series, “Come With Me”, with 3 installations rolled out.

I also developed the scripting for the Unity scene-flow and asset bundle loading, user interactions and the Morph-based facial animation workflow from Blender to Unity.

Character animations by Janne Roivainen.

Iron Danger – Shard of Time

A release trailer I created for my game Iron Danger

Iron Danger is my debut PC game as a game director.

It is a game all about maximising your actions in combat with the help of infinite redos and intuitive trial and error. It is basically a gamified combat sequence animation tool (so cool)!

Play Experience

Gamescom 2019 Best experience: Winner

Finnish game awards 2021

Best creative achievement of the year 2020: Winner

Big screen game of the year 2020: Nominee

Finnish game of the year 2020: Nominee

TechRaptor

Best of E3 2019: Nominee

Rock Paper Shotgun: The best game you missed in march: Iron Danger

A lot of games market themselves as being built around a “unique” mechanic. And while 90% of the time these mechanics are not in fact unique, every so often you get one that’s the real deal, and this tactical RPG with functional time travel is certainly one of ’em.

Screenshots

Gameplay

Iron Danger is a tactical combat game with a unique time manipulation mechanic. A never before seen combination that blends the tactical depth of turn-based games with the exciting action of real-time games.

Tackle challenging encounters with your party of two characters, using a variety of skills and highly interactive environments.

Maybe you will set an enemy on fire and kick them into a grain field for a proper barbeque, or set up a trap and fell a tree on top of them. The options are endless and it is you who will be deciding your own approach!

You have control over time

You have control over time

The core of Iron Danger is its unique time control mechanic. You can rewind time for up to 5 seconds whenever you want, trying different strategies and combinations of moves until you find the right one for the task at hand.

The time manipulation allows us to combine real-time combat gameplay with controls from more traditional, tactical turn-based combat games. This gives tactical combat a puzzle-like element, as you can continuously keep trying new approaches to turn impossible odds to your advantage and synchronize the actions of your characters for the perfect outcome.

You will die, but you will not fail!

World and Story

Iron Danger is set in a world of lofty fells, primeval forest, and placid lakes… as well as living gods and monsters of steel. The city of Kalevala, home of the humans who rebelled against the gods and forsook their protection, shines in the middle of this world, surrounded by towns, sea lanes and and woodlands under its protection.

But from the frozen north, a witch queen is leading her army on a quest for vengeance against the lords of Kalevala. Ancient ruins from the days when gods dwelled on the earth are opening to unleash forgotten powers, tempting humans and striving to overtake the world.

You’ll take on the role of Kipuna, a sharp-witted village girl, who becomes imbued with an ancient power that grants dominion over time and death. You must use your wits to control it as you’re drawn into the midst of a war between the city of Kalevala and the armies of the Northlanders driven by their witch queen Lowhee.

Your task is to master the power, in order to use it for mankind’s protection, while your enemies will seek to harness it in the service of total destruction.

Features

Use unique time-rewind mechanics and experience a new take on tactical combat combining best aspects of real-time and turn-based combat.

Use highly interactive environment for your advantage to succeed against impossible odds.

Adventure in a world of steampunk fantasy and meet its unique inhabitants inspired by Finnish folklore.

Fight epic boss monsters on the path to fulfill your destiny.

No grinding; character progression pace is controlled by the story and every fight matters.

15+ hours of gameplay

Reviews

PC Invasion – 90
“Iron Danger is a fun game that takes us to fantasy Finland and lets us play with time. This is a surprisingly good combination before you take interactive environments and the vibrant art style into account. If you want to play a fantasy RPG that’s lighter on the RP and heavier on G(ameplay), try this one out.”

DarkStation – 90
“From its inception to the execution, Iron Danger showcases a rare, coherent vision where everything comes together to form a unified experience, not least because of truly novel gameplay that holds it all together. I’m afraid that Iron Danger has spoiled other games in its genre for me. I can no longer imagine playing formulaic fantasy tropes with rigid combat and eternally repeated, tired systems.”

Player2 – 83
“Iron Danger feels like a breath of fresh air for CRPGs. While not a perfect game, its unique, time-based combat system is a pure joy to play with and worth the price of admission alone.”

Iron Danger Dev blog

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Videos of Iron Danger from around the web

Video about Iron Danger by Force Gaming
My interview by Geek-Pool
The full Finnish Game Awards ceremony 2021

Behind The Scenes

The first prototype of the game rewind mechanic from 2015

Related works

Iron Danger – Teaser Trailer

A teaser trailer I created for my debut PC game as a game director.

Iron Danger Proof of Concept

A proof of concept trailer for Sami Timonen’s Iron Danger movie.

Iron Danger – Teaser Trailer

A cinematic teaser trailer I created for my game. Music by Ilmari Hakkola.

I created this trailer from a level I made for Iron Danger. The VFX, models and animations I used we from the game, but naturally I had to create custom animators and special versions of the particle systems to create a frozen in time effect. An effect the game leans heavily on, as time stands still while you plan your next moves.

Iron Danger – Shard of Time

My debut PC game as a game director. A game all about maximising your actions in combat with the help of infinite redos and intuitive trial and error. Winner of Best Creative Achievement of the year 2020 at Finnish Game Awards.

Olavi Elää

A cool album cover for a Finnish rock album from Olavi Uusivirta. I did the layout and rendering and 3D scanned model cleanup for this project. The director of the project was Tero Ahonen.

2D Characters for Pikku Kakkonen

I was commissioned to design and create modernised versions of the classic characters in the Pikku Kakkonen children’s programming logo.

In addition to the modernised logo characters, I designed the 2D version of one beloved puppet character.

For this, I did extensive research on the different visual styles and technical solutions for different children’s TV programming. 2 versions of each character rig was created, one for realtime applications in Unity, and one for pre-rendered animations in After Effects. They used the same sprite sheets I created in Affinity Designer and the animator controls were the same. But for unity I scripted them using C# and for After Effects I used AE Expressions.

Short clip displaying the simple mount rig controls in Unity 3D

The work was built on top of my previous Angry Birds rigging, completing the “just a head” rig for the birds with full body controls.

Quantum Break

Trailer for Quantum Break, showcasing some of the work we did for the cinematics in the game.

Quantum Break is a blockbuster game with time-amplified action and a suspenseful storyline brought to life in a way never done before by fusing gameplay and a gripping live action show. Time itself becomes fractured in a time travel experiment, Jack Joyce fights the secretive Monarch Solutions to put things right before it’s too late. The actions you take and choices you make shape your experience in the show, creating a new and unique entertainment experience.

The Visual Effects Society

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Real-Time Project: Nominee

Slush 2015

Promotional behind the scenes video of our Slush 2015 work

My company, VAU, produced the visuals and the tools for all the stages at Slush 2015.

Animatics

The first rough animatic
The first 3D animatic
An almost final 3D render of the Slush Main Stage presenter introduction video

Remedy logo animations

Collection of the different types of text animations I created for Quantum Break

For Quantum Break I also got to create a set of various motion graphics. Mainly logo animations and in-game branding for Monarch corporation.

Quantum Break logo animation

The Quantum Break branded logo animations were created in After Effects with Video Copilot Element 3D & Trapcode Particular, carefully mimicking the look of the in-game stutter effect created by Janne Pulkkinen.

The CFR branding video example

I also created a bunch of in-game used branding content for screens in various levels.

Ainola Alive

A live visual VJ set for Meidän Festivaali celebrating Jean Sibelius and especially his wife, Aino. Together with my brother we produced visuals for 4 concerts in total.

We did not know of the performances in advance, so I built a live visual set capable of adapting to any type of music. All effects were reactive to the music being played and we could control things by hand as well during the live performance. 2 persons were required to control the visuals and keep them going at all times. It felt like playing an instrument as a member of the band. We could play off of the performers and they of us as they were encompassed by the screen.

I also designed the stage which was a first for me.

A promotional clip created for the concerts
A promotional clip created for the concerts
Timelapse of the concert stage being built. I have the bald spot and the red shirt.
The first performance at the stage we did.
Direction:Jussi Kemppainen
Illustrations:Antti Kemppainen
Director of Photography:Toni Pasanen

Stage previz renders

One of the motion graphics sequences previsualisations sent for the client

Behind the scenes

Michael

A video installation of Michael Jackson created for Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art.

I worked on the face replacements for the wide shots. We painstakingly created this with Nuke & Maya well before the time of AI face replacements.

VFX Production Company:Troll VFX
Artist:Adel Abidin
Director:Sam Shingler
Technical DirectorJuuso Kaari

Angry Birds Toons Rigging

My Angry Birds rig presentation at Adobe booth at IBC

In this presentation I describe the creation of the 3D-like rigging in Adobe After Effects to produce 2D animation with hand-drawn qualities for Angry Birds Toons.

Check out the end result while you are at it:

Meet the Pink Bird

A short movie that introduces a new bird into the flock.

Angry Birds Toons

Technical direction for a TV show based on the Angry Birds mobile game.

Interviews

Adobe’s interview of Pauli and me
Adobe: How did Rovio Animation get started?

Kemppainen: After Rovio’s amazing success in mobile gaming, the company decided to expand its offerings to include more entertainment and publishing offerings. I founded a studio in 2007 named Kombo, which Rovio purchased in 2010. I then became one of the co-founders of Rovio Animation and was responsible for creating an Adobe After Effects rigging system for the characters in the Angry Birds Toons cartoon.

provideocoalition.com

Bloopers

Blooper reel

Meet the Pink Bird

AB Pink Bird Short

A short movie that introduces a new bird into the flock.

For this my role again was the technical director. I was in charge of the character rigs and the development of the full studio animation pipeline from layouts to final image.

Angry Birds Space Intro

AB Space trailer

An intro / trailer created for the Angry Birds Space -game.

For this my role again was the technical director. I was in charge of the character rigs and the development of the full studio animation pipeline from layouts to final image.

On se hienoo

A music video for GG Caravan. Directed by Jukka Salo.

The character animation for this piece is created from a fly illustration my brother Antti drew and sent to me. I then animated the fly in after effects and printed out the frames. These frames I then cut out and photographed on a green screen. The crumbling up effect was created by stop motion animating the animated fly papers to crumple up.

Angry Birds Wreck the Halls

AB Holiday greetings video

A fun little Christmas themed Angry birds holiday greetings video.

Another Angry Birds short I worked on. For this my role again was the technical director. I was in charge of the character rigs and the development of the full studio animation pipeline from layouts to final image.

Angry Birds Seasons Ham’o’ween

AB Seasons Ham’o’ween short film

A short movie to accompany a halloween themed update for Angry Birds Seasons.

This was my first project at the new internal Rovio animation studio. I did the technical direction, character rigs and a bunch of compositing for this piece.

Missä Kuljimme Kerran

A historical movie set in Helsinki in the period from 1905 until 1944. Among its motifs are the often vain search for happiness, love and prosperity. It tells the stories of the aristocratic Lilliehjelm family, the middle-class Widing family and the poor Kajander family from the Finland’s independence through the Civil War and the Roaring Twenties, and ending during the Second World War.

Behind the Scenes

A behind the scenes look at some of the matte work
Before and after shots of the car accident. A scene I directed for the show.

Ella & Aleksi – Yllätysynttärit

A trailer for Ella and Aleksi. The whole movie was Created at Kombo (with one sequence produced at Anima).

A short behind the scenes clip of few rigs I produced fot the show.

At first, we were fully expecting to produce the show in Cinema 4D, but as the character animations needed to be 12fps but the camera animations 24fps. This was not easy to do in Cinema so I ended up creating our animation tools and rigs on top of After Effects, where this sort of time posterization was a lot easier.

Halton

Halton presentation video

A corporate video created for Halton indoor climate solutions. I did the direction on this one.

We made a number of different company presentation videos at Kombo, many of them very nice in their respective ways like this one, but they are almost all lost to time.

W3 Awards 2011

Silver

Vuoden Huiput 2011

Shortlist

Dieport

The full short film.

Dieport is a fun short film by my friend Lauri Konttori. I was on the camera and did the color grade, among other things.

The crew

Cosmic Avenger

A short animated film about 2 mail-robots that encounter an abandoned package. I was contacted by the director duo Mariko & Ismo after they had seen my music video Pieni ja Ihmeellinen. They loved its style and wanted to create an animated movie using the same visual style.

This time we went even bolder with matching various animation styles and we introduced traditional stop motion puppet animation and servo controlled robots. We also expanded our use of costumed live action elements as parts of puppets.

Behind the scenes image gallery

Heaven Or Hell

I got this gig just when I was returning from a holiday. I spent the whole trip home playing the song on a loop and feeling the visuals that it would give me. The idea I got was to visualise the DAW software: to replace each and every bar of music with a copy of the band member playing the correct part of the song.

When I presented this idea to Osmo, he had just one catch: he played most of the instruments himself. The last video we did together featured multiple copies of him! I was still so exited about the DAW idea that I did this video with my original idea anyway.

Maybe this is a trilogy? With the last video still to be made?

Direction:Jussi Kemppainen
Director of Photography:Toni Pasanen
Grip:Lauri Konttori, Jyri Sääksjärvi

MTV3 MAX – WW2

A ad for donations to help the finnish war veterans. Created from actual war-time photographs.

Fun facts:
Made from concept to final video in 3 days in a very high fever with a laptop at home.
1 day / setup.
Uses basic camera projection techniques, but I wanted to move the camera "too much" to make it more interesting.

Distorted Love

Director:Jussi Kemppainen 
Director of Photography:Toni Pasanen 
Gaffer:Ville Vainio 
Grip:Sami Kustila 
Animators:Jussi Kemppainen, Ilmari Hakkola, Lauri Konttori, Tuomas Gustaffson

Muuvi 2009

Shortlist

A supplementary video filmed during the video shoot.

Flora Christmas

A miniature based advert for a vegetable spread.

This ad is almost completely made with miniatures. We built a small globe and filmed it spinning. The actors were shot on a crane. 3D elements; like the cars, ships, road and water; were overlaid on the globe to add life to the scene.

The globe asset and me as a young, bald eagle.

All By Myself

A live performance of a song by Osmo Ikonen. All video material is of the actual takes.

The story behind this video is pretty freaky. I had discovered this cool Myspace artist, Osmo Ikonen, that was on heavy rotation at our animation studio office. We had listened to his stuff for maybe a week and I suddenly got a phone call from an unknown number. To my amazement, the caller was Osmo Ikonen, asking if I would like to direct a music video for him.

Of course I did – free of charge!

I can no longer remember where I got the idea for the duplicated people from, but needless to say I am into Michel Gondry big time!

Direction:Jussi Kemppainen
Performers:Osmo Ikonen, Petteri Sariola
Director of Photography:Toni Pasanen
Sound engineer:Niklas Nylund

Kauppalehti

A film to celebrate an update to the Finnish financial magazine

The animation and post production for this film celebrating an update of a Finnish financial magazine was created by me and Ilmari Hakkola in one week. We combined 3D, after effects and some filmed elements.

Luonnonkuoret

Direction:Jussi-Petteri Kemppainen
Performers:Antti Kemppainen, Jyri Sääksjärvi, Paavo Vartiainen,
James Barnes, Heidi Kauppinen
Drivers:Tiia Arnberg, Jyrki Kemppainen

Pieni ja Ihmeellinen

https://vimeo.com/573447502
An AI HD remaster

A music video for Retropop.

For the longest time I had this idea of a music video with very very small planets. I tried to shop it around for quite a while without finding a great song to make it for. Then Universal luckily had a song about small planets as well and the rest is history!

Original video on YouTube
Direction:Jussi Kemppainen
Screenplay:Lauri Konttori
Puppets and Miniatures:Lauri Konttori, Jussi Kemppainen, Antti Kemppainen
Wardrobe:Mirkka Kallio
Gaffer:Toni Pasanen, Lauri Konttori
Grip:Antti Kemppainen, Jyrki Kemppainen
Drawings:Lauri Konttori, Tommi Ojala
Thanks:Jyri Sääksjärvi, Tero Ahonen, Riitta Kemppainen
Roosa Saarinen, Alex Keskitalo, Vanessa Riki, Markus Kallio
Topi Kemppainen, Anna Kemppainen, Mikko Haapala, Arttu Kotisara

Muuvi 2007

Audience Choice Winner

Snow

HD version

A music video for Pooma. Shot by me, my dad and brother Antti at our summer cottage during one rainy night using self-built camera wire rig and a dolly.

I actually had to shoot the cabin sections twice, because it was so dark and the image vas unusably noisy on the first go. GH5s or Alpha 7 s camera would have been a something!

YouTube version
Direction:Jussi Kemppainen
Grip:Christoffer Forssell, Juuso Kemi, Antti Kemppainen, Jyrki Kemppainen
Thanks:Jere Leskinen, Arttu Kotisara, Tuire Lukka

OMVF 2008

Honorary Mention

Warhammer 40 000 Squad Command

Gameplay footage of Warhammer 40 000 Squad Command for the PSP.

Squad Command is the only PSP & Nintendo game I have worked on. I did the 3D production planning for the project and modeled many of the characters and other 3D assets for it.

The nicer part of it was that the game production was sold to Games Workshop using a prototype I produced together with Sebastian Aaltonen and Vesa Halonen.

Warhammer 40,000: Squad Command is a turn-based tactics game set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, released on November 16, 2007, for the PlayStation Portable and Nintendo DS. It was developed by RedLynx. The game features three Space Marine Chapters pitted against three Legions of Chaos (two and two for the DS) battling it out on the planet of Ruhr III. The game features units from the tabletop wargame.
A cutscene from Warhammer 40 000 Squad Command.
Squad Command on the Nintendo DS.

Non Stop Living

Video content for Nokia Non Stop Living website. Shot and directed by me. This was my first commercial advertisement job. And this case actually prompted us to found the animation studio Kombo.

Direction:Jussi Kemppainen
Audio:Ilmari Hakkola
Art Direction:Marko Vuorensola
Production:Cao Quintas

Cannes Lions 2008

Shortlist

Vuoden Huiput 2007

Honorary Mention

The FWA

Site of the day 8.10.2007

Huudetaan

An AI remastered HD video on YouTube

In memory of Markus.

A music video for Zarkus Poussa. A story about a couple who can not stop fighting but can not break up either.

The first music video I have ever directed. This made me quit my then on-going game development career and go into video production for almost 10 years.

Direction:Jussi Kemppainen
Screenplay:Jussi Kemppainen, Zarkus Poussa
Actress:Minna Puolanto
ThanksJyrki Sukula, VIA ravintola

OMVF 2006

Honorary Mention

Pathway to Glory: Ikusa Islands

A behind the scenes of sorts for PtG: II. I can be seen with my silly hat at the very beginning.

Our second Pathway to glory game. My responsibilities were the same as with the first game: 3D assets, UI, characters and terrains.

Pathway to Glory: Ikusa Islands is a tactical turn-based game for the Nokia N-Gage, published by Nokia and developed by RedLynx, released in late 2005. The game is a sequel to the original Pathway to Glory.

Pathway To Glory

This was the first game project I ever worked on full-time.

I mostly worked on the 3D assets for the game: tanks, soldiers, weapons and structures. But I also created the UI and terrain textures.

World War II in Southern Europe, 1943: the struggle for Europe is at a critical point. Special forces are urgently needed, and you're going to lead a platoon of them. But be prepared for full immersion: one look at the painstakingly researched uniforms, weapon types, and locations, and you'll be itching to get on the battlefield. With intuitive controls and nearly innumerable variables in gameplay, Pathway to Glory is like any great game - it takes a moment to learn, and a lifetime to master. PATHWAY TO GLORY is the most anticipated N-Gage title for 2004, and rightly so - it's built to deliver more depth in detail, emotion, and playing experience than any other mobile game made before.

Gamespot best and worst of 2004

Best N-Gage game: Runner-up

Pelit magazine games of the year 2004

Best hand-held game of the year 2004: Winner

The vehicles I modelled for the game. I had one or two days of time for each.