The Animation was done in Maya. Since animation wasn’t part of my specialization we didn’t want to make it to complicated and time consuming, so we opted for the standard skin bind with corrective blendshapes instead of a muscle rig.

The animation process was straight forward. I started by blocking in keyframes, in this stage I could change and try out different movements without having to redo a lot of work.
once I settled in to a animation I liked I started to tweak with the animation curves inside maya to get the right interpolation between keyframes. Some stuff had to be tweaked when I saw the interpolated animation but it was still true to the initial block in.
Here’s a video of the animation progress:

Kinda as a spontaneous last minute thing I decided to make his “fat sack”/chin a simulated ncloth so that we got some interesting dynamic wrinkles. There was no problem with the simulation itself, I got it looking as i wanted right away. However merging the simulation with the skin bound animation was a little bit tricky, but after some trial and error I got it to work.


In comp, I did tinting of textures and lighting, added post effects such as motionblur, zblur and noise. I tried to nail as mush as possible in the render so not much were done in post.

Here are the passes we rendered:Captsssure

Here is a frame from one of the shots (click for enlargement):frame



Texturing process is reaching its end. I’ve created the textures above.

I also merged some painted details (such as scars, veins and major wrinkles) into the 32-bit displacement that Robin generated. I merged these in Nuke to keep the bit depth.

The skin subdermal layer is less saturated than I used to paint them due to the new sss shader, the weavelength dependent scatters takes care of the red boost. See my shading post here.

In the fine displacement I painted high frequency wrinkle detail to break up the specular highlights. It also contains scars, blood spatter, and various skin defects. But you will probably not notice much of the details in the diffuse.

Instead of painting reflection intensities in a reflection map, I painted the gloss instead, which blurs the reflections. This made more sense because skin is one material and therefore one reflection value, it was more a matter of skin wetness or dryness which is controlled by the amount of reflection blur. I did do a reflection map though; to tint the blood slightly red. Otherwise the blood looked to much like plastic.

Fine displacement:torosdddddbin

Gloss and fine displacment:spec


UV mapping

The UVs are laid out. I will use a multi tile workflow and I will abuse the features in Mari and Nuke that are designed to aid this workflow. There is a total of 13 tiles.The symmetrical parts are laid out on top of each other but not on the same tile, which enables me to copy textures between them to keep symmetry and then break the symmetry any time I want.uvs

Creature Animation Topology

I’ve finished the creature retopology. It took a little bit longer than expected and as a result I’m 3 days behind schedule.
But I’m happy with the fact that I took the extra time and got it right instead of rushing though the process. The retopo was done in Topogun, and now I feel like I know the ins and outs of the application. During the process I tested baking out displacement maps and did some simple joint rotation tests. I didn’t experience any larger complications, I was just slower at retopologizing than I expected.

Texture look development

On this sheet are the top 30 of my tests of different textures for our creature. It’s been lots of fun making them, trying not to lock myself on just one theme/style. I put around 20-30 minutes on each version with a total work time of little more than a day.lookdev_sheet

Now I’m trying to choose one of them. These two are my favorites but I don’t know which one to pick (or how to combine them). lookdev_final

The texturing starts on Monday and I’m very exited to get started.


I’ve been working on adding sound to our sequence. Since we didn’t get any sound-recording from our filmed footage I had to create all sounds from scratch. Here is a sneak peek of what we’ve got so far. It is still work in progress


whiteball_croppedThis is how far I’ve come on the lighting. I’ve just wrapped the matching of the whiteball. My lighting setup consists of a simplified geometry of our real scenography with HDR textures mapped on it. The final gather will use this instead of a standard IBL-ball. I got the HDR textures onto my geometry by projecting our HDR panorama onto the geo. To boost my lights I use portal lights, which are designed for just that purpose.

By using real geometry instead of a IBL-ball gives me difference in cast shadows and occlusion at different places in the scene, and the scene geometry will receives shadows and reflections. It also increases/decreases exposure of different lights and reflections dependent on a more accurate distance. It takes a little longer to set up but I think it will pay off.

Here is my scene with the textures mapped:

Tracking and match-moving

The tracking went unusually well. I threw out about 40 trackers in matchmover and got a great solve without any effort. After that, I had to matchmove the bench. We will use the 3D-bench geometry to receive shadows and reflections. The other creature-shot cameras are either static or fully animated, so they won’t need any tracking.