DIGITAl STUDIO|JUly 2009
shots was taken as well. To enhance thedevelopment o the creature, the VFX teamused displacement mapping to get everyminute detailing done. But unlike other CGcharacters in the lm, the octopus had no a-cial eatures. The challenge then was to makeit look expressive without any actual aceon the octopus. To create these expressions,they used the space between the eyes as thebrow surace and put a nose in the centre. To get the right expressions, the animators atR&H used body motion and timing to get theeyes o the creature to express. But this wasonly the beginning o the challenges thatcropped up with this under the sea creature.An octopus created in CG and living in amuseum, had to look like octopuses do. Soto make the creature’s esh look as i it hascome out o water landed in the capablehands o artist Dante Quintana. As a look development artist, Quintana spent a loto time on the layout o the materials andthe UV’s. The giant creature’s texture couldburst at seams and stretch, so to avoid this,measurements were taken rom the tips o the tentacles, through the entire body andthe mantle o the octopus. For this veryparticular creature they had to managethousands o texture mappings rom 1K to4K resolutions. At the end o the task, theoctopus’s outer skin consisted o 100 layerscomposited in Photoshop.
the R & H work flow iscompleely inegraed. Wealways hink of us as oneunified sudio where an arisfrom L.A. can visi any of ouroffices in India and sill workon he same sho wihoufacing any obsacles. Evenwih supervisors and arissno physically presen a aparicular locaion, he videoconferencing echnologyha we use allows he arissa lo of ineracion ime wihhe supervisors
A.R. Seshaprasad,digital production manager,Rhythm & Hues, India
The way, in which the arms o the octopus weredesigned, they had both inverse kinematics andorward kinematics layered solutions. On eacho the arms was xed major control system sothat the animators could control the arms. Thesecontrols allowed the animators to blend the linearand B-spline deormations. Hence the sharpcreases o the arm were possible. But even withall o this, it was almost impossible to get smoothnatural motion so the team built a system withcloth solvers. This allowed the technical team toadd a touch o reality to the creature’s motion.This system drove a cloth strip down to the centreo the octopus’s arm and simulated it using the in-house sotware and created a chain like motion.
Mobilising octopus’s arMs
Museum set with greenscreensSplashing practical water through an empty picture frameCleaned up plate with paintings inside frame and CG water added
set o technical as well as aesthetic complexi-ties,” says A.R. Seshaprasad, digital productionmanager at R & H, India.Creating the giant eight-tentacle-handscreature and breathing lie into PresidentLincoln’s statue were arguably the biggestchallenges or the team. “The scope o VFXwork in this lm was bigger than the rstone,” says Seshaprasad.Very roughly based on the giant octopusound in the Pacic, the creature’s eight armshad to allow it unlimited reedom and moves.It was one o the most complicated rigs theteam had to build. The lmmakers along withthe VFX team went through various stages o development to decide upon the creature’slooks and how it would perorm realising thatthe octopus required thorough examiningrom ull to medium rame.In its 44 shots, some extreme close up