SyFlex in "Stealth"
Image courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment / Animal Logic
Client: Sony Pictures Entertainment
Technical Director: Clinton Downs
Animator: Michael Mellor
Software: Chris Cooper
Released: July 2005
Animal Logic in Sydney utilized SyFlex in a few special effect shots for
Stealth, in one of them a parachute taking over the whole screen and the camera goes through a burning hole in it.
The parachute is 100% SyFlex. The team also used SyFlex to generate ropes.
Supervising Technical Director Clinton Downs shares more details:
"When tackling the complex Kara Ejects sequence for Stealth, one of the
tasks facing us was the creation of a realistic, fully CG parachute
which was to appear in several shots being hit by burning metallic
debris. This included one extreme close-up where the camera flies
through a flaming, burning hole in the parachute.
We modelled our SyFlex chute based on a real one provided to us by
production. We paid close attention to maintaining a uniform density
mesh and matched the dominate seams found on the real chute. The latter
allowed the chute to bias towards folding in the correct locations.
During our initial rig testing, we were doing some pretty extreme things
to our virtual parachute in anticipation of requests from the Director -
literally hammering it with large chunks of terminal velocity debris. To
achieve the effects we were after required some enhacements to the
plugin, the SyFlex team were fantastic in providing those enhancements
in a rapid timeframe which was really cool.
We also found due to the immense forces impacting the chute, it had a
tendancy to deflate. To combat this, we wrote a pressure force plugin
within the SyFlex API which simulated the high pressure buildup of air
within the parachute volume. The plugin was pretty much the only force
we ended up applying to the chute.
SyFlex ended up being used for some of our rope simulations as well as
for dealing with torn, flapping pieces of cloth. Working with SyFlex was
great fun and we look forward to more fun times in the future!"