SyFlex in "Stealth"

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Image courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment / Animal Logic


Feature Film


Client: Sony Pictures Entertainment
Production Company: Animal Logic
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!"


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