SyFlex in "Blank"
All (final and work-in-progress) images courtesy of Rob O'Neill
Independent short film
Director: Rob O'Neill
Animator: Russ Wootton
Modelers: Munish Dabas, David Kim
Director of work-in-progress short film "Blank", Rob O'Neill, is planning on using
SyFlex in his independent production quite a bit. A guest at our Tech Talk,
he presented two SyFlex shots and discussed his SyFlex pipeline,
plus plans for the different SyFlex uses in the film.
Rob O'Neill was a Character Technical Director at PDI/Dreamworks, before
returning to NY to dedicate more of his time to his independent short film.
"Blank" is the story of a 1950's superhero piecing together his memory and what it means to be a superhero.
At our SIGGRAPH 2005 Tech Talk, Rob presented two proof-of-concept shots
and described how SyFlex is going to be incorporated into the pipeline.
The first shot presented was of
one of the main characters (Hawkshaw) walking in his signature
trench-coat. The coat was set-up for the test in under two hours, including
pins to maintain cuff and collar contact with the
underlying geometry. The entire coat was animated using collisions.
The second shot was of the main character (Paradigm) and it was made to
test how fast it would be to create a cape. Turn around on
this shot was under an hour leaving the animator with a lot on
control over maintaining the silhouette of the cloth in shot
Because of the small team involved in the film, a number of work-arounds to speed up
time and accuracy are being considered. These included:
using transparency maps for underlying surfaces that
might penetrate, simulating on low-resolution geometry and
displaying/rendering higher resolution geometry, and utilizing
animated forces to get the look right through an animated scene
instead of trying to create the perfect simulation setup for a
character whose movement styles, being a super hero, can change
In addition to all of the simulated clothing
presented, future uses of SyFlex in the film include: small clothing
items such as gloves and skirts as well as background characters
clothing, and the possibility of using SyFlex for main character skin
and muscle, and even hair simulation in some key shots.
Scripts written to facilitate using
SyFlex in production as well as tutorials will be made available on the Syflex site.
The first tutorial, "making a character cape", is already here.