Arthur Christmas 2011:                                                                   QuickTime Player Required

I've long been a fan of Wallace and Gromit, and the rest of Nick Park's stop motion animations.  When I was interviewed to work on a CG Feature using the combined talents and resources of Aardman Animation and Sony Pictures Imageworks, I was ecstatic to be a part of the production.  After two weeks of intensive in house training at Sony, I learned to use their proprietary tools like Tango, Katana, Kami and a host of custom plugins to produce:
  • Per Shot Hair Grooms & Dynamics, that were custom to each shot's unique needs (Collision, Wind, Interaction, Directorial Input, etc.)
  • Animated Cloth for major and secondary characters, aesthetically modifying these inside Maya & published approved deformations for Lighting
  • Fixed and reanimated reindeer reins via simulation & hand animation inside Maya, using morphs, clusters, weighting and other tricks
  • Experimented with various Tango Simulation settings and generated XML Wedges for selecting various solves for use in shots

The folks at Sony were amazingly helpful in showing newbies how their film pipeline worked, and how to diagnose issues when things weren't working as expected.  Mark de Sousa is a fantastic supervisor, and everyone on the team was friendly, funny, supportive & professional; knowing I had never worked with cloth in this context before.  Thank you one and all, for your time and wisdom.

Quite a bit of overtime was generated by the shows schedule with the amount of outstanding shots everyone had.  A lot of the film was constantly being revised and improved by the director, Sarah Smith, and this lead to some stress in production.  My contract was extended, along with the rest of the team, to deal with the never-ending workload.  But living near Sony's Culver City Location, made my commute quite short and pleasant.  This helped make the long days at work more enjoyable, as I was not spending huge amounts of time commuting back and forth, stuck on LA's infamous freeways...

Arthur Christmas Selects of Hair & Cloth Work:

Character Cloth Interation

Control of Wild Motion & Stretching

Animated Beard Rig / Interaction

Control of Wild Cloth Motion 

Rein Simulation Combining Hand Animation

Control of Wild Cloth Motion

XML Cloth Simulation Wedges for Reins

Control of Wild Motion & Stretching

Animated Cloth Parameters, Hand Animation
One of the stranger things we got to do,
was create a short film that was encour-
aged by Sony.  A large number of depart-
mental films were created and exhibited.

The footage using my Segway, after
considerable time & expense, was
unfortunately, never used...

Me as "Grand Santa" in Team Parody Film

Gift from Sarah Smith, the Director.

Mac & Linux users should READ THIS, if  they experience any playback issues.
As a workaround, here is the Direct Download.

This short video demos some of my work creating animated Hair & Cloth, for the film.
My thanks to all the awesome folks at Sony Pictures Imageworks for letting me help on such a cool project!