zootopia's fur and other technologies - on maya - light years ahead..

(blurymind) #1


video in the link above…

It has to be maya :frowning:

To make the animals look realistic, Disney’s trusty team of engineers introduced iGroom, a fur-controlling tool that had never been used before. The software helped shape about 2.5 million hairs on the leading bunny and about the same on the fox. A giraffe in the movie walks around with 9 million hairs, while a gerbil has about 480,000 (even the rodent in the movie beats Elsa’s 400,000 strands in Frozen).During the research phase, the team paid close attention to the underlayer of animal fur that gives it plushness in real life. But the same detailing couldn’t be recreated on a computer. “It’s not practical for production to do it,” said senior software engineer David Aguilar as he displayed iGroom at aZootopia presentation in Los Angeles. “We created an imaginary layer with under-coding so the animators could change the thickness and achieve the illusion of having that layer to create the density of fur.” That kind of trickery made it possible for them to create characters like Officer Clawhauser, a chubby cheetah with a massive head of spotted fur on his face.
The software gave the animators a ton of flexibility. They could play around with the fur – brush it, shape it and shade it – to create the stupendous range of animals for the movie. “The ability to iterate quickly makes all the difference,” said Michelle Robinson, character look supervisor. “You can push the fur around and find the form you want.” From the slick pouf on the shrew’s head to the puffy, dirty wool on the sheep, the grooming made it possible for them to stylize the characters with quirky features.
Before this tool, animators had to work with approximation. When creating the silhouettes or posing their creatures they had to predict the way their characters would change with the addition of fur. “We have to wait hours and hours for renders to come back to see how the characters looked,” said Kira Lehtomaki, animation supervisor. “That works for one character but not for Zootopia. Animators are obsessed with posing and silhouette, so if the render changes shape, any discrepancy can ruin the performances.”
To keep the performances intact, the engineers turned to Nitro, a real-time display software that’s been in development since Wreck-It Ralph (2012).The animators were then able to see realistic renders almost instantly to make decisions on the fly. The tool sped up the process, making it possible to keep subtle expressions on the furry faces in the movie.
While the animals were getting ready to inhabit their virtual world, a team of environment CG specialists put together the backdrops that made their lives believable. The modern-world setting in the movie captures the essence of a city designed for animals. When a train pulls up at a crowded stop, tall mammals step off the train through high doors and tiny commuters scurry through little mouse doors. But the Zootopia zone has different districts to suit the peculiar needs of its many species. Tundratown supports polar bears, and Sahara Square is home to camels. While the rainforest isn’t marked by a specific species, the Amazonian density of the vegetation stands out.
Each environment was meticulously crafted on Bonsai, a tree-and-plant-generation tool that was first used for Frozen in 2013. Once the software learned how to make a tree, it regenerated many different variations to create a rainforest with intricately layered foliage.
It takes a powerful tool to create a universe of complex creatures and detailed environments. Disney’s secret animation weapon is the Hyperionrendering system. It’s an in-house software that has changed the way scenes have been simulated in the past couple of years.
What makes the image generator unique is that it traces a ray from the camera as it bounces around objects in a virtual scene before hitting a source of light. This allows the engineers to replicate the natural movement of light to create photorealistic shots. Disney first introduced the renderer with Big Hero 6 (2014). But with Zootopia, the engineers had to add a new fur paradigm to the existing software. So the renderer also followed the rays as they moved through dense animal fur.
“One of the problems before Hyperion was that you had no idea what the lighting in your scene was going to look like,” says Byron Howard, co-director of the movie. “Now, very early on, almost as soon as we have the layout of the scene with a camera set up, we can get an idea of what that scene is going to look like and do intensely complex calculations. It’s made making films at Disney so much easier.”

(BigBlend) #2

It has to be maya :frowning:

The hyperion team that made this possible:

If they used 3dmax, they would have developed this either way. Disney have so many stuff in-house that Maya is just the foundation for their solutions.

(Ace Dragon) #3

All of the major studios base their newest 3D technology in Maya, no surprise there.

It’s unlikely to change anytime soon either (despite Blender’s rapid development rate), what doesn’t help is its slower adoption of powerful new standards such as Alembic and OpenSubDiv compared to the commercial apps. (though they are being worked on to an extent).

I would say the core team might need to quadruple in size and stay that way for the next five years if you want to see major studios dump Maya for Blender (though the issue would be where the BF would find the money).

(m9105826) #4

It doesn’t really matter if it’s in Maya, it’s not like anyone outside of these studios gets these tools anyway, it’s just like WETA’s hair or muscle systems.

(SreckoMicic) #5

Power of Maya is its extensibility in combination with being so widely used…

(Looch) #6

The power of maya is in the lobby they did during 2000-2010, most major studios adopted it and most schools did too, no studio will train a 1000 people to move to blender, and rewrite all the tools theyve had for 15 years built on top of maya, because it already works, its a pipeline that is already working steadily.

(SreckoMicic) #7

Things can change. Just provide good platform, modern, extensible and things will change. Look what Arnold did to Renderman and in what timeframe.

(LazyVirus) #8

Where are girls? Oh, they’re partyin’ hard with non-nerds.:yes:

On topic: They are paid for making good things for the software they use. Probably they don’t even know what blender is and I bet they don’t care. Blender phylosophy is different. We are goodheart people with the same amount of money and ambitions.
Maybe one day… when blender will reach the 0.001% of market share…

(BigBlend) #9

All 3d creators know Blender. They all have installed it, tried to click the cube and uninstalled it.

It should be the blender motto.

“Install, try clicking the cube, uninstall.”

Philosophy or not there are standards that Blender should embrace. Right clicking is one of those “gone full retard”- feature of blender.

Also the license of blender makes it impossible to integrate third party solutions. Multimillion companies have all the right to keep their code protected. That’s what Maya has full benefit over Blender.

Also market share is not important here. Blender is a tool. If I have a client that wants something that only Maya can provide then you work with Maya.

(Jason van Gumster) #10

Just a warning to head this one off at the pass, folks… this will not become a[nother] Blender UI thread. If you want to have that discussion, there are plenty of other threads for that.

(Moth) #11

Blender is free though. For me that’s what counts the most. :slight_smile: If it wasn’t for blender, I would’ve never tried my hand on 3d modeling.

(Razorblade) #12

Hm there is ivygen (free), and a few payable tree addons, there is a grass addon.
The ivygen can be customized a lot, so thats not realy single plant to me.

And its fairly easy in blender to create to create a group of say 6 plant variations and put them over a map by a particle system too.

As for fur, the gooseberry branch had some nice hair tricks too.

Besides blender supports Python, the most open language there is, with free online clases.

Maybe some studios are behind, not seeing the power of blender at the moment… :evilgrin:
Eventually they will notice blender as freelancers might favorite it, against subscription software.

(Chad Gleason) #13

You would be amazed at how good of a tool Maya is inside the walls of large studios like Disney and ILM. That’s because they have armies of programmers writing tons of tools that overcome Maya’s weaknesses.

For the rest of us, Maya right out of the box is a buggy incomplete mess IMHO. We use Maya less and less and blender more and more every day, and not just because it’s free. :slight_smile:

(ArMan) #14

The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. ^^ To be honest, Blender is alive and well. It is not going to die anytime soon. For sure it actually gains more users all the time and with that more programmers and more funds for developers and then we have even better Blender.

(cekuhnen) #15

I love Maya learned in but use Blender because for what I need it offers everything I need.

Both are pretty amazing apps but for different user scenarios.

(Oyster) #16

I have watched zootopia in the cinema, but sorry, I don’t feel so much on the fur. On the contrary, the hair in Tangled and Frozen looks good for me.

(RealityFox) #17

You can’t compare switching a render engine to switching from Maya to Blender when it comes to large studios. The amount of code that would need to be rewritten is large enough for most studios that they will never consider switching away from Maya.

The only hope for Blender to be a bigger player is if newer players adopt it and get big. That’s about it. Larger studios may let their workers use Blender to model but the majority of their pipeline is Maya.



you’d have to derail the thread pretty damn hard if this thread is to become a UI discussion.

the chances of that happening are as low as this thread turning into a game console war or even phone OS war

(NinthJake) #19

I’m not sure what you are hinting at here. Of course they will write the system for Maya because that’s what their artists use. Had they used Blender instead of Maya for the last decade or so they probably would have wrote it for Blender.

It wouldn’t have mattered though because it’s an in-house tool so we wouldn’t be able to use it anyway.

(m9105826) #20

It should be noted that one of the main reasons Maya is the choice for most studios is the excellent C++ API for addons and direct modifier integration. Such deep integration isn’t even possible on our end, but it’s something I’d love to see tackled in 3.0.