Computer Graphics World

Winter 2019

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w i n t e r 2 0 1 9 c g w 3 5 hair (approximately 85,000), yet animators had to make him expressive without facial features, and lighters had to accentuate his shape while lighting him. Itt was not the only character who presented artists with a "hairy" situation. There is also Margaux, of course, who has 165,000 strands, and Wednesday, who has 57,000. For modeling, rigging, animation, and layout, the artists used Autodesk's Maya as well as Pixologic's ZBrush at times, for sculpting. For lighting, the crew used Found- ry's Katana; for texturing characters, props, and environments, Foundry's Mari. Mean- while, SideFX's Houdini was used for effects, while hair grooming was done with the Maya XGen plug-in. Compositing was done in Foundry's Nuke, and rendering was achieved using Pixar's RenderMan 22. "We did adapt Katana for the first time on this project, and we had used Render- Man before, although we had been using Reyes previously, while on this project we used RIS," notes Brousseau. "Those were big things for us, and we spent almost half a year getting that [technology] in-house and building a pipeline for that before we really got into surfacing and lighting." However, the resulting node-based workflow provided more efficiency and eliminated many re- petitive tasks, resulting in a greater creative and technical balance for the artists and enabling them to build their materials in sur- facing and lighting, and then focusing more on the creative side as they lit their shots. Their house is a museum… There are two major types of sets in the film: those where it's always bright, colorful, and sunny, and those at the Addams' house, which is very dark, lit mainly by candlelight and dif- fused exterior lights. Lighting darker characters against darker environments was not always easy, and the team had to remain vigilant when it came to collaborating with other departments to create light sources that also helped establish the appropriate mood and achieve the right color temperature. "Usually the good guys are bright and colorful, bad guys are dark and scary, but we are flipping that notion in this film to further emphasize the story point that families come in all different types and sizes," says Brousseau. The Addams' "haunted" house serves as the main environment in the film, and within it are multiple interior and exterior locations on the grounds of the property and within the mansion itself. The exterior was especially difficult because it was so expansive and re- quired very distinctive art-directed trees that lined the entire property as well as a layer of surrounding fog, according to Eskuri. There's also a "brownhouse," the Addams version of a greenhouse, in addition to gardens, a pond, and even a cemetery. And all of the environments had to be dressed to reflect the family's unique sense of style. This required the artists to "Addams-fy" the objects, tailoring them to match the family's "interesting" personality as opposed to a normal-world assimilation. "The Addams house definitely has a lot of really cool touches, and you'd probably have to watch the film a few times to catch them all," Brousseau says. With such an expansive set and plethora of objects and elements, rendering was no easy task, taking between eight and 12 hours a frame, if not longer. Neat. Sweet. Petite. To complement the environments, there is a wide range of effects, including dust, smoke, rain, and so forth. "We had a library of elements that lighting could use and drop into the shots as needed," says Brousseau. As would be expected of such an old house, there is dust – in one scene, Lurch is "dust- ing," which for this family means spreading dirt rather than getting rid of it. However, the particles are limited. "We had a fairly extensive setup for our dust motes. It's quite a subtle effect that we really only pushed up in a few select shots, mainly because we made the choice not to have it in every shot as to not be distracting," she adds. In addition, artists created a swamp with a looping, continual roiling and rippling effect, and lots of custom fog – mostly art-direct VFX. Because effects mainly are generated with soware that works on a real-world scale and with real-world forces and simulations, it was not easy putting an artistic spin on them for the film. We're going to pay a call on… …The Addams Family The Addams Family is the first project for Cinesite's Vancouver Feature Animation Studio. For Brousseau personally, it is the first time she has tackled a franchise for fea- ture film that is so beloved, thereby making the project both daunting yet fun. "Anytime you're taking on an existing franchise, you want to make sure you're true to the heart of the characters and their stories, yet you also want to put your own spin and twist on it without losing that," says Brousseau. While The Addams Family is timeless with its ghastly, endearing characters, this film's story lines are reflective of today's era in many ways (there's even a reference to It, as Wednesday appears with a red balloon "without a killer clown attached to the end of it." And while there are plenty of new songs in the movie, filmmakers played hom- age to the family's past by referencing that song we all know so well. (Double snap) n Karen Moltenbrey is the chief editor of CGW. THE ADDAMS AT HOME. GRANDMA AND PUGSLEY. THING IN ACTION. WEDNESDAY AND MOM.

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