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Simulation ■ ■ ■ ■ For Disney’s 50th feature animation, the Tangled crew creates a CG version of a traditionally animated fi lm By Barbara Robertson And as if cr eating, combing, and untangling 70 feet of hair w eren’t enough, the dir ectors pushed the cr ew further. Mother Gothel strokes Rapunzel’s hair. Characters hug. “ You’ll notice when y ou look at other CG animated movies that there is little interaction with hair because it ’s so diÿ cult to do, ev en brushing against a shoulder ,” Greno says. “O ur crew completely raised the bar. It will be fresh and new to the audience.” Hair Goes Visual e° ects supervisor Steve Goldberg led the cr ew that pushed the technical bar higher. “We’ve got everything going on in this fi lm,” he says. “Cloth on cloth. H air on cloth. H air on skin. H air to hair. We have a lot of character contact in this sho w; it was integral to establish relationships, so we said we’d give it a try.” Goldberg provides an example: “M other Gothel, the woman who kidnapped Rapunzel as a bab y and locked her in the to wer, uses the power of Rapunz el’s hair to stay y oung. She has a passiv e-aggressive relationship with Rapunz el and hugs her a number of times, some- times around her hair , sometimes underneath her hair . And, she has long sleeves. Traditionally, we shy away from characters hugging other characters, but the dir ectors wanted to suppor t the notion that she has a smothering, su° ocating relationship in the way she would hug Rapunzel. So, we removed a lot of r estrictions we may hav e had on earlier shows. It was exciting.” Early in pr e-production, the team ev aluated available hair-simula- tion tools and then decided to dev elop an in-house engine to achiev e the degr ee of contr ol they needed. “K elly Ward cr eated underlying elements we call dynamic wir es,” Goldberg says. “J esus Canal super- vised the simulation setup and the technical animation.” To help understand ho w real hair mo ves, the cr ew brought in a model with fi ve-foot-long hair. “We had her walk, run, stand in front of a big fan, tie her hair in a hook, ” Canal says. “We wanted to see how hair reacts: the weight, mass, and volume.” At left, CG characters rarely touch, especially characters with long hair and long sleeves, but the technical crew made it possible for Mother Gothel to smother Rapunzel in a tight hug. Above (and below), a new simulation engine moved the blond beauty’s 70 feet of hair. ˝ en, directing animator G len Keane, who had been the guiding force behind the fi lm for y ears, helped the team understand what he wanted the animated hair to do . “He told us what he wanted to see when we posed and animated the hair,” Canal says. “He didn’t want us to ever lay the hair out in a straight, boring line.” ˝ e technical team’s goal was to be able to hit a button and have the hair look and perform as intended: not necessarily to look r eal, but to look believable and appealing. “It worked for close-ups, but for wide angles, when w e see the whole length of the hair, it was not possible,” Canal says. For those shots, the animators November 2010 27

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