Computer Graphics World

May/June 2014

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16 ■ CGW M ay / Ju n e 2 014 VIRTUAL HUMANS "We did the captures in 2012," Port says. "We got still FACS poses at ICT and poses in motion with the Disney Research group based in Zurich." The Zurich crew installed a booth on set in London to do FACS sessions supervised by Digital Domain. "Working with the Disney Research Group in Zurich, we could see transitions from one face shape to another," Port says. "Not to the resolution ICT got, but in motion. It was very helpful, an extra layer of shape reference we didn't have before." Separately, modelers at Digital Domain built the pixies. "We didn't want just a smaller version of the actors," Port says. "But, finding the balance was a creative challenge. We wanted to keep the essence of the actors, so we had to decide what we needed to keep. They absolutely had to reflect back to the original actors." To help the modelers, the team had the actors do what Port Although work on the pixies comprises a large portion of Digital Domain's artistry and development, the studio also created effects around the main character: Maleficent's wings, Angelina Jolie's digital double, and the environ - ments through which she flies. All told, the crew created digital versions for five of Jolie's Maleficent costumes. "Angelina Jolie had a lot of wire work and dynamic fly - ing shots," says Darren Hendler, digital effects supervisor at Digital Domain. "One of the first things we asked pro- duction was that she have tight-fitting costumes, not free- flowing, because that would work better on the rig. On the first day of shooting, she was in a long, free-flowing chiffon piece with five-foot-long sleeves billowing in wind from fans. Her costume wound around the rig. To do the paint-out would have been so complicated, we replaced her entire body and costume. To that end, our CG costume had to match all the free-flowing dynamics." In addition, although the crew used as much live-action footage as possible, they sometimes had to substitute a complete CG double with digital hair. "In some cases, the flying performance didn't match what [Angelina Jolie] and the director wanted, or we didn't have footage," Hendler says. "We had an opportunity to scan her at the end of the shoot with her full on-set makeup and prosthetics, so we could use that one-to-one with no changes. As we did with the pixies, we worked with side-by-side versions of the live action. Her free-flowing hair required complicated dynamics and simulations." Even more complicated were her wings. "We modeled and rigged every feather in those wings," Hendler says. The artists based the wings on eagle wings, albeit ones that could be art directed. "We had a lot of art direction for how the wings folded, bent, and moved," Hendler says. "We had to custom-create poses and make sure none of the thousand feathers would interpenetrate. Each sits on its neighbor in space. We wanted them to be correct." To handle the collisions, the crew built an in-house tool kit. Animators worked with large flight feathers and had a textural view of the rest to shape the wings as directed. Then, the effects team converted the wings to full feath - ers and ran the simulations. "The director's brief from the beginning was that the wings had personality and life," Hendler says. "They weren't just physical wings on her back. Sometimes they aren't under her control. We had shapes for which it wouldn't be possible to simulate the wings without the feathers interpenetrating. So, we had a small team of people who removed the worst offenders." – Barbara Robertson ■ FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Head-mounted cameras captured Juno Temple's facial expressions; a CG model of Temple was the base for the stylized model of Thistletwit; the final pixie. Maleficent in Action

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