Computer Graphics World

July/August 2014

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j u ly . a u g u s t 2 0 1 4 c g w 3 9 use practical makeup and prosthetics, other times they are CG or a blend of the two. "When the actor wears makeup, we re-create that makeup in CG and our shots are used to tran- sition the actor to the makeup," explains Robison. "The actor will have tracking markers on his or her face, and we will morph the person using all CG for four to fi ve shots, bridging to the next series with the person in make- up." The artists also facilitate transitions back to human form in the same way. That process is used in approximately half the wesen transformations. The other half entails no makeup on the actor whatsoever; the wesen character is completely CG. This process is mostly used for the really outrageous characters or the furry ones, such as Rosalee, a fox-like character, and Mon- roe, a werewolf. "When you see [Rosalee] as a Fuchsbau, she is all-digital," notes Robison. (Rosalee and Monroe, as well as other main characters that debuted early on and have recurring roles, are handled by some of the other facilities also working on the show.) The group begins the process by acquiring reference photos of the actor, then completing a sculpt in Pixologic's ZBrush. "We do a head model, pushing and pulling on it to match it to the actor," says Robison, adding that photographic textures are then used for a convincing CG model of the actor's head. "It is only seen on screen for a split-second while the person is morphing," he adds. At Inhance, Autodesk's Maya is used in the base character pipeline. In that so ware, the artists will add scales, fur, slime, whatever. The actors in the scene are tracked using Anders- son Technologies' SynthEyes. The track is brought into the background in Maya and the character is attached. Render- ing, meanwhile, is done in Chaos Group's V-Ray and compositing in Eyeon's Fusion. The fur is gen- erated with Joe Alter's Shave and a Haircut. While Robison has seen his fair share of unique and strange creatures, one that stands out in particular is the Aswang, li ed from Filipino folklore and featured in an episode this past spring titled "Mommy Dearest." The scary creature haunts preg- nant women and uses its long, pointed tongue to extrude the fetus's amniotic fl uid. "I am going off to a house and entering it like a snake…I will de- vour their babes and make their hearts ache." In its human form, the monster turned out to be a seemingly harmless elderly woman (the pregnant lady's mother-in-law). In its wesen form, it was a complex CG character designed, modeled, rigged, animated, textured, lit, and rendered by a handful of artists at Inhance. "In the past, there were scenes where we just transformed the actor, which is what Grimm is all about. This character, however, is fully CG and was animated in scenes scaling a tree outside the victim's bedroom and climbing on the ceilings inside," explains Robison. Earlier in the season, the team created a Manticore, with the head of a lion and a tail of a scorpion. In this case, Inhance Artists Matt Leff erts and Andy Lewis used the CG Manticore head only for the four transfor- mation shots and four others in which the actors weren't shot in the makeup, while eff ects makeup covered the rest. However, the scorpion tail was completely CG in every shot it appeared – nearly 35 shots when all was said and done. That was just one of many monsters Inhance and the other studios wrangled for Grimm. In- deed, there is a wide variation of creatures in the show, and they are not hidden – "It is always done in a medium to tight shot in full light in all its HD glory, so nothing is le to the imagina- tion," says Robison. "It all hap- pens right there in camera." "He stripped off his skin and tossed it into the fi re and he was in human form again." FROM TOP TO BOTTOM: THE ACTION OF THE ASWANG CALLED FOR A COMPLETELY DIGITAL CHARACTER; THE MANTICORE HEAD WAS CG FOR THE TRANSFORMATION SHOTS AND MAKEUP FOR THE REST, THOUGH ITS TAIL WAS DIGITAL; THE STEINADLER WAS MAKEUP EXCEPT FOR THE TRANSITION SHOTS, AS WELL. VIDEO: GO TO EXTRAS IN THE JULY/AUGUST 2014 ISSUE BOX C G W. C O M P R I M E - T I M E E F F E C T S

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