Computer Graphics World

Edition 1 2018

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30 cgw | e d i t i o n 1 , 2 0 1 8 FRIENDLY FERDINAND The main character in the film is the very large bull Ferdinand, and Saldanha wanted to play up his size, contrasting him with the other characters, but wanted to be sure he also projected a warm feel. "He is curvy. His shape mimics the curves of the mountains in the landscape of the south of Spain. I wanted his lines to be fluid because he is gentle," says Saldanha. Scott Carroll, senior animation supervi- sor, adds that the overall design philoso- phy for Ferdinand was that the shapes and movement that harmonize with nature would be horizontal and have "swoopy" lines. "We associate that with Ferdinand," he says. In contrast, the characters and elements that are adversarial to nature are more vertical and hard. For the film, the animation style aligned with the design style. "Ferdinand's overall shape and silhouette is very graphic, with those swoopy lines. He is very large and heavy, and the weight comes through, but at the same time, his movement had to flow with his design. He is a gentle giant who loves nature, beauty, and life, and that is reflected in the way he moves and behaves," explains Carroll. The other bulls on the ranch (Valiente, Bones, Angus, Guapo, Maquina, and Raf) are more straightforward and realistic in their movement. In fact, the artists visited a local bull ranch and shot video reference and analyzed bull anatomy in order to make those bulls move convinc- ingly. "They move differently than other quadrupeds, like a horse or even a cow," says Carroll, noting he was surprised at how slowly bulls move. "They are well over 2,000 pounds, and it takes a lot of force to get that inertia going, but once they do, they begin to move quickly, but by the same token, it takes some time for them to stop their motion." Ferdinand has shorter legs than a real bull and a big, barrel chest, which made it difficult to get the range of motion from him and the other bulls, which also have short legs. His stylized design has his hind- quarters smaller than his front, whereas on a real bull, the size is more balanced. "We were making him feel like a real bull, but honoring the character design was a chal- lenge because you have to stylize him but still use all the elements of the bull me- chanics," explains Carroll. "For instance, we studied how a bull's hindquarters moved, but tailored that to Ferdinand because of how much smaller they are compared to his chest, which is big and strong." Ferdinand is a contradiction to the stereotypical aggressive bull, like Valiente, the antagonist on the ranch, who has a vertical shape and hard angles, with chis- eled anatomy. Valiente moves more rigidly and stops more abruptly and with more force than Ferdinand, who moves lyrically, in flowing rhythm specific to the camera angle and pose he is in. To achieve this, the rigging department added a large number of controls to the model that enabled the animators to shape Ferdinand's silhouette to hit specific and graphic shapes. "We put enough technology in there that allowed us to hand sculpt a lot of things when we needed to," says Carroll. "Oen the animators were sculpting the character on a pose-by-pose basis to get it to hit the aesthetic Carlos was looking for. There is a lot of handcraed love that went into each of the poses." WEIGHTY MATTERS Making Ferdinand move in a flowing way was challenging; aer all, he is a character with a lot of weight. One way to illustrate that size would be to use overlapping ele- ments on the character, so when a large bull comes to a running stop, those pieces of anatomy continue moving. "We didn't have those landmarks to show the weight, so we had to illustrate it more through timing and spacing, and how we control the silhouette across a number of frames to sell that weight," Carroll adds. All the characters were modeled and animated within Autodesk's Maya, though Pixologic's ZBrush was used for the initial design work. Despite the characters' strong look, the artists did not use a sim- ulated muscle system to make Ferdinand and the other bulls move; instead, riggers used correctives to make it feel as though a joint was moving the muscular mass underneath. "It was up to the animators to make the motion feel correct," says Carroll. "We used various controls on the rig and used rivets to help control the silhouette." The quadruped rig contained standard FK/IK appendages. The musculature is based on the joints and correctives, while the blendshapes are dialed on and off depending on the pose. Rivets were used

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