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Things get “Hairy” in New Animated Feature Film, Sausage Party

In the hilarious new animated feature film, Sausage Party, things get a little “hairy” with the help of Yeti. Nitrogen Studios‘ Senior Lighting Supervisor, Laura Brousseau, was kind enough to chat with us about how and why they used Yeti for this project.

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“All of the work on Sausage Party from storyboards to edit was done at Nitrogen Studios. We did not have any specific sequences that required hair but more a large group of very diverse assets that needed some kind of hair. We had hair that went from very short and simple to beards and moustaches to crazy curly masses of hair almost all of which needed some kind of interaction with other assets. On top of that, we had a variety of foliage including grass, hedges, flowers, plants and even hay that needed to be created. We focused on great design, sim to support the animation style and shading and lighting that balanced our creative aesthetic with our rendering budget.”

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When asked why they decided to use Yeti, Brousseau said, “Nitrogen Studios had previously used other hair systems and while each had its strength, we saw Yeti as potentially being better at supporting the needs of Sausage Party. The flexibility, available tools and integration with Pixar’s RenderMan allowed us to hit all the different looks we needed to and support the demands of a show with a stylistic approach to animation. To add to that, we had crew members that had used Yeti before and they were keen to work with it again.”

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Nitrogen also told us that, “Yeti allowed us to balance our creative goals with our schedule and budget. We had a fairly small amount of ramp-up time for our hair workflow but Yeti is intuitive and we had great support from Peregrine Labs, even getting a visit from Colin Doncaster, CEO, to help us get started. While we did have some challenges with some difficult simulations and a few shots with heavy rendering we were able to deliver the desired look. The crew really enjoyed working with Yeti and we hope to be able to use it again on future projects.”

Your work on this film is absolutely fantastic, Laura and the rest of the Nitrogen Studios team. Thank you for speaking with us and using Yeti!

Credits:

  • Nate Barnard – CG Supervisor
  • Ryan Bowers – CFX and Shot Finalist
  • Laura Brousseau – Senior Lighting Supervisor
  • Kevin Phibbs – Look Development Supervisor
  • Marie-Eve Kirkpatrick – Lead Texture Artist

Note: Discretion should be used when viewing the trailer for this R-rated film.  

Supamonks used Yeti in Stone Age Trailer

Supamonks Studio used Yeti to develop the trailer for the new mobile version of Netmarble’s game, Stone Age. Romain Carlier, who’s first introduction to Yeti was at Fix Studios in 2012 and worked as a hair artist at Supamonks for this project, spoke with us about his experience working with our software.

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“There were two artists assigned to grooming for this project: Guillaume Kerfriden worked on the lion’s fur and I was responsible for the boy’s hair, the bird and the dynamics. All hair, feathers and fur were made in Yeti/V-ray, and I used Yeti’s dynamics and the new motion node for the wind.”

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“When it came to choosing software for this work, Yeti was an obvious choice. It is really simple to incorporate it into the pipeline while being quick and easy to work with while creating fur. On a commercial spot like this, the fact that we can work without maps and just use face sets combined with paintable attributes saves a lot of time, we don’t need to concern ourselves with UV’s so the modelling and fur teams can work at the same time.”

“The difficulty was finding the balance between stylized and realistic hair. For the boy’s hair and the lion’s mane we needed a clean shape but we did want to maintain the the detail in the hair. To achieve this, we used a lot of clumps. In my opinion, clumping is really the strength of Yeti.”

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“Squash and stretch in the hair was a major challenge during animation and Yeti handled the job perfectly using guide curves and some clever solutions in the graph. I was also keen to use the new motion node introduced in 2.0 and, again, using some user variables to control the animation it did the job perfectly.”

Congratulations on another great project using Yeti, Romain! Thank you for sharing your work with us.