Important Looking Pirates knew Yeti was the Right Tool for Westworld

Important Looking Pirates knew Yeti was the right tool to use when tasked with creating various characters for Westworld, an HBO drama set where the near future and the reimagined past meet.

We’re grateful to to ILP’s Executive Producer, Måns Björklund, for speaking with us about how and why they worked with Yeti on this and other projects.

“The work we did for Westworld included a wide range of different assets and effects, from characters to vehicles to set extensions. In total we delivered about 65 shots for 8 different episodes. We used Yeti for three characters in Westworld: young Dr. Ford, the robot boy and a little bit on Dolores.”

“First, we created a digital version of Anthony Hopkins as “Young Dr. Ford”. Yeti was used to create eyebrows, eyelashes, stubble and other facial hair.”

“To create the effect of the robot boy opening his face to show his mechanical skeleton we had to create digital hair to interact with the rest of the animation. We used a guide curve approach to style the hair to match the look of the actor. The guide curves where then simulated with Maya nHair and plugged back into the Yeti graph. Additionally we used it for eyelashes and other facial hair.”

 

 

“For the character, Dolores, we used Yeti to create a layer of “peach fuzz” on the parts we had to replace with CG. This included an extension of the neck and her arm.”

“At ILP we don’t want to limit ourselves to a certain tool set; we always try to find the tools that best suit the project. We have been using Yeti on a lot of different projects over the last few years and so it has become one of our go-to tools when working with characters that need fur or hair. We have mainly been using it for characters and creatures but for some projects we have used Yeti as a scattering tool for environments and other assets.”

“Yeti is a great tool and worked well for when creating these assets. We were able to reuse parts of a set up from one character to another which sped up the process when starting on new assets. The procedural workflow makes it quite easy to adjust and tweak a set up at any point in the process.”

Keep up the incredible work, Important Looking Pirates, and thank you for your continued support of Yeti!

 

Yeti Breathes Life into CG Teddy Bear

Espen Nordahl, CG Supervisor at Storm Studios, knew Yeti was the right choice when tasked with bringing the head of a CG teddy bear to life in a recent commercial.  We asked Espen to tell us about his experience with Yeti on this and other projects and here’s what he had to say:

“I was the CG supervisor on this Norwegian commercial we did over a few weeks this summer. The sequence is a montage of a young boy’s memories of his relationship with his teddy bear. In these memories the bear is the same size as the boy and they vary between moments where they were happy or scared, plus a couple of teddy gags.  The shoot involved another child wearing a stuffed teddy bear costume, and we were tasked with replacing the parts of the suit that didn’t work on the shoot – which mostly meant replacing the live action head with a CG version, as well as patching up unwanted seams in the suit.”

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Nordahl continued, “We use Yeti for all of our fur and hair needs at Storm, because it’s simply the best off-the-shelf solution out there. The node-based workflow for grooming is something that appeals a lot to the way we work, and having a Maya-centric pipeline means it fits right in without having to jump through a bunch of extra hoops.”

“I really like where we ended up on the look and feel of the fur, and the team did a fantastic job. This was a fun and relatively straightforward project, and we solved it without bumps along the way, which is always refreshing when you’re on a tight schedule”, Nordahl added.

When we asked if there was anything else he’d like to share about working with Yeti, Nordahl told us, “I want to stress the importance of having a good fur/hair shader, both for the final results of the shots and also the process. If you have a physically based shader that behaves predictably under any lighting condition it means you spend minimal time tweaking shader parameters, and  instead focus all your efforts on the actual groom. Once you have your fundamentals in place, most of your look and “feel” of the fur – as well as the realism – will come from the grooming itself, so the more you get to focus your time on that the better.”

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He also went on to say, “We use the alShaders package for Arnold here at Storm, which has a hair shader that looks great out of the box. Being able to use brute force indirect lighting is something that takes what used to be a tedious setup of treating fur lighting separately from regular lighting, and instead lets you treat them like any other shots. Rather than fiddling with cheat lights, shadow settings and light linking, you can do it properly and proxy model the set and have light bounce around naturally in the scene, which both makes the process a lot simpler and gives a very natural feel to the lighting with very little effort.”

Thank you for taking the time to speak with us and share your great work, Espen!

Watch the full spot here: