Juice recently completed a spot for GMC’s new Sierra AT4 where the hero (we are biased) of the story is a very determined Peregrine Falcon.

We had the pleasure of hearing from Juice’s lighting and grooming artist Jarosław Handrysik and animator Anna Kuczyńska on the process of brining it to life.

Jarosław Handrysik:
The falcon we had to create was pretty demanding but absolutely necessary to the GMC commercial story. However, we didn’t get that much time to bring falcon to life – 20 working days – to start with a model, following up with textures, rigging, animation, feathers set-up and to finish with final render and compositing. As you can imagine, we couldn’t afford a deep R&D.

We have chosen Yeti, which I’ve been working with with some time already. Actually, in 2013 I created with Yeti my very first model – a fox for a crazy project that you may hear of – Ylvis “What Does The Fox Say?”. It has over 887 million watches on YT (sick!). Since then I’ve been constantly working with Yeti and my portfolio was quite vast, that’s why going Yeti was an obvious pick. Yeti is a stable and efficient software with very limited unpleasant-surprising features, the final results are top class, hence there was no need to think it through, as of course, the timing was tight.

Luckily, our client shared with us references – the high-quality peregrine falcon photographs, which were the key to recreating the bird in CG. The feathers set-up was divided into two sections – geometrical & fiber (default in Yeti). We had to be very careful to do not exaggerate with details, as it could have some negative impact on our work efficiency. Our goal was to find a balance between the number of details and the final rendering quality. We created a lot of textures for many parts of the falcon. It’s super worth to mention that one of the most important elements for every CG model of a bird is a proper and anatomically correct wing movement, meaning–especially – spreading and folding the wings. There’re a lot of traps in this stage that has to be solved in rigging level.

Anna Kuczyńska:
The rig that we work on a daily basis, had to be modified with a few new functions – focusing on the big feathers on wings and the tail, (these were actually the only ones not created with Yeti). We could animate every, single feather groups of feathers, which allowed us to keep the movement reliable and help our animators to control the rig.

Jarosław Handrysik:
Our deadline was just around the corner and we really had to focus. Apart from Patrycja Boś, who was responsible for model and textures, our animators Anna Kuczyńska and Marcin Orzechowski did a gigantic work by doing their best to recreate the wings movement from the photograph’s references. At the same time, we were working on texturing, rigging, feather dynamic tests, shading, lighting and the initial rendering.

The team assigned to this project was quite small, so we didn’t avoid over hours, but (I hope) everyone very much enjoyed working on GMC. I personally think that this commercial was super interesting, beautiful designed and directed. I have huge respect for everyone involved, as we all had a huge heart for it, and luckily, we all managed to swim ashore, on a boat with not that much water inside.

 

Credits:
Client: GMC ARABIA
Director: Stewart Hendler
Agency: Prodigious
Production Studio: Optix Mena
Producers: Myriam Abi Wardeh, Sami Saleh, Zeina Daoud
Postproduction Studio: Juice, Optix Mena
Producer: Jurand Szela
CG Supervisor: Marcin Orzechowski
Storyboard: Magdalena “Zazu” Kułaga
Animation Artists: Anna Kuczyńska, Marcin Orzechowski
Modeling / Texturing Artists: Patrycja Boś, Piotr Koczan
Compositing Artists: Szymon Jaskuła, Przemysław Czapla, Paweł Białowąs, Krzysztof Łucki
Grading Artist: Szymon Jaskuła
Matte Painting Artists: Tomasz Świżewski, Szymon Jaskuła
Grooming / Lightning Artists: Jarosław Handrysik, Tomasz Gugała
FX Artist: Kamil Kryński

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