“Man’s First Friend” by Mezquida

  • ©Allen Mezquida


SIGGRAPH Video Review:




    Man’s First Friend





    How did caveman and canine become acquainted? “Man’s FirstFriend” is the story behind their first encounter. This project was first and foremost story driven. We spent almost as much time getting theanimatic solid as we did building out the movie (slight exaggeration).

    Design-wise, it was very important to develop a “caveman” world that was NOT The Flintstones in any way. The rolling hills were influenced by the geography of San Lois Obispo.

    I decided to go with a toon shader look to give the 3D environmental unique feel that I had not seen done in this way. A separate light system was set up to render a shadow pass only. This allowed for very clean individual control over the toon shader and the shadows as separate graphical elements that were composited later.


    HARDWARE: PC single 2 GHz CPU, 1 GB RAM. Graphics card: NVIDIA Quadro 4
    750 XGL.


    SOFTWARE DEVELOPER: Modeling, animation, and rendering: 3d studio max 5.1. Compositing:
    After Effects 6. Additional software: Adobe Premiere 6.5, Photoshop
    7. OS: Windows 2000.

Additional Contributors:

    Producer: Paul Owens
    Animator/Co-Writer: Tony Maki, Dan Bransfield

Additional Information:

    Modeling: Subdivision surfaces. Rendering technique used most:Every shot had two separate lighting setups. One for lighting the elements in the shot and one for the cast shadows. This insured total control over the look of the toonshader and then placement of the shadows as clean graphical elements. They were composited together in After Effects. Average CPU time for rendering per frame:approximately 3-4 minutes, sometimes longer given the fact that thetoonshader calculation is based on a raytrace function. Total produc-tion time: 2.5 months. Production highlight: We brought in a creative piece for way under budget. There was no waste in the pipeline. It Has its own style and look, yet the economic factors that were con-sidered every step of the way did not lower the quality of the piece.

Animation / Video Overview: