“Mighty Joe Young” by Dream Quest Images

  • ©  Dream Quest Images


SIGGRAPH Video Review:




    Mighty Joe Young

Company / Institution / Agency:

  • Dream Quest Images


    To realize the performance of Mighty Joe Young, Dream Quest Images created a photorealistic CG gorilla that captured not only the likeness of the animatronic gorilla, but also the nuances of a suited actor’s performance.

    Creation of CG Joe presented many challenges for Dream Quest’s digital team: modeling and character animation, con-trols for the internal skeleton, a proprietary facial animation system, a proprietary skin shader technology, and, most impor-tantly, proprietary software to generate several million individ-ual dynamic hairs. Joe was first modeled from scan data of maquettes, as well as full body scans of the actor in the gorilla suit. Geometry built from this data was remodeled using Alias|Wavefront Maya’s Artisan sculpting software.

    Dream Quest’s software programmers spent a year writing and refining a proprietary hair render program (Yeti) with exten-sive functionality and tool sets that enabled digital artists to control hair dynamics and inertia, motion blur, self-shadowing, and grooming for nearly 3.5 million hairs.

    Character animation for CG Joe was also accomplished in Maya, where the animators interpreted the live Joe and reflect-ed the actor’s performance. But the main reason for creating a digital Joe was to extend performance of the suited character and take the CG character a step beyond so he could do things that were impossible for the actor to do, like climbing a Ferris wheel or smashing a Mercedes.

    Mighty Joe Young was nominated for a 1999 Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.

Additional Contributors:

    Visual Effects Supervisor: Hoyt Yeatman

    Associate Visual Effects Supervisor: Dan DeLeeuw

    Animation Supervisor: Chris Bailey

    Supervising Character Animator: Rob Dressel

    Digital Compositing Supervisor: Blaine Kennison

    Digital Producer: Kristina Reed

    Lead Compositors: Saki Mitchell, David Lauer, Amy Pfaffinger

    CG Hair Texturing and Grooming: Colin Eckart

    Facial Animation System: Patrick Taylor

    Modelers: Hal Lewis, Chris Keene, Teunis Deraat

    Hair Rendering Software Developer: Rev Leberedian

Animation / Video Overview: