“RockFish” by Miller

  • ©Timothy (Tim) S. Miller  Blur Studio


SIGGRAPH Video Review:








Company / Institution / Agency:

  • Blur Studio


    “RockFish” is a comic-book-influenced, high-adventure tale set on a barren planet in a distant corner of the galaxy. Sirius Kirk is a no-nonsense working man tasked with rounding up creatures that “swim” through rocks far below the planet’s surface and plague the miners who live and work there. The story starts out as just another day on the job for Kirk but quickly turns into a titanic struggle with the catch of his life.


    HARDWARE: Workstations: IBM Intellistation with dual Intel Xeon 2.8-3.06 GHz CPUs, 2 GB RAM. Rendering farm: 300+ CPUs, Angstrom dual AMD Athlon 2600, 2 GB RAM. Graphics card: Nvidia 900 XGL and 980 XGL.


    SOFTWARE DEVELOPER: Modeling and animation: 3d studio max 5.1. Rendering: Brazil 1.02. Dynamics: ClothFX 1.0. Compositing: Digital Fusion 4. Additional software: Adobe Photoshop 7, Adobe Premiere 6, Iridas Framecycler Professional 2.7. Custom software: A lot of custom scripts, to help scene assembly and render stages, most freely available on the Blur beta site (www.blur.com/blurbeta/). Also developed our own network render manager. OS: Windows 2000.

Additional Contributors:

    Story: Tim Miller, Jeremy Cook, Paul Taylor, Chuck Wojtkiewicz
    Visual Effects Supervisor: Jeremy Cook
    Art Director: Jeremy Cook
    Animation Supervisors: Jeff Weisend, Tim Miller
    Storyboards and Concept Art: Chuck Wojtkiewicz, Sean McNally
    Layout Animator: David Nibbelin
    Animators: David Nibbelin, Luc Degardin, Jean Dominique Fievet, Makoto Koyama, Davy Sabbe, August Wartenberg, Remi McGill, Jeff Wilson, Jeff Weisend, Wim Bien, Onur Yeldan, George Schermer, Jeff Fowler, Jason Taylor, Derron Ross, Cemre Ozkurt
    Modelers: Heikki Anttila, Irfan Celik, Jeremy Cook, Jerome Denjean, Kevin Margo
    Finishing and Lighting: Jerome Denjean, Heikki Anttila, Kevin Margo, Jeremy Cook, David Stinnett, Dave Wilson, Sebastoen Chort
    Visual Effects: Daniel Perez Ferreira, Seung Jae Lee, Kirby Miller, Sung-Wook Su
    Rigging and Cloth Simulation: Paul Hormis
    Animation Technical Director: Jon Jordan
    Motion Capture Supervisors: John Bunt, Jeff Weisend
    Title Design: Jennifer Miller, Wonhee Lee
    Motion Capture Actor: James Silverman
    Production Coordinator: Debbie Yu
    Production Assistant: Amanda Powell
    Programming and Systems Administration: Duane Powell, Dave Humpherys, Daemeon Nicolaou, Matt Newell, Barry Robison
    Music: Rob Cairns
    Sound Design and Recording: Gary Zacuto, Richard Gray, Pete Kneser
    Film Recorder: Title House Digital
    Film Processing: Fotokem

Additional Information:

    Modeling: Polygons. Used motion capture as a base and blended keyframe animation on top to modify and enhance the performance. Used only keyframe animation on the non-human characters and a mix of keyframe and dynamics simulations for mechanical and FX animation. Rendering technique used most: All background plates were rendered and lit separately with a simple five-points lighting rig. Characters and vehicles were rendered and lit with one main keylight on top of a Brazil skylight. Average CPU time for rendering per frame: 35-90 minutes., depending on shot complexity. Total pro- duction time: approximately 800 person-days, spread out over several months. Production highlight: Employees of Blur Studio were asked to submit their ideas for an all-CG animated short, and the studio then voted on the entries. In a collaborative effort with Blur Studio, the winner got the chance to create a short funded by Blur Studio. Because everyone was so passionate about this project, we were able to complete the 800-day production in actually 500 calendar days! Rendered at 2K spatial resolution.

Animation / Video Overview: