“Tippett Studio Muscle Systemand Skin Solver “Hellboy”” by Toro

  • ©Guillermo del Toro  Tippett Studio


SIGGRAPH Video Review:




    Tippett Studio Muscle Systemand Skin Solver “Hellboy”




Company / Institution / Agency:

  • Tippett Studio


    Tippett Studio visual effects supervisor Blair Clark rejoins directorGuillermo del Toro in creating the creatures and environments for the Revolution Studios movie, “Hellboy.” Clark and his team con-tributed five CG characters in 15 sequences comprising 132 shots,in numerous day-and-night and wet-and-dry environments. Usinghand-key-framed animation, the entire work exhibits a step forward in seamless visual effects. To add another level of photo realism,and to fully realize the fantastic characters of “Hellboy,” TippettStudio utilized a new, proprietary “muscle system and skin solver”developed by CG supervisor William Todd Stinson and character set-up lead Paul G. Thuriot. The muscle system stretches, contracts,and even adds tension, all to maintain a consistent volume of underlying anatomical geometry. On top of this, the skin stretches and slides in response to the motion of the character’s internal structure.


    HARDWARE: PC, Apple, SGI single CPU, average 2 GB RAM. Rendering Farm:
    CPU numbers N.A. Graphics card: NVIDIA.


    SOFTWARE DEVELOPER: Modeling, animation, and dynamics: Maya. Rendering: RenderMan.
    Compositing: Shake. Custom software: custom plug-ins. The muscle
    system, a Maya plug-in, creates muscle surfaces that expand and
    contract while deforming to preserve the initial volume. The skin
    system, a Maya plug-in, builds a renderable surface that is deformed
    in response to the motion of the character’s internal anatomy. As
    the puppet moves (which, in turn, affects the intermediate layers),
    the skin stretches and slides over these underlying surfaces. Also
    custom PrMan shaders, and RIB and RIB Archive generation tools.
    OS: various.

Additional Contributors:

    Producers: Lawrence Gordon, Lloyd Levin, Mike Richardson
    Production Visual Effects Producer: Edward Irastorza
    Visual Effects Supervisor: Blair Clark
    Visual Effects Producer: Alexandra de Souza
    Visual Effects Art Director: Joel Friesch
    Animation Supervisor: Todd Labonte
    CG Supervisor: William Todd Stinson
    VFX Production Manager: Tim de Pala
    Animators: Simon Allen, Jason Armstrong, Dovi Anderson, Michael Brunet, Chuck Duke, Will Elder-Groebe, Aaron “Giggleman” Gilman, Traci Horie, Eric Ingerson, Julie Jaros, Michael Kitchen, Brian Mendenhall, Morgan Ratsoy
    Lead Lighters: Kirsten Drummond, Steve Redding
    Lighters: Jim Aupperle, Aharon Bourland, Conrad Chu, Jeff A. Johnson, Kevin McGowan, Charles Rose, Julien Schreyer, Bart Trickel, Davy Wentworth
    Lead Compositors: Colin Epstein, Jim McVay
    Compositors: Dan Cayer, Chris Gibbons, Aruna Inversin, Matt Jacobs, Zoe Peck-Eyler, Gerard Benjamin Pierre, Matthew Wallin
    Lead FX Animator: Demetrius Sabina Leal
    FX Animators: Nathaniel Hunter, Clear Menser, Ralph Sevazlian
    Junior FX Animators: Uma Havaligi, Ariel Tal
    Lead Character Set-Up: Paul G. Thuriot
    Character Set-Up: Joe Harkins, Peter Newsome
    Lead CG Painters: Laura Hainke, Raine Reen
    CG Painters: Renee Binkowski, Ruth Caspary, Edward Quintero, Sara Simon
    Lead CG Modeler: Sven Jensen
    CG Modelers: Dylan Gottlieb, Ease Owyeung, Jeff Unay, Robert Vignone
    Lead Match-Move: Kirk Larkins, Christopher Paizis
    Match-Move: Devin Breese, Tyler Ham, Dong Yon Kang, Stephen Moros, David Petry
    Lead Roto/Paint: Rick Markle
    Roto/Paint: Misty Segura Barbour, Shelley Campbell, Lucinda Chee, Robert Dorris, Ramona Martinez
    VFX Coordinators: Genevieve Proctor McMahon, Naomi Ruth Raine
    Production Assistant: Veronica D. Savage
    VFX Editor: Sarah Schubart
    VFX Editorial Assistants: Salvatore Catanzaro, Thomas Krebbs
    Digital Imaging Supervisor: Matthew Tomlinson
    Film I/O Supervisor: Nathan Abbot
    Digital Film I/O Manager: Vicki Wong
    Digital Color Corrector: Adam Gerardin
    Production Programmer: Russell Darling
    Systems Support: Neal Hoover, M. Stevens
    Data Wrangler: Deborah Thomas
    Executive Producers: Jules Roman, Alonzo Ruvalcaba

Additional Information:

    Modeling: surfacing and standard polygonal modeling for primary rendering surfaces; proprietary techniques based on naturalistic anatomy for internal muscle surfaces. Some 2D rotoscoping used.Rendering technique used most: RenderMan. Average renderingCPU time per frame: varied. Total production time: approximately15 months. Production highlight: Developed a proprietary muscle system and skin solver.

Animation / Video Overview: