“Travelers: Snowball” by Weta Digital Ltd.

  • ©Dante Ariola  Weta Digital Ltd.


SIGGRAPH Video Review:




    Travelers: Snowball


Company / Institution / Agency:

  • Weta Digital Ltd.


    “Travelers: Snowball” begins with a man walking down a steep street. He crashes through a yard sale before tumbling head-over-heels down the hill. As the man continues to roll, he creates a “snowball effect,” accumulating objects from the street to create an enormous ball of urban debris. The ball continues to roll through the streets and grow until, finally, it smashes into a wall, releasing a shower of objects.

    The biggest challenge from a visual-effects standpoint was the large number of digital objects and people Weta Digital had to create to form the ball.
    We built eight digital humans modeled after live-action actors and an assortment of debris that could be found on any city street. We used extensive reference photography and a high-speed, high-resolution facial scanning system to create models, textures, and shaders that were as photorealistic as possible.

    In some cases, the plates were fabricated from digital photos shot with a consumer SLR. We cleaned up the stills, painted out static people and cars, removed signage, added camera moves to the cleaned still plate, animated and rendered the CG elements, and then composited everything together with liberal amounts of dust.


    Maya, Shake, RenderMan, Photoshop

Additional Contributors:

    Visual Effects: Weta Digital Ltd.

    Visual FX Supervisor: Dan Lemmon

    VFX Executive Producer: Eileen Moran

    Digital FX Supervisor: Chris White

    Animation Supervisor: Paul Story

    Client: Travelers Insurance

    Agency: Fallon

    Creative Director: Todd Riddle

    Head of Production: Vic Palumbo

    Executive Producer: Kate Talbott

    Production Company: MJZ

    Director: Dante Ariola

Animation / Video Overview: