“Shaping, simulating and rendering the grasses of Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa” by Rindge and Xie

  • ©Robyn Rindge and Feng Xie

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    Shaping, simulating and rendering the grasses of Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

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    Covering large savannas of Africa with grass created unique challenges for set-dressing, character interaction, and rendering for DreamWorks Animation’s “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa”. In many sequences, grass is our most important set dressing element. We enabled layout artists to set-dress grass by placing large geometric shapes. We wrote tools that enable our surfacing department to fill these shapes with stylized grass. We expanded our fur collisionavoidance software, smoosh, to enable thousands of characters to interact with grass. To keep computation cost manageable, each colliding strand is assigned a simple collision response animation rather than using a dynamic strand simulation. We sped up turnaround time and deployment using arbitrary fur geometric regions, geometry simplification, significant parallelization, and “click button” simplicity. To improve grass anti-aliasing in our renderer, we apply transparency. We made improvements to our deferred shading renderer in order to accommodate large volumes of transparent geometry.


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