Furious Gets Furry Vengeance
In fact, 19 species of furry and feathered critters make up this menagerie, comprising 375 shots, including the hero raccoon, opossum, beaver, crow prairie dog, rabbit, owl, chipmunk, weasel, skunk, porcupine, fox bullfrog, otter and condor.
"This was definitely a trial by fire, though a tremendous opportunity for us to break into character animation work," suggests Scott Dougherty, president of Furious, which additionally provided CG expression/enhancement of real animals along with CG airplanes, rolling boulder, insects, 3D and 2D matte paintings and set extensions.
Two other companies worked on Furry Vengeance as well: RotoFactory (additional paint services) and Yannix Technologies (additional motion tracking services).
Naturally there wound up being more CG shots than originally planned due to specific action requirements more than a change in concept.
"Everything comes in fur," remarks Mark Shoaf, CG supervisor for Furious. "I think CG-wise, this was definitely the most demanding character work we've done. We've never really done one that required this kind of a pipeline. The challenges here were getting both the character and fur pipelines in place. It was a really good learning and growing experience. All in all, they had their own fur challenges."
Most of the pipeline was built around the hero coon character. "Dave had given us photos of the real raccoon and so based on that we built the model and added the textures and fur and everything else," Shoaf adds. "We basically built our character rig for the raccoon and, for any given shot that we worked on, we had different assets of a character that got referenced in the scene. So as the animators were working they could turn the fur off to keep things moving faster. And once we had our raccoon, it served as the building block for the rest of the pipeline. For all the other quadrupeds, that rig was modified and tweaked."