Nothing Real Shakes Up Ice Age

Blue Sky Studios is using Nothing Real's Shake as the exclusive compositing software for the new animated feature ICE AGE, currently in production. According to Andrew Beddini, compositing lead and lighting technical director on ICE AGE, Shake has been in use at the company since 1999 where it was first used to composite the animated feature, TITAN AE. Beddini explained that at Blue Sky, the overall compositing process is handled by its lighting department. "All lighting technical directors at the facility use Shake as the primary tool for assembling shots, taking layers from the renderer and then compositing all the elements together," said Beddini. "Shake is also being used on ICE AGE in the animation department to assemble shots being completed by multiple animators." In addition, Shake is utilized in the character materials group to globally adjust texture maps. "To designate the color and texture of fur on skin, we use Shake's command-line capability to modify all the fur map elements simultaneously," said Beddini. "The fact that Shake is script-based makes it a very powerful solution for this type of work. Also, the effects department is using Shake as a tool to add snow tracks automatically into all the shots." On the post side of the equation, Shake is being used to support Blue Sky's Paint department for minor image adjustments. "Relying on the new paint features in Shake 2.4, we can perform certain paint fixes at a typical lighting artist's workstation instead of in one of our high-end real-time paint suites," Beddini added. "Being able to work this way is an enormous cost savings and a productive use of personnel time." Upon completion of ICE AGE, every film frame will have been composited using Shake. ICE AGE is due in theaters March 2002.