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Pendulum Gets Its Hands Dirty For DuPont

Pendulum Studios has wrapped production on two CG shots for production company, Oasis Films' :30 DuPont spot, TRUNK CREW. In the commercial, NASCARs Jeff Gordon is shown driving a brand new black Monte Carlo. After being coated in DuPonts Car Care product by a pit crew, which travels in Gordons trunk, the live-action car is doused with extremely muddy water by a passing truck. But, due to the protective coat, the car is able to shake itself completely clean in an almost dog-like manner.

For the first shot, multiple passes of 3D-generated muddy water are composited splashing onto a live-action car. In the subsequent shot, the dirt, mud and water are all digitally shaken off. For this FX-intensive shot, the muddy layers (a combination of mental ray shaders and complex particle systems) as well as the car are all computer generated. The digital effects were created by integrating traditional Maya and mental ray techniques with complex particle simulations generated with Next Limits RealFlow.

Mike McCormick, Pendulums director of 3D, led the team in the creation of the photoreal 3D car model, the development of its complex skeletal and mechanical 'rig', the animal-like animation and the R&D of multiple layers of CG mud and water. McCormick said, "One of our biggest challenges was in simulating a liquid with multiple consistencies. The mud couldn't behave like lava. It needed to have variable densities, watery in some areas and more solid in others. Thankfully, RealFlow really came through for us."

Pendulum Studios is a San Diego-based animation studio. For more information, visit www.studiopendulum.com.

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Rick DeMott
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