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Rhinoceros Makes Raspberries Dance For Robitussin

Rhinoceros Visual Effects once again took up the challenge of creating feisty, photo-realistic fruit for Grey Advertising and client Robitussin. As a follow up to their previously completed spot for Robitussin Sunny Orange, Rhinoceros was asked to create a conga line of raspberries for Robitussin Sunny Raspberry. In the spot, the jazzy raspberries join a dancing line of Robitussin lozenges, all heading towards the Sunny Raspberry package. The challenge was to make the raspberries look as real as possible, while still allowing them to get their groove on. Said director Harry Dorrington, "Dancing food in CG often works against the illusion of photo-realism because, of course, real food does not move." Let alone dance. Adding to the challenge, was Dorrington's desire to open with an extreme close up on single raspberry. The camera then pans up revealing the wiggling conga line behind. "A lot of reference was studied (and eaten), noting how the raspberrys fibers covered the surface, the formation of the cells and the levels of transparency, which gave the fruit its juiciness," explained Dorrington. Production began with a basic model animated in Maya, allowing the action of the raspberries, lozenges and camera movements to be choreographed to the music. Once this was approved, the raspberry model was built in Houdini, in a way that allowed total control over the fibers. Vincent Sertilla, who worked on the model, explained: "When asked to model a complex piece of geometry, such as a raspberry, we turned to Side Effects' Houdini to randomly generate various shapes, sizes and photo-realism. To add to the complexity, we also needed to implement hundreds of individual fibers with variation in their size, shape, length and amount of curvature. Using Houdini, we were able to procedurally set-up techniques, which allowed us to maintain a flexible relationship between the creative director, lighters, clients and modeler at any time in the pipeline." To give the raspberries their photo-realistic details and specific surface qualities, animators used Deep Paint 3D and Adobe Photoshop to hand paint texture details. Maya was used for texturing and lighting, and final images were rendered using Mental Ray for Maya, with compositing done in After Effects.

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