SOFTIMAGE|XSI: A Major Sky Captain Player
* Rising Sun Pictures delivered a total of 150 shots, using SOFTIMAGE|XSI software to create the exterior of Dr. Totenkopf's rocket, as well as the control panel inside the cockpit. Shading was a key element in these shots, as both the interior and exterior scenes had to match the CG work completed by other vendors. Rising Sun deployed heavy use of the render tree in SOFTIMAGE|XSI software to create and control ambient occlusion and soft-shadow light capabilities, then turned these effects into textures using RenderMap. Using the full range of features in SOFTIMAGE|XSI software, such as the scripting tools for updating assets in scenes, farming out renders and general scene management tasks, Rising Sun was able to complete the work in a short time frame, requiring only a small amount of script development.
* Stan Winston Digital completed more than 100 shots, 84 of which included the development of exotic creatures and environments for the mysterious island sequence. To create all of the CG creatures on the island, artists used the subdivision-surface modeling and UV-set construction features within the Texture Editor of SOFTIMAGE|XSI software. The Stan Winston team also created a unique look for a family of flying creatures using the Syflex plug-in to animate wing dynamics. Fur shading and feather geometry were also applied to enhance the life-like skin on large ostrich-looking characters. The 3D digital trees, plants, foliage and other environmental elements round out all of the creative work produced with SOFTIMAGE|XSI software for the mysterious island sequence.
Stan Winston artists created an additional 22 shots in a Shangri-La sequence that the World of Tomorrow production team used in its final composites. After laying out and composing the shots, the team developed UV texturing, painting, coloring and lighting to give an ethereal, organic-aged look to the Shangri-La environment.
"The beauty, style and visual complexity of both sequences really pushed the artistic and technical envelope for us," said Andre Bustanoby, visual effects supervisor at Stan Winston Digital. "Completing the work on time required a complex yet integrated CG pipeline that would give our team speed and flexibility without limiting its creativity. All of the capabilities in SOFTIMAGE|XSI, such as the Texture Editor, Render Tree, Fur Shading, Passes and Partitions as well as the use of XSI SDK and BatchServe enabled us to get the job done and create the visually stunning worlds and inhabitants found in SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW."
Softimage Co. (www.softimage.com), a subsidiary of Avid Technology Inc., is an industry leader in 3D animation, 2D cel animation, compositing and special effects software, designed to address the demands of the film and commercial/broadcast and games/interactive industries. SOFTIMAGE|XSI software, an integral player in Avid's Make, Manage and Move Media(TM) strategy, is the flagship product offering from Softimage. It is a leading 3D nonlinear production environment providing animators and digital artists the freedom to make professional animation, visual effects and games from major motion pictures, to cartoons and commercials, to animated content for videogames and Websites.
Avid Technology Inc. (www.avid.com) is a leader in digital nonlinear media creation, management and distribution solutions, enabling film, video, audio, animation, games and broadcast professionals to work more efficiently, productively and creatively.