Search form

MAXON's BodyPaint 3D Used on Golden Compass

Framestore CFC used MAXON's award-winning BodyPaint 3D texture painting software on New Line Cinema's THE GOLDEN COMPASS.

Framestore CFC created various CG characters, most notably the armored polar bears. MAXON's BodyPaint 3D was used for painting texture maps for the bears and their armor, plus props, digital doubles and environments.

Framestore CFC's Lead Texture Paint Supervisor Daren Horley, said, "The bears Iorek, Ragnar and the guard bears were painted using Photoshop and BodyPaint 3D. BodyPaint 3D was particularly useful when painting the complex organic shapes of Iorek's rusted, beaten metal armor.

"Having the ability to load a scene that contained multiple OBJs with their texture maps also proved invaluable in order to instantly view the pieces of armor and how they related to each other. The interlocking forms had rubbed parts of shiny metal in the overlapping areas, which needed to be accurately painted. BodyPaint 3D enabled us to do this.

"Many environments were matte paintings, but some were also created using rendered, texture painted geometry. The environments of Ragnar's palace -- interior and exterior -- plus the bear fight arena benefited from geometry texture painted in BodyPaint 3D."

BodyPaint 3D has been incorporated into the pipeline at Framestore CFC for numerous projects starting with its work on SEA MONSTERS, part of the award winning WALKING WITH series in 2003.

Horley added that BodyPaint 3D offers the studio numerous workflow enhancements: "Having BodyPaint 3D enables us to view textures on geometry and paint directly onto the surface in 3D. No other software does this as well as BodyPaint 3D. The projection paint mode allows quick and easy seam removal. In addition, the ability to clone a texture from the surface of one piece of geometry across to another proved very useful, especially on the bear armor, as was the ability to alter the size of the clone detail."

London-based Framestore CFC ( is the largest visual effects and computer animation studio in Europe, with more than 20 years of experience in digital film and video technology. The company has won numerous international awards, including two Technical Academy Awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, three BAFTA Craft Awards and 13 Primetime Emmy Awards. Work in the pipeline for 2008 includes: THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: PRINCE CASPIAN, THE DARK KNIGHT and the first animated feature project, THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX.

MAXON Computer is the developer of professional 3D modeling, painting, animation and rendering solutions. Its award-winning products have been used extensively in the film, television, science, architecture, engineering and other industries. MAXON products were recently used on BEOWULF and SURF'S UP. MAXON has offices in Friedrichsdorf, Germany, Newbury Park, California, Bedford in the U.K. and Tokyo.

Bill Desowitz's picture

Bill Desowitz, former editor of VFXWorld, is currently the Crafts Editor of IndieWire.