Thankfully we were supplied fully rigged dragons straight from the game engine. Look development and R&D started out very early in the prcoess, various systems needed to be developed with the goal of creating a stylistic and magical version of the beloved dragons. Above video is breakdown of each rendered system which was developed for the project. Each pass needed to be light on setup and both simulation and render time.
Overview of the rig and effects system that was built for each dragon. As each dragon's animation was going to be unique from shot to shot, the rig needed to be streamlined to mitigate any unnecessary setup or time needed to get the effects to behave. A series of points were assigned to various parts of the dragons to procedually drive data which would generate natural effects from the Dragon's movement. A couple of examples of note, the red null attached to the tip of the wing would calculate the position velocity which would control the tempreature, pressure as well as any other needed parameters for the dragon's body fire. The purple nulls attached to the mouth of each rig were used for position and rotation of the fire breathing, a threshold was set for the opening of the mouth and once that treshold was met, the fire breathing would automattically emit.
Velocity system to control the emission characteristics of the dragon's body of fire.
Fire breathing system to automatically emit based on the opening of the mouth.
Production schedule was pretty tight with this project with three different spots, each posing their own challenges. Having the dragon rig allowed us to have extra time up our sleeves to focus on the multiple shots that required a lot of custom setup across fire effects, magic effects and destructions. The above video is a quick glimps into the production process. Note the low simulation quality, these were usually out of the box simulations which only needed minutes to produce with the effects rig. The large volume of shots was challenge in itself, as long as we were able to setup and simulate without any hurdles, we could show progress to the client as well as knowing our pipeline was built out to handle the high quality simulations and rendering once the client was happy.
Creative Director: Ellerey Gave
My Role: Technical Direction, Look dev, Animation, Compositing