MAXON, December 10, 2007 - MAXON, the leading software developer of professional 3D modeling, painting, animation and rendering solutions, today announced that its award-winning BodyPaint 3D texture painting software was used extensively by artists at Framestore CFC
for their work featured in New Line Cinema's 'The Golden Compass'. Now showing in movie theatres across the world, 'The Golden Compass' is set to become this year's number one Christmas movie. With a massive budget of over $150 million, a spellbinding story and host of stars including Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig and Ian McKellen, it's no wonder that the film's official trailer has been streamed over 10 million times.
Framestore CFC was selected by New Line for the challenge of bringing numerous characters of the script to life, including the armored polar bears that feature prominently in the movie. Framestore CFC worked intensively for over 15 months to create the film's bears and environments in which they appear. MAXON's BodyPaint 3D was used for painting texture maps for the bears and their armor, plus props, digital doubles and environments.
Based on the first volume in Philip Pullman's trilogy 'His Dark Materials', 'The Golden Compass' is set in a parallel world that is similar to our own, yet very different. In this world, witches rule the northern skies, ice bears talk and are the bravest of warriors and every human is entwined with an animal spirit. The movie focuses on the adventures of a young girl who embarks on an extraordinary journey from the academic cloisters of Oxford to the magical heart of the frozen top of the world. Her companion and helpmate through some of her adventures is Iorek Byrnison, a gigantic, armored polar bear.
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 their 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."
Ahead of its worldwide release, 'The Golden Compass' is receiving critical acclaim. Leading UK newspaper 'The Guardian' hailed the film as a "spectacular movie... It has no other challengers as this year's big Christmas movie."
In the U.S., the Hollywood Reporter said, "The blend of live action, CG and visual effects is superb, making what must have been a technological nightmare look as easy as pie."
Framestore CFC's work was complimented by Variety magazine which said "The bears [especially] are strongly rendered…"
The highly anticipated visual effects blockbuster was released last week.
About Framestore CFC
Framestore CFC is the largest visual effects and computer animation studio in Europe, with over 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 thirteen Primetime Emmy Awards. Work in the pipeline for 2007/2008 include: His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian and Batman: The Dark Knight. Work continues on our first animated feature project, The Tale of Despereaux, and, for television, Primeval 2. The company's movie portfolio includes work on such films as Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Children of Men, Superman Returns, X-Men: The Last Stand and every Harry Potter film. Recent Digital Intermediate projects include: Mr. BeanÕs Holiday, Hot Fuzz, Hannibal Rising, Last King of Scotland, Casino Royale, The Queen and United 93. Recent television work includes Primeval, Prehistoric Park, Ocean Odyssey, Space Odyssey: Voyage to the Planets, and all of the Walking with... series. Among Framestore CFC's notable commercial credits are Casino Royale - Title Sequence, Vauxhall C'mon campaign, Sure Go Wild, Guinness noitulové, Dairy Crest Cityside, Johnnie Walker Fish, Levi's Odyssey and Guinness Surfer. For additional information on Framestore CFC visit www.framestore-cfc.com
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