SyFlex in a spot against AIDS
Client: United Nations
Production Company: Also Starring
Producer: Johannes Lassila
Director: Teemu Nikki
VFX Artist: Atte Nurminen
VFX Producer: Kari Piirainen
Completion: October 2004
Atte Nurminen used SyFlex in XSI to make Tshirts fall to the ground after the
humans inside them disintegrated, in what is a quite harsh spot fighting AIDS. The
spot was done for the UN, and was aired all over the world, on channels such as BBC
World, CNN and many local channels in eastern Europe and far east Asia.
The full spot is available on the Rinki website. What we have here is the two Syflex shots, a screenshot
and a few words from Atte about his work:
"We had seven days to produce the 2 shots of the people turning into dust. The shots
required that after the bodies have disintegrated the shirts must fall, or rather float
down. After some consideration we decided to do it the easiest way we could think of,
meaning camera projection to have an invisible transition from the real shirt to the
3d one and then doing a cloth simulation to achieve a natural collapse for the shirt."
"Usually with camera mapping the accurate modeling of the object is not crucial but I soon
realized that if the shirt is deforming as much as it had to do here, I have to make the
profile of the shirt match the actor's shirt very accurately at the initial state of the
simulation. Another concern with camera mapping was that when the shirt is deforming the
stretching texture on the sides might become too obvious. However, playing with the cloth
stiffness and other parameters (and perhaps a little luck) solved the problem."
"Even though this was my first time using SyFlex in real production I just couldn't see
it as a problem, the straight-forward controls offered a steep learning curve and SyFlex
simply delivered what it promised. Once the simulation was finalized, I used XSI's plotting
tool to plot the simulation into a shape animation, just to speed things up even more."
"The particle effects were created in After Effects with Trapcode's Particular plugin."
"The one reason that makes SyFlex such a great tool in production environment is that it
is simple enough to be used quickly and without extensive pre-testing and still it's
loaded with all the features you can ask for. Tweaking it is a snap. Having it bundled
with XSI Advanced was great, when we got this UN production we realized we had everything
we needed to do the job, no need to look for other 3rd party plugins. Also the fact that
it is an actual plugin integrated into XSI and not an external piece of stand-alone
software smoothens the production pipeline."