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Pixeldust was recruited to create four live action CGI shots for a Universal Studio’s Halloween Horror Nights promotional video. The live action shots involved digitally creating an infinite hallway of terror behind ‘Jack the Clown’, and animating 3D tarantulas walking all over an unfortunate female prisoner’s body.

Creative Director: Ricardo Andrade
CG Supervisor: Samar Shool
Senior Animator: Andy Hencken
Senior Producer: Emily Vitek

The spider shots involved meticulously tracking the woman’s head and face in order to create the illusion of spiders crawling on her face and eventually, into her mouth. Pixeldust’s 3D artists chose to use Nuke for hi-end tracking and final compositing of these shots, and Autodesk Maya + with Maxon Redshift to render the spiders’ hair. For lighting, hi-res 360 HDR’s of the practical environment shot on location provided the team with  the means to utilize image-based light sources. This pipeline facilitated a more accurate integration of the spiders into the footage during compositing.

For the digital hallway extension shots, an extended matte painting was created based on the foreground footage of the hallway, and Nuke’s camera projection techniques on planar 3D geometry to accurately extend the corners of the walls. Camera tracking proved to be incredibly useful for these shots. Nuke’s efficient keylight systems also came to the rescue when it came to dealing with a complex green screen-keying of the foreground –  namely, the clown’s hair and body.


Matte Painting Breakdown

3D System Breakdown


The final result was a breathtakingly horrifying promotional video, which climaxes at our spider’s entrance into the woman’s mouth, thanks to Pixeldust’s 3D animation capabilities.