Paintbox Labs approached Pixeldust with a need for four essential live action + CGI shots for a scary promo for Universal Studio’s annual Halloween Horror Nights event. The live action shots involved digitally extending a grungy spooky hallway against Jack the Clown walking in foreground, and animating multiple 3D spiders on a female prisoner’s face and around on the floor. 

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

The spider shots involved accurately tracking the woman’s head and face in order to make the spiders crawl on her face and enter her mouth. Nuke was the obvious choice for hi-end tracking and final compositing of these shots, and Autodesk Maya + Redshift were used to render the spiders with fur. For lighting the spiders,  hi-res 360 HDR’s of the practical environment shot on location provided image-based light sources. This pipeline facilitated 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. Nuke’s powerful camera tracking proved most useful in achieving a strong solid track for all these shots. Nuke’s efficient keylight systems also came to rescue complex green screen-keying of the foreground Jack’s hair and body amidst all the other tracking challenges in the shot.

Matte Painting Breakdown

Nuke 3d system

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