July 15, 2005


SAN FRANCISCO - With responsibility for over 200 shots, Giant Killer Robots (www.giantkillerrobots.com), here, the primary provider of VFX for 20th Century Fox's "Fantastic Four," exploited the abilities of Softimage's XSI software, such as new shader effects and the XSI Animation Mixer, to help complete the film on time. LA-based Stan Winston Digital (www,sw-digital.com), with 92 "Fantastic" shots to its credit, also used XSI on sequences including Jessica Alba's Invisible Woman shots.

During the early design process, the Stan Winston art team used XSI's Realtime Shader technology to develop realistic on-set previsualization. XSI's Syflex cloth simulation system, which comes as part of XSI Advanced, provided realistic clothing animation. In addition, the Animation Mixer and other XSI animation tools allowed the team to efficiently process and optimize vast amounts of motion capture data for Invisible Woman. "The intuitive tools in XSI made it easy to quickly test out many variations to find the look that embodied the fluidity of the character's style, movement and props," says Andre Bustanoby, VFX supervisor at Stan Winston Digital.

Giant Killer Robots used XSI software to create several of the extensive immersive environments in the movie, including a photorealistic New York City. For a key action sequence set in the virtual New York, the team used the XSI customizable rendering system to create over 400 passes with detailed shader effects. GKR's use of the XSI Animation Mixer also helped to simplify the animation of both digital cars and people in various scenes throughout "Fantastic Four."

Says Gareth Morgan, senior product manager for Softimage, "'Fantastic Four' continues in the tradition of effects-driven summer blockbusters that our customers excel at. Softimage has always been a key part of feature film VFX pipelines, for both digital character animation and overall visual effects."