The Winter Butterfly

Created for the feature film the Winter Butterfly.
In 2008/9 we were commissioned to create the 3d model for this film. Directed and produced by Marcus Tozini. The film, which is set in medieval Japan, tells the story, of lost love. Butterflies/insects, usually die out/hibernate underground during winter. So it would be rare to see one in reality.

The goal was to create something that was not quite photoreal, but a glowing mythical type butterfly.
See Trailer here:

In terms of 3D and Vfx, we created, a number of shots, one being the protagonists as children, chasing the butterfly through a snow filled forest. This consisted of animating the 3d model, over live footage for 6 scenes in total. Done by first tracking the shots. Then animating the butterfly flying through the scenes in 3d. The scene below shows the 1st and 5th shot in the sequence:

Another scene, was, a harakiri shot, where we needed to create digital blood on a white Kimono. Kimonos are expensive, and adding red blood dye to the actual fabric would have been expensive. This involved tracking the movement of the fabric, then adding in the blood stain.So we created the shot below:


Initial modeling, texturing, animation and rigging with Maya 2008 & Photoshop. Mesh enhanced in ZBrush 3. We somehow achieved some level of realism, using the Turtle renderer, Mental Ray, which was then in its infancy, and the amazing compositor, Shake, which no longer exists. Related to this topic you can check out other organic models.