To achieve the horses growing out of the bonnet, the physical prop was sliced up into 1 cm cross-sections
This served as a simple scan upon which I built a 3 dimensional morphable model by animating each slice individually and skinning them programmatically. A 2d morph was used to push through to the final footage.
By now the writing was on the wall for the Cubicomp system. To create the title character in this series of “New Zealand On Air” commercials, I directed the efforts of multiple vendors.
Animator Euan Frizzell brought the performance to life in 2D and directed the team at Electric Pencil as they used the Symbolics system to recreate it with blendshape animation. Fiona Webb combined everything in Quantel Harry.
That was challenge enough (and level of computer animators at the time) so I also had the software I’d created years before to provide automatic follow-through and ‘goop’-like behaviour rewritten as a plug-in by LISP guru Mark Schafer to take care of the tail and fin animation for us.
Another VFX commercial from Brian Culy and Robyn Isaacs at Airdate. The task: continue the camera move in to the bottle’s interior, show specific images reflected in the bubbles, then smoothly pull back out again.
The bubbles were generated with custom code that later became a full particle system. Although the camera matchmove and seamless handoffs were hard enough, insanely, the Cubicomp had the most trouble rendering the texture-mapped spheres used for the reflection imagery!