Dancing on Ice

single volume Simulations
by: Fablefx

About The Team

Founded in early 2015, FABLEfx specializes in animal/creature work for TV, film, and advertising. After discovering Ziva technology in 2017, the innovation-loving team has built an extensive Ziva creature pipeline and they are quickly becoming leaders in character simulation.
"Since our focus is realistic creatures, we’ve dreamt about an off the shelf tool like Ziva ever since we opened our doors almost 4 years ago. Now, we’ve been using it for most of our 2018 projects and will keep doing so for years to come."
– Janak Thakker, FABLEfx Co-Founder &  Sr. Animation Supervisor

The Project: FABLEFX + HU_SH London

The FABLEfx team was approached by Executive Producer Ru Warner from HU_SH London to create the Dancing On Ice 2019 characters and film.

The ad's exciting storyline and detailed 2D animatic were all completed by HU_SH London, but they still needed the adorable creatures and whimsical, wintery environment to bring it all to life. Following the immense popularity of the 2018 Dancing on Ice promotional video, which featured the same adorable polar bear, FABLEfx team knew they had to surpass audience expectations.

The 2019 ad sequel was even more ambitious and complex than the previous year's, so it was no small task to tackle- but one that the FABLEfx team was delighted to dig into!

Ziva Volume Preservation

"Previously, we created full body muscle systems for characters using Ziva – Loki the Horse is one of the best examples of our  work here. However, based on the amount of long fur on the show's heroes (the polar bear cub & squirrel), we decided not to go for full anatomical setups. Instead, we chose to use Ziva for volume preservation and fat jiggle on the creatures' bodies. We used a single tissue driven with a cached low res animation mesh – it was so simple.

We’re stoked that we finally have a solid FEM solver for Maya!"
– Janak Thakker, FABLEfx, Co-Founder &  Sr. Animation Supervisor

Single Volume Simulations

Step 1. Convert to Tissue Object

Convert your single volume model into a Ziva soft-tissue object by selecting the geometry and clicking "Tissue" in the Ziva Menu.

Step 2. Paint Material Weights

Using Ziva's paintbrush tools, you can easily add various material properties to the new soft object. You can have unlimited material variations on a single surface. So, some parts can be jiggly and elastic while others are rigid and stiff.

Step 3. Simulate

Then, just run your simulation. You can add your grooming layers as usual. It's easy, effective, and ridiculously fast.
"It may sound like an oddly simply approach, because it is, but using Ziva on a single volume offers the dynamic jiggles and folds that we often need for our feature animation projects.

We love the look of the polar bear's thighs, belly, neck, shoulder and ears. I think this quick approach really speaks to the quality of the technology. We were able to adapt the workflow to suit our needs and the results were still extremely accurate. Most importantly, it was fast. We're thankful for all the time we saved."
– Janak Thakker, FABLEfx, Co-Founder &  Sr. Animation Supervisor