Acting the Alphas and Omegas

By CHAITRA SHETTY | 4 October, 2010 - 15:33

Delivering the performances for the characters of Alpha & Omega, a 90 minute CGI stereoscopic feature with 60+ characters (most of them laden with fur) with a team of 54 animators, 14 riggers, 15-20 modelers (at the peak) in a span of two and half years was an uphill task for the team at Crest on many counts. Although they had catered to high end CGI production requirements in the TV and DVD sector, never had they before tackled the feature film beast and it being a 3D stereoscopic one further added to complexities.

Mehul Hirani, Creative Director Crest Animation shares, "As far as acting is concerned, till now on the TV productions that we have delivered we‘ve had very specific inputs and rigid guidelines on what the characters would do and wouldn‘t but with Alpha & Omega, things were completely different." Mehul along with Animation Director Satish Thokade, Modeling Supervisor Madhu Nair, Rigging Supervisor Aaron Thomas and Senior Animator Indraneel Mallik spoke to on the process and practices that the team at Crest adopted in delivering the visually stunning and technically challenging feature.

Feature Scale
The protagonists and most of the primary characters of the film are wolves. Although liberties were taken in designing these characters in a stylized manner, their body language had to be like realistic wolves and the emotions they conveyed and expressed had to be human. Most of the times in the movie the wolves are standing on fours and are devoid of hand gestures. So the facial gesture and eye movement becomes a very critical component of the animation process.