Hercules: Musculature and deformations plug-in for 3ds max

Hercules: Musculature and deformations plug-in for 3ds max

Hercules: Musculature and deformations plug-in for 3ds max

Hercules: Musculature and deformations plug-in for 3ds max

Ingreme Have created stunning muscle deformations using Hercules

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Ingreme creates stunning muscle deformations using Hercules

Post production company Ingreme, based in Lisbon, Portugal have recently created a beautiful commercial for real-estate agency ERA, Using Di-O-Matic technologies. We spoke with Henrique Melo and Ricardo Portela and this is what they had to say.

Please tell us about your company?

Ingreme: The company is 20 years old and employs 16 people. Ingreme is a highly creative and dedicated visual effects and post production company providing international excellence, innovation and expertise for the advertising, film and music video industries. Ingreme has the unique offering of VFX, Colour Grading, finishing & Audio all under one roof. Ingreme is one of the few facilities to offer end- to -end post production services, through our specialist departments.

Please describe the production that you created using Di-O-Matic tools? Tell us a bit more about it.

Ingreme: In this project we used Hercules 1.6 for 3ds max 2013. We created a unique character, which is a Fox Terrier dog. We did an intensive research of references, either silhouette/shape as well as anatomy, muscular system, movement and so on. According to the pre-visualization, we already knew that in some shots the dog had to have lots of details and look as organic as possible, and this phase of the project has helped us to understand where we should focus on some areas of the dog, like the nose for instance. While some artists were working on Developing the Look (such as textures, shaders, displacements and fur), our Rigger TD started to Rig the dog.

How did you succeed to do that particular project? And why did you choose Hercules?

Ingreme: We made this project in about 2 months with 5 peoples, but there were other projects in parallel and we had to organize ourselves to meet all deadlines..

Normally our Rigger TD works with Custom Rigs for main characters and we usually do a bone-based (with lots of expressions and scripts) muscle system, which takes lots of time and require lots of R&D. It was then that we chose to test Hercules. We downloaded the trial version from Di-O-Matic’s website to understand how it worked and if it was worth using in production. After a few days of intense R&D, we decided to buy the plugin and apply it to our pipeline.

How fast did you include our tools in your production pipeline?

Ingreme: Hercules is an incredibly powerful and easy system to use, we’re able to change the shape of the muscle and other parameters quickly and effectively. With Hercules’ Select and Deform modifiers we can control and adjust what each muscle will influence in the character’s body. For the dog, we created 43 muscles in total with 2 levels of influence.
However, in each animation we had to change the value of the muscle influence to have more control, so we created a simple tool where we could access the value of each muscle, through the Hercules Deform Modifier, and change the influences with a script done in MaxScript.

Were you able to achieve what you had in mind for the animation?

Ingreme: We had to create a specific workflow for this project because of Hercules. As the dog mesh was so dense, we created a solution to make the files lighter for Lighting/Rendering. So we decided to make a cache geometry for each animation using the PointCache Modifier, that way we were able to have a lighter scene and free from calculations (Hercules and Flex Modifiers), since the cache geometry was already saved.

What are the features you prefer in Hercules, and why?

Ingreme: There are several features that we like in Hercules, If I had to highlight just a few of them:
Hercules makes it easy to “draw” the muscle using the bend option and other parameters, its ease use, setup, and to change the parameters of the Secondary Motions, very easy to mirror muscles. Hercules makes working with specific influences incredibly easy using the Select Modifier. The “Morpher-Like” Hercules Deform Modifier to control the influence of each muscle group and of course the Maxscript access.

For more information on Ingreme and their work pleses visite their Website – www.ingreme.com, you can also check out their show reel by clicking Here – or follow them on Facebook

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