Tuesday, May 21st, 2013 Posted by Jim Thacker

Video: how to build a digital chimpanzee in Softimage

The Mill NY has created an amazingly photorealistic digital chimpanzee for an ad for animal rights organisation PETA protesting at the use of real great apes in films and commercials.

98% human shows what appears to be a live chimpanzee placing a gun to its throat and preparing to pull the trigger – only to cut to a title screen bearing the legend: “No real apes were used in this commercial”.

Made in Softimage
Two making-of videos for the spot have been posted on Vimeo. The first (above) shows some of the 3D work, including muscle and skin simulations, a hair deformation and collision system, and a ‘virtual bloodstream’.

All were created in Softimage’s ICE simulation framework.

According to the voiceover, the development work was undertaken to show that “there is a way to protect great apes through the use of new technology. Hopefully, Hollywood and Madison Avenue will agree”.

A second video explores other technical aspects of the spot, including the reference shoot – for which, for obvious reasons, a human actor was used.

Watch ‘98% human’ on The Mill’s website
(Includes a little more technical information)

Visit PETA’s Great Ape Pledge website
(More information about the campaign itself)