After seeing this great new spot, fxguide spoke to Deluxe’s Method Studios Senior VFX Supervisor Benjamin Walsh about how they made it rain octopuses.
fxg: Are they are 'real' (prop) octopuses in the spot ?
The art department created 200 practical silicon octopuses that were intended for any foreground interaction. They shot the octopuses out of two compression cannons but only hit a small surface area of the set. Additionally, this only filled about 1 second of a standard 3 second shot. Method had to augment the shots with CG octopuses in the background all the way to the horizon to achieve depth, plus fill the additional time.
During the shoot it also became clear that there would need to be a hero CG octopus with specific choreography that was too difficult to achieve in camera. Method modeled our CG off the hero practical octopus so there was seamless consistency in the look, color and behavior of the practical and CG creatures.
Houdini was our obvious choice for the background raining octopuses, but Houdini's FEM solver was also great to give each octopus a fleshy feeling. We did hand-animate some octopuses in Maya, but subsequently simulated their squishiness in Houdini as well. There's something organic about the octopuses that we felt looked better when they got that extra squishy treatment.by Benjamin Walsh | Senior VFX Supervisor | Method Studios