Mariposa Butterfly Shot

Format: Compound Video⁄VFX
Role: 3D Generalist
Type: Single Shot
Year: 2015
Autodesk 3D's Max
Autodesk Mudbox
Adobe Photoshop
Mariposa Vfx Butterfly
Mariposa Vfx Butterfly 3D Asset

This shot has been a freelance contract request from a compositor in Mexico. I was responsible for creating a cg butterfly, animate it and give a float point frame set that can easily fit the source shot provided by the company.

Creating the Asset

Creating the butterfly took a smooth workflow between 3dsmax and mudbox for modeling and texturing process.

Every single step was a fun process, but when it comes to taking responsibility for time management to keep your customer happy, It's a dead end to paly games with your job! And obviously here is where Shaders_P will come to rescue you! :D

As my customer wanted the butterfly to have a fury look on its body, I had to use fur on mesh. And fur does come with extra management challenges and render times! Shaders_P here written by a nice guy named Ledin Pavel will come very handy to render time management in Mental Ray!

Here is a sample I did for checking up with the director:

Render Quality Test Shot

The butterfly was fully rigged and ready to animate:

Mariposa Butterfly 3D Asset


The animation was a door to a new learning path for me. Client wanted it to look as real as possible, thus I had to grab and analyze as much resources as I could. So I came up with lots of amazing videos taken by high speed shutter cameras to analyze butterflies' motion behavior! There were dozens of data which has totally changed my point of view in animating a butterfly!

When it comes to things like Animation, best idea is to grab everything you can take your hands on, then learn as much as possible, then learn more! And you're good to go test your first result! :D

Here is what I came up after a couple of tries, and fortunately, it passed director's expectations:

Animation Preview