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Inspiring VFX promotes new kind of milk bottle

There's no crying over spilt milk in this cool spot for Anchor, developed by New Zealand-based creative agency Assembly (opens in new tab). The brief for Fonterra, supplied by ad agency Colenso BBDO, initially looked to go to an international post house, but the Assembly team was given the opportunity to pitch for the job and subsequently impressed with the glass cow tests they created.

"Our 3D pipeline started with Maya (opens in new tab), where the cow modelling, rigging and animation was done," says Assembly VFX supervisor and technical director Rhys Dipple. "The animation was all keyframed."

Maya muscle

"Maya Muscle was used to achieve convincing skin sliding and jiggle effects while maintaining volume," Dipple continues. "Despite the cows being made of glass, it turned out that these effects were an important part of getting the cows to appear lifelike and full of bovine character. We then used the built-in point caching to transfer the completed animation to 3ds Max."

The Assembly team used Maya to model, rig and animate the glass cows

The Assembly team used Maya to model, rig and animate the glass cows

This was a project with many technical challenges, one of the biggest being the milk simulations. "We soon discovered that with a large volume of milk inside a closed and moving container, a massive amount of energy is generated," he says.

"This caused the milk to churn and splash around wildly. So we wrote a small Maxscript that stabilised the animated cows. They still walked and moved, but all in one spot, meaning that the simulation lost most of the massive injections of energy that caused all the ugly splashing."

A small Maxscript was written to stabilise the fluid simulations and animated cows

A small Maxscript was written to stabilise the fluid simulations and animated cows

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3D