View Full Version : Håkanbråkan And Josef, Fido Film (3D)

08 August 2004, 02:13 PM (

Title: Håkanbråkan And Josef
Name: Fido Film
Country: Sweden
Software: Cyslice, Maya, Shake

Hi all! Thought it was about time we displayed what we've been slaving away on for the last year. It's a full length feature kids' film with a fully CG animated tortoise.
The original model was sculpted in clay, and then laser-scanned in. The Hires poly model was used then to create Displacement and normal maps. A low res modelled was scanned in using a microscribe which was then rigged and animated in Maya. Lighting in Maya created with HDR images created on set using a chrome sphere, rendered out at HD res using Mental Ray, and composited using Shake.

A few facts and figures:
136 shots
8.5 minutes animation
1.2Tb hard drive space used
190k frames rendered

Comments or questions welcome!

Cameron Scott
Staffan Linder
Head animators, Fido Film

Animation clips, might be down: ( (

and here are the mirrored links:

Still images:
josef_03 (
josef_04 (
josef_06 (
josef_07 (
josef_10 (
josef_11 (
josef_12 (
josef_13 (
josef_17 (
sculpture_02 (

08 August 2004, 03:02 PM
Whoa, very nice. I'm going to take another couple looks at this before I post any crits. I really like the turtle, and good job posting the subtitles - I would have been lost without them.

08 August 2004, 03:07 PM
I think it has a great amount of quality to it for a non hollywood production. The turtle is looking great, quite photorealistic, and the animation is good as well. The child actor seems to play his role quite well. :thumbsup:

08 August 2004, 03:14 PM
looking good over there guys
great job!

08 August 2004, 03:22 PM
Wow, this is really stunning! Great animations!
If I could give you more than 5 stars, I would do it ;)

08 August 2004, 04:27 PM
that looks awsome. Nothing to crit here.

08 August 2004, 05:14 PM
great job guys!

I saw this guy on "hjärnkontoret" the other day along with some clips and "behind the scenes".
Turned out realy nice ;)

08 August 2004, 05:24 PM
The animation here seems to be a little linear. Some parts of the turtle's movements look awkward consequently, especially when he falls out of his box. Needs to be about a 1/3 faster there. And maybe a little more follow through too. As far as modeling and texturing, A+ !!

08 August 2004, 10:45 PM
This is great! The animation and modeling are top notch.

I think it looks fine when he falls out of the box, its not too slow, his arm is against the side of it as the boy lowers it so he moves at the same speed as the box.

08 August 2004, 12:00 AM
Awesome, I love it, superb work guys!

08 August 2004, 12:16 AM
Sweet, it almost reminds me a Ray Harryhausen's dino's in 60 Million BC, only talking and with attitude.

08 August 2004, 01:02 AM
It took ages to download but it's great. I love the way the turtle moves out of focus here and there, the dialogue cuts are clever, and details like other creatures crawling around but not being able to speak are precisely what is needed in the corner of your eye to make the fantasy complete. I wonder what children have to say about it. Did you get any comments yet from the people you do it all for?

08 August 2004, 01:28 AM
thats looks really greatness!:thumbsup:

08 August 2004, 01:50 AM
the download won't work.

08 August 2004, 03:16 AM
yea, its dead. but from what i can see from the thumb, nice job on the shell texturing! :thumbsup:

08 August 2004, 04:35 AM
Great work. I love the follow through of the turtle as the box is opened.

08 August 2004, 04:38 AM
Really great!

I think the animation is nice. Where the rendertimes huge because of all the displacement? And when you say you used HDRI, did you only use it for reflections or did you use it with IBL or Final Gather to actually create the lighting? Because that must have take ages.....


08 August 2004, 05:25 AM
VERY IMPRESSIVE WORK..really awsome`

08 August 2004, 06:59 AM
Great work Staffan:thumbsup:

Who did the clay modeling, was it you or kaj?
Give my regards to the boys.


08 August 2004, 07:13 AM
Yeah, sorry about that. The old server took a few more hits than it is used to. I've just restarted the old mule and see if that makes things any better.


08 August 2004, 07:19 AM
fantastic work. the turtle has much appeal!!! when does the movie will be seen in the cinemas across europe ? ;)

08 August 2004, 08:03 AM
Thanks for all the nice comments!

Jozvex- Cause we rendered using Mental Ray, the displacement maps didn't really tax the system too much. The real killer was the dreaded combination of Dof and Motion Blur. Most of the close-up shots were shot with a very small depth of field, and the closer we got to the 3D model, the more motion blur we had to add. I think some shots had an average of 25 minutes for the beauty pass (rendered at HD).
As for the lighting, we used a combination of a separate Occlusion pass (using the dirtmap plugin) and composited that with the beauty pass. So no, we didn't use Final gather or GI. It would have killed the render farm trying to combine that with Dof and motion blur!
The beauty pass was lighted with a hemisphere of lights which was linked to the HDR image. All the reflections were contained in the beauty pass. There was also quite a few hand placed spot lights here and there to provide kickers and just to make it look good. To control the reflectiveness of the shell (to avoid it looking like a billiard ball) we blurred the HDRI quite drastically.
But now that I remember back, for most of the shots we exported out motionblur vector info as a separate pass and ran it through in the Shake comp.

Elektronaut- Dunno when the movie is coming out in Europe. It has a release date of around the first week of October here in sweden. Håkan Bråkan seems to be a very swedish thing. The storybooks have been going round for ages here apparantly so everyone is pretty familiar with the whole premise. It'll be interesting to see if they release it internationally.


08 August 2004, 08:16 AM
Im not impressed. The whole concept is not so smart. And yeah, ive heard their buisiness idea is frightening.

08 August 2004, 08:33 AM
the turtle is great but the animation is fantastic....and it looks veryyyyyyyyyyyyyyy funny....
is the turtle always mean like this in the movie ?!? I love it, it changes from nice soft kid characters...

08 August 2004, 09:05 AM
Thanks guys! Really appreciated.
Baby: Yes he's mean, but they eventually become friends. The turtle is sort of Håkans thoughts materialized, and helps him deal with the situation that he no longer is the cute baby brother, now that he got a sister..

I animated the part where he falls and I feel that is a good topic for discussion. I have always been allergic to CG when it comes to falling. It seems that in all greater Hollywood productions, no matter how good the CG looks, when it comes to falling it is always animated too fast.
This guy is also only about 15 cm (6") long, plus has a huge stiff shell that makes him bulky and all in all I descided this was the appropriate speed to fall for him... Imagine yourself with a barrel around the waist...:)

Robert/nozzy: Yes I did a great part of the clay sculpting, but Eline, who is our workshop star, did the amazing detailing with all the scales and stuff. I did the designs together with Boris Nawratil (Filmtecknarna). Kaj Steveman was the creative director of the whole thing.

Cam and I where in charge of the animation and did the bulk of it. We also had additional help from a couple of animation students, Mathias, Matti and Jan, who also did a terrific job. Cam did all the rigging, and I did all the textures.

Johan Nordenson and John Roxenhed (Milford) did all the rendering, lighting and shading, and Johan Åberg supervised the compositing, with help from John Roxenhed and Martin Malm.

So as you can see we where a very small team on this, but we had a great time and really enjoyed this unique oportunity to digitally do a real living, breathing (talking) character in a motion picture.
This is actually the first time it has been done in a Swedish film ever! But hopefully not the last!

08 August 2004, 09:23 AM
Hey, that's really great! Nice to see CG expanding in Scandinavian films. I'm from Denmark, and there's just NO BUDGET for stuff like this. Let's hope things will change.

- Jonas

PS, the server is slow again, I can put up a mirror if you want?

08 August 2004, 09:30 AM
PS, the server is slow again, I can put up a mirror if you want? Thanks mate, that'd be great if you could do that!


08 August 2004, 10:29 AM
All right, here they are. The bit rate is not the best today, but the server has held up to a CGTalk plug before, so it should be able to stand the pressure. :)

Put these links in your first post, or people will miss them when they open the thread.

- Jonas

08 August 2004, 10:36 AM
Damn, the sculpture makes me cry as a learning sculpter. I love how the wrinkles totally flow. Turtles are awesome. Who couldn't love a turtle, amazing creatures.

08 August 2004, 01:10 PM
Snyggt jobbat Staffan!!


08 August 2004, 02:27 PM
no words can express how much i love the animation.....the facials...the attitude....the eye's extremely well executed....hats off!!! :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown:

now to what i can probably debate on -

hb_02 - where the dude falls down....

He ( turtle ) is got his hands rested on the box. So his body weight is more on to the left side as he also tends to lean a little bit to his left. While the boy opens the box the turtles anticipation takes him further into the box. How i look at it is that he should have reached for the wall of the box on to his left side with his left hand. And then follow whatever should happen. It might 've looked more of a natural thing to do.

once again. great animation -texturing and lighting..... * bowsdown with full respect *

08 August 2004, 02:44 PM
Great achievement overall... the integration is very nice.
the only things I didn't liked as much as the rest are the transitions between the facial morphs; looked quite artificial for me. But that's really a detail!
Best wishes for the release!

08 August 2004, 02:59 PM
The whole concept is not so smart. And yeah, ive heard their buisiness idea is frightening
err... what?

to everyone else: thanks!

08 August 2004, 03:20 PM
very nice but the link are very slow !!!!

08 August 2004, 03:47 PM
Haha! :lol:

Thanks Jonas for the mirror! But for some strange reason it is not allowed to edit gallery posts (!) so we can't put it in the original first post... Cam has PM:ed the mods so maybe we'll get a solution soon!

08 August 2004, 04:08 PM
toight like a toiger

08 August 2004, 04:11 PM
This surely looks great!
One thing... the voice of the turtle was totally different that I expected, I felt it did not support the dialog very well. Nevertheless it looks very nice!

08 August 2004, 06:14 PM
Great stuff! I liked the animation most of all. So much character in it! :applause:
I understand, that you had to go with the flexible and soft mouth, because the rigid peak-like mouth turtles have, would be uninteresting when lip-synced.

You've really nailed it with the skin texture!

Did you use any dynamics with the skin,, I mean other than envelopes/painted weights?

With some cloth/skin dynamics on top of simple muscle and bone structure, the skin would have moved exactly like the type of dry and loose skin turtles have. Maby that would have been too much workload on top of everything?

Nice work!

08 August 2004, 06:51 PM
Very impressive work, all around! I was really taken back by the clay sculpture, the detail on the turtle is amazing. Dumb question, but what type of clay was used for that sculpture and how large is it?

Now I want to see the whole movie!

08 August 2004, 07:10 PM
Nice, I loved the turtle ... Looking forward to se more from you in the future

SWE: Skulle vara kul om du kunde göra en tråd på (

08 August 2004, 08:56 PM
andy_maxman: Yeah, you're on to something there!

m@.: Yeah, I know. We did what we could, but there just wasn't enough time to do it like on Gollum ;) . We tried to keep it in mind, and always put in some extra transitions as we went along with the animation, but you know... Even the sun has its spots:rolleyes:

Pufferfish: funny, the people who have seen the movie says the opposite. I can't tell though; I'm far to involved:)

Flip_Render: Actually, we build a complete cloth rig for the skin. And it worked perfectly throughout testing and wrinkles and folds where just beautiful. But when renders started to emerge we noticed that all small cloth popping and some of the lagging where far to obvious, so one month before delivery we realized that it just didn't work. I really wanted it to work, and I worked my @$$ off to get it there, but time caught up with me and we had to scrap most of the cloth. However, we used the cloth simulations for the difficult parts of the sholder/upper arm deformation. You see, a turtle can turn their shoulder so that their elbow points inwards, so that the elbow meets. And our turtle also needs to gesture like a human, so his sholders needed to be able to turn a good 360 degrees...

sinthetic: The head part was about 40 cm long, so that would be a 4/1 scale or a 4-up. The sculpture was first done in wed clay, without details, then molded and cast in plaster. From that one I used a MicroScripe arm to build the outline of the mesh. Then we cast it up in Chavant clay and started the detailing. With all the scales and everything in place we did a new mold and cast it up in polyurethane resin, primed it and sent it off to be scanned. Upon receiving the high density meshes (the head part alone was 15 million faces) we extracted displacement and normal maps using Cyslice.

08 August 2004, 09:20 PM
Thanks for the run down on the clay and procedure. I had no idea there was that much going into the process! Amazing detail, can't say that enough :thumbsup:

08 August 2004, 09:26 PM
Heh! that was the short version... ;)

08 August 2004, 01:40 AM
good job. All in all it's fantastic.


-"i saw at once that you were stupid and chikcen" there's some lipsynch issues at the end of the shot
-"go and touch that snake over there" same. Lipsinch issues. Lipsynch is late at the end by 2-3 frames

- when he says: "you'll get caught if you drag me around" his head should move on the accented word.
- when he falls out of the box, there's too much emotion in his face. The first time I saw it, looking at his face I expected a scream, but there wasn't any.
- there's some connection issues with the kid touching his head.

On a general note, He's a bit cartoony for a "real" turtle, but then again, turtles don't talk so...

08 August 2004, 02:18 AM
this is fantastic, I really want to see the completed peice.. story/character...even the child actor seems good, which is more unbeleivable than the talking turtle (kidding)

I am confident the next peice you do will incorporate the (helpfull) crits given here to produce something even more stunning than this...and I really love this.

I was shocked by the turtles voice/attitude at first as well, but now i rather like it.

kick ass stuff here guys, can not wait to see more, and that sculpture is really great.

08 August 2004, 02:49 AM
Thanks for the info Kletterget! You all did a great job!

08 August 2004, 05:32 AM
thx Staffan and the rest of you guys at fido for sharing so much info on working procedures, on this milestone in swedish cinema. personally I think you did a great job (I mean I knew the model would be reat, as the lightning and rendering, but you guys have really grown as animators!) and I hope the media will acknowledge this for what it is; great, amazingly handcrafted cgi for the first time in swedish cinema (ok, you should never say "the first time" when it comes to cinema, but what the heck).

you guys rock! as always

/ Tobbe

08 August 2004, 08:08 AM
- when he falls out of the box, there's too much emotion in his face. The first time I saw it, looking at his face I expected a scream, but there wasn't any.I think the falling clip seems a bit "off" right now, because the sound editing isn't finished - but I think the animation is fine. :shrug:

- jonas

08 August 2004, 09:00 AM
it's very lovely character, good!

08 August 2004, 11:24 AM

08 August 2004, 11:53 AM
Any chance you'll show up at DV-Expo, Norrköping, to talk about the production?

It looks so good it's silly. Congratulations on this guys! I'm looking forward to watching the final piece :applause:

08 August 2004, 02:19 PM
Again Fido shows some really great CG, I am proud to be a swede!:)

08 August 2004, 02:31 PM
The textures are my favorite part. Seen alot of turtle textures but this is the best and most realistic that I have seen. AWWwwesome! :thumbsup:

08 August 2004, 03:31 PM

I really like the turtle, and the whole idea!
In the first clip, in the close up shots of the turtle, there is some problem with the focus! the turtle's head/eyes becomes blurry a few times and it looks like the camera looses focus! is this done intentionally?
If the focus always would be on his eyes, it could look better I think! =)

08 August 2004, 03:47 PM
lovely,lovely,lovely,lovely Tortoise....haha
I like!

08 August 2004, 05:26 PM
very very cool guys!

08 August 2004, 06:47 PM
I just want to say that I'm very amazed by this piece. I've always wanted to do something like this, and now I have no choice but to pursue it. Really inspiring work, serious. Whatever critiques I have, will have to wait, just props for now.


08 August 2004, 06:52 PM
keep up the good work:thumbsup:

08 August 2004, 10:33 PM
danne_n: The depth of field is quite intentional. We used the DOF info from the shot and we had the philosophy that this will add to the illusion that he really was there when they shot it. That also holds true to the way we treated framing and such. At some points in the film he moves in a way that the cameraman would not anticipate so we allowed him to go out of frame a few times as well as move before the camera moved.

jussing/emilioG: Yes, there are no sound effects when he falls out of the box in this version. This is the rough sound mix we had to animate to. When we filmed that part the idea was that he was falling out, but when they did the first rough sound track they must have forgotten. :rolleyes: On a sidenote in the final sound track to my great despair they never put any screams there... There are sound effects as he is falling, but the dialogue remains. The synch issue is actually something that appeared when we where done and we got the final mix, and this is a problem that occurs occationally throughout the film. You who will be seeing the whole film, and with a keen eye, will notice some clips where the lip sync is off by a few frames, but this is beyond our control. Someone made a huge misstake at the final sound mixes and now they say it is too late:argh:. We worked REALLY hard on getting all in synch and beleivable, so this is very frustrating, and we're still fighting for it.

Someone asked about the fact he has lips instead of a beak. This is a descision we made in the design phase. Since 60% of his body is stiff, and he always has to lean on one hand, the face became very essential when it came to express feelings and such. And we also needed a good way of making lipsynch beleivable, so we put his beak behind thick lips instead. And then shaped the lips so that you still had the same outline as the beak. I think it worked just fine, and added to his personality. OK, it made him a little bit more cartoony, but as far as it's just the face we were OK.

08 August 2004, 02:17 AM
Hey that is really cool, the turtle look great

08 August 2004, 02:31 AM
this is just simply terrific!!! my 6 year old daughter is a turtle/tortoise fanatic, and you should have seen the look on her face when i showed her these clips!

this is one of the cutest things i've seen in a long time, and the animation is just terrific! you really captured the look of a real turtle, yet you're somehow getting that "realistic" turtle to express human characteristics. bravo!!!

08 August 2004, 07:02 AM
so cool,good job

08 August 2004, 07:48 AM
Someone asked about the fact he has lips instead of a beak....(snip)
we put his beak behind thick lips instead. And then shaped the lips so that you still had the same outline as the beak. I think it worked just fine, and added to his personality. OK, it made him a little bit more cartoony, but as far as it's just the face we were OK.I think that's an excellent decision when you need photo-real, yet talking animals.

-For Dragonheart, Phil Tippett made an wonderful dragon design, with a typical dragon-carnivour-mouth. But that's the kind of mouth that's only good for opening and closing - for biting. -And they lip sync'ed it, and it looked... weird.

Now, I'm sure ILM did as great a job lip syncing him as anyone possibly could, but it's just that the design wasn't good for lip sync at all.

So I think your desicion to give him lips is just super.

- Jonas

08 August 2004, 09:42 AM
Graf Orlok, so you say they screwed up some clips in post? Sounds very unprofessional to me. I mean what is harder to do, cg or post?:)

08 August 2004, 09:50 AM
Oh jeez... don't go there!

08 August 2004, 09:56 AM
Hm, I wouldn't exactly put it that way, but they where not aware of the importance of the fact that they could not do changes to the sound editing once they gave us the rough cut. We really tried to get them to understand how important it was for us, but all in all they seem to have taken it a bit too lightly. This probably comes from the fact that it haven't been done before in this country, so they just did their job the way they use to...

That's the way it is. Small budgets might render larger problems when it comes to quality. We tried our best to do our best quality-wise at least...

08 August 2004, 10:07 AM
Jussing wrote:
-For Dragonheart, Phil Tippett made an wonderful dragon design, with a typical dragon-carnivour-mouth. But that's the kind of mouth that's only good for opening and closing - for biting. -And they lip sync'ed it, and it looked... weird.Do you remember the 80's film "The neverending story"? I saw it when I was like 10 years old or something. There's a flying dragon in that movie that looked like a labrador with fish scales. When I saw it then I thought "wow, a flying dog!". But that's not my point. Admittedly it was an animatronic dragon, but the lipsync was shocking! It rivalled even the lipsync of the bad boss guy at the end of "Spawn", and that's saying something.

There's no point to this anecdote really. The comment about dragonheart just kicked it off.

I also thought it was a nifty design to get around the whole turtle beak/lipsync hurdle. I think Disney used the same technique when disgning the hero dinosaurs for Dinosaurs.

08 August 2004, 11:42 AM
This is just awesome!!! :buttrock:

How long did it take to make all the shots?

08 August 2004, 11:59 AM
We started off early August 2003 and delivered the frames late June 2004.
Principal animation started around February and was completed late May. Lighting and rendering started in March and ran all the way until mid June.

08 August 2004, 12:12 PM
awesome modeling man....the textures are absolutely incredible....5 stars from me :applause:

08 August 2004, 12:19 PM
...not forgetting the months of R&D and rigging (which took several months to get right)!

08 August 2004, 06:43 PM
Excellent work, especially the way you have placed the turtle in its enviroments are great. I'm from denmark too, and its always lovely to see nordic animated films, you know, its a rare sight :thumbsup:

Btw. if you need some more mirrors, i can put up one

08 August 2004, 10:42 PM
Exellent work!

08 August 2004, 12:00 AM
Great Work! I just love the human personality given to the turtle! Its very damn humerous and very playful & fun! Kids are gonna have a blast with it! I myself hope it airs here in australia sometime later! look forward to seeing more!

09 September 2004, 01:19 PM
Dudes, I just wanted to say. Awesome Work. As a fellow swede, and aspiring cg-artist I salute you.:applause:

Och för övrigt ser jag mycket fram emot er gästföreläsning här på nackademin om ca 12 minuter :beer:

09 September 2004, 04:46 PM

Tack för en intressant o underhållande föreläsning! :)

12 December 2004, 04:01 PM
Just wanted to do a follow up for anyone interested.

The film premiered 8 October, got mixed reviews, but all seemed mighty impressed with the turtle and we at Fido film got overall raving reviews for our achievement.

The film has an international title - Max & Josef... Double Trouble
Here is a link to the Swedish site:
and here's a link to the international info page:

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