Trapcode Kicks It for Kung Fu Panda 2

Aug 25, 2011 6987 5 Share
When Kung Fu Panda first hit cinemas in 2008 we fell in love with martial arts misfit Po the Panda and the Furious Five as they fought and defeated the evil Tai Lung. But this year the challenge for the teams at Dreamworks was how to create the second installment and build on the successes of the first film. In Kung Fu Panda 2, not only have the characters developed, but the film itself has upped its game with more explosions, more chases and more visual excitement – all thanks to the dedicated VFX teams at Dreamworks.

Po Finds the Truth – Image courtesy of DreamWorks Animation

Lead After Effects animator at Dreamworks, Daniel Hashimoto and his close-knit team of AE artists have brought amazing impact to some of the film’s most memorable sequences, using Trapcode Particular and Form.

Po Finds the Truth (2) – Image courtesy of DreamWorks Animation

Daniel told us: “One of the film’s most dramatic sequences – “Po Finds the Truth” – pulled out all the stops. In this sequence, which involves a village on fire near the snowy woods, Form and Particular were used to create snow, embers, smoke clouds, and a highly-stylized flame effect. The customization and versatility of Particular made it a very powerful tool to have at our disposal. Our Visual Development Artists painted the stylized effects which we wanted to bring to life in the 2D sequences, but not just in 2D, but also in stereoscopic 3D.** And since Particular, Form, and Horizon all work within a 3D environment, they were ideal for the look we wanted to achieve.

Flame example Kung Fu Panda 2 courtesy of DreamWorks Animation

** Check out Episode 59 of Red Giant TV to learn about using Trapcode Software to create Steroscopic 3D effects.
Learn more about Dreamworks animation HERE.

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  1. Any chance of seeing a preset of a flame like this?

  2. I guess it’s something like 4 emitters. One on the center, and two who are masking sides the first one, and so, shaping it.

    Fourth one for little shiny sparks.

    So, if it’s this way, you won’t see a preset. Maybe a script…

  3. Where did you read about the multiple emitters? Or did you just figure it out by looking at it?

  4. Phil is correct on how these flames work. It’s reasonably simple to do in 2D. For interactive 3D it required a handful of nulls and expressions to set the visibility distance of the “masking” particle streams to allow the camera to actually rotate almost entirely around these flames if you wanted to. I’m nearly positive Aharon or Harry has done a tutorial about linking the Particular visibility distances to camera>null distances (helpful for multiple obscuration scenarios).

    Basically, Particular just kicks ass, it seems like there’s nothing you can’t do with it (or fake with it) 🙂

  5. i Realy Surprise it’s great Trapcode have realy great plugins i’m sure i will buy some of this becuse it give amazing work thanks fir this information

    Best Regard
    Hussain AlMarkhi


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