The Big Bad Pig was a collaborative studio project that I was a part of during my first year of Graduate school at NC State. A class of about 15 students split up task in a full pipeline production for a short film…
(Click to see all)
The Big Bad Pig was a collaborative studio project that I was a part of during my first year of Graduate school at NC State. A class of about 15 students split up task in a full pipeline production for a short film. The pitch was for the short film to be an illustrated story of the main product which could later become a storybook app for the iPad. One of our main precedence was Moonbot Studio’s amazing app “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore”. The combination of stop motion and 3D animation came across very well.
We spent about 2 months flushing out the story. Many ideas were drafted and a lot of variations were on the table but ultimately there can only be one. Unfortunately, my variation was not chosen but I did include it below for those who would like to read it. The story that we did choose is posted below as well, written by fellow graduate student at the time, Lorrie Guess.
In production my task was to make the 3 pigs houses. I started with building off of house shapes that another classmate created. My thinking with the houses was trying to stay true to the character and their supplies. If I was this pig, in the context of our story, how would I construct this house, and why? The brick house was for the Big Bad Pig, whom the story is about, so it is the one house that is close to our modern style of urban architecture.
At the time the pig would of built the house he would of still been level headed, down to earth, and a hard worker. As the story progresses however his ego would of caused him to clean up less after himself, resulting in things beginning to slowly fall apart and quick fixes being applied to them. These quick fixes can be seen in the doorway area and crumbling roof top. Detail was only added where shots would take place, and since no shots took place in the back of the house it was kept fairly simple. The same thinking went into the stick and straw houses. The stick house has a stick in front of the house to act as a lantern when set on fire. The entrance was created using Maya’s nCloth system. A simple drape over the large horizontal stick and some slight sculpting gave me the effect I needed from it.
The straw house proved to be the most difficult of them all since straw is not a large enough object that it is easily determined on it’s own from a distance. We notice straw in clumps, although it is distinguishable on it’s own, in a structure like a house it would be unreasonably time consuming to place each hay strand into a house structure. So I looked to Maya’s Fur system for solutions.
After a lot of failed attempts I decided to go with the use of transparency maps. This was needed since the pipeline was incorporating the use of render layers for more control in post-production, while rendering with Maya’s default software renderer. The main issues I kept running into was the transparency not rendering out correctly. It came down to an issue with Maya recognizing the alpha and literally came down to a click of a single button to fix it (got to love Maya!). It became apparent that many straw planes would be needed to give it the richness and feeling of piles of straw. Since we only had one semester to do everything I opted out of using a thousand planes for straw and used a combination of simple modeled bulks of straw and planes of straw sticking out of them. The results can all be seen above.
Overall it was a great experience. I learned the importance of getting things done when by the deadline. Due to the end of the semester and a lot of the students graduating and going our own separate ways we were unable to finish the project but it did serve as excellent experience for us all.
Once upon a time, a big bad wolf ravaged the land. None of the animals were safe. The wolf ransacked the chicken coup eating all the eggs, and roamed the pastures terrorizing the sheep, but what he loved best was the taste of pig, and so he went after them. He demolished two of the three little pig houses. The first one was so easy that he could blow it down. The second was so easy that he could knock it down. But the third was made of brick, and he could not destroy it. He climbed down the chimney, and there he was stuck, and the third Pig was a hero.Before long though, other wolves came, this time in packs. The animals were afraid, so the pig climbed up the chimney and took the wolf’s tail, put it on his hat, and went down to see the wolves. He told the wolves that he was The Big Bad Pig, mightier than even The Big Bad Wolf, and seeing the big plume of tail, they feared him and fled in the night, and the Pig was a hero.
In thanks, the other animals gave The Big Bad Pig gifts of food, and he enjoyed it. Over time the Pig grew fat and the other animals became disgusted with his greed. So with no sign of the wolves for a while, the gifts stopped, and the animals decided to move on with their lives. But the pig didn’t want the gifts to stop and decided that a wolf had to return so he could get more gifts and continue to receive the royal treatment.
That night, after all the animals had gone to sleep, the Big Bad Pig rolled around in dark mud until he was as grey as a wolf, then tied the wolf’s tail onto his tail. He crept on all fours and started destroying the Chicken coupe howling “Aoooooo! (oink)”. Terrified, the Chickens flutter their wings and run away. Now partially covered in feathers the Big Bad Pig quickly rolls in the mud to even better his disguise.
The animals shiver from fear as they notice the Wolf shadow draw closer. Feeling confident the Pig proceeds to the next house howling “Aoooooo! (oink)” and begins destroying the small plants sitting on the window. Looking up to what appears to be the shadow of the Wolf the animal screams and runs away as well. Soon the whole town was screaming as they all ran to the town hall. Seeing how much fun he was having the Big Bad Pig didn’t notice he was covered in more debris, so he rolled in mud again to better his disguise.
As the animals fill up the hall the Big Bad Pig chases them down, gaining on a small Kitten. “C’mon!” the mother Cat yells over her shoulder, but she stops short when she sees the Wolf’s shadow approaching. Shaking from fear the small Kitten closes her eyes as she is covered in the Pig’s long shadow.
With her child in danger, the mother Cat lunges towards the Big Bad Pig, steering him away from her child. The Pig is shocked and tries to back away as the rest of the animals step forward, standing up to who they think is the Big bad Wolf. One by one the animals lose their fear as they decide to stand up for the little Kitten and the Big Bad Pig, not seeing where he is going, trips over a rock, and falls into the pond, washing his disguise off.
The animals gather closer as they see the Big Bad Wolf isn’t a Wolf after all. “It’s the Pig!” they yell. The Pig stares, not knowing what to say, steps out of the muddy water covered in guilt. “It was you!” exclaimed the Cow. “You have betrayed us.” said the Stallion. “Go, go, go!” honked the Geese, as they waddled toward him with their wings outstretched, and herded him away. “But what if the wolves return? You need me! What will you do?” cried the Big Bad Pig as they edged him out of town. “We will work together”, said the mother Cat. Then all of the animals, from the biggest of the big to the smallest of the small, scared away The Big Bad Pig. Their fearsome reputation quickly spread across the land so that not even the biggest and baddest animals would dare to face them, and so they all lived happily ever after.
“The pig takes on three big wolves to avenge his fallen brothers.”
The birds chirped as they heard the sound of the Big Bad Wolf. Only this sound wasn’t how they were used to hearing him. For the first time the wolf was losing. “And stay out” the pig yells as the front door flings open spilling the Big Bad Wolf out unto the dirt trail, causing the birds to fly off. Brushing the dirt off his hands the pig watches as the Wolf runs away. “When will he ever learn” says the Pig. Realizing the time he goes back to preparing his table. “Where are my brothers?” the Pig mutters to himself, “they should be here by now.”
Having gotten impatient the Pig ventures out to go find his brothers. As he approaches the house of sticks he is shocked to find it in ruins. “What happened here” he thinks to himself as he picks up a stick. “Hello? Anyone here?” After a few moments of silence the Pig ventures on the straw house. After seeing it’s also in ruins the Pig gets angry and picks up some straw. “You’ll pay for this Wolf!”
Fastening his hat the Pig marches to Wolf Den, the home of the Wolves. “You a little lost ain’t you piggy?” says a Wolf who gives the Pig a mean stare as he approaches. “I’m here to get my brothers back.” the Pig states. “HA HA HA HA, don’t know what you talking about boy. Now get lost before I get hungry.” The Wolf teeth reflect the low sunset. Unfazed by his words with his brim low the Pig continues chewing a piece of hay. Angered by his lack of acknowledgement the wolf screams “Fine little Piggy, your mineeeee!!!” As the Wolf lunges forward the pig throws several sticks of hay, which act as needles as they hit the Wolf in mid air. The wolf falls flat with a loud whimper. Calmly, the pig approaches and demands to know where the Wolves leader is. Struggling to move the wolf points, and as the pig walks in the direction he is approached by another wolf.
“You the leader?” the pig asks. “Who wants to know?” says the wolf. “I’m here to get my brothers back”. “Well I can’t help ya” the Wolf explains while licking his lips. “Hmm…but looks like you can help me.” The wolf steps closer slowly trying to plan an attack all the while the pig stands his ground. All of a sudden, pouncing like a flash of lighting the wolf leaps forward as the pig pulls out his stick and jabs the wolf beneath the chin. The Wolf and the stick hit the ground at the same time. Immediately several wolves come in to surround the Pig. “Step aside…he’s all mine” says the head Wolf as he steps forward. “We got a score to settle.”
The two prepare to stand off as the remaining Wolves back away. The Wolf makes a confident grin. Hoping his words will scare the Pig he decides to taught him. “You see piggy, your not in your home anymore. Nothing to protect you out here.” The Wolf smiles again and the two start running full speed towards the other. As the eyes of the remaining Wolves watch, their smiles get wider with excitement. “This is where you die!” yells the Wolf as he jumps in the air to land on the pig. Not surprised the pig jumps in the air holding a brick from his house that he uses to punch the Wolf, square in the stomach, causing him to let out a howl loud enough for the whole town to hear. The remaining Wolves watch in amazement as the wolf spits out the pigs brothers and falls flat. Terrified for their lives the Wolves scatter in all directions and the Pig helps his brothers up as saliva drips from their bodies. “How’d you do it?” one of the brothers asked, “Ahh, all in a days work.”