VFX Student Reel

VFX Student Reel

Sonia Seow
by soniaseow on 23 May 2021 for Rookie Awards 2021

The complete two part Smilodon Project spanned about 10 to 11 months along side some personal projects done in my down time that are included in the reel. The goal was to photorealistically recreate the famously extinct Saber-toothed tiger (Smilodon) and bring it to live.

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Project Smilodon : Parts 1 & 2

My mentor once said "if a thing looked good, that's great. Now make it move."  My personal aim for the Smilodon graduation project was to challenge myself into doing something I thought I couldn't do. I was especially itching to try this when Lion King was released and was all the rave. Without knowing where to begin and with the help of my amazing lecturers at The One Academy and the online Ziva community, I was able to navigate my way into learning the technicalities of rigging, simulating muscles and fats with Ziva and grooming with Yeti. 

The look development for the smilodon was quite fun as it was both challenging yet flexible. Since nobody actually knew how it looked like, there was a chance of creative flexibility to make it blue... but within the realm of realism and science, I decided otherwise. However, the actual machairodont subfamily of felids do not exist anymore nor have any recordings of it's fur thus I based it off as much research I could find on it's geographical habitat and it's biological distant cousin, the modern day feline.


Animation by Denzel Eu.

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