Worked on this commercial as a technical artist and animator.
All work is done in Maya.
Goal: The CG content for the Neverflat basketball commercial starring Paul Pierce, was a
tight schedule and was generated by a two person team. My boss and I worked around
the clock, when we weren’t teaching, to complete this assignment. We had roughly two
weeks from start to finish. I was directly responsible for animating the massive amount
of inner surface bound blocker particles (the ones not free floating). These needed to
jiggle and vibrate. In addition I was also responsible for animating the collisions between
hero particles and free-floating blocker particles. Because we had limited time to render
and develop it became clear that use dynamics to drive any simulation was not a viable
In the video you’ll see different color groupings of wall-bound blocker (blue, blobby)
particles. The colors illustrate a random grouping I created for the particles and then began offsetting their vibration positions to give the surface from appearing less regular
and boring. So all orange particles have the same offset and so one for each color.
The particle to particle collisions in mid-air were solved by avoiding soft-body dynamics
all together. The collision takes place between a NURBS sphere and a lattice deformer
that passes over the NURBS sphere. The lattice is in the shape of ripples when passed
over the surface. Lattice points are easy to tweak and NURBS surfaces naturally lend
themselves to maintaining smooth curvature under extreme displacement.
Commercial footage (C) Spalding Company. Work performed with Big Machine Studios.