VFX Fridays: Dancing With SpeedTrees

Straightface Studio and the Pacific Northwest Ballet

Sometimes SpeedTree shows up in where you least expect, such as a performance of the Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” by the Pacific Northwest Ballet. Straightface Studio livened up the overture by creating an animated intro to set the stage (pun intended) for the performance.

We were honored to be asked by the Pacific Northwest Ballet to create an opening video for the new version of The Nutcracker by George Balanchine featuring original designs by ‘Olivia’ illustrator Ian Falconer.
The animation is played live during Tchaikovsky’s Overture to open the show and takes you through an 1880’s New England forest, a small town, and finally arrives at the Stahlbaum house where you join up with some unexpected little visitors.

Be sure to check out more of Straightface Studios work at their site.


Josh Johnson of VFX Daily and “Looking Glass” by Derek Lam

We’ve seen Josh Johnson’s SpeedTree work in indie films such as One & Two and in the above video, he uses SpeedTree Studio to add multiple animated vines to match the stationary vines that were already in place in the last two shots (Spoiler Alert).  We often talk about SpeedTree when it shows up in huge films, but this is a great example of how the right tool can make a difference in a smaller project.  SpeedTree Studio doesn’t offer animated growth so Josh used C4D to create the effect. All compositing was done in NUKE along with some flower petals rendered with Arnold.

Check out more Josh Johnsons impressive work at www.vfxdaily.com  as well as his SIGGRAPH 2015 talk on his work in indie films.

Learn more about SpeedTree studio or go to Store.SpeedTree.com to try an evaluation today!