Framestore CFC Deploys MAXON BodyPaint 3D in 'The Golden Compass'

December 14, 2007 1:44 am

Acclaimed Texture Painting Application Used to Paint Texture Maps for Armored Polar Bears, Props, Digital Doubles and Fantasy Landscapes

Newbury Park, CA -- December 10, 2007 –

MAXON, the leading software developer of professional 3D modeling, painting, animation and rendering solutions, today announced that its award-winning BodyPaint 3D texture painting software application was used extensively by artists at Framestore CFC for their work featured in New Line Cinema's 'The Golden Compass'. Framestore CFC was selected by New Line for the challenge of bringing numerous characters of the script to life, including the armored polar bears that feature prominently in the movie.

Framestore CFC worked intensively for over 15 months to create the film's bears and environments in which they appear. MAXON's BodyPaint 3D was used extensively throughout the creation process to paint texture maps for the bears lorek, Ragnar and the guard bears, their armor, as well as for props, digital doubles and environments.

Based on Philip Pullman's trilogy 'His Dark Materials', 'The Golden Compass' is set in a parallel world that is similar to our own, yet very different. In this world, witches rule the northern skies, ice bears talk and are the bravest of warriors and every human is entwined with an animal spirit. The movie focuses on the adventures of a young girl who embarks on an extraordinary journey from the academic cloisters of Oxford to the magical heart of the frozen top of the world. Her companion and helpmate through some of her adventures is lorek Byrnison, a gigantic, armored polar bear.

Polar bear character with helmet armor inside BodyPaint 3D interface

BodyPaint 3D has been incorporated into the pipeline at Framestore CFC for numerous projects starting with their work on "Sea Monsters" for the award winning "Walking With…‟ series in 2003.

"BodyPaint 3D was particularly useful when painting the complex organic shapes of lorek's rusted beaten metal armor," outlined Daren Horley, CFC's lead texture paint supervisor. Having the ability to load a scene which contained multiple file formats with texture maps also proved invaluable in order to instantly view the pieces of armor and how they related to each other. The interlocking forms had rubbed parts of shiny metal in the overlapping areas, which needed to be accurately painted. BodyPaint 3D enabled us to do this.

"While many of the environments created were matte paintings, some were also created using rendered, texture painted geometry in BodyPaint 3D including the environments of Ragnar's palace - interior and exterior - as well as the bear fight arena."

Hand painted and detailed body armor inside BodyPaint 3D interface

Horley added that BodyPaint 3D offers the studio numerous workflow enhancements: "Having BodyPaint 3D in the production pipeline enables us to view textures on geometry and paint directly onto the surface in 3D. No other software does this. The projection paint mode allows quick and easy seam removal. In addition, the ability to clone texture from the surface of one piece of geometry across to another proved very useful, especially on the bear armor, as was the ability to alter the size of the clone detail."

Close up on the finely textured mouth and teeth in BodyPaint 3D interface


About Framestore CFC

Framestore CFC is the largest visual effects and computer animation studio in Europe, with over 20 years of experience in digital film and video technology. The company has won numerous international awards including two Technical Academy Awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, three BAFTA Craft Awards and thirteen Primetime Emmy Awards. For additional information on the Framestore, visit

About MAXON Computer

MAXON Computer is the developer of professional 3D modeling, painting, animation and rendering solutions. Its award-winning Cinema 4D and BodyPaint 3D software products have been used extensively in the film, television, science, architecture, engineering and other industries. High profile projects that have relied on MAXON software solutions include The Golden Compass, Beowulf, all three Spider-Man films, Surf's Up, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Ghost Rider, Open Season, all three Pirates of the Caribbean films, Monster House, Superman Returns, The Chronicles of Narnia, and the On-Air Packages for TMZ T.V., Comedy Central, Monday Night Football, Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, ESPN, NFL Network, NBC, DirecTV, CBS NFL, Fox and many more. MAXON has offices in Germany, USA, United Kingdom and Japan. MAXON products are available directly from the website and its worldwide reseller channel. For additional information on MAXON, visit,

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Article Comments

Mec4D ( posted at 12:00AM Tue, 18 December 2007

"Having BodyPaint 3D in the production pipeline enables us to view textures on geometry and paint directly onto the surface in 3D. No other software does this"... Hmmm.. I know 3 more softwares that do that exactly the same way... ;) The polar bear was looking fantastic , I saw the movie.. the armor was not really well done, the surface was missing something

odeathoflife ( posted at 12:00AM Sat, 22 December 2007

I have painter3d (yeah from metacreations) and still use it on fewer and fewer occasions mind you to paint right on the surface of my models... I usually just use Hexagon 2 though.

LeChatDesigns ( posted at 12:00AM Mon, 24 December 2007

Awesome look into the creative process! Thank you for sharing.

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