MAXON BodyPaint 3D Helps Rhythm & Hues Unleash its Creative Power
on the Feature Film, “The Incredible Hulk”

June 30, 2008 11:04 pm

Tags: 3D, 3D models, bodypaint 3D, CGI, Hulk, Incredible Hulk, Marvel, MAXON, special effects, special fx

Award-winning Visual Effects and Character Animation Studio Adopts BodyPaint 3D into State-of-the-Art Production Pipeline to Meet Rising Demand for Realism and Complexity in 3D Paint and Textures 

NEWBURY PARK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- MAXON Computer, a leading developer of professional 3D modeling, painting, animation and rendering solutions, today announced that Rhythm & Hues (R&H), one of Hollywoods premier visual effects and animation powerhouses, turned to MAXONs BodyPaint 3D, to address a myriad of complex texture painting challenges associated with the creation of central scenes and characters in the recently released Universal Pictures feature film, The Incredible Hulk (Hulk) most notably, The Hulks distinctive muscle-popping green skin.

Based on the Marvel Comics superhero created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the movie tells the story of scientist Bruce Banner, who is desperate to find a cure for the radiation which poisoned him and which lets loose the rage within him that transforms him into The Hulk. Animators at R&H leveraged MAXON BodyPaint 3Ds speed, agility and intuitive processes to quickly create the complex and dynamic effects necessary to bring the story to life. Altogether, Rhythm & Hues worked on 234 shots in Hulk. The team of eight texture artists used MAXON BodyPaint 3D primarily to paint and texture The Hulk and his nemesis, The Abomination, in addition to painting props and portions of buildings and environments.

Were committed to using the best software that will allow us to quickly and efficiently produce the highest quality texture maps, and BodyPaint 3D is number one, said David Perkins, technical support supervisor at Rhythm & Hues.

R&H features a state-of-the-art production pipeline comprising a balanced mix of proprietary and off-the-shelf software. According to Sarah Kym, a lead texture painter at Rhythm & Hues, a 3D paint and texture package needs to be smart and adaptable, and BodyPaint 3D more than fit the bill. BodyPaint 3Ds tools make us more efficient. Examples include the Clone tool, the ability to hide faces to get around tight spots, multiple cameras, and layer effects. It makes me very happy when I see a tool that can cut my paint time in half. Kym has also seen an increasing demand for realism and complexity in 3D paint and textures in the past several years, along with an explosion of technology to meet the new challenges, noted, Were constantly pushing for bigger and better effects, and packages like BodyPaint 3D have helped us get to that next level. Additional BodyPaint 3D tools and capabilities deemed particularly useful to the R&H team while working on The Incredible Hulk included its extra-large texture map capacity, customizable user interface, Raybrush technology and projection painting.

MAXON BodyPaint 3Ds interactive, real-time capabilities proved particularly invaluable to the R&H team when they were faced with creating a wide array of highly complex action shots, including the storys signature physical metamorphosis of Bruce Banner into The Hulk. For this critical transformation sequence, MIG (Muscle Influence Group) maps were created in BodyPaint 3D, enabling lighters and animators to control the way the muscles rippled under The Hulks skin. Kym added, Every material group had multiple maps with each group to influence small sections of muscle, and they had to match within the material and across other materials. It was a crazy puzzle that had to fit as perfectly as possible so that we didnt end up with weird ridges or bunched-up muscles. Id load 10 or 15 layers of maps per material group into BodyPaint 3D so that I could visualize how they were lining up, and then seam them or add or subtract them as needed. I was so happy that I could keep loading them in. I kept waiting for BodyPaint 3D to crash, but it didnt!

Additional key scenes developed with the help of BodyPaint 3D included The Hulk coming under heavy weapons fire and both The Hulk and The Abomination demolishing vehicles. The weapons fire scene required painting different types of damage onto The Hulks bodyincluding wounds, dirt and scrapes. Aaron Skillman, a lead texture painter at Rhythm & Hues, explained, Using BodyPaint 3D, I could project all the reference maps for where the damage needed to be on the model and then paint/project the damage onto the areas of the body where it would normally be difficult to paint, such as the elbow, heel, and side of the torso. Crafting the destruction of a Humvee and motorcycle was equally challenging, These 3D props were complex and highly detailed, Skillman noted. BodyPaint 3D handled the textures and all the maps necessary to paint them in the detail and in the 4K resolution we needed for these scenes.

The artists at Rhythm & Hues did an outstanding job leveraging BodyPaint 3D to create the wide array of complex textures and painted surfaces that comprise much of The Incredible Hulks core graphic elements, said Paul Babb, president and CEO, MAXON USA. Rhythm & Hues positive experience using the software on Hulk underscores MAXONs commitment to developing critical and intuitive 3D content creation tools that enhance digital production workflow and allows artists to quickly create highly detailed and accurate texture maps.

MAXON BodyPaint 3D has been an integral part of the R&H production pipeline for the past 18 months, and Hulk served as an important steppingstone in the artistic teams familiarization and adoption of the product. The studio is currently using BodyPaint 3D on several forthcoming films, including, Mummy 3, They Came from Upstairs, The Fast and the Furious 4, and Land of the Lost. R&H is presently evaluating MAXONs leading 3D animation software, CINEMA 4D and Projection Man, a tool that makes it fast and easy to create digital environments.

About Rhythm & Hues

One of the worlds leading producers of visual effects and animation for movies and commercials, Rhythm & Hues, founded in 1987, has contributed to more than 115 feature films, including Babe, which won an Oscar in 1995 for Best Visual Effects. The studio is also the recipient of three Scientific and Technical Academy Awards. Recent productions include Alvin & the Chipmunks, Evan Almighty and Night at the Museum. Currently in production at Rhythm & Hues are The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, They Came from Upstairs, Cirque du Freak, Land of the Lost, State of Play, and The Time Travelers Wife. More info at

About MAXON Computer

MAXON Computer is a 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. MAXON has offices in Germany, USA, United Kingdom, France and Japan. MAXON products are available directly from the website and its worldwide reseller channel. Specially priced learning editions of the companys software solutions are also made available to educational institutions. For additional information on MAXON visit

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Article Comments

Jean-Luc_Ajrarn ( posted at 12:00AM Tue, 08 July 2008

Thank you for this article. :)

majikart ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 09 July 2008

My opinion is that Maxon bodypaint 3D is a really cool program; The big downside IMHO is there are absolutely NO tutorials,Nobody out there who has come out with a descent and thorough tutorial DVD that would take you from A to B; The artists that did put out DVD tutorials Flaked barely 1/3 of the way through; I would love to have a Complete, Thurough from-A-to-Z Tutorial DVD set about Bodypaint 3D, Until then, This program is just taking up valuable hard-drive space.

cipatli ( posted at 12:00AM Sun, 13 July 2008

I used once, the tutorials work,but when i tried to work with it, it simple dosent work i keep trying for 3 days and it doesnt work,well compliqueted and it dosent work.

baramdo ( posted at 12:00AM Sun, 13 July 2008

Go to C4DCafe for a DVD tutorial about BodyPaint. That site also has an excellent forum for C4D users. With version 3 of BP and version 10 of C4D both programs are joined together. Now you can have both at the base price. If you upgrade BP to version 3 you get all the tools of C4D - not the modules though.

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