Artsy Rants

Spinland Animation: Ski NY!

  • April 7, 2015

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: despite my love for Central New York I am not a Winter sports person. While some folks are keen to strap boards to their feet and go slaloming down some snow-dappled hill, bouncing over moguls and kicking up clouds, my idea of the best way to spend the snowy months is seated by a roaring fire with a dram of good Scotch.

That being said, I can appreciate the folks who are into playing Sundeck Charlie (follow the link if you don’t already get the reference) even if I’ve no desire to join them. That’s why when the Matt Brewery came out with a brew they called Black Bear Bock I absolutely loved the label:

Saranac Black Bear Bock label

Super Skier

I mean, come on! Is that Mister Adirondacks, or what? Of course I had to do something about it, and I already had a fun 3D bear model built and rigged from my Lake Placid lake piece. Time to play!

It was quick work outfitting the model with some ski equipment, and I decided he needed a nice flapping scarf so I had to configure some custom dynamics and wind effects. On review I realized the glossy black fur I created for the lake animation was just too Summery to work here, so I reconfigured the plugin so the fur came out a little longer, more matte and with some grey speckles for a more snowy Winter look. The scenery needed to be fairly large-scale along the major motion axis despite the fact I planned several camera cuts, because he’d be moving at a pretty good clip for one straight sequence. Thanks to the magic of CGI that was a lot easier than having to build on to a physical sound stage! I already had a nice collection of tree models covering a wide range of habitats so enter some firs; add procedurally-generated snow cover and we were ready to rock!

This was already going to be a goofy piece (seriously: a bear on skis?) so I figured I’d camp it up a little more by starting with a quiet, peaceful scene that suddenly and loudly breaks into the action sequences. Et viola:

And there you have it. I hope you enjoyed watching half as much as I did creating it. Please leave comments, share this post far and wide, and don’t hesitate to let me know if you’d like me to make something like this for your company (or even just for you; that’s cool).

Spinland Studios, LLC is a high-tech branding and marketing studio in the Mohawk Valley of Upstate New York. We leverage the power and magic of 3D modeling and animation to take your company’s image places you just can’t get to any other way. Defy conventional marketing and let us bring your brand to life! Visit for more information and examples. Then hire us to kick your company’s marketing into the 21st century!

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