This is the promo for the fifth season of Vikings that I worked on as a senior animator at BigStar. It was a great experience to be able to play such a crucial role in the production of this spot. I got to animate the shot with the axe buried in the ashes as well as the final shot of the Viking banner rising over the flames. I spent an extensive period of the production building highly detailed materials in Octane for the axe including the iron of the blade, the wood handle, and the leather straps. I also made a custom texture for the Viking banner that would have the family crest as well as burns and tears in the fabric. For the ashes, I layered multiple X-particles systems and Houdini particle systems on top of each other until I achieved the exact movement and density of ashes that we needed for this spot. In the final shot I created a cloth detailed cloth sim for the banner being raised up over the fire.
BigStar also did the promo spot for the following season. The theme changed from buried in the ashes to buried in the snow. For the spot I had the opportunity to technical direct. I knew immediately that Houdini's grain solver would be the perfect tool to simulate mounds of snow blowing away to reveal the show logo and network Logo. The grain solver produced a very realistic behavior to the snow. In order to meet the creative direction for this spot, I had to customize my solver to ensure that the logos would fully reveal but also maintain a natural interaction with the snow. I also created several other particle systems to have secondary snow particles blowing across the ground and in the air.