This is the first animation test for my new short film, ‘The Unknown Soldier’.

I used some stock mo-cap of a skipping rope cycle, and after a bit of cleanup with the feet contacting the floor I parented the rope handles to the hands and then hand animated the rope rotating around the body.

Lighting was added using the hdri, a directional light from the main window and 3 point lights to mimic the bounce light from inside the room.

It was rendered in Maya using Arnold, with several passes for mattes, hdr shadows, additional floor shadows from the point lights, soldier beauty and shadows.

I hit a problem with outputting motion vectors for the rope.  Arnold doesn’t render out motion vectors for a deforming object using the aov so I had to improvise for the test.  I exported the rope as a alembic cache and imported that into Nuke.   I could then set up a quick 3d scene and simply add it to the scene.  The only problem with that is that it’s not textured but I wasn’t too worried as it was a just a test.

Of the top of my head, I think I could just render out the rope from Maya and then copy the motion vectors from the 3d object onto the 2d render.  Thats another hurdle for another day though.