As we moved from pre-production to production, one challenge we encountered was how to approach making the world of Pure feel lived in. The scale of the world is pretty massive for a production of our size, but we didn’t have the resources to create a huge cast of extras to fill out the empty streets. This meant we needed a practical fix, ideally some way of making the background characters modular in some way so that we could create a variety of options from a small base set of characters.
Our solution was to design a few base characters with a wardrobe that could be mixed and matched to create a variety. This seemed like a simple idea at the start, but it involved a team of artists working closely to make it happen.
We started with two initial character designs (one male and one female) by Carlos Machuca, then we worked with Carlos to develop a variety of clothing options that could be mixed and matched. The goal was to be able to use those two base models and be able to swap different articles of clothing around to create a variety of silhouettes.
After locking in the character design, modeler Mikel Wellington took the concept art and created the models and all their accessories. From here we gave Pure’s rigging TD Austin Broder with creating a lightweight rig and finding an easy way to control the customization of the characters. He created the awesome randomization tool that’s show below, and the animators also have the freedom to add or subtract any clothing items that they specifically wanted. The crowd animation team is now moving ahead full speed and beginning to populate the world of Pure.