April 2018 - Our friends from Keller.io have done some fantastic work on the recently released German movie "Die Kleine Hexe".

Their task was to create the raven "Abraxas", who is a central creature in the movie.

Take a look at the movie trailer:

Martin at Keller.io used Carbon Plumage to simulate all feathers on Abraxas and we are very excited and thankful to share his feedback and technical information about this project.




Were you the only artist using Carbon on this project?

Yes, setup and shot work. Simulations were running over night on my machine, sometimes up to 8 shots. It was really impressive to see all cores working on simulations.

How was the learning curve for you, i.e. how easy is it to use Carbon Plumage and how much experience do artists need to have in order to be able to work with Carbon Plumage?

It was quite straightforward to use Carbon Plumage, because it's very predictable and stable, so you can concentrate on your work.

How does Carbon Plumage compare to other feather simulation systems?

It's more technical than in other packages, I guess, but it fits perfect to Houdini. So if you are familiar with Houdini it is quite easy to pick up. Speed is incredible, and the keyable subdivisions are perfect. I had no issues with stability and cannot really remember any Carbon specific crashes.

Would you use Carbon Plumage again? 

Yes, it was really cool.

Would you recommend Carbon Plumage? 

I already did, and some have licensed it.



  • Including the trailer, the total shot count was 95, ranging from 50 to 750 frames per shot (average of 150-200).
  • Each shot has 40 frames pre roll before the actual animation starts, which was used to grow and settle the feathers.
  • Main hero feathers are animated Carbon colliders, all smaller feathers are simulated with Carbon Plumage.
  • Altogether, Abraxas has a total of 5573 feathers that were simulated with Carbon Plumage.
  • Average simulation time varied between 15 and 30 seconds per frame, depending on the shot.
  • There are 4 different plumages on the bird (big, average, small and freak feathers), all completely mixed and interacting with each other.