Case Study: Jim Henson's "Doozers" by DHXMedia
Last year we had the great experience to work with the team at DHXMedia in Halifax on their brand new Jim Henson "Doozers" animated TV series. The challenges were to create custom procedural shading solutions for their environments, so they wouldn't have to manually model & texture everything, producing richly detailed environments without the high amount of time required. This added a great value to their proudction from a look point of view, without the need for an in-house R&D team.

An excerpt from a case study from the DHXMedia team:

"On our brand new Jim Henson animated TV series 'Doozers', we wanted an advanced lighting and shading look using Area Lights and Image Based Lighting, therefore we decided to use the very latest Pixar’s RenderMan renderer and RenderMan Studio with Physically Plausible shaders and lights.

Having a great base set of shaders and lights in RenderMan Studio, we knew early on that we would need some further customized shading solutions not only to distinguish ourselves from the other shows and our competitors, but also to take advantage of procedural techniques for our environments to make them more visually rich and complex without having to manually paint and manage many different texture maps for each asset.

The LollipopShaders team already had a lot of experience with these procedural techniques, and are also on the forefront of physically based shading with Pixar’s RenderMan, so it was great to collaborate with Christos and his team on our production. With our ideas and feedback, we developed a suite of customized shaders that branched off the physically based paradigm in RenderMan, and we ended up with out-of-the-box shaders for a variety of our crucial assets and environments like terrain, snow, adobe, and glass. Not only did these customized shaders solve our goals for this show, but we are now using them in our pipeline on other shows and will continue to do so in the future.

The shaders were created in such a way that we could easily tweak a few parameters within a given shader to significantly alter the look of it if needed, or use it as a base to create an entirely new shader (snow into sand as an example). These base shaders and the ability to manipulate them easily not only gave us great versatility within our shader suite but was also a very cost effective solution for the production. In addition to the surface shaders, we also found the HDR Lightmaps from LollipopShaders particularly useful with RenderMan Studio’s Environment Light, so we used three of their Lightmaps throughout different lighting environments on the show."
-- Richard Purcell, Director of R&D


Some test renders and videos from the show:

"Metal Plating" Shader - Click to view hi-res!
The challenge was...

"Molly's House" art reference
We based our cork and glass shading solutions based off the concept artwork

"Molly's House" glass shader test video - 
Click to view!
Initial test of glass shading on "Molly's House"

Doozers environment with Cork & Terrain shaders - Click to view hi-res!
Still render demo-ing the procedural terrain shader & cork shader

"Cracked Earth" Shader User-Interface & Infosheet - Click to view hi-res!
Shader user-interface documentation provided to the team for functionality explanations

Procedural Moss, Dunes, Rocks in "Cracked Earth" Shader
All fine geometry displacements, rocks, cracks, and moss created by procedural terrain shader

Contact us at for any questions or custom shading and rendering needs.