Dream Horse

This was our second time working with director Euros Lyn, following our previous work on Kiri. Dream Horse tells the true story of a racehorse raised on an allotment, starring Toni Collette and Damian Lewis.


We worked on around 200 shots in total, including crowd sequences. We needed to populate several shots with crowds of spectators at Chepstow and Newbury. The shots ranged from filling in gaps of a few hundred between existing spectators to populating an empty shot with over 5000 spectators. We knew early on that this could only be achieved with a CG crowd system, so we set about developing a tool within SideFX Houdini. We worked out that 4 different body types (2 female and 2 male), along with some texture variation, would be enough to give us the variation needed. Movements were divided into 4 main types – Idle, Action (e.g. cheering), Reaction (e.g. talking) and Walking. The tool enabled us to quickly populate areas with just a few simple controls to tweak the look and animation of the crowds.