The Skunk Ape Hoax

Image of Skunk Ape


Several years ago an incident occurred in the town where I live. A black bear had wandered in from the Everglades and was spotted on numerous occasions in residential areas. Eventually, the bear was rescued and relocated to another part of the state.

At the time of this incident I was involved in visual effects work for independent film companies on a freelance basis. I developed a concept for a story that began as an internet hoax of a sighting of Skunk Ape—the Everglades version of the Bigfoot, Yeti, Abominable Snowman or whatever it might be called in that particular geographical region of the world.

The plan goes smoothly at first until a real Skunk Ape is discovered and the perpetrators of the hoax are offered one million dollars to capture the Skunk Ape alive.

The Plan

Every aspect of the elaborate hoax had been laid out in detail. The concept art had been drawn by the artist. When the other members of the team all agreed on the version to be used the artist drew the creature in various orthographic poses to be used as references for modeling sheets. The 3-d modeller adapted the images of the front, side, back and top of the creature to construct a basic shape for the model. The basic shape was duplicated and used as the high-resolution source for the finer details of the model. The detailed model was rendered as an image that was applied to the model through the use of UV mapping techniques. The creature model was rigged with armatures to provide animation.

The hoax was ready to be put into play.

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