Firefly's biggest challenge in the project was in patiently overcoming the filmmakers' inhibitions in opting for a digital tiger, since they had never experienced such a process earlier. So there were parallel tracks of animal trainers, stock footage, puppets etc being actively tried out. It was not until we produced our proofs of concept that the tide turned. Scenes that were passable until then worked so much better with our digital tigers; action choreography was influenced; and key scenes were shot with a digital tiger in mind.
Digital tigers are complex enough - such detailing goes into multiple layers of muscle, skin, fur, and the overall range of motion. Add to it the filmmaking process we found ourselves in. But then to pull it all off with our backs to the walls, in a high-stakes movie with a superstar's name riding on it, while being responsible for tigers which are eponymous to the movie, was immensely humbling.
The result: Puli Murugan released and went on to become Malayalam cinema's first ever to cross Rs 100 crore in collections. And has since then become much loved. And has apparently galvanized the entire industry to go big. Wow!