Cow Mobility Scores

Developing a 3D training tool for cattle farms

What did the client need?

Many health conditions in cows also manifest themselves in the form of laming. Spotting lame cows in a herd is therefore crucial to identifying and treating cows with underlying health conditions, which will ultimately impact the profitability of these animals and the herd as a whole. Our client planned to introduce a new scoring system for judging the mobility of their cows, and they wanted to train their staff to recognize specific signs. In the beginning, they thought about producing a live-action video, but realized that it was impossible to clearly show the four laming stages they wanted to depict with real animals. Instead, our client decided to develop animated walk cycles, showing the specific laming stages. Cattle workers were meant to watch these videos and learn to identify the different laming stages.

How did we meet this need?

First, we developed an initial cow model, sculpted to resemble an adolescent Black Angus calf. Then, we created the healthy walk cycle, which would serve as the comparison for the laming stages. After that, we progressed stage by stage. With feedback from our client’s experts, we were able to create four realistic-looking walk cycles with progressively worsening laming stages until, finally, the cow is reluctant to move at all. In the end, we also created a group video of about 30 cows walking by in an outdoor setting. During the project, our client expressed the wish to add a farmer, who would come up behind the last cow and try to make it move forward with a rattle paddle. For this, we filmed an actor in front of a green screen and then inserted him into the scene.

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