Monday, 14 February 2011

Negotiated Brief revisited

I'm trying to catch up with some of the old work and fine tune it for my showreel. I started with the heart idea from the negotiated projected last year. Although it doesn't look that exiting, the techniques of 2 1/2D, camera mapping and combining CGI elements with real live footage are the bread and butter of digital compositors nowadays. So I hope that this clip shows some skills on those levels.
I mainly changed the stuff George pointed out at the feedback tutorial. There were some issues with dark edges around the layers of the 2D background, that was fixed by simply adding unpremultiply nodes. There also was an issue with a halo around the CG heart. That was a bit more complicated. The reason for the halo was that the depth pass of the heart was separate from the depth pass of the forest. Although I knew that from the start I originally tried to use the same blur node for both depth layers and animate the refocus effect when the heart comes into the foreground. But since both depth layers have a different range of values, I either got the heart sticking out too much from the background or blurred. When I tried to make up for it I ended up with the front of the heart in focus, the rest completely out of focus- that's were the halo came from. So I could have used a separate blur node and readjust the focus by hand, but I just went back to Maya and rendered out a depth pass that included both, background layers and CG heart. That definitely made things easier, but there is still a problem with edges everytime I use a depth pass with a lens blur, but I did my best to avoid it.
Other than that I just kept the depth of field down, kept the colors more saturated, added a hint of light wrap around the heart and lens distortion.

Here's the original one:

Here's the breakdown of the new one:

Heart VFX Breakdown from Peter Stache on Vimeo.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Muliple Camera Render Script

Roy asked me to write a script that sets up cameras for multiple camera rendering. Mayas way of dealing with multiple cameras is pretty stupid, cause you can set the duration of an individual camera (at least not that I know of). I wrote the plugin that creates cameras and puts them into individual render layers. You can then set the start and end frame for the camera and it creates layer overrides in the render settings.
The new sequencer in Maya should do that, but you can only preview (playblast) the animation, not actually render it.

The UI

The render settings. The orange text means its layer overridden. The plugin selectes the right camera with the layer.

Click here for the script.
It might take a while, before the script is up. Normally it takes s few days.

Friday, 4 February 2011

More Lighting

A morning and night shot for the Toyshop. I tried final gathering for the first time and I can honestly say it makes it look rather pretty, but the render time is massive. So I'm gonna be careful with the settings.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Plugin Preview

My plugin is finally in a stage of testing. I got the interface written and all procedures working (well... that actually needs to be tested). I made a little preview viedeo. It shows the different kind of localized erosion/crumble possible. I kept it pretty simple and there is alot more things you can control, but I thought I don't want to confuse people... just yet.
If anybody is interested, I would need some people to test it before I put it on the net. Just contact me.

ErosionAndCrumble Plugin for Maya WIP from Peter Stache on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Particle Test

A little particle test. I tried the overburn technique from Peter Shipkov and David Shoneveld. Worked quite alright, but render time is gonna be huge. in this crappy quality it took already almost 30 min for 8sec. I mainly tried to get it to change texture, from thick to wispy. Looks like a good start.