Short animation project : E-Fuel
Here’s a project i just finished , a 1min animation about e-cars refuelling stations , done in Blender (of course !) , rendered in cycles , all work done remotely using Opam as project man. tool.
Project advertisement company : GEM Globe Event Management
CG team :
Guido Alesse: mechanical parts rigging , animation
Alfonso Annarumma : character modelling, texturing, rigging, texturing car interior, cafè modelling and animation
Petru Ciobanu : tools developer , renderfarm management.
Francesco Paglia : supervisor , compositing , layout
Nicolò Zubbini : environment modelling, texturing, shading and lighting , pre-comp and render optimization.
Youtube link to full video : http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=cPn5w8mXwPk
This was quite an interesting 1st collaboration with the people above , and a great test of remote collaboration , we used Opam (a proj. man. tool that handles tasks and revisions on a web ui plus the files sharing and versioning) and long hours of google chat and hangouts.
Despite the small team, there was a good variety of specializations , which i suppose was key in having all go smooth , i improvised as renderfarm wrangler and layout supervisor a few months ago , and, yes, i survived , but i was pleasantly surprised this time to see the 1st run of ‘definitive’ renders come out correct with no re-do neccessary.
On the technical side , the big thing of the project (at least in my area) was Cycles : we had too keep rendertimes low , and work fast .
So : node materials , as usual are great , and fast , quickly plug togheter some tileables , some word mapping uvs , some vertex color and masks .. and you get some nice shading , without all the time consuming unwraps and custom texturing.
Then the lighting , Cycles is best known for GI and slow, many-bounces renders.. but you can do some nice direct+AO setups , and tweak each shot and each pass for optimizations.
So here , we always had diffuse bounces at 0 , but with an AO pass and a brute-force raytraced skylight (the world light, considered direct light by cycles) , you often don’t need anything more for exteriors.
For glossy we varied a lot , 1 bounce is necessary to get mirror reflections , but at 0 you still get sky and lamps reflections , which was enough for about 1/2 the shots , and much faster.
In 1 shot , where the car does a turn around the camera , the 1 bounce glossies were beautiful , but also very noisy at one angle where the sun hits the car strongly.
There i used some bilateral blur denoising only on the glossy indir , bilateral blur is generally an unreliable and messy thing , but here it worked nicely.
I’ll try to put togheter some detailed infos or maybe a video about these lighting questions (partly i did that in the tutorial from previous post) but 1st .. i should make the ‘resources’ pages on this blog ! sorry for the inactivity , but luckily i’ve been busy enough recently.