CG Sketchbook , notes and tutorials

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.

CREDITS:

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.

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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.

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