Week 71 – Cloud projections

posted in: Textures | 2

Before introducing this week’s video, we’d like to share with you some very good news! Indeed, we’ve been selected for the first ever IP Incubator Spotlight on CGSociety. Basically, it’s a group where people are encouraged to post every two weeks the progress they’ve made on their personal IP’s so they can stay motivated and get some feedback from the community. Every months, the moderator chooses one project to be in the spotlight, and this time, it’s Le Gouffre!

If you want to have a look yourself, here’s the link:

Now, for this weeks’ video… we thought you’d like to see the technique we used to add movement to our painted clouds, like in our autumn sequence. We don’t explain everything in detail, but it should give you a good enough idea of how it’s done so you can adapt it with whatever program you use.

There you go, we hope you enjoyed this week’s post. Come back soon for more news about Le Gouffre™!

Week 55 – Camera projection technique

posted in: Compositing, Textures | 3

Hello everyone!

It’s going to be a longer post than usual but we felt like doing things a little different this week and show you our camera projection technique. You might not realise it, but almost every shot in our film contains at least a little part of reprojection somewhere, going from small modifications to the entire retexturing of the set. Obviously it’s more work per shot, but it’s the fastest way to get exactly what we want on screen.

Some of you may wonder why we do not simply texture everything perfectly from the start. That’s a good question. In fact, our set is so huge that our computers could never handle the quantity of high resolution textures required to cover close-ups of every part of the set. For this reason alone, we have no other choice but to use this technique. From a visual standpoint, we also benefit greatly from this technique. Imagine one second that every single part of our set had sufficient details for a close-up. That might be fine for everything that is close, but everything that is going to be more than 10 meters away will look far too detailed for the painterly look we are after.

Let’s take this shot as an example :

That’s the kind of thing you might see when opening a new shot. Obviously, the set isn’t exactly looking the best it could. As I explained earlier, it is because it has been textured to be seen from afar. The cliffs you see in the back, for example, would be far too blurry and low-res seen from upclose, but are perfectly fine from this distance.

The first step consists in creating a new camera. It will be used to project the new texture on the ground geometry. The tricky part is finding an angle that covers the whole visible set from the animated camera. It’s also often needed to place it a little higher than the shot camera so that if there are little rocks or bumps, you don’t see their textures being all stretched out on the ground behind them. Once it’s done, all that’s left is doing a render of what we see on screen, paint over in photoshop and reproject it all on the geometry using the same camera. We often give ourselves the liberty to modify the set to make the composition more pleasing, like adding little rocks our remodeling a part of the ground that is too simple.

Here’s what the final texture looks like in the scene :

The time that each shot takes to be retextured varies, but it usually takes between one and four hours. It doesn’t take that long to do and as you can see, it looks much better!

Here are a few other shots that had heavy modifications.

Plan 027_030 : Original low-resolution textures

Plan 027_030 : Textures after the camera projection

Plan 022_030 : Original low-resolution textures

Plan 022_030 : Textures after the camera projection

Plan 022_030 : Final shot after compositing

Plan 022_040 : Original low-resolution textures

Plan 022_040 : Textures after the camera projection

Plan 022_040 : Final shot after compositing

Well, that’s it. We hope you enjoyed our little tutorial! See you in two weeks for more news about Le Gouffre™!

Week 51 – Grant application

Hey everyone!

The last two weeks were rather busy since we had to complete everything that was missing for our grant application which is due january 18th. It’s a lot of paperwork, but we’re very proud of the result and believe we gave ourselves every chance to succeed. Cross your fingers for us, we should have the results somewhere in may!

For those who are curious, here’s what the package we’ll be dropping at their office tomorrow looks like!

Now, for today’s post, we prepared two images of the latest developments Thom and myself did on the film. First off, a frame of a new shot we never showed you before!

And next, a little pine tree test I’ve been working on. We’re trying to develop a very sketchy style where we can clearly see the paint strokes, something we see far too little in 3D (in our opinion!). Anyways, we’d like to hear your thoughts!

That’ll be it for this week! As always, thanks for being there, and see you next time!

Week 43 – Little technical issue

posted in: Textures | 5

We’re back!

The least we can say is that we had our fair share of emotions these last few weeks. As we were getting all excited about rendering our entire set for the first time, our main computer crashed on us with a smell of burning. Verdict: the water-cooling system is done for and leaked everywhere. The replacement piece is on its way, but until then, our precious render beast will have to take a break.

Luckily, we didn’t lose anything (except a day cleaning the leaks) and we managed to transfer the project on Carl’s computer. So more fear than harm was done, and the project is back on track!

We even succeeded at rendering the set without exploding another computer, so that’s encouraging. Here’s the last test for the autumn look in HD:

As always, don’t hesitate to leave a comment!

Week 39 – Village textures

posted in: Textures | 1

Hey everybody!

Since I took upon myself to finish the village textures this week, we thought we’d show you the result. There are no lights, fog or other render effects for now… this is just a quick screen grab to show you where we are at.

Of course, the mill also had a beauty treat!

That’s it for this time. Thanks for coming by and see you next time!

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