OK that was a bad reference. Anyway…
Having found myself with some welcomed downtime from work, I decided to hop on a train from Philly to NYC with Scott and check out the July AENY meeting. I’ve actually planned to go to quite a few of these in the past, but something always seemed to come up. It was great to finally get out to one.
After a quick dinner and mojitos in the village, we made our way to the meeting where Eric Epstein gave a nice lengthy overview of his very cool camera tracked Trapcode Particular 2 Street Tests.
This was followed by an informative, and often inspiring vfx breakdown by The Molecule’s Chris Healer of a challenging flame-laden sequence from the FX channel’s series Rescue Me.
If you practice or are interested in motion graphics, vfx, cg or post, live in (or close enough to) NYC and don’t already know about it, I highly reccommend checking out these meetings which are usually held on the last Thursday evening of each month.
If the talent and knowledge shared at these events weren’t enough to interest you, there are also usually a ton of great door prizes offered at the close of the meeting, and good stuff too! Last night’s winners walked away with Trapcode’s Particular 2 and Gridiron’s Nucleo Pro 2 to name just a few of the many great prizes. I hope to make it back to another meeting soon!
I have just recently enrolled in the July ’09 semester of fxphd, an online vfx/production/post training program that I’ve had my eye on for a year or two now. I’m STILL in the process of auditing several of the classes, which has made my decision of which classes to choose even more difficult as everything I am seeing is looking truly great. The courses and materials covered appear to be extremely well thought out and frankly, quite inspiring. Having the option to check out the first 2 classes of each course is a nice feature, you get a good feel for the course not to mention the overall program.
Although I was initially planning on taking some After Effects and C4d courses with the mindset that I wished to strengthen some of my skills and knowledge there, after reviewing some of the other classes, I am now leaning towards some compositing-geared courses, as well as the previz class.
But Tim’s classes still look great! Hmmm…decisions decisions…
No worries, if you desire to take more classes above and beyond the three electives you get when enrolling, you can for an additional fee.
Check out their 0-Week course overview video below, which was shot in Japan for some cool stuff and beautiful footage. And big robots too.
Here is a straight render of the escalator I built for an animation which was shown in this earlier post.
I had it built textured and rigged over the course of a weekend. I used the Cinema 4d Mograph module to duplicate the steps, and the Mograph effectors to move them and flip them appropriately as well as to keep them level as they descend.
There are definitely some imprefections here and there, which unfortuntely will happen when you are under a deadline. The blueprint style however was forgiving to any rendering blemishes or minute details that weren’t 100% accurate, so we moved on to the next object once the client signed off.
Will post more shots soon!
Here is yet another Factory Floor-related post. The industrial Potato Slicer, which takes your standard potato and tosses it one step closer towards the arterial plaque it will eventually become.
Our good friend Jason Martin modeled the slicer carousel in Lightwave I believe (the central part that spins) and was rewarded with his name adorned upon the blueprint title block. This was rendered and animated in C4D, then composited in After Effects.
Below is another, The Snow Blower, which Jason and I worked on as a tag team.
We were originally to be given a CAD model from the manufacturer, but for legal reasons we were (somewhat humorously) only given a wheel, a short section of handle bar and the red “shroud” that envelopes the machinery, meaning we had a lot of work left to do on it. We were originally told we would need to do a product “build” so most of the guts were initially built as well, but in the end, none of the animations focused on the machinery within.
We pecked away on the model over the course of a few months, only because the schedule changed regularly, frequently pushing the snowblower later and later in production, while other scenes moved to the forefront in order of priority. As mentioned in an earlier post, there were about 100 animation calls to get through, which included approximately 50 or so models to build, rig and animate. While some models may appear somewhat straight forward in terms of model complexity, the sheer amount of objects to get through forced us to prioritize when we could work on them.
In a recent post I gave an outline of some 3D tracking/compositing work I was doing for a tradeshow using Cinema 4D and After Effects. See Cinema 4D Virtual Set Project: Part 1 for more information.
Here are some clips from the finished show.
Below is the 3D tracked greensreen footage focusing on just the camera move that was used in the opening shot of the show. It was rendered here via the OGL preview option in c4d. I’ve thrown in some poly shapes that were built from the point cloud the tracking software generated just for spatial reference.
And below is the composited shot with cg set. Theres a few compositing issues I will eventually get around to adjusting (light on face and some keying issues for example), but as it usually is with these things, we did the best we could in the time frame we had.
Another shot below in which the actor needed to appear to have entered a large futuristic laboratory. The footage drops out for a few frames but you get the idea. I think CineCat did a great job analyzing these shots.
And the finished shot with cg elements. (compositing disclaimer, as mentioned above is in effect here too!)
The client wanted a sillhouetted “ipod commercial” treatment of the nameless laboratory research characters, with just a hint of light hitting the edges of their clothing.