In the old days, a lucky unknown lookalike or look enough alike could have scored the part of young Jack Sparrow or Tony Stark. Now, if the film has the budget, the stars get to have it both ways — and audiences get a nostalgic flashback. The final shots, of which there are , took about 15 artists a year of work. That Depp has been famous since that age was both a blessing and a curse for the production. They had numerous reference points to work with, but, so would the audience. And while the artists have gotten better over the years and have mostly managed to avoid drifting into the dreaded uncanny valley — the term used to describe the eerie feeling you get when looking at a digital person who is near-lifelike, but not quite enough — there are still trouble spots.
You have to change not only the way it looks on the outside but how it moves and reacts to movement and expressions. He thinks the next step is a digital character that plays a larger part, and not just a flashback. By The Associated Press. The design of our workflow cut down needless time and memory cost and ensured the effective delivery of our final high-quality images.
Our Modeling department began by working traditionally, providing downstream departments with a typical-resolution 3D mesh of the elephant skin. New to this production, however, they also provided a higher-resolution version of the mesh, created by subdividing the original mesh twice effectively producing 16x as many faces.
This animated mesh could then used as a driving geometry for a custom deformer developed by the Rigging department, which generated appropriate wrinkling on the high-resolution skin.
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Instead of exporting both meshes, we took the vertex positions of the high resolution mesh and stored these as metadata on the low-resolution mesh. Due to the complexity of the high-resolution geometry, we had to adjust our pipeline to ensure that the TechAnim and Lighting departments could work smoothly and also to guarantee that the many gigabytes of caches would not be synced between the MPC Film sites needlessly.
To achieve this, we made the decision to apply the simulation of wrinkles on the high-resolution geometry just before Lighting renders the shot.
TechAnim picks up the lower-resolution cache from the Animation team and adds some of their enhancements as they would do traditionally. Once their enhanced low-resolution geometry is approved, the wrinkle simulation can be launched automatically if high quality wrinkles are required for the shot. The decision to opt in or out of wrinkle simulation was made by a supervisor on a shot-by-shot level.
Instead of copying the very heavy geometry caches across sites, and incurring delays in our production schedule, we decided to only trigger a simulation in the site where Lighting is based.
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There the TechAnim team was able to check the look and behavior of the high-resolution skin. Our typical approach for rendering characters would have seen artists loading the high-resolution geometry and caches directly in Katana, but that was simply impractical for the complexity generated on this project.
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Instead, artists exclusively imported the lower-resolution geometry into Katana, keeping their scenes lightweight and quick to interact with, and ensuring that all the features based on the low-resolution geometry, e. But we also imported the point attributes of the simulution we have created before see section 3 and wrote it to a custom Katana attribute.
enter To render the wrinkled geometry, we processed the lower-resolution geometry cache using a custom Katana Op as can be seen in diagram below. The Katana Op executed a series of operations, which created the high-resolution wrinkly skin for the elephants in the end. First we subdivided the low-res mesh to get a high resolution mesh.
After this step we copied the custom attribute, which held the point position, to the actual point position of the now subdivided mesh.
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In the following we re-calculated the normals of the resulting mesh and transferred the UVs from the low-resolution mesh to it as well. Finally, all values were interpolated based on the corresponding motion blur sample.
This guaranteed that the time and memory heavy computation would not be executed when artists were working interactively in the Katana scene. Some performance statistics can be seen below in the table. Due to the seamless pipeline integration the artists were not affected during their shot work were able to continue working with their standard tools with no drop in latency or performance.
A special thanks goes to Benjamin Jones, who developed the overall concept and implemented the skin deformer. We present how have modified the way we load and render geometry for simulating trees in a larger and moving environment. We present how have modified the way we load and render geometry for simulating trees [ We present new tools and workflows to procedurally create natural looking fluffy fur effects without hair simulation.
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