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View Full Version : New E3 trailer from The Box at Rhythm & Hues



Greenlaw
06-06-2011, 04:40 PM
Sorry for the cross-post but I thought Lightwavers who don't normally visit the Lightwave Gallery section might enjoy this:

Fable: The Journey (E3 Debut Trailer) (http://www.gametrailers.com/video/e3-2011-fable-the/714831)

All rendered using Lightwave 10 and Vue xStream 9.5.

I'll be happy to answer any questions that I can or am allowed to answer about this project.

Enjoy! :)

G.

Cageman
06-06-2011, 05:05 PM
Cool!

It looks pretty good I think!

The obvious questions for me are:

1) How many people were you during the project?
2) How long time did you have?

Cheers and thanks for sharing.

EDIT: Oh... and the smoke thing... was that LW as well? If so... Hypervoxels or Turbulence FD?

Greenlaw
06-06-2011, 05:44 PM
Thanks! Here are some stats off the top of my head:

1) small crew to start, I think about six for the first couple of weeks, which gradually grew to 12 to 16, including a couple off-site matte painters and one off-site FX artist. (Possibly more; there was so much activity going on that it was easy to lose track. But that's what our producer is here for.) :)

2) about 9 to 10 weeks I think

'Smoke creature' in many shots is a FumeFX element done by the off-site FX artist, and in some shots it was combined with live action elements we shot here. In a few 'smoke' shots I used Fusion Grid Warp to get it to 'reach out' in a sentient manner.

Lightwave and HD Instance was used for the bugs and other particle-ly effects. In one test I used HDI to render thousands of icky wiggling worms but this element wasn't used. (Maybe I'll post the test later.)

Other apps used in this project: Maya for animation and mocap editing; Lightwave, Modo, Zbrush, Mudbox for modeling and texturing; the studio's proprietary animation system for cloth.

Mocap was done by Giant, who always does a fantastic job for us.

Vue xStream 9.5 really came through for us on this job. The Vue environments were fully animated and rendered 3D, with the exception of two shots in which Vue was used for still renders that were mapped to Fusion 3D objects with cheated 'wind effects' applied.

Oh, and as always, a ton of Fusion love and fx work went into this project. Lots of 3D Fusion particle and matte painting effects, and I was surprised to discover that I could use Fusion's 3D environment to relight the Lightwave and Vue scenes after rendering. That became a HUGE time saver when it got down to the wire.

And I must not forget to mention the beautiful designs we had to work with came from Lionhead, Fable: The Journey's developer.

We had a great crew on this project and I'm very proud to have been part of it! :)

G.

robertoortiz
06-06-2011, 09:28 PM
Great work!
Thanks for sharing!
0R

geo_n
06-06-2011, 11:25 PM
Very nice environment. Were they rendered inside lightwave using the vue->lw link?
There's a discussion at HC about bigger studios using linux based rendernodes. Is it the same case as The Box at Rhythm & Hues?

Greenlaw
06-07-2011, 01:47 AM
Very nice environment. Were they rendered inside lightwave using the vue->lw link?
We use Vue 9.5 in a few different ways. Sometimes we render straight out of Vue 9.5 via BNR, and other times brought into Lightwave via xStream. Rendering directly in Vue was faster but the results could be noisier, so we used it for some shots where there was so much motion the noise didn't really matter. Rendering in Lightwave with the xStream plug-in allowed us to use Lightwave AA with the Vue render engine for cleaner, noise-free animation, but at the cost of longer render times, so we used it where it was most appropriate.

In addition to color .exr images, we render GBuffers and Layer Masks. GBuffers are .rpf format and contain channels like motion vectors, normals, object/material ids, z-depth and z-coverage. GBuffer renders make it easy in Fusion to create masks on-the-fly, generate realistic motion blur, and even relight a scene.

One optimization trick we learned on this job was to boolean merge the .rpf and .exr files in Fusion in a pre-comp and save the combined files as .exr; this helped streamline and speed up our comps because the .rpf files by themselves tended to be insanely huge. My guess is that GBuffer channels in an .rpf are uncompressed; when embedding the channels to .exr we can use lossless .plz compression, reducing the file size to a fraction.

Layer Masks in Vue are awesome! For example, we can group trees into layers based on depth and have Vue render masks based on what's contained in the layers. This makes it easier to sandwich non-Vue elements into the Vue scene.

Someday I would like to see Lightwave be this easy to export all these channels. In Vue it's simply a matter of opening up the GBuffer panel and checking on the channels you want embedded into the .rpf file; no need for setting up nodes or adding plug-ins. Of course, it would be even better if Vue would \let use do this directly with an .exr file.

In some situations, rendering a still image from Vue was all we needed; we would texture map the stills to layered 3D image planes in Fusion, paint a mask for fractal displacement of the leaves in the trees, and call it done. I even used Vue to generate 3D matte painting 'kits', which were items like single trees, groups of tree, rocks, grass clusters, etc., which could be quickly assembled into unique backdrops in Fusion.

But for most of the shots in this project we created fully animated Vue environments, which is pretty exciting because we've only recently been able to make that work for us. (Thanks to Ken Wilder who really hammered on this program relentlessly.)


There's a discussion at HC about bigger studios using linux based rendernodes. Is it the same case as The Box at Rhythm & Hues?
R+H uses Linux for features animation, and rendering is done using the studio's proprietary animation software. The Box, however, uses Windows, and rendering Lightwave and Vue is done through BNR.

Elmar Moelzer
06-07-2011, 07:23 AM
Awesome project! Very well done!

Ztreem
06-07-2011, 07:48 AM
Cool. Thanks for sharing both the animation and all the info behind it.

geekatplay
06-07-2011, 08:18 AM
Excelent work. Amazing work with using GBuffer. Let me know if you want share more of technics. I will be happy to post them at geekatplay site.

geo_n
06-07-2011, 08:25 AM
The layer masks in vue is interesting to know. Something standard in other appz and I hope it becomes standard in lightwave as well. You can probably do it by nodes from dponts or shadermeister or janus but I think vue's system is probably similar to c4d, 3dmax which are easy. Just checkmarks as you said.
No crazy complicated nodes to tinker, basic and direct to the point :D
Btw are you able to send scene from layout to bnr render via a render button? Not having to go through the bnr controller at all to add scenes to cue.

Cageman
06-07-2011, 02:34 PM
R+H uses Linux for features animation, and rendering is done using the studio's proprietary animation software. The Box, however, uses Windows, and rendering Lightwave and Vue is done through BNR.

How large is your renderfarm for LW? Our 24/7 farm is 24 nodes, but when we need to render a lot, we can scale up to over 100 machines during night (most of them are Intel i7).

Greenlaw
06-07-2011, 04:25 PM
The Box has its own render farm separate from R+H Features. This is mainly because we're Windows based and it's just easier to maintain it apart from the rest of the studio's Linux based network.

As for size, I'm not exactly sure how big our farm is right now. All I know is that this last job really stressed our current network. Hopefully we'll get more procs before the next big crunch. Meanwhile, the rest of the studio has a bazillion procs at their disposal. Lucky devils. :p

G.

Cageman
06-07-2011, 04:30 PM
The Box has its own render farm separate from R+H Features. This is mainly because we're Windows based and it's just easier to maintain it apart from the rest of the studio's Linux based network.

As for size, I'm not exactly sure how big our farm is right now. All I know is that this last job really stressed our current network. Hopefully we'll get more procs before the next big crunch. Meanwhile, the rest of the studio has a bazillion procs at their disposal. Lucky devils. :p

G.

Yeah, Linux is very popular in VFX facilities. Since we are a games company, we naturally have Windows... that said and all that, I wonder why NT never supported Linux when it comes to classic LW. I'm quite sure that if it would, it would be easier for it to be used in more facilities.

Oh well. :)

Greenlaw
06-07-2011, 04:33 PM
The layer masks in vue is interesting to know.
Yes, the Layer Mask option is very useful. Just drag and drop the Vue items into a layer, and then check off in the G-Buffer/Multi Pass panel which layers you want mask images generated from. That's so ridiculously easy! :)

safetyman
06-07-2011, 05:52 PM
Awesome work! Thank you so much for sharing it and your workflow!

Greenlaw
06-14-2011, 11:49 AM
Just discussed this project with my boss; we actually had only 8 weeks for this job. No wonder nobody got any sleep!:sleeping: