2023 February Featured Artwork of FGT Art: Gothic
This February, we selected the featured artwork Gothic from the artworks of the artists who participated in our FGT Art campaign! The author of this outstanding artwork is Kay John Yim, an architect by day, CGI artist by night. Congratulations to John!The software used in this work are Redshift, Cinema 4D, Rhino, Houdini, iClone, Speedtree, and Embergen.Gothic © Kay John YimKay John Yim's personal siteKay John Yim's ArtStationLet's take a look at the creation process of this fantasy CGI.As a leading cloud rendering service provider and render farm in the CG industry, FGT Art campaign is a regular monthly activity for Fox Renderfarm users to win our rendering vouchers. You can win a participation prize of a $20 rendering voucher by submitting artwork rendered with Fox Renderfarm, and an additional $100 rendering voucher if your artwork is selected as the featured work of the month! Please check out our FGT Art Campaign page for specific details about the campaign. All Fox Renderfarm users are welcome to participate, and we look forward to your awesome artwork!
Universal Pictures Drops Official Trailer for 'Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken'
DreamWorks Animation's CG-animated film, "Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken", will be released in cinemas on June 30, 2023, and distributed by Universal Pictures. The film is directed by Kirk DeMicco and co-directed by Faryn Pearl, with a screenplay from Pam Brady and DeMicco. The voice cast includes Lana Condor, Toni Collette, Annie Murphy, Sam Richardson, Liza Koshy, Will Forte, Colman Domingo, Jaboukie Young-White, Blue Chapman, Eduardo Franco, Ramona Young, Echo Kellum, Nicole Byer and Jane Fonda.!Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken posterPoster of Ruby Gillman, Teenage KrakenHere is the official synopsis:"Sweet, awkward 16-year-old Ruby Gillman is desperate to fit in at Oceanside High, but she mostly just feels invisible. She’s math-tutoring her skater-boy crush, who only seems to admire her for her fractals, and she’s prevented from hanging out with the cool kids at the beach because her over-protective supermom, has forbade Ruby from ever getting in the water. But when she breaks her mom’s 1 rule, Ruby will discover that she is a direct descendant of the warrior Kraken queens and is destined to inherit the throne from her commanding grandmother, the Warrior Queen of the Seven Seas. The Kraken are sworn to protect the oceans of the world against the vain, power-hungry mermaids who have been battling with the Kraken for eons. There’s one major, and immediate, problem with that: The school’s beautiful, popular new girl, Chelsea just happens to be a mermaid. Ruby will ultimately need to embrace who she is and go big to protect those she loves most."Check out the official trailer of "Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken":Tips:Fox Renderfarm is a leading cloud rendering service provider and render farm in the CG industry. We offer a free $25 trial for every new user. Thanks for reading!Source: Universal Pictures
Interview with Tsvetelina Zdraveva & Jerred North, Directors of HBO Max’s Animated Short Film "Yellowbird"
"Yellowbird" is a 3D animated short film written and directed by Tsvetelina Zdraveva and Jerred North from Afterman, which will be streaming on HBO Max on March 23 as a part of an anthology of seven other short films called Only You: An Animated Shorts Collection.Tsvetelina and Jerred explore grief in isolation through the perspective of an immigrant in this short film. While living in New York, a young Bulgarian immigrant receives tragic news from overseas, and must choose between going home or staying in the US to maintain her legal status.As the best cloud rendering service provider and a leading render farm in the industry, Fox Renderfarm is glad to provide the cloud rendering service to "Yellowbird" and contribute to the birth of this short film. Recently, we had the honor to interview Tsvetelina and Jerred who share with us how they create this impressive animation.Fox Renderfarm: Hi, Tsvetelina and Jerred, it’s our honor to have you here. First of all, please introduce yourselves and your team.Yellowbird Team: Hello! It’s so wonderful to get this opportunity to chat with all of you!We are a two-person directing team based out of Los Angeles. We’ve been working together since 2013, making primarily animated commercial work. "Yellowbird" is our first narrative short film.!“Yellowbird” Poster"Yellowbird" PosterFox Renderfarm: What is the inspiration for the short film?Yellowbird Team: "Yellowbird" is a snapshot of Tsvet’s attempt to go back to Bulgaria after the sudden death of her dad while living in New York on a visa. At the heart of this story is an immigrant's struggle to process grief in isolation from relatives and loved ones, a struggle that has become much more familiar to everyone in our post-Covid world.Fox Renderfarm: How did you become a part of the Animated Shorts Program launched by HBO Max and WarnerMedia Access?Yellowbird Team: Since 2019, we’ve had a working script for "Yellowbird". And in our after-hours, we’d chip away at creating visual materials that we could use to pitch our project to grants, programs, and scholarships. By the end of 2021, our pitch was substantial enough that we felt ready to apply when HBO Max and Warner Access announced the call for submissions. We submitted our deck and then had a follow-up meeting where we presented our project in person. Luckily, they liked the pitch enough to invite us into the program.Fox Renderfarm: Any tips or tricks for the main characters' design? Are there any references?Yellowbird Team: Because the story is stylistically journalistic, we knew the animation needed to be true to life to create a real world with real stakes. We felt photorealism would be very difficult with our limited resources and could be distracting for an audience. We were immediately drawn to creating characters with a foundation in human anatomy to support natural movement, but we worked within a simplified design language. The goal was to emphasize basic shapes and planes, and modify realistic proportions just enough so that the characters might be easier to empathize with.Working from extensive reference, we designed concepts of each character in poses specific to the story that helped show their unique personality. These painted poses then became the reference for the animators to block out their shots and keep the rigs on-model.!Character Design © AftermanCharacter Design © AftermanOnce we had designs we were happy with, we sculpted them in Zbrush. There was a bit of back and forth as we looked for ways to preserve the straight lines and acute angles in character silhouettes from the concept designs, while making sure that all the flattened planes and proportional exaggerations in 2D did not become too overwhelming in 3D or too limiting for animation.Texturing was done in Mari, treating each model the same way our backgrounds were created–as camera projections of 2D paintings.!Character Design © AftermanCharacter Design © Afterman!Character Design © AftermanCharacter Design © AftermanFox Renderfarm: Why did you choose "Yellowbird" as the title of the short film? We’d like to know the intention behind it.Yellowbird Team: The yellow bird, both in Tsvet’s real life and in the film, is central to the story as a character and as a metaphor. We have our own interpretations of it, just like we hope an audience will. That the bird could mean so many things was a big part of what kept us attracted to this story for so long.Fox Renderfarm: Can you tell us about your pipeline/workflow? And how long did you finish the work?Yellowbird Team: Despite starting the program with a relatively finished script, the main character design, and a first pass at an animatic and sound design, it took a full year of production to finish the film. Between the two of us, we wrote, storyboarded, edited and created the 3d layout for the short. We then modeled and textured all characters and their props, and filmed ourselves for body mechanic reference for our animation team, Chaya in Thailand. They did the heavy lifting on rigging the models and animating the principal characters. The background characters were animated by Ashley Chung in LA, and we had some invaluable additional animation help led by Alexander Snow.!Still Image of "Yellowbird" © AftermanStill Image of "Yellowbird" © AftermanTo create the final look of the environments in the film, we used 2d-painted backgrounds and projected them onto 3d geometry. Because we had so many environments, and limited resources, we used our layout as a guide to determine the least amount of camera projections necessary to create all the camera shots we needed. We then took the layout backgrounds and added high-res assets, lit, textured, and rendered them with Arnold so that the painters could use them as blueprints for composition, lighting, and color. Lèa Pinto and Michał Sawtyruk took those bases along with a style guide and sets of photographic references we provided, and painted the final backgrounds we see in the movie. This approach helped us get what we needed with very few revisions. Menoua Dersookiasian used the geo and camera information from our layout setups and created 3-dimensional projections using the final background paintings. Chris de la Guardia was key in tying up loose ends at this stage by creating all remaining paintings that were needed and to either up-res or fill in missing parts to existing projections.!Background Paintings © AftermanBackground Paintings © Afterman!Background Paintings © AftermanBackground Paintings © AftermanWe assembled, and lit everything in house, and sent it to Fox Renderfarm for an almost instantaneous render. Guillaume Cassuto created a composite look for most of the key shots in the movie, and we applied his logic across the whole film. Kim Stevenson elevated the whole look in a final color-correction pass.The music was composed by the brilliant Ramachandra Borcar, and the sound design is the work of Gypsy Sounds here in LA.Fox Renderfarm: Is this animated short film in the style of cel-shading? Why did you choose it to present your story? Have you followed or learned any new CG skills?Yellowbird Team: The visual style of the film is something we've been developing for a few years now specifically to help tell this story. We aimed to blend the appeal and shape language of illustration and 2D animation with cinematic storytelling and cinematography that is more accessible with 3D tools.Both the story and visuals of this film are very tied to our personal experiences and taste and give us a foundation that we're excited to develop and explore in our next projects.!Still Image of “Yellowbird” © AftermanStill Image of "Yellowbird" © Afterman!Still Image of “Yellowbird” © AftermanStill Image of "Yellowbird" © AftermanFox Renderfarm: What’s the most unforgettable and interesting part of the creation process?Yellowbird Team: Reaching out to people whose work we’ve admired for years, and getting a chance to collaborate with them.Also, having the chance to build our own pipeline–something we’ve been working on for quite some time now.Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulties when creating the film? And how did you solve it?Yellowbird Team: We think solving difficulties might be another perfectly legitimate name for low-budget animated filmmaking!Because we had so many limitations, in both time and budget, we wore a lot of hats on the project, in addition to helping our collaborators do their own work. Some of the most important problem-solving we did was to find ways to help minimize revisions with the other artists so that the work could be finished on time without sacrificing quality.Fox Renderfarm: We’d like to know more about the story of Afterman. And could you share with us several unforgettable projects you’ve made?Yellowbird Team: When we first met, Jerred was working as a cinematographer and a writer, and Tsvet as an architect. We were looking for ways to collaborate together after hours, and quickly found 3D and animation to be a good middle ground for our individual skill sets.Our first project was for NASA back in 2016, and we pitched it as a blend of 2D painted textures and 3d characters and environments, similar to this film. We learned a lot about our own animation workflow on that job. With many more projects behind us since then, we were excited to try this approach again with "Yellowbird".Fox Renderfarm: Any artworks or artists inspire you the most?Yellowbird Team: So many artists inspire us and we love looking at many art forms when thinking about our own work.To start with, all the incredible artists we were so fortunate to work with while making "Yellowbird". From the incredible painters Michal, Lea and Chris, to all animators who worked with us, to our wonderful composer Ram. They are all some of the best in the world at what they do.There are other animation directors whose work we admire, and who have been pushing the bounds of what’s possible in animation; Quentin Baillieux, Rémi Chayé, Alberto Mielgo, Julien Bisaro, Patrick Osborne, and Boddicker to name a few.Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about Fox Renderfarm’s cloud rendering services?Yellowbird Team: We had tried several other render services before finding you. It can be very difficult to get a project-specific pipeline to work well with a render farm, but Fox Renderfarm integrated seamlessly into our workflow. It has been very intuitive to use the platform, and the technical support you provided along the way was always speedy, kind, and very efficient. Everyone on your team is generous and engaged, and we loved working with you!Fox Renderfarm: Any other things you want to share with the audience who supports you?Yellowbird Team: The voice of the Dad is played by the professional wrestler Miroslav Barnyashev. Tsvet thinks her dad would have absolutely loved that.Thanks a lot to Tsvetelina Zdraveva and Jerred North for using Fox Renderfarm's cloud rendering services. Don’t forget to watch "Yellowbird" starting March 23 as part of ONLY YOU: An Animated Shorts Collection on HBO Max!
Peacock Drops Official Trailer for 'Mrs. Davis'
"Mrs. Davis" is a science fiction television series which will be streaming on Peacock on April 20, 2023. The series is created by Tara Hernandez and Damon Lindelof for Peacock, starring Betty Gilpin as a nun who fights AI with her faith.!Peacock Drops Official Trailer for Mrs. Davis 1Image via Peacock!Peacock Drops Official Trailer for Mrs. Davis 2Image via PeacockThe Mrs. Davis is an artificial intelligence that exists everywhere and is almost on the verge of taking the place of God. When nun Simone's faith and the technology come into conflict, she chooses to stand up against the AI.Check out the official trailer:Tips:Fox Renderfarm is a leading cloud rendering service provider and render farm in the CG industry. We offer a free $25 trial for every new user. Thanks for reading!Source: Peacock
Netflix Drops Official Trailer for CHUPA
Netflix shared the trailer for the fantasy adventure film Chupa, which will be released on Netflix on April 7, 2023. The film is directed by Jonás Cuarón with a screenplay by Marcus Rinehart, Sean Kennedy Moore, and Joe Barnathan, starring Demián Bichir, Evan Whitten, Christian Slater, Nickolas Verdugo, and Ashley Ciarra.!chupaImage via NetflixThe Chupacabra is a legendary creature from the folklore of the Americas. The name comes from its blood-sucking behavior, which is said to attack and drink the blood of livestock, such as goats. The movie Chupa is based on this legend.Here is the official synopsis:"While visiting his family in Mexico, teenage Alex gains an unlikely companion when he discovers a young chupacabra hiding in his grandpa’s shed. In order to save the mythical creature, Alex and his cousins must embark on the adventure of a lifetime."Check out the official trailer:Tips:Fox Renderfarm is a leading cloud rendering service provider and render farm in the CG industry. We offer a free $25 trial for every new user. Thanks for reading!Source: Netflix
Aurélien’s Short Film "U 92" Made with Unreal Engine Won "Best Animation" in Evermotion Challenge 2022
The Evermotion Challenge 2022 ended successfully and the competition has selected the best entries in four categories, including "Best Animation", "Best Commercial Render", "Best Personal Work", and "Best Unpublished Work". Aurélien Brion's short film "U 92" made with Unreal Engine won "Best Animation" in the competition. Fox Renderfarm, as a leading cloud rendering service provider and render farm in the CG industry, also a long-term partner of Evermotion, sponsored the challenge, and had the honor to talk with Aurélien about his award-winning work.Best Animation - Unreal Engine Short Film by Aurélien Brion:Fox Renderfarm: Hi Aurélien! We are honored to have you here! First of all, congratulations on winning “Best Animation” in the Evermotion Challenge 2022! How do you feel about it?Aurélien: Hi! Thank you for the invitation. In fact, I posted my animation on the Unreal website without thinking about winning an award. Evermotion regrouped some of the best 3D artists worldwide and the standard of this competition is really high. I knew that I won because someone commented on my YouTube channel, and then I remembered that I had submitted this short film to the Evermotion Challenge!Fox Renderfarm: Next, we’d like to start with your personal introduction. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?Aurélien: I'm an architect who graduated from the Architecture School of Strasbourg in 2006. I worked as an architect for 2 years and then I chose to work as a 3D artist with my own agency. I've been passionate about 3D since I was a kidplaying games on Amstrad, Atari, and all that prehistoric stuff (yes, I know it was in fact 2D). I started to work as a hobbyist with some 3D software, and I was always attracted by materials and lighting.Fox Renderfarm: How many years have you been in the CG industry? Could you share your educational experience with us?Aurélien: I started to work as a 3D artist at the same time as I started my first role as an architect in 2006. I only have an architectural background and everything about 3D I learned by myself was through tutorials.Fox Renderfarm: Could you introduce your award-winning work “U 92” to us? And what does "U 92" mean?Aurélien: When I was looking for references about nuclear and radioactivity, I came across a clip from Kraftwerk “Radioactivity”. The first part of the clip was to tell plutonium production of Sellafield is 7.5 tons/year and only 1.5kgs is needed for a nuclear bomb…Starting from this, I started to write some ideas and scenarios. U_92 speaks about a worldwide nuclear reaction and nuke explosion without any war and engagement. That’s why the researchers are sent to the field, to find out what’s going on. At the nuclear plant, something strange happens and the hero faces another nuke. After that, we don’t know if he died or found another place to live in peace…U_92 is the chemical symbol of Uranium.Tips: Uranium is a silvery-white metallic chemical element in the periodic table with an atomic number of 92.Fox Renderfarm: What was your inspiration for this short film?Aurélien: Lots of short films on YouTube, but I really enjoyed the short “Irradiation” of Sava Zivkovic. This short is outstanding and Sava Zivkovic’s work is insanely good. I bought the Big/Medium/Small pack to make some tests and stills on it. After posting one of these on social media, I had very good feedback so I started to animate all of this and found some story to tell.Irradiation by Sava ZivkovicFox Renderfarm: This animation is almost 9 minutes and you must have put a great effort to complete it. Could you introduce your workflow/pipeline? And how long did it take you?Aurélien: Yes, it will take a long time making from still images with Corona/Vray, but with Unreal Engine, everything was shooting 4K in real-time without the help of the render queue. The pipeline was simple. I started with basic Mixamo animations and re-adjusted them on Unreal. I chose to replace the mesh head from Big / Medium / Small and replace it with metahuman and improve the realism. I used some packs from the marketplace, of course, and a lot of Quixel stuff too. It took about 2 weeks and a half.!starting sceneStarting Scene © Aurélien Brion!behind the sceneBehind the Scene © Aurélien Brion!behind the scene 2Behind the Scene © Aurélien Brion!behind the scene 2+Behind the Scene © Aurélien Brion!behind the scene 3Behind the Scene © Aurélien Brion!behind the scene 3+Behind the Scene © Aurélien Brion!plantPlant © Aurélien Brion!plant 2Plant © Aurélien Brion!meta blueprintMeta Blueprint © Aurélien Brion!niagara particlesNiagara Particles © Aurélien BrionFox Renderfarm: Why did you choose Unreal Engine 5 to create this animated short?Aurélien: When I saw "Rebirth" from the Quixel guys, it was a shock for me. The animation was stunning, photorealistic, and impressive. And I also saw a lot of good work made with UE on YouTube. That's why I started on Unreal Engine. Unreal and Quixel are free, which is a really good point mainly when you start to learn them. The Quixel library is huge and there are new free things every day. Rebirth* of Quixel:Fox Renderfarm: The texture, body movements and facial expressions in this animation are realistic, how did you make them?Aurélien: Thanks, I used Mixamo basics animations. A lot of times, I re-adjusted it on the sequencer to fix it but the base was still here. Facial expressions were metahumans, I didn’t use the iPhone app to animate them. I only used the sequencer and animated them by hand.!facial controlsFacial Controls © Aurélien BrionFox Renderfarm: The CG environment is really excellent. How did you create it? Any references?Aurélien: I created some of them with Quixel and Kitbash 3D assets. The nuclear plant/factory and the Island at the end are from the Unreal marketplace.Fox Renderfarm: The sound, music, and voice put the finishing touches on the animation. How did you consider the sound to match the images to set off the atmosphere?Aurélien: The sound design was made by a friend, Lucas Bastian, and yes, he did an awesome job! Thanks to him! Lucas was free to imagine the music and some of the sounds. He added some really great ones and helped me a lot to improve this short. I was impressed when he sent me the first version of it. I was so happy, the sound of the step on the rock and some little sounds here and there was so good. I really like the outro music too. For the rest, I only gave him some dialog for the characters and some sound I wanted.Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulties during this project? How did you tackle them?Aurélien: In fact, each time I started a short I tried to add some new goal, technical difficulties, to be out of my comfort zone. It was the first time that I swapped a mesh head to a metahuman head, so thanks to the tutorials. It was a little tricky at the beginning but now it's ok. Same with particles and Niagara. I had to put my hand inside and see how it worked because I wanted the effects of flying then falling particles that'd interact with the mesh and gravity.Fox Renderfarm: What is your most satisfying part of this work?Aurélien: I think it is the facial expressions because all the characters wear masks, so it is difficult to feel it. But we can still feel it through the eyes’ expressions. I love the lighting too.Fox Renderfarm: Do you remember the first work you created? Please share with us.Aurélien: I remember my first project on Unreal, and of course, one of my first 3D images rendered with V-Ray. That’s old!! ;)!first work with vrayFirst Work with V-Ray © Aurélien BrionAurélien's first work in Unreal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-AyG7TsfGoFox Renderfarm: What artwork or artist has inspired you the most during your CG learning journey?Aurélien: When I started learning CG, it was Bertrand Benoit BBB3VIZ, Alex Roman and a few others that inspired me the most. For now, beside the artist that l mentioned above, I follow Sava Zivkovic, Han Yang, Aaron Sims and a lot of others.Fox Renderfarm: Have you ever tried the cloud rendering services of Fox Renderfarm? If you do, how do you think about it?Aurélien: I haven’t had the opportunity to use your render farm, because I always had several workstations here for my node renders. And when I only still images, it was enough for me. Now on Unreal, I only have one computer and a 4090. But I’ll try soon for some still images or maybe a Corona animation!Fox Renderfarm: As a CG artist, do you have any advice for people who are still new to the CG industry?Aurélien: Yes, it’s a difficult industry because everything goes fast - computers and software are always in full development. You always have to be aware of what is new in the areas of 3D. You need to improve your skills every day, nothing is guaranteed. You must learn new software and new techniques. And you have to know that you are not the only one in this industry and the competition is global. It is all of these things that make this industry so interesting and in constant change.Thanks a lot for Aurélien spending his time doing our interview and congrats to him again! For the Evermotion Challenge 2022, Fox Renderfarm provided each winner with render coupons as a prize, and we look forward to their more excellent work rendered with Fox Renderfarm.
Disney Drops New Trailer for The Little Mermaid
Disney's live-action film The Little Mermaid is scheduled to be released in theaters on May 26, 2023. It is adapted from Disney's 1989 animated film of the same name, based on Hans Christian Andersen's 1837 fairy tale of the same title. The film is directed by Rob Marshall with a screenplay by David Magee, starring Halle Bailey, Daveed Diggs, Jacob Tremblay, Awkwafina, Jonah Hauer-King, Art Malik, Noma Dumezweni, Javier Bardem, and Melissa McCarthy.!The Little Mermaid posterImage via Walt DisneyKing Triton's youngest daughter, Ariel, is a beautiful young mermaid who is curious about the human world, but mermaids are forbidden to explore it. Ariel is eager to discover more about the world beyond the sea and falls in love with the human Prince Eric after saving his life. Ariel chooses to follow her heart and in order to obtain human legs, she makes a deal with the evil sea witch Ursula, but it ultimately puts her life, and her father's crown, in danger.Check out the official trailer:Tips:Fox Renderfarm is a leading cloud rendering service provider and render farm in the CG industry. We offer a free $25 trial for every new user. Thanks for reading!Source: Walt Disney Studios
The Making of “Metamorphosis”, A 40-Second Slow Motion CGI Animation Created by Kay John Yim
The making of “Metamorphosis” was wrote by Kay John Yim, who is an architect by day, CGI artist by night. As an architect, although he is busy with his daily work, he always carries his passion for CG and insists on self-learning in his free time, which leads to the creation of many wonderful CG artworks.!JohnKay John YimChartered Architect & CGI ArtistKay John Yim's personal site: https://johnyim.com/ArtStation: https://www.artstation.com/johnyimAs the leading cloud rendering service provider and render farm in the CG industry, Fox Renderfarm is committed to supporting the development of CG artists. Now let's take a look at how John created this masterpiece "Metamorphosis". OPENINGProject "Metamorphosis" came into being while I was exploring more efficient ways to model existing architecture as well as faster workflows to create heavy motion graphics.It is a 40-second slow motion CGI animation that depicts a solitary figure in the grandiose setting of a Neo-Gothic rotunda; as she waves her arms and twists her legs, golden branching patterns gradually reveal themselves on her dress and on the ceiling of the rotunda, creating a harmonic spectacle of light and motion.At its core, the golden patterns that gradually appear on the dress and the ceiling symbolize the interconnectedness and interdependence of all things, akin to how "Metamorphosis" was inspired by my visit to "Tribune" at Strawberry Hill House - a Gothic Revival Villa in London constructed 3 centuries ago. It highlights my appreciation for Neo-Gothic architecture, as well as the passage of time and the fleeting nature of existence.This article is a making-of journal that details everything I discovered and learned since "Ballerina" & "Kagura". While this is not meant to be a beginner-friendly tutorial, I will provide links to external tutorials or resources wherever possible.!Final Animation Shot 1!Final Animation Shot 2!Final Animation Shot 3!Final Animation Shot 4!Final Animation Shot 5 WORKFLOW OVERVIEWThe software's and workflow that I used throughout every stage of the project could be summarized as follows:1. MODELINGPolycam > Rhino > Moment of Inspiration (MOI) > Cinema4D (C4D) > Redshift2. CHARACTERCharacter Creator 4.1 (CC) > iCone 8.1 (iC) > Houdini (for retime) > C4D > Redshift3. CLOTH SIMULATIONMarvelous Designer (MD) > Houdini / C4D4. CLOAK GROWTH ANIMATIONC4D > Redshift5. DRESS GROWTH ANIMATIONHoudini > C4D > Redshift6. CEILING ANIMATIONRhino > MOI > Houdini > C4D > Redshift7. RENDERINGRedshift > Neat Video (for denoising) > Premiere Pro (Magic Bullet Looks) 1. MODELINGThe scene was modeled based on the interior of Strawberry Hill House, a Gothic Revival villa in Twickenham, London built in the 1800s. I was inspired by the "Tribune" rotunda, with its elaborate decorations. Since there were limited references for modeling the space, I visited the house in person and used Polycam's Lidar mode to photoscan the rotunda. The scanned model served as a reference for my modeling in Houdini and Rhino.!Video 1 Processing photoscan in PolycamProcessing photoscan in PolycamOnce I exported the .obj model from Polycam, I opened it up in Houdini and used "Clip" node to extract parts that I wanted to focus on at a time while modeling, which were then brought into Rhino.My modeling process could be summarized as follows:- Using Polycam's "Lidar" mode to photoscan the room;- clipping 1/8 of the model in Houdini with the "Clip" node;- extracting the 3D silhouette of the model by manually selecting group edges and using "Edge Group to Lines";- using Rhino to trace and resample curves, creating the base geometry of the room with "Loft";- flattening the ceiling into a plane using "Flow Along Surface", tracing the ornaments, and using "Sweep" to create a 3D model;- conforming the plane back to the ceiling 3D geometry with "Flow Along Surface";- exporting the model as .3dm, importing it into MOI, and saving as .FBX;- importing .FBX into C4D;- duplicate and mirror the model 8 times to form the entirety of the rotunda;!Video 2 Houdini model clippingHoudini model clipping!Video 3 Rhino modelingRhino modeling!Video 4 from Rhino to C4Dfrom Rhino to C4D The modeling process took around 4 days, but without the Polycam model as a reference, it could have taken twice as long. 2. CHARACTERWhile my female character was originally created for "Ballerina" using CC3, I have since adopted CC4 and Redshift's Randomwalk Subsurface Scattering (SSS) to speed up my CG character rendering workflow. CC4's integrated "Skin-gen" allows for faster generation of realistic skin textures without using additional displacement maps from Texturing XYZ. My character texturing workflow has been simplified to a drag-and-drop process, with textures automatically exported when exporting to .FBX.While the character creation process has become a lot easier in CC4, creating a convincing character out of imagination is still very much impossible for me. I use the 2 websites below as my go-to reference while adjusting character bone structures, face silhouettes and skin textures:Stability AIDaniel BoschungThe first website generates a non-existent person's face using AI every time the page is refreshed, while the latter has a collection of high-resolution (16k+) face photographs with good lighting.The character was first posed in CC4 with a PureRef reference overlay, which I then brought over to iC and used "Edit Motion Layer" to add subtle animation to the arms and legs - essentially 2 keyed poses automatically blended together.!Video 5 Posing with reference in CC4Posing with reference in CC4!Video 6 iClone Edit Motion LayeriClone Edit Motion LayerI then brought the character and the textures into C4D Redshift.Redshift's Randomwalk SSS (since v3.5.06) offers a more realistic model without sacrificing rendering speed. Randomwalk SSS simplifies skin material setup and produces better results under various lighting conditions. Previously, Redshift's ray-traced SSS required multiple texture layers and manual tweaking to achieve decent skin material, which made character preparation time-consuming and required constant adjustments for animation sequences with drastic light changes. Randomwalk SSS has been available in Arnold Renderer for years, but the Redshift update makes Randomwalk SSS much more efficient and therefore more feasible for animation.I use Redshift's "Standard" material for the skin materials, applying the CC textures straightforwardly - Diffuse map goes to the diffuse slot, roughness map to the reflection roughness slot, etc. I set "Reflection Weight" to 0.5 and "Reflection IOR" to 1.38; for the "Coat", I set the "Weight" to 0.3 and the "Roughness" to 0.6.Under "Subsurface," I use the Skin Diffuse map from CC as the color and set "Radius" to a salmon color (similar to the color of one's underskin when viewed under direct illumination). I set "Scale" to 0.1 to represent the thickness of the skin, and use "Random Walk" mode with "Include Mode" set to "All Objects."!SCREENSHOT 1 Redshift material graphRedshift material graph 3. CLOTH SIMULATIONI used Marvelous Designer(MD) for garment creation and simulations. Despite improvements in C4D and Houdini's cloth simulations, MD still offers the most control and the best quality, with the downside of being prone to crashing. To prevent accidental progress loss, I follow these rules when using MD:- always save the scene without the avatar (heavier scenes are more likely to crash)- delete unwanted simulations before saving or exporting- avoid using GPU simulation, which frequently fails (likely due to VRAM allocation) and requires relaunching MD- import only the character's body (no hair, eyes, etc.) for cloth sim, using Houdini or C4D to delete hair, eyes, limbs etc.My garment is based on fishtail wedding dresses. I gathered existing sewing patterns mostly from fashion magazines and Etsy, and placed them on the 2D plane in MD. I then traced them out, sewed them in 3D space, and altered and modified the patterns to fit my character.Throughout the garment creation process, I kept my character in either an "A" or "T" pose, which would later be replaced with the animated character exported from iC for cloth simulation.I kept most of the default simulation settings, but changed a few for better performance: I set garment's "Particle Distance" to 15, material's "Internal Damping" to 100, and material's "Friction" to 99. This eliminated jittering and improved simulation speed.!SCREENSHOT 2 MD settingsMD settings!Video 7 MD simMD simThe simulated cloth was then exported as Alembic and brought into Houdini. 4. CLOAK GROWTH ANIMATIONThe cloak growth animation is an improved version of the "Hakama Transformation" using "PolyFX" in C4D. I added noise to the polygon movement using "Target" and "Random Field" for a more organic aesthetic.My Mograph setup includes:- making "PolyFX" a child of the cloak;- applying a "Plain" effector to "PolyFX" to affect the scale of individual polygons;- adding a "Random Field (1)" to the Falloff of the "Plain" effector;- applying another "Plain" effector to "PolyFX" to affect the position of individual polygons, using the same "Random Field (1)" for Falloff;- adding a "Target" effector and creating a new "Random Field (2)" as the target;- disconnecting all polygons of the cloak and adding a Vertex Weight tag to the cloak set to using Fields, with "Random Field (1) as input;- exporting as Alembic and applying Redshift material, using "RS Vertex Attribute" node with the cloak's Vertex Weight tag to drive Emission.!SCREENSHOT 3 C4D mograph setupC4D mograph setup!Video 8 Cloak growth iterationsCloak growth iterationsCineversity has a great tutorial "Dissolve Effect Using PolyFX and Mograph Tools", which goes more in-depth and explains every step to achieve the effect in great details. 5. DRESS GROWTH ANIMATIONThe dress pattern is generated within Houdini with "findshortestpath" and animated with "carve", which can be broken down as follow:- bringing the MD simulated dress into Houdini using "Alembic" node;- using "timeshift" to freeze dress at first frame;- creating a point group named "start", and selecting points where the growth path will start;- creating another point group named "end", and selecting points where the growth path will end;- using "findshortestpath" node and assigning the created groups above to the "Start Points" and "End Points", the dress pattern will be almost instantly generated at this point;- assigning a "smooth" node after "findshortestpath" to make the pattern look more organic;- assigning a "carve" node and animate "second U" - this will animate the dress patterns;- assigning "ray" and "pointdeform" to project the animated dress pattern from the frozen dress back to the animated dress;- using a "sweep" node to create geometry out of the dress pattern curves;- using a "Transform" node to scale final geometry 10X and export as Alembic!SCREENSHOT 4 Houdini Node GraphHoudini Node Graph!Video 9 HoudiniHoudiniI highly recommend checking out Junichiro Horikawa's tutorial video on "Shortest Path Growth", where he covered everything about shortest path growth from basics to advanced:Note: Houdini's default unit is "meters" while C4D's default is "centimeters", hence exchanging geometry across the 2 DCCs has to be scaled accordingly every time; I do not recommend changing the default units since Redshift lighting and many other parameters only work correctly with the default units. 6. CEILING ANIMATIONThe ceiling animation - in theory - could be achieved using C4D's "PolyFX", but C4D's inability to handle high poly meshes made it impractical. Instead, I used Houdini and MOPS to replicate "PolyFX".MOPs (Motion Operators for Houdini) is an open source Houdini toolkit that introduces a set of versatile nodes into Houdini, that allows one to quickly iterate motion graphics, much like Cinema4D's Mograph tools. For anyone who has not used MOPs I recommend watching the following introductory video:There are many ways to optimize the geometry before animating it using MOPs, the primary steps I took are detailed as follow:- converting the meshes to VDBs and converting it back to meshes to get evenly distributed polygons with "polygon to VDB" and "convert VDB" respectively;- using a "Divide" node to further divide the polygons into triangular or hexagonal patterns;- using "Facet" after "Divide", check "unique points", turn on "rotate to template";- assigning an "Attribute Wrangle" node and input the following:addpoint(0, @P);removeprim(0, @primnum, 1):this adds a point at the position of each primitive(polygon), then removes the primitive and all points connected to it;- assigning a "MOPs_Shape_Falloff", which adds a falloff to control scale and position of polygons, similar to the "Plain" effector in C4D;- animating the falloff;- assigning a "MOPs_Noise_Modifier", which adds an additional layer of noise to the animation;- assigning a "Primitive", check "Do Transformation", then plugin the first slot with geometry from "facet" node and second slot with "MOPs_Noise_Modifier".The animation is essentially complete at this point, subject to a lot of additional tweaking. I also added an "attributetransfer" to transfer the "Cd" from "MOPs_Transform_Modifier" to the animated geometry, which I used later on in Redshift with "RS Vertex Attribute" to add emission.!SCREENSHOT 5 Houdini Node GraphHoudini Node Graph!Video 10 Houdini timelapseHoudini TimelapseI highly recommend checking Liam's "Professionally Incorrect" Youtube channel, where I learned how to create this particular effect in addition to a lot of effects that replicate C4D's Mograph tools in a more efficient manner: 7. RENDERING"Metamorphosis" had the heaviest scene of all my animation projects, with the architecture model totaling 4GB and alembic files over 1TB. To reduce geometry loading times while rendering, I exported each alembic frame into RS Proxies, cutting loading time to seconds. I also used a single GI Irradiance Cache file for each sequence to further optimize rendering time. This "GI Trick" only applies to sequences with slow animation and camera movement, a common technique I use for architectural visualization:- set render frame to the first frame of the sequence;- set "Motion Blur" > "Transformation Steps" set to 16;- set "Frame Duration" to "total number of frames in sequence X 2", for instance I would input 240 for a a 120-frame sequence;- set "Start" to 0;- set "Global Illumination" > Mode set to "Rebuild (Prepass Only), set to single file;- render.!SCREENSHOT 6 Motion Blur settings for preparing IPCMotion Blur settings for preparing IPCOnce the IPC is rendered following the steps above, I would then "Load" the IPC file in my "Irradiance Point Cloud" and render out the sequence with just that single IPC file.For the final renders I use all the default settings, with the exception of setting the Automatic Sampling Threshold to 0.03.This resulted in relatively noisy renders, which I then imported as sequences into Premiere Pro and used Neat Video 5 for denoising.I kept most Neat Video settings as default and "automatic", the only thing that one has to pay attention to is to right click on the Premiere Pro's viewport and to make sure that the "Playback Resolution" is set to "Full" - this would prevent Neat Video from sampling the final renders at full resolution otherwise. Neat Video's UI is fairly straightforward but I recommend everyone to check out their official tutorials to take full advantage of it.!SCREENSHOT 7 Premiere Pro Playback ResolutionPremiere Pro "Playback Resolution"!SCREENSHOT 8 Neat VideoNeat VideoWith the render sequences denoised, I used Red Giant Magic Bullet Looks in Premiere Pro to add imperfections - imperfections that one would find in video footage/films - to the final animation, which included primarily chromatic aberration, Halation and digital noise/film grain. This helped make the final animation appear more “cinematic” and nostalgic.!SCREENSHOT 9 Magic Bullet LooksMagic Bullet LooksNote: At the time of writing, a persistent NVIDIA driver issue caused Redshift to crash on long sequence renders. One of long discussion threads around the NVIDIA driver issue linked below: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RedshiftRender/posts/1504427980006407/?mibextid=6NoCDWWhile some artists found that downgrading to NVIDIA driver 462.59 worked, the only fix for me was disabling half of my GPUs.!Final Animation Shot 1 Breakdown!Final Animation Shot 2 Breakdown!Final Animation Shot 3 Breakdown!Final Animation Shot 4 Breakdown!Metamorphosis Final Animation Shot 5 Breakdown CONCLUSION"Metamorphosis" was created amid the rise of text-to-image AI, a time when many artists, including myself, were anxious about the future of visual arts. With AI able to produce beautiful images quickly and efficiently, I questioned the value of creating art manually.This project allowed me to clear my mind and explore new techniques. It took over three months and thousands of iterations to complete, during which I developed a deeper appreciation for Neo-Gothic architecture and fashion design. Perhaps more importantly, I came to realize the value of the creative journey and my intention behind creating CG art. Unlike AI generated images, every pixel in my work - including "Metamorphosis" - was carefully considered and designed deliberately to express my passion for architecture, fashion and fantasy.I hope this project will inspire others to pursue their own artistic endeavors and express themselves with CG, despite the rise of AI. I hope it will remind them that the process of creating art is a uniquely human experience, and that the journey is often more important than the end result.
Fox Renderfarm Customer's Work, Netflix Series 'Oni: Thunder God's Tale' Won Two Prizes at 50th Annie Awards
Fox Renderfarm Projects
The 50th ceremony of the Annie Awards was held on February 25, 2023. Fox Renderfarm customer's work, Netflix series "Oni: Thunder God's Tale" won "BEST TV/MEDIA – LIMITED SERIES" and "BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN - TV/MEDIA". Congratulations!!Fox Renderfarm Customer-s Work, Netflix Series “Oni Thunder God-s Tale” Won Two Prizes at 50th Annie Awards 1Image via Annie AwardsONI: Thunder God's Tale (Japanese: ONI ~ 神々山のおなり) is an original animation series that premiered on October 21, 2022. It tells a story that in a world filled with Japanese mythological oddball gods and monsters, one of the creatures' free-spirited daughters, Onari, is determined to follow in the footsteps of the mighty heroes of lore, but her unique powers are yet to be revealed. Does she have what it takes to fight to protect her peaceful village from the encroaching threat of the gods' mysterious enemies, the "Oni"?The series was created by Tonko House, produced by Netflix, and directed by Dice Tsutsumi. Our amazing customer Megalis VFX was brought onto the project to produce all the visuals for four episodes, with a total running time of 2 hours and 47 minutes. They worked with another Japanese studio, Dwarf Studios, to come up with techniques to combine the stop motion and CG environments using deep images and compositing tricks. As a leading render farm in the CG industry, Fox Renderfarm provides cloud rendering services to this series.According to Megalis VFX, after completing the pilot for ONI, it was decided that the project would be full CG animation instead of stop motion. However, the show would still retain the characteristics of stop-motion animation. To prove they could handle animated characters with their workflow, they worked on a very simple second episode, featuring a single camera with far and close action as well as with different lighting conditions.This second episode helped to push the stop motion look across all the different departments, from assets to characters and camera. You can see from the example below – on the top is the art reference and on the bottom image is the final completed shot.!Fox Renderfarm Customer-s Work, Netflix Series “Oni Thunder God-s Tale” Won Two Prizes at 50th Annie Awards 2Image via Megalis VFXThe talented team of Megalis VFX has been using Arnold since its second year since inception. And being a Houdini-centric studio, Megalis VFX already had a robust Houdini pipeline. They build a relationship with SideFX and Autodesk Arnold teams who ensured they could fill all of our essential needs during pre-production.Learn more about the making of ONI: Thunder God's Tale.!Oni Thunder God’s Tale 1Image via NetflixWatch the award-winning series on Netflix.Episode 1: Onari's Kushi PowerIt's a brand new day at Mount Kamigami and the feisty Onari preps for the first day of school — where she will learn her powers for the challenges ahead.Episode 2: The Mighty Storm GodsWith a newfound sense of purpose, Onari tells her classmates how she'll beat the Oni. Meanwhile, an unexpected guest arrives at Mount Kamigami.Episode 3: The TruthLost in the Oni village, Onari musters the courage to search for clues about her Kushi power. Back on the mountain, the Kami prepare for the Demon Moon.Episode 4: The Demon Moon RisesWhen Naridon's secret comes out, Mount Kamigami falls into utter chaos. Hurt and hopeless, a crestfallen Onari finds an unlikely kindred spirit.Source: Megalis VFX & Netflix
Paramount Drops Teaser Trailer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem
Paramount has released a 3DCG movie of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film series, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, which is scheduled to be released in theaters on August 4, 2023. The film is directed by Jeff Rowe, with a screenplay by Brendan O'Brien, and adapted from the comic book characters created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. The voice cast includes Jackie Chan, Ayo Edebiri, Seth Rogen, John Cena, Hannibal Buress, Rose Byrne, Ice Cube, Post Malone, Paul Rudd, Maya Rudolph, Natasia Demetriou, and Giancarlo Esposito.!Paramount Drops Teaser Trailer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mutant Mayhem 1Image via Paramount Pictures!Paramount Drops Teaser Trailer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mutant Mayhem 2Image via Paramount PicturesOfficial synopsis of the film:"After years of being sheltered from the human world, the Turtle brothers set out to win the hearts of New Yorkers and be accepted as normal teenagers through heroic acts. Their new friend April O’Neil helps them take on a mysterious crime syndicate, but they soon get in over their heads when an army of mutants is unleashed upon them."Check out the teaser trailer:Tips:Fox Renderfarm is a leading cloud rendering service provider and render farm in the CG industry. We offer a free $25 trial for every new user. Thanks for reading!Source: Paramount Pictures
Corridor Digital Drops VFX Reveal of Anime Rock, Paper, Scissors
"Rock, Paper, Scissors" is a very interesting anime produced by the Corridor team based on AI. The anime tells the story of twin brothers fighting for control of the kingdom through a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors. You may laugh due to the twin brothers' actions and mental activities.Watch the "Anime Rock, Paper, Scissors":The Corridor team has shared the VFX reveal of this short animation, and after watching it you may be fascinated by their excellent technique.!Corridor Digital Drops VFX Reveal of ‘Anime Rock, Paper, Scissors’ 1© Corridor Digital!Corridor Digital Drops VFX Reveal of ‘Anime Rock, Paper, Scissors’ 2© Corridor Digital!Corridor Digital Drops VFX Reveal of ‘Anime Rock, Paper, Scissors’ 3© Corridor DigitalCheck out the VFX reveal of "Anime Rock, Paper, Scissors":Tips:Fox Renderfarm is a leading cloud rendering service provider and render farm in the CG industry. We offer a free $25 trial for every new user. Thanks for reading!Source: Corridor Digital
Walt Disney Drops Official Teaser Trailer for 'Haunted Mansion'
Disney shares a teaser trailer for a supernatural horror comedy film, "Haunted Mansion," which is scheduled to be released in theaters on July 28, 2023. The film is directed by award-winning filmmaker Justin Simien with a screenplay by Katie Dippold, starring LaKeith Stanfield, Tiffany Haddish, Owen Wilson, Danny DeVito, Rosario Dawson, Chase W. Dillon, Dan Levy, Jamie Lee Curtis and Jared Leto.!Walt Disney Drops Official Teaser Trailer for Haunted Mansion posterPoster Via Walt DisneyThe film follows a single mother who wants to start a new life with her little boy in a surprisingly affordable mansion, but finds the house odd and seeks the help of a priest, who, however, enlists the aid of a team which consists of a paranormal expert, a psychic and a historian. Take a look at the trailer and see if it reminds you of the Disney attractions.Tips:Fox Renderfarm is a leading cloud rendering service provider and render farm in the CG industry. We offer a free $25 trial for every new user. Thanks for reading!Source: Walt Disney Studios
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