Cool District

Cool Stories

Short articles about our work and passion projects

Giant Robots - Chapter 1: introduction

By Kris Treiber - 3D artist at Cool District

A recent image exploring styles for a shot of the robot landing

A recent image exploring styles for a shot of the robot landing

Welcome to the first chapter of our stories! This is a place for us to share some of the interesting behind-the-scenes on projects we do for own enjoyment. We're all passionate artists looking to improve and grow at every opportunity. These side projects give us a chance to do just that in cool ways.

In our stories, we will take you along our challenges and discoveries, giving insight into what makes us tick. We will be focusing on the following topics:

  • Giant scene setup.

  • Advanced compositing.

  • Animation workflow.

The first project here is a robot flying through a city. The end result of this project will be a 5-10 second cinematic piece, revolving around futuristic stuff. We're all excited about it because, well, it's a giant robot — enough said. Part of the fun is the sheer size of the environment. A cityscape is a far cry from the brand work we typically create. The size of this project meant a new level of organization to contend with. It also meant extensive R&D into improved animation, rendering, and compositing techniques—not to mention special effects, and the creation of our own city map.


We created our own city map to communicate easily with the asset creation team

One of the challenges with this project was making such large scenes manageable for a person to navigate through. So much geometry in a scene can make our computers incredibly slow and unwieldy. Our solution to this challenge was building the city in pieces, like board game tiles, that could be ‘snapped’ together in a larger scene using references. These references don’t allow editing, but speed up a scene considerably (we'll talk about these things called Xref and Proxy in another installment of our story).


Shown here: one of our many custom buildings, built in separate scenes, and created in a modular fashion. We can easily work on pieces of the city separately, and update our main city file with the click of a button.


Our new modular 3d sidewalk elements

More imagery and information will follow in the next chapter!

- Kris Treiber

Software used for this project

Software used for this project