Cool District
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Cool Stories

Short articles about our work and passion projects

Formula 1, Robots and Cinematic Studies

Welcome to another installment of our Cool Stories! Here, we show our latest stuff, and then we nerd out about it in the article below. Hopefully, this article will give the untrained eye some insight behind the scenes, and the nerdy eye an interesting peek into our process and results. We typically try to wrap these exercises in an exciting package, so it’s fun to work on, and hopefully fun to watch for you.

FYI: We are not focusing on storytelling in any way ( i.e. there is no story to this movie). The edit you see below is just a collection of a series of test shots.

A preview of our latest work

This time, we created a scene with a Formula 1 car and a bunch of robot arms to explore a few things, like Depth of Field, Environment Fog, Motion Blur, Lens Flares, Color Corrections and the Vray Car Paint Material.

If you are unfamiliar with 3D: this is what a scene looks like when you are working on it.  Viewport quality is way different than the final result, which can take a lot of time to calculate. But: real-time high quality is coming soon, and we are preparing for it. More on that later.

If you are unfamiliar with 3D: this is what a scene looks like when you are working on it.

Viewport quality is way different than the final result, which can take a lot of time to calculate. But: real-time high quality is coming soon, and we are preparing for it. More on that later.

Progressive Post Production Overview

Challenges / lessons

A lot of the challenges related to animations come from the long production time. Each second of animation consists of 24 images (in this case), and so: creating a high quality video can take a long time.

When storytelling is involved, take even more time for story boarding and the meticulous planning of each shot.

A few notes on this project (we used 3dStudioMax, Vray, and After Effects):

  • Next time, we need to be more consistent in our color corrections. Some shots are too red, others, too blue.

  • Vray Environment Fog is nice (and necessary), but needs to be rendered separately (except for when recreating a full Back-To-Beauty composite. Then it can be rendered along as a pass. But still, the fog is a beast we need to tackle separately, mostly because of render times). Optimizing fog settings is a tedious process, but worth the render time improvement.

  • Depth of field (DOF) is best rendered as a pass, and then applied in Post Production. You’ll have much more control, and you will have a less noisy result, than camera-rendered DOF. However, we are noticing some ghosting around the frame’s edges and in areas with a heavy DOF. For maximum quality, render it through camera. Only when you have time, money and render machines to spare though.

  • Motion blur is really necessary to make your moving shots look great. We considered and tested fully rendered Camera Motion Blur (blur things when the camera moves), rendered object motion blur (blur only the things that actually move, disregard the camera movements), and both combined.

    Generally, we tend to use Object Motion Blur only. It will depend on the situation. Keep an eye on the most optimized settings.

  • We also tested the Vray Velocity Pass, which, in combination with the right compositing strategy (render objects that move separately), or mask them out with good MultiMattes), allows for Motion Blur in Post Production. So far, we are not too happy with the results nor are we convinced of the potential time saver by adding motion blur in Post Production.

  • Lens flares and Vray Car Paint are awesome. The flares are added in Post. To track their position, we render out a separate pass (Multimatte), which contains an RGB mask that we use let the flare plugin do it’s thing.

  • When finally posting the finished video, prepare for social media to compress your video to look like crap.

Hopefully you enjoyed our update!

Teun Ruijssenaars

Creative Director

software used:

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Teun Ruijssenaars