Blended Box Mapping

by - 2012/04/29 23 Comments Production

Blended box mapping is a technique where you project images from 3 angles and blend them together based on the objects normals. Doing this in cycles was until recently only possible to do on static objects, but now we can use it on animated objects as well!

Download example file:  blended_box_map

This technique requires a very new build of blender after build revision 46076. That means newer then blender 2.63 stable. Or you can also use a recent tomato branch

Hope you guys find it useful

If you want to geek out and learn more about this technique then go here:

Weekly – April 27

by - 2012/04/28 23 Comments Development, Filming

Just one week left before we’re going to film! This will be on May 7 8 9 in Amsterdam Studios, and on May 10 at a bridge in Amsterdam. If you want to see us in action; then check on the set on thursday – visitors in the studio will be too disruptive and keep us from working.

Above you can see a floorplan of the studio (with 2 limbos), we will add a temp greenscreen in the white limbo for sets as well, so we can film on 1 set while the other is being prepared by the crew.

On location (exact spot will be announced asap) we’ll have a huge crane for the opening shot and some of the dialog break-up scenes.

All will be filmed with Sony F65 – brilliant 4k footage – which generates 250 MB per second. Go figure! Better not to do 48 fps then? ;) Although for slomo shots we will be using it, obviously.

Below video is Jeremy’s crazy awesome robot arm rig.

Blender 2.63 Splashscreen

by - 2012/04/27 20 Comments Artwork

For the upcoming Blender release 2.63 the Mango team worked hard to produce a splashscreen. We tested various concepts, as well as different techniques. It was a good exercise to take the tests to the next level and produce a “final-ish” image, that would also look good in the movie.

Both scenes still heavily rely on Blender Internal, in particular for the volumetric effects. The main renders come right out of Cycles, but halos and smoke could only be achieved by linking the scene to Blender internal, in a new scene, with it’s own setup of render layers and passes. As you can imagine that makes everything a bit complicated, since you work with different scenes, juggling around layers, passes and baked smoke files. The interactive preview capabilities of Cycles have been of great help and the speed and quality of the engine is improving almost on a daily basis! We are very excited to work with such great tools.

Grab the latest release of Blender here:

Here are the node setups for both scenes:

More Location Scouting

by - 2012/04/27 13 Comments Production

On the quest for the locations of the movie we visited 2 great places in Amsterdam: the old energy museum and the tower of the Oude Kerk. Unfortunately the energy museum was closed officially, and all the cool electricity machinery that we expected to find there has been moved to a different place:
But the place was still great!  Would have been the perfect location to shoot many scenes of our movie. Unfortunately we didn’t get the permission to film there.

The most breathtaking view so far was the visit to the tower of the Oude Kerk. Beautiful overview of Amsterdam!

For one hour we also got the chance to get the whole church just for us, exclusively! We got home with hundreds of reference pictures…

Anyone Good at making Maps/Blueprints?

by - 2012/04/26 15 Comments Uncategorized

EDIT: Got what we needed! THANKS! If anyone else has been working on stuff, feel free to still send it in! I’m sure we’ll still have a great use for it. We’re going to have diagrams/blueprints everywhere. But don’t start if you haven’t already. 

This entire film takes place in one location, presenting us with a lot of interesting opportunities. We already have a blend file representing the entire place, meaning that I can just sit back and fly around the scene to identify possible shot angles and stuff like that- perspectives that would never occur to us thinking about the scene just our heads. Since the entire set up is actually all planned out in physical space, I’d love to take as much advantage of that as possible.


w.i.p. tileable textures

by - 2012/04/24 12 Comments Artwork

Textures .. there’s never enough of them (especially tileable , equalized , easily reusable ones)

While modelling stuff for the dome i’ve been doing some tileable textures kits, still lots to model, but some assets already need to be tested with materials to define the pipeline (.. or simply to check if modelled detail is enough :D)


Location visits with crew

by - 2012/04/23 14 Comments Filming, Production

Today we had a near-complete film crew meeting on location and studio with Merle Bos (Assistant Director), Joris Kerbosch (Director of Photography), Eugene Sprik (Gaffer – Light), Romke Faber (Production Design) and Victor Dekker (Sound recording). We will do another meeting with the Grip (crane, dolly) later. Of course Ian (Director) and Sebastian (Match Mover) were there too.

Biggest outcome of the discussion on the bridge was that this location would have a lot of practical issues to solve; we should carefully weight if that’s worth the efforts (and money!).

Tomorrow another exciting visit will be to the former energy museum. I really hope the location is usable for us.

Later more!

April 20th Animatic

by - 2012/04/22 18 Comments Uncategorized

Here’s the current state of the animatic. Getting increasingly flushed out with the camera moves we’ll probably be using on set. We have a lot of planning with the production team this week- all this stuff is finally coming together!