Planar tracking preview

by - 2012/05/18 22 Comments Development

I flew to Amsterdam the other week to hang out at the Blender institute writing some code and maybe get a second or two of screen time. We decided that one of the most useful features I could add for Mango was planar tracking. Over the last week, this is what I wrote. The video below shows the new Ceres-based planar tracker. This is on the Tomato branch and is not ready for trunk yet.

Note: this planar tracking is not as sophisticated as some of the other planar tracker packages, but give it time.

Special thanks to Sergey for integrating Ceres into Blender’s build and fixing some UI issues.

dome models and texturing update

by - 2012/05/18 19 Comments Artwork

It’s texturing time for the dome , except for the scientist boat and a few props still needing more polies (the silos and boxes in a corner), I’m now setting up textures : a first pass tells me if the object is detailed enough and  whether it needs more mesh detail or more refined textures.

An example is the bridge , right now it’s quite low poly for being in the center of the set , but textures are going a long way , and right now it doesn’t seem to require crazy high-poly sculpting , but rather a solid material and some greeble models as filler (cables, lamps, and misc. tech probably)

So here’s some individual renders dome props , you can see some of the nodes used : they are just groups (made using trunk cycles, no custom or secret code :D ) .

I’m really excited about the current texturing/shading possibilities: thanks to  batchbake, vertex color channels, blended box mapping, nice tileable textures and the flexibility of Cycles nodes … you can get really nice materials, really quick.

Hopefully this will work nicely (as in technically stable and manageable) and make lighters/shaders happy (using groups heavily is now making these materials way more readable !)


Original footage, now with ACES gamut

by - 2012/05/16 44 Comments Development, Filming

Brecht is checking on Open Color IO, he did a quick export which results in the jpgs below. Interesting but not sure if this is 100% correct, it feels too much contrasted. We keep digging :) This is what Brecht did:

  1. setenv OCIO /path/to/ocio/aces/config_1_0_3.ocio
  2. oiiotool –colorconvert aces rrt_srgb in.exr -o out.jpg

First original footage frames in 4k!

by - 2012/05/14 71 Comments Filming, Production

Ian made a quick selection of frames, straight from the RAW files, unedited 4k originals in 32 bits float OpenEXR linear color. Just 5 frames is 250 MB. Oh yeah we have Terabytes! Click on image for 4k jpg, or download the zip with all frames below.

Everyone’s invited to unleash denoising, LUTs, graders and other fancy stuff on the material and show us something amazing!

Cycles Status

by - 2012/05/14 37 Comments Uncategorized

Here’s an updates on what we’re working on in Cycles. Up to now, the features that we’ve added for the 2.64 release are BVH build time optimizations, exclude layers, motion/UV passes, filter glossy option, a light falloff node, a fisheye lens (by Dalai Felinto), ray length access (by Agustin Benavidez), and some other small things.

There’s also now a page in the Cycles manual about Reducing Noise in renders. All of these tricks are used in production with other render engines and should apply to path tracers in general.

Currently there’s still three major features on my list to implement: motion blur, volumetric rendering and a contribution pass. We already have a vector pass now for doing motion blur in compositing, but real raytraced motion blur would be nice as well. The code for this is mostly written but work is needed to make this faster, currently it’s slowing down our raytracing kernel even if the there are no motion blurred objects.

Cycles Motion Blur


The day after

by - 2012/05/12 10 Comments Filming, Production

Half of it is random stuff from the sets. Don’t worry, we rescued the more exciting props like Sebastian’s trackers and Jeremy’s gun! We’ll enjoy a couple of slower days here during weekend, monday kickoff of the 2nd half of Mango: make the vfx :)

Time Lapse – Day 4

by - 2012/05/10 14 Comments Filming, Production

Last day of filming. On location at the bridge, moved a couple of times from inside cars to under tarp shade thingys. Playing back at 3fps this time to show it off a little more (plus we were sillier with it because it was in our faces!)