The Dome!

by - 2012/07/09 24 Comments Artwork

Dome view on bridge with captured robot. Central set in our movie. Dome environment by Nicoló, Robot by Kjartan and Matte rendering by Andy.

Weekly – July 6

by - 2012/07/08 15 Comments Artwork, Weekly meeting

Here’s some picks of last friday’s weekly. Ian’s already having fun with playing with color spaces and tonemaps. “Film shit” he calls it!

(Actor credits: Jody Bhe, Derek de Lint, Vanja Rukavina, Sergio Hasselbaink, Rogier Schippers)

environment art videos : materials shaders presets

by - 2012/07/07 14 Comments Artwork

Here’s a first tutorial/log about environment modelling and texturing.

It’s about materials in cycles, shaders-preset nodegroups in particular , next videos will be more strictly about modelling and texturing, but i’m starting with this because .. it’s just such a cool topic: while setting up textures for the dome it was necessary to organize them in a way that lighting and shading artists could make sense of it, tweak it or rearrange the material for the final shot .

So i started using nodegroups for organization… But it’s more than just keeping the node-tree tidy and readable, it speeds up material creation, keeps things consistent and allows to refactor and do quick ‘global’ changes on materials.

It’s also a good starting point to just discuss best-practices for texturing and shading in Cycles, so i’m looking forward to comments, and the presets you see in this video could be expanded with more types and variants (there’s quite a few threads on BlenderArtists i need to dig through :)

More to come, I’m still tuning the audio recording quality (I removed noise and normalized in Audacity, but my new soundcard is still misbehaving. It’s also tricky to find the right balance between doing many takes and editing more, to make the speech more fluid)

“Make Stuff More Real”

by - 2012/07/06 34 Comments Artwork, Compositing
(Not a real site. But it should be.)



We’re making a movie. And it has a lot of VFX shots in it (110ish?). And they were not photo-real enough. So now we’re making everything more realistic! And keeping up with our quote of 50 seconds per week.*

You want to know what’s tricky? Staring at a picture that looks pretty good, but not entirely realistic, and trying to figure out what exactly is off about it.


post-apocaliptic spring-cleaning

by - 2012/06/23 27 Comments Artwork

The env. modelling phase is really approaching the end now!

i’ve been working remotely for the last 3 weeks , and next one is my last on the project ! sigh ! but it’s time for the models to be final since further steps depend on that.

Last weeks have been basically a big post-apocaliptic spring-cleaning, going around the dome fixing and adding all the missing bits . Once you’re done ‘adding’ things, there’s always a quite important phase of going over everything again and ..clean up, complete and repair.

Continue, to read more about this and control center detail modelling  :

Continue F65 RAW, Linear EXR, cleaned, and finals!

by - 2012/06/21 28 Comments Artwork, Development, Production

I’m very happy that our friends at have agreed on hosting all of the files we’re producing now and in the next months. In total we expect to have 2 TB of material;

  • RAW files from the Sony F65 camera (4k)
  • Linear OpenEXR files in Rec709 gamut (4k, half float), converted from the Linear OpenEXR ACES gamut files as is output from the Sony F65 player/converter software (closed sw).
  • Cleaned OpenEXR files with alpha (4k)
  • Final renders in OpenEXR – before grading (HD 1920 x 800)
  • Final graded files, in OpenEXR, PNG, etc (HD 1920 x 800)

Here’s already the RAW and OpenEXR from two shots in the film (60 GB)! Everything will be released (entirely!) after the film went to premiere. The files then can also be used to complete the DVDs we’ll make for our sponsors; that way they can fully recreate the pipeline with originals!


by - 2012/06/12 20 Comments Artwork, Production

Last week we’ve captured for everyone in the studio for a whole week every minute a screenshot! That’s going to be a great video! Needs time to process, so it’ll be published later (or as  DVD extra ;)
Just for fun, here’s the capture of today 18.00. From left to right,  top to bottom: Sebastian, Jeremy, Campbell, Ian, Andy, Roman, Francesco and Kjartan.

Scientist Shootout Allabouts.

by - 2012/06/08 22 Comments Artwork

The biggest focus this week was trying to get the shootout scene in the scientist’s tunnel completed. As with everything, it was a crazy balancing act of figuring out the right ratios of feasible render times to sample rates to noise reduction.

Just figuring out how to light realistically in cycles has been one of the biggest challenges. Cycles is incredible for smaller stuff, but once you get up into massively complex environments, it starts to slow way down, and you have to start throwing more and more cheats in there to make things really work. We know what we’re going for, but sometimes it’s a bit like learning a new language to figure out how to make the tools do what we want.

That said, we must be learning or something, because everything is looking better and better.


Old and new shiny things

by - 2012/06/07 25 Comments Artwork

Hello Mango!

border rendering in viewport

My first week was focused on getting familiar with the production pipeline and structure. I also worked on lighting the amazing dome environment. Starting out a bit slow at first, thanks to a few great additions to Cycles by Brecht things were picking up speed! Spot lights were added to Cycles: and thanks to border rendering in Camera View we can now quickly render portions of our viewport at a higher sample rate.

Further, I started working on the holographic bubble of science-ness: