As a special treat to our followers, we’re giving away our meticulously developed Atomic Anamorphic Lens Flare recipe! Check out the script and, if you’re a Nuke-savvy artist, you’ll be producing feature quality lens reflections in no time.
The creative team at Atomic Fiction recently completed “Teddy Bear” an animé-inspired, post-apocalyptic vignette to demonstrate our end-to-end concept, digital character and hard surface pipeline.
Yep — putting a digital character inside a badass, heavily-armed exoskeleton is pretty much the coolest thing we could hope to do for a living.
Atomic Fiction worked with concept artist Marc Gabbana to design the mech suit seen below. Director Mauricio Baiocchi scouted a dilapidated, graffiti filled warehouse near our offices and enlisted Jimmy Mitchell to shoot plates on the Red Epic. The character was motion captured at Ex’pression College for Digital Arts and all VFX were done at Atomic Fiction.
Jim Gibbs tackled look development and lighting with Maya and V-Ray by building a rough model of the environment and projecting HDR textures onto every surface. In contrast to a traditional spherical lighting environment, this technique allowed for a higher degree of subtlety right out of the gate. Atomic Fiction’s compositing supervisor, Woei Lee, finished the spot using Nuke.
Check out the vignette here:
Director: Mauricio Baiocchi
DP: Jimmy Mitchell
Creative Director: Ryan Tudhope
VFX Supervisor: Kevin Baillie
Mech Design: Marc Gabbana
Modeling: Brian Freisinger, Mike Hill, Alex Jupp
Textures: Brian Freisinger
Rigging: Anton Dawson
Animation: Jenn Emberly
Look Development / Lighting: Jim Gibbs
Compositing: Woei Lee
VFX Production: Dale Taylor, DeAndra Stone
MoCap Performers: Sunny Mahil, Alex Matteo Orr
MoCap Technician: Rodney Brett
Sound Design: Ryan Tudhope, Joe Loera
Special Thanks to Ex’pression College for Digital Arts
Indulge me with this quick test: what’s the first thought that comes to mind when you hear this phase: “software licensing.” Statistics tell us that 96% of you either rolled your eyes so far back that it hurt, or uttered an expletive that wouldn’t be appropriate to put into print.* Why is that?
Anyone who knows anything about the Visual Effects Industry knows that it is not easy to get your first job, especially in the current industry climate. With companies constantly laying off experienced workers and schools turning out new artists every year; the job market has become flooded with talent, both old and new. At some point it seems like finding a job is just a matter of luck.
Personally, I have spent the past half-decade or so making my way into the VFX Industry. During that time I have worked various technical positions at five different companies. I have been hired, laid off, rehired, left companies and started then finished graduate school. After all of this I am finally in a position that I consider to be above “entry level.” I mostly define this by the fact that I am a staff employee and I make more than just enough to pay my rent.
One of my favorite things about working in CG is using photography as a guide to bridge the gap from reality to digital lighting. In this post, we will explore two initially unrelated lighting ideas, one for photography, and the other for digital lighting in Maya. The final results share a very similar technique and outcome.
Typically, when working in photography, one of the major restraints is equipment (or cost). And when working in CG the restraint is often render time (or virtual cost). This is a simplification, but it can often dictate how many lights you use in a CG scene while in production or buy/rent for a photo shoot.
To begin, the first idea was to create a cost effective light ring to experiment with portrait photography. The goal for this project was to make a unique customizable look for a photography setup (and to keep the cost down!) The “light ring” idea had been bouncing around in my head for awhile, but all came to life when shopping at Target. What other place do dreams become a reality… I was actually looking for a way to better illuminate the dimly lit bathroom in my apartment to assist in shaving. I came across some inexpensive LED “tap lights” that were uniquely small and had a somewhat concentrated light source. At least, more so that what I typically have seen on the market. So, after a little scheming in the aisles of Target, I ended up leaving the store with a cart full of supplies.