Katana 2D Helpers


One of the great things about Katana is the ability to have a simple compositor right within your lighting/lookdev environment. I have been using its 2D features more or less extensively throughout the last couple of projects. It’s quite handy to tweak your HDR that you’re using right before you plug it into an environment light, without the need to go into Nuke again if you’re doing just smaller tweaks. Unfortunately Katana’s 2D interface lacks quite a few things that would make it a valueable alternative to Nuke for preparation tasks, because you have to wire more things together. So I was working on a few ‘gizmos’ to make the process a bit less cumbersome.

(continue reading…)

Ground Contact Masks


Integrating CG into uneven soil is an interesting challenge. On a recent show we had to integrate CG characters into plates which often had a grassy ground. For Comp it’s benefitial if you get masks from Rendering to aid the blending of the CG elements into the grass. If the ground the characters are walking on is flat this can easily be achieved with a standard PWorld AOV. It get’s a bit trickier though if the characters are walking up a hill or a similarly uneven surface, because the coordinates at which the character comes in contact with the ground are constantly changing. I’ve been trying to come up with a system to make a Comper’s life easier and found a relatively simple solution. (continue reading…)

HDR Prepper Nuke Gizmo for IBL (Updated!)

Image based lighting often times simplifies getting started with a good lighting setup when trying to integrate CG into life action. Often times it’s beneficial to have the IBL sphere to just contain the ambient lights from the environment and therefore to paint out any actual light sources from the set. Those can then be used on separate lights to give the main illumination from the set lights, while the IBL sphere contributes ambient environment light. Now, if you have a lot of different environments and consequently a lot of different HDR’s it can be tedious to paint out the lights and output them after that… (continue reading…)

Captain America 2 Trailer

2 weeks ago Marvel released the first Trailer for Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier. It was yet another project I had the pleasure to work on. I’ve been comping a couple of greenscreen shots for the Trailer and there will be more stuff coming. But for now, enjoy the Trailer: (continue reading…)

Iron Man 3 Reel (including Breakdowns)

For everyone who doesn’t like reading all that much, there now is a video online as well that shows the work that we did on Iron Man 3.
There’s not a lot to say, it was just a huge amount of fun and I think it payed of :) (continue reading…)

1 Comment more...

Simple PrimVar Helper Script (updated)

Primitive Variables are a really cool way to get variation in Renderman Shading Networks. As it requires adding Attributes to your Shape Nodes within Maya to control the variation it can be quite time consuming to set it up. So I was trying an attempt to build an interface that helps a bit with the set up. (continue reading…)

Dirt AOVs with Yeti & PRMan

CG fur always has the tendency to look very clean and soft. To break up the structure and to give a bit more realism I like to mix it with a bit of dirt, e.g. some leafs or sticks in the fur of a character walking through the woods. Here’s a quick rundown on what I’m doing to achieve this using Yeti and Renderman within Maya. (continue reading…)

1 Comment more...

Automatic TEX Conversion

To render more efficiently and to get some particular features working one has to feed Renderman with .tex files. Most regular image files can be converted to .tex files with the txmake executable that comes with RPS. However converting multiple files such as UDIM’s from Mari can be time consuming. So let’s make things a bit quicker… :) (continue reading…)

1 Comment more...

Iron Man 3 Work Breakdown

With Iron Man 3 being so successful there have been quite a few articles recently about the VFX work. Particularly this article focuses on the work we’ve been doing at Trixter over the last couple of months to make the suit come to live.


Prep Work Tips