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Texture Conversion in the GUI for Arnold & PRMan

tex_gui

In the process of trying to streamline things a bit more in my day-to-day workflow I have recently been working on a hand-full of small helper tools. One of them is a small set of scripts that handle the conversion of a selection of files to Arnold & RenderMan’s native .tx/.tex files from the filebrowser… because people like the GUI, right? :)

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Avengers 2 Trailer

avngrs2

New stuff – Marvel once again. The title should say enough :)

Currently enjoying working on this very exciting project, doing mainly lookdev and lighting. I also helped comping a few shots for the trailer.

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Katana 2D Helpers

katana_2dhelpers

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.

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Ground Contact Masks

grouncontact

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.

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HDR Prepper Nuke Gizmo for IBL (Updated!)

hdrprepper

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…

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Captain America 2 Trailer

ca2

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:

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Iron Man 3 Reel (including Breakdowns)

im3reel

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 :)

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Simple PrimVar Helper Script (updated)

primvar_helper

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.

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Dirt AOVs with Yeti & PRMan

yeti_dirt

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.

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Automatic TEX Conversion

mari_nuke_txmake

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… :)

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