VOLUME 2, ISSUE 3 APRIL 2007 CGArena Get Attention in Computer Graphics CommunityGALLERY INTERVIEWShowcase of latest 3d inspiring art Pete DraperPHOTOSHOP 3DSMAXRemoving flash highlights from textures Making of Bobby BubbleAFTER EFFECTS NIGHTMAREDriving Effect Through Audio 3D Challenge
contents 05 Interview 12 3d Challenge Pete Draper Nightmare 19 Photoshop 23 After Effects Removing Flash high- Driving effects through lights from textures audio 26 3ds Max 32 Gallery Making of Bobby Bubble Showcase of latest 3d art Magazine Designed & Edited: Ashish Rastogi Magazine Cover Image: Patrick Beaulieu Challenge Sponsors: Corel, Realviz, Pixologic, Skymatter, The Best 3D, Kurv Studio, Daz3D, 3d.sk, Environment-textures.com, Zoo Publishing, Strata, Vertus, ambientLight, Hyperfocal De- sign, female-anatomy-for-artist.com, human-anatomy-for-artist.com and Its Art MagazinePage Issue 3 Apr 2007
industry news Gromit animators sign Sony deal Malaysia to set up Animation CentreThe Bristol-based com- SCIENCE, Technology and Innova-pany had been looking tion Ministry will set up an animationfor a new Hollywood centre in Cyberjaya by year-end to helppartner after its asso- young graduates participate in the ani-ciation with US studio mation industry, said its Minister, Da-Dreamworks came to an tuk Seri Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis.end in January. “At the moment, they do not get many opportunities toWallace and Gromit get into the animation industry. The Government is stillcreator Aardman Animations has agreed a three-year working on the cost to set up the facility,” Jamaluddindeal with Sony Pictures. told reporters after launching the Malaysian Indian ICT conference organised by Multimedia Development Corp“We couldn’t be more excited about working with the and MIC business bureau in Kuala Lumpur.entire Aardman team,” said Sony co-chairman Amy Pas-cal. Jamaluddin said the government was also considering giving start-up grants to the young graduates dependingAardman co-founder David Sproxton said: “We are de- on their project proposals. “The grants aim to encouragelighted to find a partner in Sony that shares our vision.” their (young graduates) participation in the field and to develop the local animation industry,” source: www.bbc.co.uk source: www.bttimes.com.my Buzzword of the MonthAnaglyphic Process - The anaglyphic process is a method by which the eye perceivestwo-dimensional film images as being three-dimensional, havind depth as well as widthand height. To create this illusion, an image is superimposed on top of its own likeness,but one is printed in red and the other in blue green. If the viewer wears glasses with ared filter in one lens and a blue-green one in another, the image appears to be three-di-mensional; without the glasses the audience sees no 3-D effect.Spy Kids 3D was commercially successful in theaters using anaglyph paper glasses in2003. The DVD did not sell or rent well, due to video retailers not wanting to deal withthe paper glasses. Polar Express, in 2004, used the superior IMAX polarized method for 3D.In recent years computer technology and professional skills have made it practical to convert still images, movies video to 3D.Page Issue 3 Apr 2007
interview AN INTERVIEW WITH Pete Draper Q. Hi could you tell us a bit about yourself and how long have you been in CG and what is your current job? Hello, I’ve been in CG since the late 1980’s to early 1990’s so roughly about 17 years or so… that really does sound like a long time when you think about it!! (What have I done with my life?! Hahaha!) My current title is “Director of Vi- sual Effects” which covers the full gamut of CG production from concept, on-set supervision through to managing the animation team, animation and technical direction, and final delivery. Q. Were you trained in 3D or self taught and what software program(s) do you use for your CG and why? I’m 100% self-taught, the main reason for that there were very little CG courses around at the time I started getting into animation. I literally stumbled upon it when I was at university doing another (unrelated) course, and managed to bag myway into the animation lab and use their facilities. I think the only book I ever bought was one of the early New Riders’“Inside” series for the DOS version of 3D Studio, which I still have to this day. I do envy the students going into highereducation these days because of the amount of facilities available to them, yet I very much doubt I would get a job thesedays with the reel I produced off my own back in the ‘90s as the bar has been raised so high now, even for junior posi-tions. You now really need to stand out from the rest as they’re churning out thousands of animation students each yearand there simply isn’t the work for everyone as the industry reached maturity in early 2000.Software-wise, my weapon of choice is 3ds max,mainly due to the amount of exposure I’ve had withit. However I use other packages as and when nec-essary; once you’ve learned one, you’ve pretty muchgot it covered once you get to grips with the (unfa-miliar) interface and workflow as they’re almost thesame with regards to feature set… it all just dependson what pipeline the facility you’re working at isbased on. Apart from animation tools, I tend to useCombustion, Photoshop, Painter ZBrush… plusother animation plugins for 3ds max that boost itsfeature set beyond the core program, such as After-burn, the excellent Particle Flow boxes and some in-house custom tools I’ve developed over the years.Page Issue 3 Apr 2007
interview AN INTERVIEW WITH Pete DraperQ. Tell us about your book “Deconstructing the Elements”, do you planning any other book? It burns really well on a fire :-) Hahahaha! Yeah, it came about purely by chance after I was approached by Focal Press(my publisher). I was freelancing at the time, so the original idea was a book on just that – Freelancing with 3ds max,though after submitting the initial proposal and having it approved I had a change of heart and decided a different ap-proach was needed. The way I tend to work is to grab reference material and inspiration “on the fly” by working out inmy head how I’d create something in CG when I’m out and about, for example a nice cloud formation, an interestingtexture or object, how certain things move or deform and so on, and then break it down into its core components in myhead, what procedurals I could use, what modifiers and other features, and if I could simplify or automate the process.So from the get-go, the book became one about teaching people to become more observant and to be more critical oftheir reference material and more intuitive about the construction process; in fact I intended it to be less of just anothertutorial book and more about the reference analysis which I feel very strongly about. I’m currently considering writinga third edition after being approached by the publisher to update it for the final time before a new volume is written. Ihaven’t made any official decision yet due to my schedule, but it’s definitely on the cards. I’ve also got ideas and initialconceptual scenes for some heavy video tutorials along the same lines, so that may become a set later on if I decide todevelop things further…Page Issue 3 Apr 2007
interview AN INTERVIEW WITH Pete DraperQ. How much it is difficult to achieve natural effects in comparison to other effects and give some important tipsto the readers on how to achieve realistic looking effects in 3ds max and which things to remember?They’re one, if not the most difficult type of effects to produce as virtually everyone is a critic when they see somethinglike this on the screen. The reason behind this is that we see these types of effects every day in our daily lives, fromthe flame that heats your breakfast, to the cup of tea before bed, so were are used to how they appear. Anything to thecontrary stands out as being fake. The key to getting the effect right is to be observant, studying tons of reference mate-rial and breaking down the effect into its core components. Ensure your visual scale sizes are correct, especially whenit comes down to texturing and lighting as these dictate scale and can immediately make or break a scene. Take carewhen compositing; even the basics such as matching your black and white levels can make a ton of difference. I couldgo on and on (and on) but there are only so many hours in the day…!! I think someone wrote a book about it once…hahaha!Page Issue 3 Apr 2007
interview AN INTERVIEW WITH Pete DraperQ. Do you find that people in the industry said…Max is for games and Maya is for movies? How much you thinkthis is true.I don’t really find that it’s true to be honest; it all depends on which company you work for and what you feel mostcomfortable with. Personally, I prefer 3ds max as it’s the software I used when I first started out in the industry, that’spretty much it. The majority of 3D software apps out there nowadays are so similar they are all pretty much genericapart from a few separate tools, so it could be said that Maya is for games and Max for movies as both are making goodheadway into “each other’s” territory…Q. What qualities or education required becoming a Visual Effects Director / Lead Visual Effects Artist?Experience mainly, knowing exactly what you and your artists will need when it comes to wrangling with the assetsin post, ensuring you’ve got everything noted down with respect to camera settings, position, on-set lighting, tracking lighting helpers etc, clean plate passes, advising how vfx shots should be filmed so it makes life easier for everyoneback at the facility, and advising of how a stage should be lit to complement an effect that isn’t (currently) there, whichPage Issue 3 Apr 2007
interview AN INTERVIEW WITH Pete Drapercan be the most challenging to explain! Oh yeah, and trying not to get in everyone’s way on set! Away from set as thelead effects artist I’m designing tools and visual styles for key / hero shots, ensuring that the style and quality of workis maintained throughout and liaising with other key HoD’s. Again, experience really comes into play with this mainlyhaving a good eye for detail, especially when replicating natural phenomenon, knowing the tools you are using insideout and spotting any problems early on so you can advise a solution; again, it’s simply about experience…Page Issue 3 Apr 2007
interview AN INTERVIEW WITH Pete DraperQ. Which area of 3d do your really enjoy doing? I tend to do a lot of particle fluid work more than anything these days, yet I do find material shader develop-ment enjoyable to be honest. But then there are days where I find that modeling is my thing and I am perfectly happybuilding stuff. I guess that’s the way I’ve developed my skills over the years as I’ve always been a bit of a generalist as Iworked for small companies and did the occasional bit of freelancing when I started out which I think, for me anyway,is a good thing as I’ve been able to cover the majority of the software so can mix and match features from all cornersto get the result I need. Saying that, I’m also starting to get back into 2D work and find that thanks to an old friend’snew site (www.happytoast.co.uk) he’s given me the inspiration to put pen to paper once again for fun for the first timein years and develop a new style which I may take further as a personal project. I’ve also had the opportunity to meetsome key 2D designers including JAKe and trusty friend Curtis Jobling who have added to the inspiration.Page 10 Issue 3 Apr 2007
interview AN INTERVIEW WITH Pete DraperQ. What are your hobbies and where you see yourself after 5 years?I’m starting to get back into running after several years sat on my apse in front of a computer and am looking forwardto getting back onto a bike. Apart from that, the usual… socializing, meeting new people and boring them to deathwith CG speak, traveling to far-flung climes and boring them to death too. You know the usual...! I like my movies– the more abstract, thought provoking and challenging the better, plus those which are shot differently with goodcomposition and editing; Children of Men immediately springs to mind – have a look at the cinematography, grad-ing, composition and length of shots and try to envision the amount of prep and planning that some of the shots took,especially towards the end of the film. I must admit though going to the movies can be more of a critical experiencethan an enjoyable one as I tend to still be in VFX mode where I tend to look for matte lines, bad keying and trackingproblems which is wrist-slappingly wrong and it ruins the experience. I really need to stop doing that, but it’s a force ofhabit that a lot of effects artists I know suffer from too…!Q. On which projects you are working these days, and which project you enjoying the most.At the moment I’m working on nu-merous (undisclosed, sorry!) projectsincluding a clean-up VFX job on afeature, documentary, titles com-mercial work and we are rampingup for production on a vampire hor-ror-comedy feature slated to be shotin April which I’m looking forwardto as the script calls for some reallyinteresting and challenging shots ofvarious people being taken out invarious gory ways! Should be a funshoot to work on!Thanks a lot Pete for taking outsometime for us from your busyschedule.No problem :-) it makes a changefrom working through my lunchbreak…!Page 11 Issue 3 Apr 2007
challengeCGArena is proud to present “Nightmare” (3D and 2D Challenge), 21 Mar 2007 - 15 May 2007,sponsored by Corel, Pixologic, Realviz, Skymatter, Hyperfocal Design, 3d.sk, ambientLight, ZooPublishing, Strata, Vertus, TheBest 3D, Kurv Studios, Daz 3D, Environment-Textures.com, Female-anatomy-for-artist.com, human-anatomy-for-artist.com and ITs Art Magazine. We want differentideas and approaches in a more creative way.Your MissionCreate an image which justify the theme of Nightmare in Image. This Challenge is a Work-In-Progress Challenge-- all contestants are required to post their work-in-progress images for community to critique/comment in order toqualify. Last date to enter in this challenge is 20th April 2007 after this no registration for challenge will be allowed.How the Challenge will be RunThis challenge will be a WIP (Work in Progress) Challenge. Each challenger is required to submit Work In Progress(WIP) images, from the initial concept sketch to the final render. to the post production on regular intervals. The pur-pose is that everyone can learn from each other, offer feedback and critiques.
1. Enter the Challenge by registering yourself on CGArena forum.2. Submit your work in progress images in forum on a regular basis. otherwise will be disqualified.3. Participate in the community by critiquing other challengers works in the respective threads.4. Not allowed to change the concept once decided or posted the sketch in the forum and no image will be allowed toremoved from the forum once posted.5. Submit your concept sketch within 15 days from the date you register for this challenge.6. Submit your final entry till 15th May 2007, midnight 00:00 GMT.7. There will be 3 winners in the 3D category and 1 winner in the 2D category. CGArena, Sponsers decision will befinal and no participant allowed to contact sponsors regarding the challenge or asking reasons for disqualifications.8. You can use any software that you like but no premade models or softwares like Poser, Bryce are allowed to use (3D)in the challenge.9. You are allowed to use any type of post -production in the final image to make image better and richer.10. You are allowed to enter into one category (3D or 2D) and after entering cant be changed.Terms and Conditions1.) Entrants agree to give permission to all the sponsors to use allor any part of the artwork entered in this contest, (hereinafter, the‘Work’) in the Company’s demonstration tapes (reels), promotionalmaterials (ads, PR, etc.), booth graphics and presentations for thepromotional purposes.2.) Entrants will retain all rights to the Work. In addition, the Com-pany will not sell for profit any materials or demo reels containingimages or animations submitted by the Entrant.3.) The Company, in exchange for this release, will provide a creditfor the Work within the material in which the Work is used.4.) Submissions must be the sole Work of the entrant and not re-quire approval of any other entity.5.) Entrants will not receive financial remuneration for their Work.Note: You are required to submit work in progress images, obtain feedback and give feedback to other challengers.Final Image Size- Your final image dimensions should be print resolution. Do not send in a low-resolution.- A guideline is minimum 1200 pixels wide and/or 1024 high, JPG, 300 DPI.- Send your final image in zip or rar format with your complete shipping address, telephone number in a text file onemail address mentioned below with subject “Nightmare Challenge Final Image”. nightmare3D@cgarena.com - 3D Challenge Participants nightmare2D@cgarena.com - 2D Challenge Participants
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photoshop Removing flash high- lights from texturesUsing digital cameras to grab textures from real life introduces a whole new set of problems. Let’s say you find a won-derfully filthy concrete wall in a dark parking garage, which would work perfectly in the gritty urban setting of yourgame, and want to take a picture. The problem is, that due to the lack of light (and a tripod), you need to use the flash.Knowing that the flash may cause bright flaring reflections if you take the picture facing the wall straight, you shoot ata slightly odd angle. While the results are now bright and crisp, there is still a very visible gradient-like highlight in themiddle of the picture, reducing the usable area of the texture.What many people would think to do in this situation, would be to:* Create a selection with a gradient tool, and adjust the luminosity of the selected area, or* Painstakingly Dodge the edges of the picture, until the overall luminosity of the texture is evened outHowever, both these approaches mean a lot of work, and do not always provide perfect results unless you’re willing tospend hours.This is where the High Pass filter comes in handy. Which is underrated by many 3d artits and today we will remove theflash highlights from our textures or digital photos using Filter Other High-PassPage 19 Issue 3 Apr 2007
photoshopStep 1: Open an effected image/texture, duplicate the image and apply a High Pass filter with a large radius on dupli-cate image. The rule of thumb is that the radius of the filter should be larger than any detail you want to preserve. Sincein this case the detail to be removed (the highlight) is almost the size of the whole picture, feel free to use a radius wellabove 70. Note that the larger the radius, the longer it takes to process - just as with Gaussian Blur.Step 2: As you can see, the High Pass filter not only reduces brightness differences, it also reduces the contrast of theimage, paling the colors. Please choose Edit Fade High Pass and select Luminosity in the mode. If you find the effectof the high pass filter too drastic, you can reduce its Opacity.Page 20 Issue 3 Apr 2007
photoshopStep 3: Since a lot of contrast was lost in the process, finalize the picture by increasing the contrast (or adjusting theLevels, depending on the case) until it looks good, then Fade the contrast effect once more with Luminosity to retainthe coloring of the original image. See the difference? Feel the difference of not having had to do extra work?The same rules apply for so called detail textures (a fine example of them can be found in games that use the Unrealengine.) Since the very purpose of detail textures is to add small, sharp details to textures up close, they are obviouslyideal targets for the High Pass filter. Because the details needed are indeed very small, feel free to use High Pass quiteharshly with small radius values. - Andy Halls firstname.lastname@example.orgPage 21 Issue 3 Apr 2007
www.cgarena.comCGArena brings you latest news and happenings 24 hours a day.Plus, join in our interactive forums to showcase your work, and getattention in the computer graphics community Email: email@example.com
after effects Driving Effect through audioIf you are trying to get the effect to blink on and off or increase or down repeatedly. Doing this repeatedly gets ratherboring after a couple of minutes and trying to get the blinks to correspond to instruments from theaudio track can bevery difficult. It can be done, but you have to drop a ton of Markers and make sure you’ve got rhythm. But you can dothis very easily through After Effects Convert Audio to Keyframes feature.Convert Audio to Keyframes does generate keyframes based on an audio layer, and while those keyframes can be tiedto other layer. Using the audio levels from a specific layer, you can link and control various parameters from effectswithin After Effects.Step 1: In After Effects import your video file and add it to your Timeline.Step 2: Right click on your video footage and select Keyframe Assistant Convert Audio to Keyframes.A Null Object with the name ‘Audio Amplitude’ will appear. Select the Null Object layer and press ‘U’ on your key-board to show the changed parameters of that layer.Page 23 Issue 3 Apr 2007
after effectsStep 3: Now you can apply any effect to your video footage layer. Like I applied a Trapcode Starglow effect on thevideo. Choose the settings you are looking for... outside the scope of this tutorial.Step 4: We can now decide which parameter we want to link to our audio. I chose to let the Streak Length react onthe audio. To do this we need to set an expression for the Streak Length.Page 24 Issue 3 Apr 2007
after effectsStep 5: To set an expression for the Streak Length or whatever parameter you want to use, just ALT + Click on thestopwatch icon in the timeline which is located at the left of the parameters name.Step 6: Now the way to link this parameter to the audio is click on the ‘Pickwhip’ icon (the icon which looks like aTwirl) and hold it and drag it to ‘Both Channels’ slider parameter. The screenshot below will explain it better.You just linked the Streak Length parameter to the audio of your video footage. So if the volume of your video footageincreases, so will the Streak Length. Of course you could also apply this same technique to the Boost Light parameterand so on. - Suzane Smith firstname.lastname@example.orgPage 25 Issue 3 Apr 2007
3ds max Making of Bobby Bubble By- Patrick Beaulieu, Canada Email: email@example.comPage 26 Issue 3 Apr 2007
3ds maxIntroductionHi everyone, my name is Patrick Beaulieu, (AKA squeezestudio) here my making off Bobby Bubble. You will find belowseveral details on the creation of this small a little insane character. Without waiting more, here’s the making off!!!ConceptMy idea principal for the creation of Bobby Bubbles was to make a clam in an oyster. After several test and small fastsketch, I finally decided to make a small beast in the place. The sketch being a pretty very important of creation... I haveto try to determine the majority of the elements in my sketch. My principal interest was the silhouette of the person.Bobby being very simplistic like character, the silhouette is very important to arrive as a beautiful result. Thus I haveto try to find an installation interesting, to stress the large mouth and his facial expression. Its merry look was also anelement which I wanted to integrate in my image. Just like the majority of my other characters, I tests always to makepass an expression in my character. For most of the time of the funny expression or `’ crackpot’’. I have also work on mysketch in only one catch of sight, that is to say the catch of sight of my final image. I have to create this character tomake still image and not an animation thus the creation of all the sight, the model sheet and all was not at all necessaryfor me for the realization of this character.The modeling was a very fast phase, my small sketch wasjust enough precise to indicate all the elements to me tocreate for my character. I have to model the whole start-ing from an eye, like has the practice. I work for most ofthe time in symmetry or with one to mirror in authority.I have to start with the body, thereafter the teeth, thetongue and I have to finish the whole with the bubbles.Page 27 Issue 3 Apr 2007
3ds maxFor the bubbles, I have to use spheres with which I made Booleans to withdraw the interior when the bubbles werepenetrated. As regards the tongue, I did it enough low poly, and in second headlight, I have to bring it in Zbrush tomake displacement. I have to use those quads for my modeling, question of making a modeling cleaner. I have also tomodel the dribble which runs top of its mouth.My technique to model is very simple, I quite simply extrude the edges of cage of polygon. The edges that I selected tomake my cage of polygon are the lines principal of the character. (The turn of the eyes, it tower of the mouth, profileand the silhouette of face). Once all my extruded polygons made for the character, I can easily adjust the proportionsof the personage very easily with a minimum of vertex has to manage.Page 28 Issue 3 Apr 2007
3ds maxOnce the shape of the character was adjust perfectly, I close again my modeling quite simply, finally having a cleanmesh. For certain areas like the dimensions of the mouth, and the edge of the lip I have to place several edge to bringmore closer to give an effect more sharp in my modeling.As regards the installation, after having to close again my modeling and having made the complete character, I thenmade the final improvement to make it more symmetrical.LightingThe lighting was one of the fun phases; my intension was to create a beautiful environment to light and alive. For mylighting, I have to use the render passes. First of all with Vray, I made a passes of GI, therefore a very simple passes oflighting giving tone of shade here and it all depend on the modeling. Thereafter I made a passes with a spot (Vray)place behind of the character to make an edge light all the back of Bobby. The option to use the passes is very simple,I often lost too much time parameterize my lighting and the intensity of my lighting whereas with the render passes, Ido not have to find ideal place or to place my spot, just adjust the whole in compositing. Really faster and gives a perfectcontrol on lighting.Texturing, Rendering, Post ProductionThe largest stage of production for the creation of Bobby Bubbles was the compositing. I have to use the render pass totheir maximum; I have to use several layers to get the final result. All the process was done in Photoshop.Page 29 Issue 3 Apr 2007
3ds maxI have to create alpha for each part of my character, (body, interior of mouth, tooth, tongue, dribbles, bubble). Once inPhotoshop, I have to use each one of these alpha to make my selections in Photoshop to adjust each one of the part toselect separately.To texture the character, I have to use that procedural texture coming from 3Ds max. (falloff, noise, etc). I render eachone of his passes with an ambient shader, therefore no light affected texture was intact. Once in first, I have to compos-ite all these passes from beginning by the passes of GI, thereafter the passes of texture procedural in multiply, softwarelight and screen. Then with the wire I have to use shag fur to make a light layer of hair on the character. I put some hairsto dirty the character and to add a little detail.For the majority of all render pass, I render in Scanline. Only the pass which required one render in Vray are the GIand my principal light. All the others passes, specular, bump, color, etc… Scanline! (As regard the question of speed).I render the tongue through the skin shader of mental ray, with some adjustment here and…)I always make my render of large quality when I make a personage, the whole in order to take part has review or books,therefore render at 5000 pixel by 7000 pixel. For this reason I tests to optimize my times of renders for the passes whichdoes not require a more simplistic lighting.I have to work on the colors in Photoshop much on my principal passes of colors, I also used brightness contrast to getthe desired result. As regards the colors, I wanted to have colors for my background very different from my characterfor seeing the silhouette. The background was entirely created in Photoshop.ConclusionI hope that you will appreciate the making of bobby Bubble. If you have question concerning the making of or any otherquestion, do not hesitate to mail me on the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.To see my other work, go on www.squeezestudio.com By- Patrick Beaulieu, Canada Email: email@example.comPage 31 Issue 3 Apr 2007
gallery Kakashi Fabio M. Silva, Portugal firstname.lastname@example.org 3ds maxPage 41 Issue 3 Apr 2007
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