Catching a few lobsters...
/ Ian Hartman Week 06 PPJ
February 13, 2017

This past week was interesting to say the least. Started out in a bit of a weird spot coming out of the midterm presentation, hoping to reclaim a few hours of sleep. Reflecting back the presentation went well and the feedback we received was mainly pertinent to our project. Shifting back into gear, I dug into effects for nov-010 and cor-010 then eventually having to get into Maya to help update our scenes to match the Renderman update.

Nov-010 is going well, I’ve crafted a couple (somewhat, if not very, cliche) effects that will serve as a good jumping off point for the rest of the shot. The first effect is the ever-prevalent ring-explosion that happens in about every space explosion. I don’t think it would be a proper space explosion without one. The setup was pretty simple, had a geo ring with a controllable width that acted as the emission surface, with a slight wobble (not so slight, but I can tune it back). The ring expands and the particles are emitted, trailing behind and inheriting the wobble velocity. I layer on top noises and disruptions to the particles to give it a more interesting look, instead of a straight particle stream. The second effect is a rapid expansion of particles that fly by the ship and create a dense area of movement before dispersing. I felt there needed to be some force behind the nov explosion and I’ve been running the effects past Rotella for confirmation on direction.

Cor-010 was one of the shots that I needed to get to eventually to flesh out some basic ideas I had to give the shot more life. I received good direction from Berton and Fernsler on how to help sell the scale and majesty of the shot. I quickly bashed together a procedural system to build rocks that cooled off of the core and then added noises to the core itself to give it some life in the shot. I’m working on adding more asteroids and broken earth to the shot, floating in the void of space between the two halves of the planet. I then also worked on getting a particle system in place to add motion to the base of the pillar, I’m not quite sold on the motion yet and I’m waiting on a render to come back tonight. Then there is a layer of pyro that I’m adding via pyro clusters… Hopefully I’ll have better luck in getting them to work this time.

The Renderman 21 update was the best and worst of the week. There were a few unseen issues that popped up when we tried to kick off renders and plenty of re-lighting to do. The good was the the update itself went smoothly and we were able to be working with the new renderer in a short amount of time. The bad was that when we went to render the environment key wasn’t set correctly and it took some time to figure out what is should be (not the defaults, I’ll tell you that). It was confusing because batching out of Maya with renderman now uses LocalQueue which isn’t something I’ve used often (or at all). It’s a nice bit of software when the scenes are optimized and the environment is setup. Re-lighting went fairly smoothly, I got into cmp-010 and added new lights then also played around with adding logs for sitting and wood piles throughout the shot (which I shouldn’t have done, it wasn’t my task for the time). Other than that, I dug into the files being brought into cmp, cleaned up the references and attempted to remove errors from the scene… almost got it. There are a couple that I’m not sure how to solve (bad google keywords?).

I also, briefly, got into building the deployment software for the Qarnot render farm… Seems to be working, waiting on frames…


Lobster Fact: When settling The West, lobsters were considered some of the first pioneers to settle in the gold-rich valleys of California, thus beginning the gold rush.

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