Catching a few lobsters...
/ The Ian Hartman Experience, Week 10 PPJ
March 13, 2017

As we move into the last hours of the official Beta production cycle, there is still plenty to do. I’m waiting on a couple of renders to finish in the next hour or two and then one heads into a quick bash comp for the edit. There is snow looming on the horizon (potentially, who knows) and I don’t want to be stuck in URBN too late. Beta was stressful but I learned a lot and I’m thankful for that.

In this last week, I basically overhauled all the effects for our opening shot, CMP 010. I revamped the dop networks and the sop sources to give me more control over the effect and rolled in some lessons from working with effects on other shots. Having figured out RGB lighting with volumes for SRP and brought that back to light the dust kickup. For CMP I put the RGB lights to represent each of the main sources of lights for each dust sim. The main kickup gets red light from the engines, blue light from the running lights on the ship, and then green light from the moon/atmosphere. This allowed Dan to have complete control over the light quality in comp, instead of having to match in Houdini/Mantra. This lighting also makes the viewport lighting look pretty slick.

I also added a new effect to the shot, dust rolling/blowing through the campsite. I felt the shot needed more life overall and this is a nice way to tie together what happens in the background of the shot and the foreground. The midground still feels lacking and the textures on the ground aren’t working right but we needed to keep moving to make our Beta deadlines.

Other shots got light treatments here or there. Thrusters got added to multiple shots throughout the project and a couple of shots got a pass at heat distortion. I got to do more compositing on GHL and SRP to clean up re-renders of contrails and clouds, respectively. I was able to get a lot of really nice depth out of GHL with the addition of some basic clouds and the contrail effect. The camera motion parallaxing the contrail and the ground cements the ship as well above the hole and thus making the hole seem larger than it has previously.

In its last leg, this project has come a long way and we’ve made a lot of progress since our Alpha submission, even our mid-beta. It may have been stressful at times (more than just a few times) but well worth it looking back. Though still not done, even for tonight.

On the fun side of things, we discovered we are actually capped in the number of Renderman licenses we have for use with the farm. (If you are on the Drexel network/vpn:

Finally, I’m simply waiting on a large, dark cloud for wrp010 to render out so I can composite it tonight and throw it into our edit. Exciting times.


Lobster Fact: Of the 50,000 plus works produced by Picasso, 4542 contain lobsters, 32 of which are entirely comprised of lobster.

About the author:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *