Posted on 09/08/2014 |

Hi !

During the production of my graduation movie, I had to code a lot of tools, from skin tools to pipeline automation scripts. Here are three videos showing a small demonstration of each of the main tools I’ve created (only those which  are stable enought 🙂 ).

Various Tools

Read more about the Skin Tools, the Matlib Manager, the Pointcache Tool or the Bitmap Source Switcher.

 

Facial autorig

This autorig is my first facial rig, and also my first autorig. It is pretty basic, and was created for Cosmic Love, where the characters don’t have much facial animation. Therefore, It wasn’t necessary that the rig offers the possibilities of a cartoon rig.

There are many things I would change, especially in terms of ergonomics, control, and how to place the rig on the character: the « snapballs » system was improvised, but this approach is not logical and practical.

 

Cosmic Love tools

This toolkit was created to automate the entire assembly process from the moment ashot is validated in animation. There are so many different types of assets (characters, aliens (particles), supermarket shelves (vrmeshes instances), global lighting or characters lighting) that we need a toolkit to manage everything.

 

taUiThe first tool, ToAssembly, detects all assets of a scene and bake/cache them by type:
  • Pointcache (characters)
  • Krakatoa PRT (aliens)
  • PRT hair (ornatrix)
  • FBX (props)
  • max file (lighting and set)

daUiThe second tool, DoAssembly, uses the database file previously generated by ToAssembly to know which assets are inclued in the current shot. The script have an operation library, by asset type, and generates the assembly file from assets previously baked. The script also allows you to automatically add one or more spherefade based on the number of motion objects.

 

The last tool, Ketchup, is a render manager. On Cosmic Love, a common shot contains:ketchUi

  • Three rendering steps for the characters (Vray :GI baking + Rendering  + Shadows / reflections on the sets)
  • Two rendering steps for the sets (Vray: GI baking + rendering)
  • Rendering hair (Krakatoa)
  • Rendering aliens – separatly to make compositing easier (Krakatoa)
  • Rendering alien’s core (Vray)
  • Rendering alien’s reflections on sets (Vray)

So all these steps had to be automated, from folders creation to render settings, or allocation of the paths. Ketchup also allows to browse among the scene objects, sorted by asset and by type.

All these operations were automated through a rigorous nomenclature: the paths and filenames are used by the scripts to get the shot number, the sequence, the version

alienUi

This tool allows the animator to have control on the rig, particularly on the arms/tentacles/legs (your choice). It’s possible to animate in this tool arms appearances/disappearances and the amount of particles generated. All the importants Thinking Particles settings are dynamicaly linked to this window, so every parameter is adjustable here.

Moreover, this tool supports multiple aliens in the same scene.

The interface is based on a special library function that is also used by the assembly of tools for managing the baking particles.

 

vrmeshExport

In a supermarket there are many objects (o rly ?). This huge amount was a problem for the scenes size: one supermarket shelf can weigh up to 2GB. And it would be very difficult to adjust the resolution of objects based on the distance from the camera.

So we decided to use vrmeshes. This script allows to generate vrmesh from a stage / selection and generate the corresponding material, distributing different ID for each different material materials, examining bodies.

A part of the  code, the one which scans the objects instances and therefore materials instances, is from Valentin Moriceau. Thanks be to him. Amen.