In a small studio like yours, sometimes you have to do more than one
task, beside been VFX Supervisor, what else did you do Janak?
JT: Yes there is usually a lot
of responsibilites to balance during a production like this. What I
enjoy the most is animation, and for this show I was also the Lead
Animator. I also did most of the human facial rigging as well and
handled the rigging of two digital stunt doubles. The VFX Supervisor
role I had also meant that I had the responsibilite for making sure
that we had a plan on how to practically solve the shots we were going
to do within our current pipe-line. And of course, that we would be
able to deliver them on time. I also did the lighting and rendering for
one shot as well as the compositing for it.
DF: Could you tell us about the process of one of your shots?
JT: Sure, lets talke about the shot with the full CG head (the old guy leaning towards the fence).
On set we make sure that we have
just enough tracking markers on the actors face, MatchMover which is
our weapon of choice for tracking needs 7 visible markers at all times
to keep a consistent track of things. Once the director was happy with
the actors performance we shot a clean plate of the background.
Back at Fido Film our modeler,
Magnus Eriksson, built a digital replica of the actor wearing the
prostethic make-up in Maya based on photographs. This base cage were
then imported into Zbrush for additional sculpting and deatailing. Once
the digital sculpting was done displacement maps were extracted and
applied in Maya. Using photographic reference as a starting point one
of our texturing and rendering artists, Johan Gabrielsson, painted
color maps as well as additional bump and specular maps to be used with
the misss_fastSkin shader in Mental Ray.
As the digital sculpting and
texturing came along I was also doing the facial rigging simultaneously
and as soon as the rig was done I moved on to animate the shot. To make
sure that our digital version matched the practical one seen in
previous shots some additional sculpting were done even after the
animation was approved, this was possible thanks to our use of Zbrush
for a lot of the definition and detailing of our models.
Mattias Forsstr?m, who also did
a lot of the texturing and lighting for the show, made some truly
wonderful CG-hair in a ridicously short amount of time using Shave and
Haircut for the shot. He also animated the hair being pulled back into
the creatures head as it transforms.
For rendering we used Mental Ray standalone on our Linux based renderfarm.
Once all the elements were
rendered out in different passes one of our compositors for the show,
Fredrik Pihl, put it all together in Shake. The entire process was
supervised by our Creative Director Kaj Steveman to make sure that it
matched his visions and original design of the creature.
Digital Head Replacement | Original Plate
Digital Head Replacement | Wireframe mesh
Digital Head Replacement | Final Shot
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