Friday, May 10, 2013

First batch of shots for Cold Dark Mirror

I've just finished off the first batch of shots for Cold Dark Mirror,  80 seconds done in the last 2 weeks.  These shots have been a test bed for developing a Blender workflow, getting network rendering ironed out and a stereoscopic 3D workflow ironed out in Blender as well.  I'm using the Loki Render network render manager to post the shots to my 'grunt' computers as I work on them.  Stereoscopic 3D is simply a matter of saving two .blend files, one each for Right and Left camera; adding a job in Loki is easy, especially adding two similar jobs when one is called 'ACH010-R.blend' and the other is 'ACH010-L.blend'  

Then I let the render nodes go overnight, or while I'm working on the next shot.  These shots have been full frame renders, due to the moving torch light you can see the character Ibecc carrying above.  Longer render times than I'd be usually happy with, but worth it because the shots look great.  The library scenes here are all put together from a small set of building block elements which I clone using group instances, this makes building each set super easy, to the point where I can just build each set on the fly, in a matter of minutes, using a simple set of common repeating elements, with enough flexibility and variation to maintain a complex visual interest between shots. 

The workflow in Blender is really fast once you get the hang of the interface, and learn a few of the keyboard shortcuts you're going to use most often.

It's off now to build the 'library rotunda'  where a lot of the cool action of the film happens.