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The Mill Collaboration | Week 2


A lot of camera previz re-renders and a lot of shaders! Also some lighting along the way.

What we collectively did this past week:

  • Wrote out detailed asset list + task breakdown + assignments

  • Reworked our camera angles and sequencing (KK,GL,ML,AJ)

  • Finished all of our basic shaders and rendered the light rig turnaround (AJ,KK,ML)

  • Applied shaders to the objects in our scene and created basic lighting for each shot (AJ)

  • Rendered Arnold exr beauty tests for each shot to show depth in Nuke (AJ,ML)

  • Cleaned up our models, animation, and stage setup (ML,KK, GL, AJ)

  • Organized our files and created a standardized naming convention/folder structure (ML, AJ)

  • Created the first versions of the guitar string CHOP animation in Houdini (GL)

  • Created the first smoke simulation in Houdini (GL)

  • Refined confetti in Houdini (GL)

Previz Update (Prelim Viewport Lighting)

Summary of previz re-works

  • shot 1 was made steeper (shallower focal length) to be ground the train more realistically and also to conceal the guitar elements

  • shot 3-4 transition was made smoother by adding the lens flare as the spotlight swivels around towards the camera, and we also make the movement more clean and subtle built still achieve the 'epic' effect based on last week's feedback

  • shot 2 was added as a way to create a 'bridge' and make the journey that the train takes along the (really short) guitar bridge seem much longer.

  • adjusted confetti and train animation timing

Older Previz Iteration that went through rounds of feedback


Mini-quilt of the shaders I worked on

Master-quilt of all shaders combined

Shader Breakdowns

Base Lighting

We decided to refine our overall animatic first with base lighting and base shaders to make sure we had a strong foundation and mood before we move to the smaller fine tuning details with asset UV-ing. These early renders are general, proof of concept tests!

Test Renders from shot 1-4

Setbacks, Tech failures

This week came with many challenges including my personal computer completely breaking down and refusing to turn on. I also experienced a lot of Wi-Fi issues with super slow upload speeds and this led us to communicating as a team on how to manage our file sizes better as right now our .ma scenes are over 2gb each.

Cool Houdini effects by Gen

Guitar String CHOPS animation & atmospheric smoke effect

Game Plan and Pipeline Stuff!

To do list for the next week:

  • Finalize camera angles (ML, AJ, KK, GL)

  • Refine lighting for each shot (ML, AJ, KK)

  • Composite Houdini renders to show in context (ML, GL)

  • Refine and add to Houdini FX - ex. Second smoke simulation (GL)

  • UV and texture objects and then render turnarounds for objects (AJ, ML, KK)

  • Train wheel animation and train sparks where necessary (GL)

  • Decide on a project title??!!

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