Workflow is key

VPI is a company were were commissioned by to create a short bumper video for. We created a 3D animatic based on a storyboard we agreed with them. The storyboard helps us to get a feeling for shot timings that the cleints wants them. As this was a scene starting in outer space, and ending with a clean logo, we tested different techniques and approaches to achieve the client’s desired effect and look. We made use of referencing every scene asset in the master scene, which helps to keep open the possibility of future changes if the client asks for such a change.

Making the rigs that the images fit to as customisable as possible, also helps make subsequent changes relatively smooth. Under normal circumstances, we wouldn’t use fluids because they take so long to simulate and render, but in this case, the client really wanted a cloud look and feel for three of the main elements in the scene.

Everything looked good and the client liked it, but we found ourselves in a situation where some of the scenes were taking four hours per frame to render, which is always a risk when every project has a deadline. Not to mention the cache file was over 300GB!  After one sleepless night, we were trying to find a solution to this problem and found that a 2D fluid container with an emitting texture could solve the problem. It created a similar look and took a fraction of the time to simulate and render.

All of these extra details that our team put into a project take more time. But, we like to plan a project out and allow for extra time should we come across a problem. As every animator knows, dealing with problems is part of the job, it’s just a matter of managing them effectively which helps reduce the burden of them on our job.

You can view the video on this page.