Join Rob Garrott for an in-depth discussion in this video Part 1: , part of Artists and Their Work: Conversations about Mograph VFX and Digital Art.
- Ender's Game was quite interesting because it was my first introduction into User Interface stuff. Little did I know that would take over my career. Now I consider myself a User Interface Concept Artist, where I'm designing and animating and producing these really futuristic conceptual designs. We're kind of defining what the future will look like. We're imagining what the future would be, but us imagining that is what's going to make that a reality. - The movie that kind kicked that all off -- it had been done before, but what really kicked it off was the first Iron Man movie. - [Lorcan] Oh, yeah.
- Like, that's when. When they were showing the inside of Tony Stark's helmet. - [Lorcan] Yeah, that's very cool stuff. - Once that dropped, everybody wanted to have that in their movie now. - Kind of blew up for CINEMA 4D, as well, just how they were using it, just really crazy use of the software. Sometimes it's a lot simpler than it looks. Sometimes it's just madness, so many intricate little systems going on that kind of produce this end look. I can show you some of the work I did. I cut a reel out of a couple of the things I did.
- Nice! Let's take a look. (slow electronic music) That battle was huge.
- For these screens, each comp was, I think we maxed out After Effects at 8000 pixels, so just seeing one frame took a couple of minutes, full res. We had to cut out little chunks and work on that, and then move your work area, the crop region. - Why were you guys making them so big? - Just because sometimes the camera was right here, and you're looking through it. - Was that movie shot at 4K or 2K? - It was 4K, we were rendering, I believe, for 4K, I think.
The render times were crazy. We'd leave it overnight and come back and maybe half a shot was done, and the shot might have been two seconds long. (laughs) - (laughs) That's brutal! - These things were insane. We'd receive a bunch of illustrated files, and we'd have these different assets for them. Each kid had their own style, so they had to be designed before. We had to break down and reproduce in After Effects in a way that we can animate. So tearing those down and actually looking inside, I learned a lot of how to efficiently reproduce things, like maybe create a single little visual element and reuse it a lot of times.
Other than that, actually, I had to design a lot of the elements myself. Like when it was very specific, we needed a specific element, there was a lot of stuff I had to just get down on paper and figure out to see what would work, what wouldn't. - Tell me a little bit about the work on Continuum. - I created the title sequence, which I have here, and a lot of the motion graphics through the whole season was pretty much just me. There wasn't anybody else helping me with that other than the compositors, which were amazing. We had a week per episode and we had to do a 40 minute episode and composite it, - In one week? - In one week! The whole season, so we were going week to week, and then we had a little break in between, and that's when I got some time to do the title sequence.
(intense orchestral music) There's a ton of usage of features like the new Cineware plugin. It was just taking to long to render and bring it over, and re-render and bring it over, so we used that especially for the first full scene, we used pretty much just Cineware for that.
My friend Pablo, who actually is the guy who got me the position working at Goldtooth, I'd brought him back on for this project, returning the favor, and he's amazing. It was a pleasure to bring him in and sit back and watch him take over, because he's an art director. He's been working at Goldtooth for years and years. These are some end frames. I actually had a week to do the animatic and just to pitch it. I'll show you that just to see what it was and what it went to.
Should be interesting. (intense orchestral music) Really simple, just blocked out. Getting a rough idea of how it's going to come together, the different animation going on and what we're going to be seeing? Those scenes, those After Effects CINEMA 4D files actually served as the basis for them moving on and polishing and polishing, and then final renders, and having particular over that, and getting all the color correction.
It was really useful to build it out fully and just see it come together and get a good feeling of the timing and everything. It's really, really important. - A lot of folks will skip over the process of making an animatic, or even sketching it at first, and try and dive in and start making stuff right away, and it can be disastrous. - You lose yourself. You get tunnel vision and spend days on little aspects, and you lose sight of how something else is going to flow into that because you're just thinking of how that's going to look, right? - Right.
- And then all of a sudden, you have a scene file that's too big and too complicated to actually animate into or do anything with after that, and you're left with a style frame. - (laughs) You miss the deadline. - That's it, you missed the deadline and you're a style board artist. - When you were in school, did you do quite a bit more -- I guess VFS is still going to be primarily doing animation all the time. Do they have a still component there? - Digital Design is probably one of the most broad courses they have that you would touch 3D, CINEMA 4D, we touch After Effects, which would be motion, we touch interactive, we touch web, we touch trend.
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