Mind = blown. Studio Loica from Santiago, Chile created this amazing trailer for a new TNT series.
The Loica Team writes:
Loica worked together with the Turner creative team for one month to produce this piece that mixes 3D modeling, still photography, and post-production techniques.
The process started with pictures and then scans. In Blender we would used the scans, but in many cases we had to sculpt quite a bit and do a range of tricks with hair, shading, lighting, etc. to make the image look more real and alive. 3D scans alone do not do the trick for realism. We also made a rigged version of Sean Bean with a low poly mesh. From there we simply used the multires modifier on top of the rig and sculpted him so we could easily pose him and adapt him to different pictures in the event the scans weren't enough, or we wanted to make some enhancements to the photographs.
Then there was the process of texturing that Blender handled pretty well with stencils and cloning in addition to lighting and shading. We used lots of passes to make reflection in the eyes, clothes, etc., as well as some fake shadow passes to enchance the feeling of motion in the light, even though the characters were stationary. Without them the characters looked way too "dead." We also used Blender Hair System to simulate some small beard hairs, and even smaller hairs in the nose, eyelashes, etc.
Finally, there was the "Memory loss" effect; we tried post DOF but it wasn't enough for a 3D effect. So, we used a plane that passes through the character with a heavily tweaked glass shader and it really took advantage of the 3D character, dispersing the rays in a very special, cinematographic way. Here Cycles really showed it's strength. It was way faster than any of the other renderers at our disposal, and we could do lots of tricks with the light path node, not to mention the great interactive preview.
Overall, a great experience with Blender. It worked well to model, sculpt, texture, preview the render, and do pretty much everything in the same package accelerating the workflow.
The glass plane as a 3d faux-DOF effect is amazing, what a fantastic technique! It gives a kind of surreal feeling to the whole piece, with a smooth blurry falloff yet a subtle crisp edge between focused and unfocused. It makes it look real and fake at the same time, but in a totally believable way. Very, very good work – impressive!
I really like the result, but I think there must have been another way to make that focus effect.. because that plane is really apparent where the focus is starting to fade, where the plane is intersecting with the object..
I think it was a cool stylistic choice. They certainly could have done a more traditional DOF, but the sharp contrast creates intrigue.
I don't think that line creates anything.
It's actually not so visible on the face, but on titles it really looks weird.
I think they just couldn't solve how to make it in Blender, because Blenders post DOF node just isn't working too good.. for example this could have solved that: http://www.frischluft.com/lenscare/index.php
Traditional DOF creates blur from a certain point to the front and back, and it's a different effect. The point here was to make a fully focused part (memory recovery) and a part that was being faded from a certain point on. The contrast was on the original styleboards, part of the concept. I like it :)
In that case you can make a grayscale map where you want the blur to occur and blur the hard edges slightly also.. just to blend that in a little bit nicer. But please, don't get me wrong, it looks really good and we are talking about small nuances here. I just know how difficult it sometimes is to make the exact thing you want.. all the technical things and so on.. ehh.
I have never seen a postpro DOF that looks better than a raytraced DOF.
Check the link again. ;) Not even talking about the flexibility that gives you. Probably all the movies you have seen uses post effect.
I really understand what you mean. But trust me, tests were made and post blurring wasn't the exact effect we wanted. Post DOF was easier of course, but this isn't just blurring, is raytraced refraction, the difference may be small, but it was important to us. Check for example the scream shot. It's not the same effect as DOF or post DOF. In this case we REALLY WANTED raytraced refraction effect. It made it look more cinematographic and integrated, like there is something there, not just an effect... there is also a fresnel reflection in the border, and the plane does influence other reflections and lights. It's a matter of choice, but I really understand what you mean, in fact what you propose is the first and most logical solution, and probably many people would have done it that way and get great results, but it's a matter of artistic choice and very small details.
Ok, it certainly looks and sounds like you know what you're talking about, so I will shut up now. :) Keep up the good work!
Hi David, I know you probably don't hold the rights to this, but any chance of a "making of" or breakdown? This is the greatest Blender advert ever made ;)
I like it personally, and think it's fantastic! A lot of work but still worth it.
There was actually a thread 6 years ago where someone was using this technique (pre-cycles) to great effect. images are down on BA right now, but you get the gist
Great result! Glad to see Blender being taken more seriously as everyday passes:)
This is incredible! One of the most artistically original teasers I've ever seen, and it uses Blender?? I thought it would take years to get Sean Bean's likeness in Blender! With the Sean Bean achievement, Blender's legitimacy can no longer be questioned!!
Nice work, Blender is a program that impresses me every day.
Great sculpting work.
Great trailer, guys! And a great nod to Blender. Nice to see that you guys had a good experience with it.
Excellent work imho. Great impact, can't wait to see this series. So much pleasure to see Blender used at TV series level, and with a good feeling from the users : it actually improved their pipeline ! One more step for Blender. Cheers!
Congratulations to the Loica team that made this possible... this is truly amazing. Any chance you can give a hint of the pipeline, hardware wise?
Thats cool! very realistic. I was looking at that blur effect, doesnt look like real blur but has something special
Absolutely LEGENDARY!!! Amazing work! And the idea of using glass refraction for DOF style blur is GENIUS!!. I was wondering how many samples you ended up having to render at, and whether it was faster than cycles raytraced DOF blur (i've found to be REALLY noisey)?
This is I think the most realistic human representation I ever saw done with Blender. Fantastic work!
Genial su trabajo chicos soy de conce . Pude ver el avance en SIGGRAPH y me parecio fantastico sigan asi.