The CGI team just got back from Animex 2015, as usual it was a great event with some fantastic talks from the cream of VFX studios.
Day 1: The first talk was “Imagining a world of Marvel: creating concept art for Guardians of the Galaxy talk by Ron Ashtiani”. Rons company had worked on some pretty impressive blockbusters, Namely ‘Avengers’ and ‘Guardians of the galaxy.’ He compared their team at Atomhawke to the Avengers ‘A team of crack specialist putting aside their differences to achieve greatness.’ Ron when through some of their processes of the creating concept art for these big blockbusters. It was a really interesting watching one of the senior artist at Atomhawke demo the creation of a futuristic craft. The final image was immense, but the process itself was the most impressive part as it was so loose and rough.
They were also tasked with conception of the spaceships and some Environments for Guardians, most memorable from the movie was Quills the main characters spacecraft. He talked about how Quills spacecraft had to feel unique and special as it was like a character in itself to do this they went through a lot of versions up to around 50 different versions for one spacecraft. As they had many different spacecrafts to design and a few environments on top of that one Atomhawk employees did a show and tell on how to conjure up a concept design quickly (being 2-3 hrs), with the pre existing photos and roughly painting over to get silhouettes and shapes.
After that there was “MPC presents: animating Groot talk by Greg Fisher”, a talk by MPC’s head of animation. Greg went over the creating of Groot, one of the full cg characters in the film ‘Gardians of the galaxy’. He went over the process of the initial modeling texturing and then onto animating. He explained that Groot is that he isn’t just a bunch of vines and planks slapped together in 3D, all the vines and planks are anatomically structured. It was interesting to hear that at MPC they had numerous arguments about whether a creature made of wood would breathe, just because they wanted to tie all this information back into the animation stage.
Day 2: First one was by “Exodus: Gods and Kings by Stafford Lawrence from Double Negative”. He discussed the animation processes used to create many of the animals and creature simulations seen in the epic film. There were also amazing riot sims for the crowds – mocapping movements like chucking things off roofs and sweeping up frogs to just drop into backgrounds seamlessly. This video was mentioned in the talk “le criminale” – looks very much like the ridley scott ident style – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKfhjiH94rw
Next was “Big Hero 6: Finding the character by Zach Parrish”. Technically this was great as they made all their outfits in off the shelf marvellous designer and were interested by the flexibility of the Denizen http://www.stitchkingdom.com/disney-denizen-disney-populated-san-fransokyo-citizens-animators-73033/ we loved the video which showed extra characters created to look like animators from the studio.
Comedically and technically “Making of Boxtrolls by Mark Shapiro from Laika” was awesome, passing round faces from Coraline and a rig. They showed videos of how insanely acurate each movement of the 24fps stop motion is and there was a video of a scene from Coraline where he had to wear a magnifying glass as he had reduced drawings by huge amounts you just couldn’t see the adjustment by eye.