3DTotal: Could you talk about the significance of HDRI in this process, and explain to any of our readers who are not familiar with this technique exactly what is involved?
Eden Lab: In short HDRI (at least part of it) means capturing the real light ambiance of a natural scene, and being able to reproduce it. This gives you a tremendous amount of useful info to start building a 3D photorealistic scene.
We are now trying to reach a point where every part of our animation and rendering pipeline is based on physical rules. Well, what we get straight out of our renders most of the time doesn’t look directly meaningful. The magic only happens in compositing: combining nodes that simulate the more common capturing devices (like CCD and film), these apparently non-sense images turn into beautiful pictures. It’s a pretty crazy approach to the thing, but it seems to be workin.
3DTotal: Could you describe some of the common elements in the compositing process that contribute towards the final renders?
Eden Lab: Just the usual stuff: a backdrop, the cars, shadows and various details like smoke, leaves, etc… most of the time we prefer to render the whole car in a single pass, just to avoid the hassle of managing composites (and scene setups) growing too complex. We always comp at 16-bit per channel or more, since this is the only way
of getting clean and believable tones, especially after a bit of colour correction, or when you’re introducing in your composite some behaviors that are characteristic of film or CCD devices.
3DTotal: Work aside, what do you do to let your hair down?
Eden Lab: Beer plays a dominant role in our lives, we just love it. And
I am not even mentioning the excellent food you can taste in Turin. But sport is what a couple of us are really into: from Kite-Surfing to Snowboarding and Martial Arts.
3DTotal: lol...there is nothing quite like having a nice cold beer after a hard day at work (we do not condone the use of alcohol for enjoyment purposes and remember kids you must be over 18 to
drink alcohol). Snowboarding seems to be a very popular pastime in this industry, what’s the appeal?
Eden Lab: Because extreme sports are fundamental to kill the stress of “extreme” seated sessions, I guess. You just need a couple of hours riding soft powder to forget all the stress gained in the studio.
3DTotal: Where do you see EDEN Lab heading to in the future?
Eden Lab: We would love to create a natural environment out of the metropolis stress where we could actually focus on our studies, probably introducing more personnel to do the “dirty-jobs”. We are now establishing a leading position in Italy for the realizations of car commercials, but we
would love to move also on other markets, exporting this Italian passion for design and vehicles. And of course we would love to participate in some movie shots. Who knows, maybe with some crazy car chasing.
3DTotal: Crazy car chasing that rings a bell :) So can you let the readers know what you will be making next?
Eden Lab: Honestly, it was more a call than a ring, unfortunately. We are now working on a new spot for a major car company and it’s going to be the coolest. We’ve got some extreme driving in it. We are also taking care of some non-car-related cg- shots for a couple of movies: maybe that’s why we are thinking about how cool it could be to get involved in a blockbuster movie where we could use our skills on vehicles.
3DTotal: If you had to choice of any client to add to your portfolio, who would they be?
Eden Lab: Lamborghini and Bugatti