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Making Of 'K.A.O.S Submarine Control Room'

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Date Added: 10th August 2009
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I don't like to use shaders for diffuse, things like cammo, or noise - I prefer to customise everything for each project - but in some cases, you need shaders like Anisotropic to make, in this case, special specular metal effects.

The next step was to illuminate the set (Fig. 05). I wanted to have half-lit, ambient light, with places where the light was coming off the screens and other places that were lit directly, making hard shadows. I also wanted to use diffuse lights in the background, with soft shadows and dome lights.

Fig. 05

I ended up using four different kinds of lights:

  • Radial light with hard shows, like the one of the right hand side which focuses on the table and button panels
  • Radial light with soft edge shadows, like the backgrounds lights, to diffuse the shadows and give more global illumination to the set
  • Tube light, from EI, to illuminate the left side and front chairs, and to fake the light from the screens. This light only affected three chairs and cast no shadows.
  • Illuminator Dome Radial Lights, two of them, to fake global illumination with the benefit of a fast render and no shadows.

Because all of the lights had small radius drop-offs, some parts of the set would be in total darkness, aside from the light panels and screens. This is why I placed two illuminator lights into the scene, with an intensity of 16%, one on the north-facing sides and the other on the south-facing sides.

Rendering was the next step. This project was rendered in Raytracing with the EI Camera and the following parameters:

  • 2/3rd of 1920pix wide - 1267x539
  • 2:35 aspect ratio
  • 47 lights
  • 6 shadows
  • 9.049.746 Active Facets
  • Basic Antialiasing

I did some renderings for this Making Of (Fig.06), such as wireframe and without textures, but the rest were made for a particular purpose. For example, the DOF pass as a camera blur mask and smoke, to give interactive ambience to the shot.

Fig. 06

When the render was completed, the next objective was After Effects (Fig.07). Because this project has motion and will have real people around, interacting with the 3D set, chairs, panels etc, here is where I gave the final touches to the image. In this case, as you can see from Fig.06, the electric image render image is what I got from the 3D program, so I wanted glow in the lights, to defocus the background, add smoke and grade the image.

Fig. 07

With the render passes, I was able to blend the smoke with the rendered image and tint it with the tone for the final mood. I added the blur where I wanted with the DOF/FOG pass and then used both After Effects Glow and Trapcode Starglow for the lights. To grade the image, I used Looks, and in the upper screenshot you can see the colour levels and settings that I applied to slightly change the final ambience and colours for the shot. Some kind of oppressive ambience with old and high-tech technology gives a nice starting point for compositing with actors.

I hope you've enjoyed this Making Of "K.A.O.S Submarine Control Room" - it was a pleasure to share this project with you. Here you have four frames of the animation I did for this image, so you have different angles to view (Fig.08).  Thanks a lot to all of you, and may the Force be with you!

Fig. 08

Final Image

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