LK Fabric released

LK Fabric has been released!

Congrats to Leonard Kotch who put his heart and soul into this and who put up with my endless demands for the system during the production.

Pretty much everything you see in the Nike commercials below was built with this system, with Leonard doing daily updates as we worked. We barely touched some of the possibilities of this system, I hope people will try it out because it is cable of some truly spectacular effects. Kudos to Royale for being so cool and sharing it out like this!

Nike Tech Fleece

 

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Softimage, Arnold, ICE and LKfabric, intensive small-team project @ Studio Royale, I think this video is meant to play in the Nike stores inside of a sculpture/model of the loom. If anyone sees it in one of the store sculptures, send me a pic, it sounds cool. :)

 

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Image converted using ifftoany

Ideas, traveling

Pingo van der Brinkloev hit me up for a very rough discussion of the conceptual approach to building knitted patterns in CG and came up with a pretty cool workflow to get similar results in C4D. Cool, nice work!

Art is collaborative. It loops back and forth between artists, techniques grow and we present constant challenges to ourselves and each other. Nothing makes me happier than to see this kind of mutual exchange of ideas across different toolsets. We are artists first, inspiring one another – the borders of studios, tools, location, language or genre should never keep us from exchange of ideas. Thriving ideas lead to a thriving market as a whole, employed artists, and most importantly better art across the board. I really believe lifting each other up is the best route to success for the individual artist as well as the industry as a whole, so when I saw how Pingo built this I was as excited as I was when I saw Jonah Friedman make entwiner in ICE. How can you not get excited? This is cool stuff!

Nike

Two of 3 spots. “Evolution” was a small team, 3 weeks, lighting and effects with Softimage and Arnold.

I love small but intense projects like this.

“Run” was primarily Maya/Vray with a touch of ICE. The studio (Royale) is only 6 years old but advancing fast, and it’s been a real pleasure working with them. For their first exploration of ICE, Royale invited in some familiar SI friends – Ciaran Moloney, Steven Caron, Leonard Kotch, Billy Morrison and yours truly doing a first gig start to finish as a CG sup (which with guys like this mostly involved saying “go for it.”)

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Like the Psyop “Telstra” spot, this commercial essentially required us to create a system for knitting cloth from massive numbers of strands. Leonard Kotch wrote a system which performs many of the same tasks as the Psyop “Entwiner” tool, but he took a slightly different direction, it was fascinating to compare how the two diverged. The progressive animation required for these two shots resulted in a pretty flexible and broad system, which we are currently using for the last of the three spots, which will wrap in production soon.

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Royale has been an enthusiastic and fun group to work with and it’s been great getting to show a studio as strong as they are in design some of the possibilities ICE can bring to jobs like this. Expect to see some version of Leonard’s “LKFabric” system gifted to the community before long – very cool Royale, thanks! (They also throw good parties, their 6’th birthday celebration was impressive and… unusual.)

 

 

Strands are our friends

And so is Psyop!

This little commercial project from a while back was a LOT of fun. A very small team of us (5 or 6 total, I think) made this (plus a few shots more) in just a few short weeks (two or three I forget) at the LA studio, using a hybrid Maya/Softimage approach which Psyop does really well. All models and animation in maya are brought to Softimage for lighting with Arnold and additional ICE effects – in this case, the characters, and stuffing are entirely strands. No geometry aside from the little plastic eyes and their teeth.

Psyop’s lighting supervisor Jonah Friedman wowed me with the system for knitting via strands he built, and how fast he built it. He also quickly made it on my “favorite people” list in general, it was a blast working with him and the others there. The system, which we called “entwiner” builds layers upon layers of strands… these knit characters are built down to every individual fiber. And Arnold powered right through these millions of strands without a blip. Pretty cool. It was so efficient at it in fact, that it made sense to make the “stuffing” out of tiny fibers too, which gave it a nice volumetric kind of feel when lit.

The liquid is a simple lagoa setup, with wet maps generated in ICE. While the commercial was so simple I was really pleased with how the studio took pains to take their clients ideas and give it the very best. A couple of knit characters could have been faked with geometry and textures, but going that extra mile even when time was so short is what really impressed me, and the combination of maya/softimage, ICE and Arnold is a powerful one, as Psyop shows even on small jobs like this. My kind of studio. Thanks for having me you guys.

Soylent Art, its made from people.

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Since at the moment I am heads-down in production and can’t share the art I’m working on, I thought I would take a second to share someone else’s art – in this case a favorite piece by the wonderful and whimsical dance troupe, Momix.

While I have been lucky enough to have seen Pilobolus, The Alvin Ailey Dance Company, Martha Graham, and even some rare offshoots like Iso and The Bobs, I have never seen Momix live. If you like good art and have an opportunity to do so yourself, don’t pass it up.

And while I’m mentioning performance artists of the kinesthetic sort, if you live on theWest Coast and haven’t spent an evening with the
Flying Karamozov Brothers, good lord – what’s keeping you?

Update: Whirlpool and Ridged Turbulence Deformers, Revisited.

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A user on si-community asked how to “move” the deformation in the earlier whirlpool example. Doing so involves a couple of matrix transformations – you basically force the points of the geometry to the global origin where you perform your deformation and them move them back to the local space they were in.

It’s a simple operation that I haven’t really figured out how to illustrate in a simple and intuitive manner yet… about the best I could do was to revise the scene so people can compare a “before” and “after”. The first scene is a working scene, it’s where I was assembling the basic deformation, it’s all relative to the global origin. This new scene then goes through the steps of making the deformation “production ready.” I clean things up, make the deformation operate in the object’s space, and package it all up as compounds.

Here are the compounds and the revised scene (2013): example_whirlpoolDeformer2