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"Back to Gaya" - the first CG Feature Film from Germany
Added on: Fri Mar 26 2004
Page: 1 2 3 4 5 7 8 9 10 11 

[continued from last page] Next we had some problems with the rendering, anti-aliasing in particular. Unfortunately, 3ds max 4.2 offers just a few blur filters for enhancing the AA, but especially for very thin hair structures, these filters caused us some problems. Therefore we had to render almost all hair layers in 3K resolution at first, and afterwards scale them down to the final 2K output for compositing. I hope this problem is meanwhile gone with MAX6 and mental ray.
The toughest nut to crack though was the motion blur. We implicitely needed a 2D motion blur, that we could use during compositing in order to have a maximum control over the strength of the blur effect. Therefore any method, that would be performed directly at render time, was not applicable here from the beginning. For Maya there was the IFF file format, which can carry motion vector and z-depth channels, and.the counterpart in MAX was the RPF format. Now the problem was to get the respective information from both file types together, in order to seamlessly cooperate with each other, because we implicitely needed one combined layer of the character later, that would carry all motion vector data at once. This problem kept one of our programmers busy for months. He had to analyze literally each and every byte of an RPF file in order to understand its structure and to find out how motion vector data was handled by the code. There was no help from discreet, either. Eventually he came up with a tool, that could merge the respective channels from IFF and any number of RPF sequences into one new RPF sequence, which could then be used in AfterEffects, where another in-house tool generated the required motion-blurred RGBA layer. Sounds very complicated, and it IS complicated :-)
And these were by far not all major problems we had to deal with, but it would take me till tomorrow to discuss them all here.

3DLuVr: Did the software manufacturers assist you with their support or even some sponsoring?


3DLuVr: Based on your experiences now, would you still use the same tools for future projects or would you rather be tempted to switch to another platform? What would you like to see changed?

Manuel: I'm more than satisfied. Maya is well suited for such productions - if you know how to avoid its little quirks.

Toby: Personally I wouldn't hesitate to work with Maya again. Especially when compared with Max, it is much more open for being adapted to one's individual needs. Furthermore its scripting language "MEL" seems more powerful in comparison to MAX Script, which I've also been working with.

A character setup in Maya using slider controls for many aspects of the behavior

Michael: Well, I'm quite satisfied with what Maya 4 had to offer, even though I had a few concerns regarding stability during my mesh unwrap work. Gildas made up a collection of all the error messages I received, and it sums up to quite a few. :-)
There were also some problems regarding the size of the textures. The renderer just refused working properly, when a certain amount of 4K resolution textures was exceeded. This turned out to be an annoying limitation at times, and I strongly wish for a solution to this anytime soon.

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