All Posts in XSI

February 13, 2016 - Comments Off on Making a Dynamic Tree

Making a Dynamic Tree

Here's a little movie I chucked together from screen captures during a recent project. Maybe I'll do a walk though one day on how it's actually done.
The tree model is from Evermotion. The rig was built in Softimage XSI, using ICE, strands. Syflex, and various compounds built specially for the task.
Once simulated, the tree was cached and exported to Maya. Rendering done in Vray, which made light work of the huge poly counts.
All the work is copyright to Analog Studio

October 27, 2014 - Comments Off on Making of Film 4

Making of Film 4

Concept, Design & Direction: ManvsMachine
Agency & Production Company: 4creative
Creative Director: Dan Chase (Channel 4)
Producer: Liz Arnott (Channel 4)
Post Production VFX: Analog

A little Breakdown of the Film 4 Idents. My main focus was the piano breaking, which took about 30 takes by the end. Using Maya and DMM, then cached via Alemic, brought into Softimage and re skinned with a high res model. Rendered with Vray.

September 9, 2014 - Comments Off on Film4 Idents

Film4 Idents

Concept, Design & Direction: ManvsMachine
Agency & Production Company: 4creative
Creative Director: Dan Chase (Channel 4)
Producer: Liz Arnott (Channel 4)
DoP: Alex Barber
Art Direction / Set Design: Simon Davies (UK) Max Orgell (US)
Post Production VFX: Analog
Colourist: Aubrey Woodiwss (Electric Theatre Collective)
Offline Editors: Alex Lea (Envy) Nick Armstrong (Envy)
Music Composition: Resonate

Here's another new bit of work. Completed over the past few months. Analog consulted on the shoot and live action. Then we did all the post, which even though it looks limited, was a huge amount of work. Hopefully there will be a making of shortly.
It's testament to my fellow Analog colleagues how invisible all the post stuff was, as many still cling onto this being completely 'in camera'.
My main task was fracturing the logo and the piano. This was done using DMM in Maya, after about 30 takes we got the right version. After this we cleaned it up in Softimage by 'wrapping' more detailed geo back the fracturing/flexing forms using ICE. It would have been nice to add all the strings etc, but it became way to complicated.

I also had to animate the logo for each version. This consisted of 20 'stop frame' positions to get the right feel as the footage ramped up and down.

There is a ton of work in progress stuff on this, I may post it up once the dust has settled.

August 21, 2014 - No Comments!

ICE – Constrain Null To Surface


It's been a while since I've used ICE, but on a recent project involving lots of Alembic caches I thought it would be nice to be able to augment baked geometry. In 3dsMax the attachment constraint is perfect for this, but in Softimage there isn't really anything similar.

Needless to say I didn't get this implemented before the project was finished, typical. Anyway, now that project is done, I've made an effort to finish it.

To make this work, simply add the compound to a null, link your geometry to said null. Input the link to object name, and the polygon number you want to attach to.
Note: When working with kinematics in ICE. One very helpful tip (thanks to my co worker Simon Reeves for this one) is adding a key at frame 1. So when, as is normally the case, the kinematic tree gets 'dirty', Softimage can then work out where the null was originally, then re-apply the ICE kinematics. This saves, removing the ICE execution, zeroing and re applying it.

This compound works on quads, and Tri meshes, normal keyframed objects, and critically for me, imported alembic geo.




How it works:

If anyone is interested in how this works, you can of course open the compound.

But in short I create all the matrix transforms in a temp pose, then apply it in one go at the end. It starts by grabbing the polygon position, this becomes the snap transform. Then I get the polygon normal, and multiply it by the matrix rotation only, of the attach object. Then using the snap location, closest location will give the point ID's of the polygon I'm attaching to. I then use two of these to find a poly orientated axis. Cross product this axis with the polygon normal, and you get a rotation matrix.

The trickiest part was working with an ice tree on the local object and referencing another object. Once the current null moves you cannot do any more computations, as you have the attachment object global position and the null objects new location, which causes problems in the kinematic stack. So you work everything out once, then apply the kinematic once.

A big issue I found was grabbing the normal off attachment object. If you use multiply by matrix on the normal, you get a distorted normal that is pushed from the null's zero, to the attachment object. Thanks again to Simon, I use only the matrix rotation in the multiplication, and ignore the rest.

Scale is not supported, but if you need it, it could be added easily.


TW_ConstrainNullToSurface 1.1

May 12, 2014 - No Comments!

Austin Mini Cooper 1967 Monte Carlo

May 11, 2014 - No Comments!

Showreel 2013/14

Here's my latest reel of work last year. With a few older ones still in there.
Work will have been produced whilst at Analog Studio, Nexus Productions, Picasso, and The Neighbourhood.
Using Softimage, 3dsMax, and probably Vray.
A full breakdown is available on request

April 18, 2014 - No Comments!

ITV Entertainers Commercial

April 9, 2014 - No Comments!


Client : Meridian Audio
Creative Direction and Concept
Castorini Ltd. / Marco Ammannati
Director : Marco Ammannati
Analog Team
Producer : Mike Turoff
3D/FX : Arvid Niklasson, Mike Merron, Matt Chandler, Simon Reeves, Tim Woods, Nathan Bayliss
Comp : Fabio Zaveti, Nathan Bayliss

A project from a few months ago. I helped with the previs, edit and layout. I also worked on an ICE compound to get in the audio tracks to Softimage so the particles could be driven by the sound.
Other tasks included modelling of the music pieces used as particles, and a little rendering here and there.

March 16, 2014 - No Comments!

ICE – Display Circle


Here is another little compound. Very simple a modified version of the build circle compound shipped as standard. I wanted to know how it worked, so rebuilt it from scratch, and this time added the ability to align the circle displayed to whatever you want by adding a vector per point input.

For example, build points on a surface, then just add the point normal and they should align. Not ground breaking, but very useful.

TW_Build Display Circle.1.1