FILM AND TV
CUTTING EDGE VISUAL EFFECTS AND ANIMATION
OUR VFX & ANIMATION SHOWREEL
There are two types of storyboard. Rough thumbnail-boards for creative direction and formal storyboards to show executives or investors. We normally create our storyboards in Photoshop with Cintiq tablets. We can export boards as full HD panels or as full comic strips and clients are welcome to take the source files away with them.
We like to give our animatics plenty of life, so we draw elements in Photoshop and then apply basic animation in After Effects. We’ll record place holder voices for animatics (if they’re needed), rough sound effects are added and stock theme music to make everything as close to the finished film as possible.
Previz is great for gaining an understanding of camera angles, stage actions and lighting within a 3D space. We block out our sets and characters (if final models aren't available) and we’ll set up lights and roughly animate our characters moving around the set based on the animatic.
We value a clean, efficient topology which can accommodate our riggers requirements without making the mesh unnecessarily dense. Modelling is all about being able to convert 2D designs into a 3D mesh. It's not about copying a design inch by inch, it's about getting a likeness and making an accurate interpretation that works in 3D.
The quality of a rig can make or break an animation, which is why we value our in-house rigger so much. In Maya, we can build rigs for almost any purpose, from cartoon Santa Clauses to photo realistic dinosaurs. Each production brings it own set of requirements and our rigger works very closely with our animation team to understand what’s needed and to fix any problems that pop up along the way.
Although we use the latest softwares for animation, we still stick to a traditional ‘pose to pose’ work flow. We block out our storytelling poses and focus on the acting before setting up the movements with extremes and breakdowns. We then in-between our actions with a mixture of stepped keys and graph editor curves. The final result has to be perfect.
The texturing pipeline is constantly evolving using a range of software and techniques. We create both bespoke textures painted directly onto models, as well as completely procedural generation methods.
By constantly evaluating new shaders we produce the best results possible. Our shaders are constantly being updated to be as accurate as possible to real-world materials, or be as artistic as necessary whilst maintaining a physical plausibility.
Having a well defined render pipeline means we can work on a wide range of projects with many visual styles. We strive to keep at the forefront of rendering techniques and approaches, using different software depending on project needs.
Explosions, water, green screens, sky replacements, painting out stuff, an army of men marching in the background; we’ve done it all. Depending on the shot, we’ll use a range of different softwares, but it all ends up in an offline and online format ready for the editor.