This test compiles the animation and puddle effects we received this week from our animator (Aidan Merryman) and effects artist (Will von Jess). Additionally, I have created a lighting transition using a blend between two different lighting scenarios, night and morning, as well as a dynamic key light to suggest the passage of time. All of the lights are render on separate per-light AOVs, so I have full control of their intensity in composite and can key frame when the come on and off in post as Jessica and I see fit. This was a very exciting discovery and has certainly helped us more carefully direct the tempo of the piece. My most recent test can be seen below!
This week, Jessica was able to finish the first pass of all the "new" building textures. We put the shaders in shot, and I was able to create some more directed lighting tests with her beautiful assets. I chose to create two moods to serve as sketches essentially to direct my eye once I begin developing the overall light rig. The first one I envision as an early misty morning with the sun coming from back right of frame. The second is a night lighting test using the physical light models in the shot. I was playing with a shift in focus as well, the first being more towards the back of frame, and the second being at the front. For the second shot, I hero-lit the chalkboard menu in order to give the viewers a more obvious/directed focus. The results of these two test can be seen below. Moving forward, I would like to create directed shots like these for each of the day and night sequences in our film and figure out a way to transition successfully between each look.
Morning Lighting Test
Night Lighting Test
One of the essential elements of this project is the believably of scene as it progresses through time, transitioning from night to day. I wanted to start testing this idea as soon as possible because I believe it will require some experimentation. I have a first pass of the timing posted below. I created this basic "previs" with AI Physical Sky shader on a AI Skydome light, animating the position of the "sun" in the sky to get a feeling of the timing. The samples have been set really low in order to save on render times and I am aware of the very obvious rendering artifacts. This test is only about 400 frames, and our final piece will be 900. I am not totally happy with it, as I want to be able to really direct the lighting of each day/night and create the most beautiful shot possible. So to have those results on the screen for only a few frames wouldn't do my work as much justice and the more variations we have, the less refined each will be. With this in mind, Jess and I are toying with the idea of cutting it down to about 6 days and 6 night variations. I am currently rendering a test of this new pacing and will post it when it has finished. For now, you can watch my first pass below.
Time Lapse Lighting Test
I was also able to create a quick 150 frame compositing test for the sky in the background. I am using a blend node in Nuke to transition between 4 different photographs of the sky during different times of the day. The results aren't totally polished but upon further refinement, I think it could potentially work for our time lapse purposes.