Lighting Transition Test

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!

Lighting Test w/ Animation and Puddles

Directed Lighting

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

Time-Lapse Timing and Sky Comp Tests

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.

Sky Compositing Test