August 26th, 2013 // sebastian
Here’s a little breakdown of a small FX project that I recently did for the German TV Station MDR. They needed to have a photo exchanged in one shot from a documentary about Roland Freisler: www.mdr.de/geschichte-mitteldeutschlands/filme/freisler/roland-freisler104.html
Kay Dombrowsky from trickkiste.tv was doing the color grading for the whole series on his DaVinciResolve, and since we share the same office space he asked me to do this little shot.
Everything was done in Blender. First I did a quick 2 point track of the original photo. I combined that with a few hooks, which I then hand animated to get the deformation of the photo right. Masking and fake shadows were done in Blender’s MovieClipEditor. Feathering could be better at some points, but for the time and budget I think all in all it turned out pretty good.
July 26th, 2013 // sebastian
Here’s a 3D Character Animation of a medieval manikin, commissioned by the GRASSI Museum für Angewandte Kunst Leipzig, which is exhibiting the original figure.
The original manikin is made of wood, with strings inside to keep the limbs together. It was once possible to pose it and use as drawing and anatomy reference. The detail is astounding. Even though the whole thing is just 22,5cm large, it had actually been possible to move the toes and fingers. Now of course you better not move or deform it, otherwise it might just break, being almost half a millennium old. That’s why it is exhibited in a fixed pose in the museum.
To find out how the manikin was constructed and built inside, it has been scanned by Prof. Dr. Klaus Bente at the Leipzig University, in cooperation with Graduate Conservator Christian Jürgens at GRASSI Museum für Angewandte Kunst. The resulting 3D model made it much easier to see the inner workings of this figure.
To illustrate what poses and movements might have been possible with it, I cleaned and edited the mesh for animation in Blender. The rig has been done using Rigify, Blender’s automatic biped rigging system. Rendering was done with Blender Internal, with slight postprocessing by the built-in compositor.
If you want to find out more about it and see the original manikin, visit the GRASSI Museum für Angewandte Kunst Leipzig!
June 6th, 2013 // sebastian
It’s already been a while, but still I want to announce my new German Training DVD form Galileo Press: “Das Blender Training: Rendering & Compositing”.
You’ll learn everything about Cycles, Pathtracing, LightBounces, Node-Materials, Compositing Render-Passes, VFX, Tracking and much more.
The DVD was recorded with Blender 2.66, but it will also work for 2.67 and 2.68.
You can get it at Amazon for about 36€.
April 30th, 2013 // sebastian
This year I was a speaker at FMX2013, Conference on Animation, Effects, Games and Transmedia in Stuttgart. The Blender Foundation had organized two talks, one with Thomas Dinges, talking about Cycles rendering, and one with me. I decided to talk about the production of Tears of Steel, as well the VFX tools in Blender.
Tears of Steel presentation
I was surprised that there were quite a few people in the audience who didn’t know about the open movies nor Tears of Steel. Well, gladly I could change that.
The talk went really well, and I had even enough time to demo the tracking and keying tools in Blender. And as always the tracking tools didn’t fail to impress. In just 8 minutes I managed to demo a full object track so I could put our beloved Suzanne on top of the Captain’s head, which was also a fun way to end the presentation.
Thomas Dinges had his talk on Thursday.
He got support from the nice people of CADnetwork, who gave him a 16core, dual Tesla rendering beast for his talk, so he could demo the blazingly fast Cycles live viewport rendering. Thomas showed how well Cycles performs in different scenarios, how to use SubsurfaceScattering and how to use nodes to control the light paths.
So all in all I think Blender left a really good impression at this year’s FMX, and I hope we can repeat that next year.
I really enjoyed FMX2013. Not only is it fun to meet some fellow blenderheads like Thomas Dinges, Andy Goralczyk or Julius Tuomisto, but it’s also great to see presentations and talks about the VFX on recent or upcoming movies, such as IronMan3, Life of Pi or Oz the great and powerful. And of course, definitely a hightlight, seeing the newest Pixar short „The Blue Umbrella“. So beautiful! Will be a great to start an evening of Pixar animation deliciousness once Monster University comes out.
March 10th, 2013 // sebastian
This year started off really interesting.
After lots of training projects and a new Cycles and Compositing DVD that will be out soon I started to do some modeling for 3D printing, ordered by a 3D printing company based in Leipzig (www.realityservice.de)
They get a lot of different requests and jobs, with different topics, and as a freelancer I can do some of the modeling work, while RealityService gets the printing done. Some people want to have 3d prints of certain flowers, others want some architectural visualization, and some companies want to have their game characters 3D printed, like for example Wooga.
Wooga is ‘one of the largest social game developers for web and mobile in the world’, based in Berlin. During the last months I transferred some of their 2d game characters to 3d models, using Blender’s excellent toolset of polymodelling functions as well as the powerful sculpt mode. The interactive Cycles Viewport Rendering was a great way to generate previews for the client.
I’m very much looking forward to Blender 2.67, for which Campbell Barton is developing tools specifically made for 3d Printing. That will make it possible to measure the volume of a mesh, check wall thickness, do automatic mesh cleanup and more.
During the last 2 months me and René Hänsel, a colleague of mine, modelled 3 characters, and did the cleanup and printability improvements for a 4th character that the client provided.
As a little extra these 4 characters where then put on a small platform. Last week, during Cebit, the German chancellor Angela Merkel visited Wooga in Berlin, where the 3d print of the 4 characters made by realityservice was presented to her as a gift.
Angela Merkel with 3D Modell © f.büttner/wooga
Isn’t that awesome? A Blender modelled 3d print in the hands of Angela Merkel? I don’t know, I think that’s pretty cool. :)
More images here: http://www.rapidobject.com/de/Referenzen_Showroom/3D_Projekte_9082.html?sid=Sf1Urnop1bvIXqYsI74JZPjqiSThmvhQ
September 26th, 2012 // sebastian
Today is the release of “Tears of Steel”, the fourth Open Movie from the Blender Foundation.
It has been seven months of hard work, 3 months preproduction, 4 days of shooting and 3.5 months of postproduction and lots of fun. I was responsible for matchmoving, footage conversion, keying and roto and digital compositing. Actually I wanted to do a long and detailed blogpost about my time in Amsterdam, but maybe I’m gonna do that later.
Instead, I am happy to announce that today, September 26th, at 19.00, “Tears of Steel” will be officially launched online. The premiere will take place at Youtube.com!
Here’s the teaser:
Two days later we will have the Hollywood premiere. Well, kind of :)
Here’s the press release, and of course the link to our blog!
July 14th, 2012 // sebastian
After 4 months of work the Mango Project team can finally present the teaser to the shortfilm “Tears of Steel” that will be finished end of August.
We have worked hard to get our pipeline to work and to create the tools we need to produce this movie. Since everything has to be done with Blender, the developers had to write the much needed tools for rotoscoping, masking and keying, as well as further develop the rendering system, compositor and physics tools. But it all starts coming together now and we think that we can actually finish it more or less in time.
For more information go to our website www.tearsofsteel.org/.
Here’s a little timelapse of the keying workflow in Blender: