Winners announced for Rookie Awards 2021
Harry Potter Recreation + Other projects

Harry Potter Recreation + Other projects

Joy Lahmann-Paz
by joylp on 31 May 2021 for Rookie Awards 2021

Here is my entry for the Rookie Awards 2021, I hope you'll like this presentation !

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         Harry Potter Opening Scene

For my last project in school, I really wanted it to be related to the Harry Potter universe, since I discovered Visual Effects watching this saga when I was little. Starting from scratch by myself enabled me to go through an entire pipeline in different departments, which was very rewarding in the end.

I quickly started to make a blocking, putting all the important elements in the right place, especially the camera. It took me several attempts to get it right and to establish the speed and the lenght of my shot. Once I did that I locked the camera and didn't touch it for the rest of the production.

Modeling Hogwarts required me a lot of references in order to recreate accurately the castle. Fortunately I could count on the pictures that one of my classmates took at the Warner Bros. Studio in London. It really helped me since the model changed a lot throughout the saga. I used Maya for the modeling and the Uv's. I used bricks textures that I found on Quixel and I modified them in Substance Painter to give ii an older aspect.

For my dementors, I took a human skeleton that I sculpted during my first year in school and used it as a base. I looked for references in breakdowns of Harry Potter movies and tried to recreate the creature in ZBrush. I did the retopology by hand and I unfolded the UV's in Maya.

I created the skin texture in Substance Painter.

Back to Maya, I created a rig and animated my dementors ( I also found out at my own expense during the process that Uv's can animate themselves if you don't follow the right order). 

Once animated, I imported my dementor as an alembic in Marvelous Designer and I created  a cape that I simulated later on with the wind parameter. I had to repeat the process four times in order to get four different simulations for my dementors.  

To recreate the shreds in the cape, I used a special material in Substance Painter called "Fabric Torn". 

Since FX are not really my cup of tea, I tried to make my clouds in Houdini the easiest way possible : I used spheres that I "broke" with a mountain node and I used this as a starting point for my clouds. I "sharpened" them with a cloud noise and that's pretty much it :). 

For the mountains in the back of the scene, I used the software Gaea to generate them in a procedural way.

I rendered the scene in Maya with Vray in once, using Object ID. I gathered everything together later on in Nuke and I recreated the dark atmoshpere mostly with the ZDepth. I also added a lot of fog footages to give to the scene a foggy look. 

This project was very complete and I learned a lot of things from it, using some of the softwares for the first time. You can watch right below this breakdown in a video format.

In addition to this, here are some other projects that I did during this year

                     Kombi Challenge

I used the model provided in a Rookie contest and tried to give it a 70's look, being inspired by the colors of a VHS tape and I added a little twist in the textures with some sand on it, all in Substance Painter and Photoshop. 

                         A Forest Tale

Three forest scenes created in Unreal Engine, assets and textures provided.

                 Dog Groom Exercise

The dog model and the color map were provided. I did the groom using Xgen in Maya.

                   Astronaut Dance

I had to create a scene about this astronaut (model and animation provided) and I decided to display him as if he was in a music video. I took the references from different fashion exhibitions. Set modeled in Maya and compositing done in Nuke.

Thank you for your time !

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