Alec Reicher
by alecreicher on 24 May 2020 for Rookie Awards 2020

After failing to complete my original idea, I refused to give up and made something cool. I learned so much despite not accomplishing my original goal.

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My original idea involved implementing 3D assets into some footage I shot last summer. However, that didn't happen because my renders were corrupted. After my first idea resulted in complete failure, I was determined not to give up. I got my hands on some stock footage, fired up Nuke, and used what I had to make something cool.

This is what I got instead of the AOVs from my render. I revived thousands of files just like these. By the time I identified and solved the issue, it was too late to re-render.

I am more of a compositor than a 3D artist anyways, so I enjoyed compositing my mistakes into some live action footage.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the project was working with corrupt files. I learned a lot about pushing Nuke to (and past) its limits. Even though I failed, I still managed to learn things that will make me a better compositor.

The most broken part of the corrupt files was the color information. Check out these crazy values that I sampled from Nuke while I was working.

As most people know, normal values for pure white are: 

Red: 1 | Green: 1 | Blue: 1 

In the first example, I was reading values far beyond that: 

Red: 3,400,000 | Green: 3,100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 | Blue: Infinity

That's right. Nuke was reading INFINITE colors in certain parts of the images. That led to some interesting side effects.

In this shot for example, the corrupt files often ignored alpha channels and masks. They would flat out refuse to cooperate no matter what I did.

The files also acted strangely when they were transformed. The corrupted file and the grid here are rotated the exact same amount. Notice the skewing and warping of the image. Each of those colored spots are supposed to be perfect squares.

Things only got stranger when I entered the 3D interface. It eventually broke and that's how the final shot turned out the way it did.

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