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Drop in Size

Drop in Size

Final group Project of the CGI Master "Mars" at Skyup Academy. Inspired by the film "Ant-man" directed by Peyton Reed | Marvel Studios. Enjoy!

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"Drop in Size" is the final group project developed during the last months of our Masterclass at Skyup Academy.

Taking inspiration from the celebrated film "Ant-man" the goal was to succeed, as quickly as possible and with the knowledge gained over the months, to achieve a visual quality that came as close as possible to the film's images.

00. Team Organization

First we organized ourselves as in a real pipeline in production with different departments such as: Previz, Modeling, Texturing, Animation, Lighting, Compositing. In the meantime, the Academy has assigned the deadlines to be respected as if they were the client.

01. Initial Study

The shot is set in a bathroom that everyone might have in mind, but references were still obtained because they are essential for quality.

The suit has had changes during the Ant-man saga we only stuck to the suit from the film of the shot in question.

02. Match Move

Definitely one of the most complex parts to get the match with the original shot.

We started with 3D Equalizer, but we were unable to obtain satisfactory outputs, we only obtained the camera focal lengths and an imprecise path which helped us when we decided to do the camera matching manually on Maya.

The first shot is the one with the most movements, the study of the camera movements is shown below, while the second shot is a simple pull out.

Shot 01: 444 Frames | Shot 02: 284 Frames

03. Modeling

The modeling of the suit was done in Zbrush (Marvelous Designer was also evaluated, but since it was very rigid we opted to sculpt it). The helmet and the entire environment was done on Maya including the tent with the NURBs to have greater control and fidelity to get closer to the original shot.

04. UV

In RizomUV . Much attention was paid to the UV organization and optimization of the texel density of the environment which was reduced where it was not seen in the shot, thus reducing rendering times.

05. Texturing and Surfacing

The textures and surfacing were completed in Substance Painter.

Below the video and images:
First row: Suit surfacing;
From the Second row: Beauty, Diffuse and Roughness.

05. Rigging and Animation, where the Problems come

The rigging phase was very very challenging because it was not foreseen that skinning would not be possible with a high density mesh.

To avoid having to redo everything, the solution was to create a low-poly mesh and then use the "wrap" Deformer for the hi-poly.

The next problem was that scaling down Ant-man during the famous fall is not possible due to the wrap. The solution was to scale the entire Environment including camera and lights with a Locator. We were surprised to discover that by scaling everything in scene in the rendering everything remains the same.

The problem with this solution is that some rigid elements stretch, but we are very happy with the result obtained. Next time we definitely won't make the same mistakes.

Below you will find a video showing the Scaling up of the Environment and the Camera Movements.

06. Lighting

To be able to get as close as possible to the original, lights that affect only one object with Light Linking were also used. To optimize rendering times the Windows do not have glass.

07. Compositing

Compositing in NukeX. Corrections and improvements have been made using Utility and Beauty AOV as well as importing the camera into 3D space. Digital Matte Painting actions were carried out to add detail.

The Falling Effect was created using the Normal Pass.

We are very proud of ourselves, this work certainly represents one of our greatest milestones. We want to give a huge thank you to Mauro Baldissera, Alessandro Maschietto and Chiara Rovoletto, teachers at Skyup Academy.

Team Ant-Boys:

CG Supervisor, Animatic & Lighting: Jianan Xiang
Lead Modeling: Peter Sabadotto
Modeling Hard surface: Andrea Sperta
Modeling Cloth: Marco Boscarin
Lead Texturing: Alberto Baldazzi
Rigging & Animation: Denis Novitchi
Lead Compositing: Samuele Giunta
CG Artist: Walter Sola

Thank You for Your time!

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