Boyo & Ritchie - Shooting the Commercial
The next workshop I attended was a making of from Boyo&Ritchie, two 3D guys who are working at "The Postoffice" about there work on the Dr. Van der Hoog commercial.
Because their main tool was Maya and not Max, my notes on this workshop are a bit...sparse.
Nevertheless there were some interesting aspects about the problems they had to tackle and the workflow they came up with, that aren´t really application specific.
The main part of their work was to put some flying flowers and leaves on a naked lady (of course there were some jokes involved about asking their mom for permission to work on that...), forming a floral dress.
During production they looked into several approaches how to best tackle this task.
First they covered the preproduction part.
For the dress they apparently had a costume designer who made the actual dress they used as a reference for the final shot.
Of course there was also a lot of research on the looks and behaviour of flowers and leaves.
The production phase for them consisted of several elements: Setting up a camera system for tracking (in the end they used 5 cameras for tracking), photographing the HDRIs and greyball for lighting and taking notes of every aspect - lenses, cameradistance and -angles etc.
Boyo then talked a bit about the details of the tracking process (wich took about 1 Week), but since thats quite out of my field, I can´t really tell you much about it.
Then they were talking about the different solutions they researched on how to best get the flowers on the model.
I can´t remember all three approaches, but I do remember that a particle system (wich comes to mind first I guess) didn´t work because of the lack of control over movement and placement on the body - the costume designer apparently had very specific ideas about the exact look of the floral dress...
The solution they finally went with, was to create several motion paths for the flowers and leaves (reverse keying the positions) and controlling the randomization of their movement (position, rotation, secondary movement mimicing wind, offset from the motion path etc.) with a custom mel script they wrote during production.
After the flowers were attached to the body, they then used blend shapes for the final position.
They also talked a bit about the render elements they used in the end, but the more interesting part was only answered in the Q&A at the end:
How did they mask out the body of the model?
The obvious idea popping into mind (probably triggered by the turntable in the beginning, showing off the floral dress on a modeled body), was that they just modelled/sculpted the body.
But because of the movement of the live model (turning around towards he camera), it was impossible to get a clear mask without completely rigging and animating a 3D-Body, wich wasn´t possible due to the time constraints.
So in the end they just split up the flowers into 3 groups, one for the front, one for the side and one for the back, rendered out masks for all of them and then handed those to the Nuke guy, who simply painted the final masks.
The shadows on the body then also were done within nuke (I think he mentioned something about volume rays, but I´m not a nuke guy...).