So finally it was my turn start Rendering and compositing the pieces.  The guys have been animating away, however we no that their will need to be changes made to the animation whenever we get the feedback on Thursday 28th April.  We then have 2 weeks to make the changes, but for the sake of the presentation, we need to start rendering and compositing the pieces together so that we have a piece fully put together so we can get feedback.


What has been a major inspiration for me when I have started to composite.  Well the 2 main pieces have been:

  • Umber Labs Hisense ULED
  • Fedex enchanted forrest.

Everyone loves a VFX Breakdown.

I love the look of these pieces.  The magical feel that comes from these.  The way the lights/flares and godrays are used are brilliant.  However I do think that one of the reasons these pieces are so beautiful is because the animation in them is so strong, so I do feel that no matter how much I try and composite the scenes, if the animation isn’t strong then that shot wont be strong.



The godrays/flares etc in these pieces really are beautiful!



This is probably one of my favorite shots so far in the piece.  I really like the way the whole screen is filled.  There doesn’t seem to be an ’empty’ spaces.  Andrew has done a really good job with the animation.

Once the animation was complete, he then passed it onto me to render.  I had to split the character and the scene up into certain sections and then render them out in layers.


  • Colour Pass (Indirect, Specular, Master-beauty, Diffuse)
  • Ambient Occlusion Character
  • Ambient Occlusion Ground
  • Shadow Character
  • Shadow Ground
  • Colour Matte
  • BG Flowers
  • Foreground Flowers
  • Mushrooms

So by rendering these out in layers, I am able to then have full control over these certain sections in nuke.

Once I have the layers rendered out, then I take it into Nuke and create one big EXR file.  That way I am working from one node instead of working from 10-15.  It just keeps the nuke script a lot nicer and cleaner.

Below is the nuke script and the character positioned into the scene, before I began to add in lights, grass and mushrooms.  As you can see, it defiantly needs a lot of work at this stage. Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 14.12.57.png

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 14.21.01.pngScreen Shot 2016-04-19 at 14.47.28.png

I then began to add in the grass and the mushrooms.  I also have added in some light flares and godrays.  I am putting these into each scene, similar to my inspirations.

One thing I noticed that was wrong with this scene was that the white tummy part was sinking into the body so the orange of the body was coming through the white as you can see from the image below.  This was happening over a length of around 50 frames, so what I done was go through each frame and rotopaint in the white.  This saved time instead of having to go in and fix the animation and re-render the colour pass again.

This is the full piece with the nuke script also.  This Nuke script has been bigger than any script which I have done previously so I am very happy with it for now.  I am expecting to get feedback on each scene on Thursday 28th April, so no doubt I will have changes.

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 14.59.51.png


Andrew then finished his 5B scene and passed it onto me for rendering.  We had some issues with this scene, especially with the face on Benji.  The sub_furface scatter was applying to the face correctly, so it was a case of having to break the connection between a couple of the lights and then pulling my main directional light closer to the character.


IMG_5436.jpgSo once I had the scene split up into layers and rendered, I then took the layers and compiled them all into one big EXR file.Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 11.42.10.png

I found this tutorial on Digital tutors to be extremely useful for combining many passes into one EXR file.  Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 10.29.12.png

You can probably see from this screen shot below that the face on the character is extremely dark and quite ‘plastic; looking.  So that was changed straight away once this issue was seen.  Here I have the character, bed and canopy placed into the scene and now it is time to start decorating the scene and adding in the grass, mushrooms and lights.

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 10.40.21.png

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 11.28.51.pngScreen Shot 2016-04-20 at 11.15.27.png

So you can see that I rendered out all of the grass, mushrooms etc into different layers, foreground background etc.  That way I am able to comp them separately.

And this is the final shot, along with my nuke script.  In my previous post about scene 5A, I said that that scene was my biggest nuke script, well this scene is now my biggest Nuke script.  I do however feel that this scene does need work on the right side of the screen.  I do think that it is to bare looking and it does need some grass/flowers in the foreground/background.

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 12.36.15.png


The next shot to work on was 7A.  This is a lovely scene which again Andrew done and I really like it.  We wanted to fill the screen with flowers etc in this scenes it was kid of bare on the ground.  Andrew animated this scene really nicely and then passed me it on to render.  i really like the sub surface on the Owl’s face in this scene.  It makes the face pop and stand out a lot more.

So once he had it passed onto me i then began to split it again up into layers, and then hit render.  This scene took around 4 hours to render, which wasn’t to bad.

I then put all of my passes into an EXR file and then was able to work from 1 node.  I then began to add the character’s int the scene and because of the colour Matte, i was able to grade just benji and then just the owl.  This was handy so that when I am changing one of the characters it isn’t effecting the other character.

One of the first things I had to do was the roto of the characters left leg so that it looks like he is sitting on the branch.  Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 11.04.02.png

Once I was happy with the character compositing and how they looked, I then began to add in the flowers because like I said before this scene defiantly needed the flowers to help fill it up because it was very bare looking.

Screen Shot 2016-04-23 at 16.05.24.pngScreen Shot 2016-04-23 at 16.34.58.png

My Nuke script complete for this scene.  Again I am noticing issues with the lighting on the character that I would very much like to fix, but again for the sake of this deadline on Thursday, I am happy enough to put the scene in and then make the changes after. Screen Shot 2016-04-23 at 17.44.24.png


The next shot then to start comping was the close up of the Owl.  This was a really nice shot to do.  I feel that i got the sub-surface really good on this shot, there is just a slight lighting issue which I want to fix.

I took the shot which Andrew passed onto me and ten began to split it up into Layers.  I did have an issue with this because there is so many layers, the butterflies, the books etc, so I didnt want there to be any overlapping.


Because The Owl is sitting on a branch, I had to go and roto out his left leg to make it look like he is actually sitting there.  I had to go frame by frame through this process as when he sneezes, he does move around a lot.

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.25.37.png

One issue that seems to arise in all of Andrew’s shot is that the belly seems to go into the body.  The blue of the body appears out through the tummy and it means that I have had to go through and rotopaint the white back in.  It seems to happen over a 20/30 frame period, every 70 frames.

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 12.59.52.png

And this is 7B complete (before feedback) along with the nuke script for this shot.

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 11.13.30.png


Once I had shot 7A complete, I then moved onto shot 8A, which was the bee scene which Aimee has been animating.  Again, I really do like the sub surface on the face of the bee.  It means the character stand out in this scene, which is the aim.  Next up was starting to split the character up into layers and then hitting the render button.


One thing that has really helped this scene was the defocus on the background, very similar to the following shot in the hisense ULED piece.  It makes the characters stand out so that the focus is on them and not the background.

8dc4e817ca9ad22631abca3b8fe3132b.jpgScreen Shot 2016-04-21 at 10.45.27.png

We felt that this scene didn’t need a lot of extra stuff in it as it was already pretty full with the characters, so we just added in a wee mushroom into the bottom of the tree.

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 16.24.20.png

This is the nuke script for this piece.  Again one thing I know that I defiantly want to change in this scene is the sub-surface on Benji.  I already no how to fix this issue.  I will have to break the connection between my main directional light and the face geo.

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 10.04.34.png


So far this is probably my favorite shot so far.  It is a simple 4 second clip that has simple animation which was done by Aimee, however I really like the lighting, the sub-surface, the compositing, the defocus.  It was actually the first scene was I done for this piece.  So Aimee gave me the scene and again I began to split it up into layers and then hit render.  IMG_5428.jpg

Then I took all of my layers, I then went ahead and then put everything into one big EXR file.

  • Colour Pass
  • AO_Ground
  • AO_Character
  • Shadow Ground
  • Shadow Character
  • Colour Matte

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 22.25.38.png

This is what the scene looks like without the flowers and any focus.  I believe that the skin texture really works on this character.

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 22.41.34.png

The line for this scene is ‘Grows her flowers, smells sweet and nice’.  So we went and created some really nice flowers in maya using ‘Paint Effects’ and then I composited them in along the log.  However I do think that there needs to be a lot more flowers in the scene, especially going right up along the log.

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 23.24.20.png

Adding in the defocus for this scene was brilliant and it really did help to make the character stand out big time against the background.  This is something which Yuanyuan asked us to do for each scene and it has worked massively and really helped each scene.

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 23.05.52.png


Lauren then gave me her first scene which is off Ollie the octopus.  This scene took her a while and she does no that she will have to go back to the Animation in this scene during the 2 weeks we have to make changes.  However for the sake again of this presentation, then we will show this, knowing that the animation has to bee looked at again.  As per usual, she passed it onto me and I began to split the scene up into layers.  For a scene that ash to 2 characters in it, I create 2 colour matte layers (One per character).  I then put a red channel on the body and a green channel on the face so that way I am able to select each face and each body separately and colour correct them.


An issue which I have had with the scene from the very start was that it is very shaky.  I tried to warp stabilise it in after effects but that wasn’t working.  So instead I had to use numerous of stabilise tracks in Nuke (18 in total).  Thankfully this worked and the scene was no longer shaky.

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 16.20.17.png

I don’t think that I am overly happy with the skin texture especially on the octopus, so that might be something which I look at after the feedback deadline.  I began to colour correct the characters and trying to make them look like the lighting etc is working on them. Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 10.09.53.png

And I don’t think that I am a fan of the sub-surface on the Benji’s face also.  Anyway I went through and began to comp the characters into the scene. Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 14.35.25.png

Because the characters are small in the scene and there is a lot of ‘background’ in the scene, I feel this scene really does need a lot of defocus.  So I went through and began to roto the background so that there is a lot more ficus on the characters and not the waterfall etc.

Again this has really helped to make the characters stand out a lot more.

Extra wee things like the starfish and the mushrooms where placed in by Lauren and they do help fill the scene a bit more.  Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 17.29.25.png


9B was then complete, but again I think we will have to go back and have a look at the animation after the feedback deadline. The scene was then split up into scenes and then rendered out.


Once I had all of the layers rendered out I then began to put all of the layers into one big EXR file.  This EXR file has been the biggest life saviour ever!!!  It just allows to keep the scene nice and tidy within the scene.

The more I look at the sub surface on the face in this close up, it isn’t that bad however I feel that I can defiantly push it further however it int as bad as I first thought.  So it was a case of going through and colour correcting the body and the face separately to help them fit more into the scene.

Added in the starfish and mushrooms which are in the wide shot, so they had to be positioned similar to what the are in that shot.

Screen Shot 2016-04-23 at 10.43.06.png

So this is my 9B shot along with the Nuke script.  I do feel that this scene does need work, especially with the animation, however it will get there for the main deadline.

Screen Shot 2016-04-23 at 10.59.44.png


Next up was 10A and this is probably my least favourite shot throughout the piece, for a number of reasons.

  • The lighting is great,
  • The animation needs a lot of work,
  • The sub-surface on the faces is bad and
  • When we filmed this, we did not take into consideration what the characters will be doing.  The Monkey on the ball is go around and around, but in that case, the leaves should be interacting as the ball goes around.  The leaves should be flying all over the place.

So once I ahd the characters and layers renderedout from Maya,  I then created my EXR, allowing me to work from a single node as opposed to woking from 10.

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 10.14.48.png

This is how I tried to fix the issue with teh ground.  I rotoed out some forground leaves, or at least I tried and pretended that the characters are placed behind these leaves.  I dont tfeel that it works and I no that this shot will need a lot of work done to it.

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 12.11.03.pngScreen Shot 2016-04-25 at 12.18.58.png

Again, my final shot with the Nuke script, however I am expecting there to be a lot of feedback on this shot and a lot of changes.

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 13.14.36.png


This shot took a while to get right.  The animation is not complete, it is just blocked out, but for the sake of the presentation on Thursday 28th, we had to hit render so that we can show the entire piece back to back.  Dexter is a darker skin colour,  and since this shot is actually dark, I dont feel that it works.  I went to work and began to split the character up into layers and then hit render.

Once I ahd my layers rendered out, I then took my files and put them all into one big EXR file.

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 10.47.07.png

Dexter didnt really feel like he was standing on the ground, so I had to roto out a constant and then track the foot so that the black roto constant followed the foot.  It is just for a few frames I had to do this.

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 13.44.33.png

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 14.07.02.png

I do feel that the sub-surface on Benji doesn’t really work, so I will have to revisit that when the animation is up to scratch.

I do feel that this shot works a lot better than the wide shot of Benji running across screen. I dont feel that Benji is in the cave.  This shot will have to be possibly scrapped.

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 13.47.04.png


This shot does feel more like a cave, however it may have to be scrapped since the previous shot doe snot work.  The close up of Dexter is nice, but the shot itself is pretty dark, so I am not sure that teh dark skin works well with Dexter, unless we just find a new shot.


Once I had the layers all rendered out, I then put all my layers into another EXR file.

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 08.50.12.png

I then began to build all my layers and colour passes back on top of one another.

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 09.10.51.pngScreen Shot 2016-04-27 at 09.29.36.png

And this is the shot along with the Nuke script however I do feel that this sequence may have to be scrapped.

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 09.49.06.png


This was preobably the hardest shot to do.  There was no previous lighting created for this shot as the colour correct in the background ahd to change.  So myself and Cricky had to sit down and go through the lighting process and making sure that it was ok.


This is my main colour pass render, which consitst of my

  • Indirect
  • Diffuse
  • Specular
  • Masterbeauty

Once these are all rendered, I can then bring them into Nuke and ut them all into one EXR file.

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 15.33.21.png

Because tehre is so many characters in this shot and assests, my EXR file was huge, as you can see.

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 15.39.14.png

I then had to go through each pass and bring it back into the shot and grade/colour correct each indivual piece.

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 16.39.10.pngScreen Shot 2016-04-27 at 16.41.50.png

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 16.49.58.png

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 18.19.35.pngScreen Shot 2016-04-27 at 18.29.30.png

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