Recently I spent a month reading the two books of weta digital && weta workshop, in which weta digital is mainly engaged in computer 3D image creation, while weta workshop is mainly engaged in pre-film concept creation, such as creature and character sculpture, weapon and prop design, actual concept design of the scene, all these are done by weta workshop. And then weta digital makes CG characters and creatures according to the concept design of workshop, and makes these CG move, what interests me more about workshop is their special effects makeup and fine creature sculpting technology, and weta digital we need to learn their all techniques. The main focus of this article is the digital part, and I have pasted screenshots of the technical points of concern into this article, because each key technical point in time and cost breakthrough will bring a qualitative leap to film post-production, and by breakthrough I mean that the technology can achieve the height of the previous failure at low cost.
The first part, how to make The Hobbit: The Desolation of smaug.
Mainly to introduce the basic process of production, the first is the concept design, the next is modeling, texture mapping, materials shading, lighting, Matte Painting, and then animation production, in order to produce realistic CG, art staff by taking real photos of nature as a reference, in the CG image inside the continuous addition of details, so as to achieve the real effect. In my opinion these techniques are very critical, without fine sculpting, it is impossible to complete these works of art.
The second part, mainly introduces the shaping and performance of the dragon in the film, which is also the most basic film and television production process, in which the dragon’s expression animation using motion capture technology, modeling, animation, special effects, lighting, every step of the details are very much in place.
The last is the innovative technology of weta digital in digital image. Because I am also ready to learn Houdini, the nodal production process makes me particularly interested in Massive, CityBot, Facial Animation, Deep Compositing, Mari, Tissue in Weta technology.
Massive: Multiple Agent Simulation System in Virtual System, used to generate large scenes of biological interaction, such as millions of army soldiers running and attacking each other, each soldier is controlled by an AI Agent to act as an agent, so that the scene appears to be real, without artificial fakes.
CityBot: As the name implies, it generates 3D models of cities.
Facial Animation: Facial expression capture technology.
Deep Compositing: Depth compositing technology that saves the depth information of pixels in the CG rendering output, and then in the compositing stage, this depth information will be used for visual depth compositing, which can be similarly considered as a 2.5D compositing, like volumetric fog, directly using depth compositing, which will look more realistic.
Mari: 3D Texture painting and mapping.
Tissue: physics-based character simulation framework, biological movement of the muscles will have a corresponding kinematic deformation, the framework is used to simulate this deformation.
From the physical world to the digital world, the book always emphasizes more reference to real-world physical phenomena, so that the work can be more realistic and natural in the creation of the digital world.
The introduction of this article only covers a small part of the key content of the book, the book also describes a large number of film production details, interested students can directly buy the book, through reading to understand weta digital.