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andre_alder
09-01-2003, 09:35 PM
Hi,

I would like to Know what software was used to create those wonderful paintings in that movie "What Dreams May Come".
What kind of app they used? 3D or 2D?

Thanx
AD

Amyd
09-01-2003, 11:06 PM
If memory serves, for the tree they used Prisms/Houdini with a customized L-System-type of approach, which was then rendered in RenderMan and composited in Nuke (of course, given DD). Also some set-extensions, some characters (the bird) and partly landscapes were also created in 3D. This would be the 3D part.

The painting-like effects were done by shooting real life scenes, with almost no motion-control involved, and then tracking and rotoscoping the elements (mostly automated if the reports are to be believed...), and then applying a procedural particle-system to generate the organic brush strokes, somewhat similar to the Paint FX in Maya but also to plugins like VideoGogh in After Effects. This was the 2D/semi-3D approach.

And of course, there were real-models shot with motion control and an amazing amount of 2D matte paintings to tie everything together.

As always, for an in-depth report about the effects, you can never go wrong with Cinefex. Issue 76 (http://www.cinefex.com/backissues/issue76.html), to be more precise.

Cheers,
Andrei

gmask
09-01-2003, 11:19 PM
>>>somewhat similar to the Paint FX in Maya but also to plugins like VideoGogh in After Effects. This was the 2D/semi-3D approach.

http://revisionfx.com/pressreleasesfolder/biobackgrounder.html

Amyd
09-01-2003, 11:22 PM
Yeah, that's why I mentioned VideoGogh. :thumbsup:

However, I was slightly disappointed that Re:VisionFX spinned the truth a bit when they marketed the plugin as the technology behind "What Dreams May Come", when it was more like the technology behind the pre-viz of "What Dreams May Come", from what I understand. But...

Cheers,
Andrei

beaker
09-02-2003, 04:03 AM
Originally posted by Amyd
If memory serves, for the tree they used Prisms/Houdini with a customized L-System-type of approach, which was then rendered in RenderMan and composited in Nuke (of course, given DD). Also some set-extensions, some characters (the bird) and partly landscapes were also created in 3D. This would be the 3D part.

DD did the tree part. Most of the paint parts were done by Manex/MVFX/Mass Illusion(whatever they called themselves that year) and a few other companies.
http://www.vfxhq.com/1998/dreams.html

andre_alder
09-02-2003, 08:53 PM
Hi guys,

Thanx very much.:beer:

But, i had some troubles:

Amyd said :"they used Prisms/Houdini with a customized L-System-type of approach, which was then rendered in RenderMan and composited in Nuke (of course, given DD)".

1. what is a "L-System-type"?
2. I didnt know we can render composites using Renderman. Can we do it using any Composite software?

Thanks again,
AD

gmask
09-02-2003, 09:04 PM
>>>1. what is a "L-System-type"?

It's an approach procedural modelling using a text based set of instructions to create geometry. There pretty much seem to be plugins available for many 3d programs. The biggest issue with it is that it can be very slow and very memory comsumptive.

Maya's PaintFX is sort of like an Lsystem now that you can convert the results to geometry.

>>>2. I didnt know we can render composites using Renderman. Can we do it using any Composite software?

They used Nuke for compositing.. the elements were rendered in layers in Renderman instead of trying to accomplish the entire scene "in camera" which can be prohibative due to large amounts of geometry and textures. You can take this approach with any 3d progra, but some make it more convenient than others.

beaker
09-03-2003, 07:30 AM
Originally posted by andre_alder

2. I didnt know we can render composites using Renderman. Can we do it using any Composite software?

RAT used to come with a commandline compositor called "Combiner". It was never ported to windows or linux though(only sgi).

alanb
09-04-2003, 03:51 AM
Originally posted by Amyd
Yeah, that's why I mentioned VideoGogh. :thumbsup:

However, I was slightly disappointed that Re:VisionFX spinned the truth a bit when they marketed the plugin as the technology behind "What Dreams May Come", when it was more like the technology behind the pre-viz of "What Dreams May Come", from what I understand. But...


No, Video Gogh (and Twixtor) really is based on the techniques that were used on What Dreams May Come. Where the Dreams pipeline took the optical flow info from their tools and piped it into Renderman, they made a new renderer for the plugin.

With the plugin, and some good compositing, it wouldn't be all that difficult to come up with a similar look.

You don't need renderman.

also, just so the history is straight- MassIllusion did all the painted world shots where you see animated brush strokes. The people involved have long since scattered to the world.

arctor
09-04-2003, 04:52 AM
a good (and VERY cool) intro to l-systems:
http://www.cpsc.ucalgary.ca/Research/bmv/vmm-deluxe/Section-08.html

pierrejasmin
03-04-2004, 04:58 AM
Mythbusting :)

If you look at the credits you will see my name on top. We were contracted by a company called Mass Illusion whose parent company (Cinergy Films in LA) went bankrupt and we were recovered by InterScope|Polygram (then bought by Universal) to complete the show from there. We occupied the same location as people doing the early Matrix prep then operating as Manex, true. We started RE:Vision Effects during What Dreams May Come, true. The painted world is done with our particle system. Only the CG bird (unprocessed) was done by Digital Domain. DD inherited the Frederic tree sequences ... (what follows the Painted World) from us after the bankrupcy. The rest of the work (the matte painting shots at the end...) were done by POP with a few things by Illusion Arts.

Only some decorative elements (eg extending the flower fields) were rendered in RenderMan as a base pass. The rendering is primarly done with our own renderer. <When no one claims to have done it, then everyone did it>. We did use Alfred though, Pixar render manager to do just that, manage renders.

So, we did not work only on the previz, but were the first and last employees of the show. Other software used: Cineon for compositing, 3D Equalizer and Softimage for some 3D preps, as well as Photoshop. Some procedural animation was done in a defunct software called V-Play, then Cornell University scientific visualization software.

We only worked on the original Matrix bullet time previz, that's accurate.

Pierre Jasmin
www.revisionfx.com

Jozvex
03-05-2004, 07:59 AM
Hi,

I just thought I'd give a link to a tutorial on achieving a similar effect in Maya:

http://www-viz.tamu.edu/courses/tutorials/clara/particle/flower.html

They even talk about 'What Dreams May Come' at the start!

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