View Full Version : Graduation Short - Katana

09 September 2006, 07:24 PM


this is our (Konstantin & Christian) graduation movie, we did in the last 5 month (including preproduction).

A follow up will contain all the technical information :)

full resolution 1024x576, Quicktime Sorenson3 (53Mb)

half resolution 512x288, Quicktime Sorenson3 (20Mb)

YouTube 320x240

have fun

Konstantin Hubmann

ps: we are both looking for a job. For further information send us an email: ( (

09 September 2006, 10:13 PM
your links seems to be dead

09 September 2006, 03:02 AM
yea!!! fix that!!! we wanna see!! your screenshots look awesome!! :buttrock:

09 September 2006, 04:21 AM
nice screenshots!

09 September 2006, 09:06 AM
Nice animation!!
The city looks great! I am interested in scripting. Could you tell us more about the scripts used in the city?

09 September 2006, 07:04 PM
Absolutly Awsome! I saw the whole thing and think you did an exellent job.
The only c&c i can comment on is (even though she's a "focused" character) there seemed to be almost no emotion or movment in here face.
Still all around exellance. :applause:

Zack Attack
09 September 2006, 12:47 AM
Damn thats just a school project, I thought i was like a trailer for some game. Its really good howd u manage, you must have had allot of people work on it.

09 September 2006, 05:16 AM
great work. look and feel is great.animation looked little stiff at some places. overall its a great work. keep it up.

09 September 2006, 07:48 AM
I rate it a 9.8 / 10.

It would have been a 10 if :

- You had included sound effects for the helicopter / guns / bots / explosions /girl grunting.

- There's a weird cut to black right in the middle that didn't seem to fit.

I noticed in the credits you used both RenderMan and Mental Ray ? Which did you use where? .. and why ?


09 September 2006, 04:32 PM
Sorry for this long break, but installing my 56k modem took a while...

you must have had allot of people work on it
Just Konstantin and me :), but the character was modeled and partially rigged from Konstantin before we started the project. Everything else was done in these five month.

Could you tell us more about the scripts used in the city?
In the beginning I thought about a nice small script wich should have only moved the cars along the lanes. But after one and a half day I had a multi-page script :) Every car had its own behaviour. So they would accelerate to their wanted speed except there are obstacles. If the car in front of them is to slow they would overtake except the neighboring lane is also blocked. Then this car would break (including break light *gg*) and speed up again if the way is free...

This way there is a bit more life in the background. But although I've seen the sequence quite often I never catched them by overtaking each other. With one and a half thausand cars not that surprising :)

By the way, this is unfortunately no realtime script, but there was no time for a plugin... So we had to use vertex caching to avoid hours of simulation time while rendering.


Christian Breitling (

09 September 2006, 05:21 PM
I thought it was very well done. The beginning with the cityscape was by far my favorite scene. I thought the animation was a little blocky at times, not enough fluid motion in the female character. But all and all a fantastic job!

09 September 2006, 06:19 PM
so, i will fill in some more technical details :)

the entire animation was done in max, using cat2.4 with keyframe animation.
the female character's animation was transfered to another rig, with catMuscle applied.
the skinmodifier contained about 2400 bones in the final version.

our basic idea was to use vertex-caches only, to store and send vertex-motion data to the renderer. Therefore we made a simple file format, called ".vmf".

we also planned to render the entire film in maya, and transfering vertex data seemed to be the easiest way for it.
it took christian about 1 day, to write an import plugin for maya and about the same time for me to write an export script for 3ds Max.

The robot's animation and the cameras were transfered from Max to Maya using the fbx-fileformat. But after simulating the flexible tubes the robot was again baked into our own format. This kept the scenes small and renderable.

Most of the short was rendered with Renderman for Maya, just the helicopter was done with Mental Ray in 3ds Max, because raytracing with renderman would have taken us too long.

About Facial animation:
i built a facial rig, using 400 CatMuscle bones, which i liked a lot, but due to our deadline, we were unable to integrate facial animation....

here are some facial expression tests:

these images also contain some lighting tests for enhancing the expression.

Konstantin Hubmann

09 September 2006, 09:39 PM
Nice and indepth responce, on both parts, to the c&c on your exellent work.
Read, reviewed, and understood. :thumbsup:

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