View Full Version : FXWars! TRON TRIBUTE !:LITE, Disk Battle, Defrag Arena

05 May 2010, 09:55 PM
Hey all. We are doing a disk battle shot. I represent a team of 7 artists working together on this contest. After doing our brainstorming, we ended up with a piece that is around a minute long, so we've decided for the contest, that we will submit the ending shot which will total around 12-15 seconds. It will focus on a disk battle with a derez thrown in for good measure.

The concept for the story is taken from a combination of Tetris and the Tron 2.0 video game. Imagine an arena where the disk combatants are jumping around on moving blocks. These blocks crash into each other, keeping the combatants moving and avoiding being crushed and derezed, all the while, throwing and blocking disks.

The look of the piece will be geared towards the Tron Legacy style that we've seen in the trailers but with some of the elements of the original Tron film. Our full piece, which we will finish sometime after the contest is completed, will be in stereo 3D, full HD, and DTS 5.1 surround sound.

We just locked our story reel and initial layout of the scene in Maya. I will post movie files shortly so you all can see the direction we are going. We also will have visuals for the rigged character in the coming days and some initial pre-vis on the visual FX.

Our team is made up of generalists, so they can do everything. Here's the team and their key tasks:
Marisol - Layout Artist, Compositing, Animator
Tom - Storyboarding, Editor, Animator
Danny - Character Rigger, Pipelines
MaryAnn - Modeler, Texturer, Animator
Chris - Modeler, Texturer, Animator
Marshall - Visual FX, Look Dev, Pipelines, Rendering
Kendall - Visual FX, Look Dev, Compositing, Stereoscopic
Scott - Moral Support

Here's the first bit of imagery that I will leave you with as a teaser.

We look forward to competing with all of you and hope you enjoy our work. Let the games begin.

05 May 2010, 02:33 PM
Besides Moral Support, Scott's the Director, Producer, and Editor.

05 May 2010, 06:43 PM
sounds big. good luck!

05 May 2010, 06:24 PM
Here is the full length story reel.
(video is 12MB and in 720p)

This is a little much to pull off in the short time for the contest, so we are only focusing on the last sequence, when the red character throws the disk and the other character jumps over the disk and then over the red character. That last jump is in slow motion, a-la the Tron Legacy '09 Comic Con footage showing the guys doing the loop kicking in slow motion.

The sound FX are taken from the original Tron movie and the music is from the Tron Legacy trailer. We will be doing our own sound FX and music in the final piece.

The gang and I will be posting some more work in the coming days. We have a character model, a rig for animating the characters, a cool derez VFX shot, the model of the disk, and our scene layout showing the blocked animation for that last sequence.

So look for more to come soon.

05 May 2010, 02:02 AM
Hey all. Here is our character model, created by Chris.

This model was roughed out in Maya and then moved into Mudbox for the details. We have a few more tweaks to get it approved. In the meantime, Danny is creating a custom rig based off of the character's rough model that the animators are now testing.

This character will be used for all of the characters in the piece. We will change the glow color to tell them apart. One of the key decisions that we made early on was to have the characters wear helmets, even though this would not be true in an actual disk battle event. We did not want to have to deal with faces in our limited timeframe.

Thanks to Chris for the hard work on the character. More updates coming soon.

05 May 2010, 12:05 AM
Hey all. We have not posted in a little while. Work keeps us busy, I'm sure most of you feel like we do. Anyways, we have another pass at our character model. We are almost approved on this guy. We have to make the helmet visor a bit more reflective and we have some subtle texture work with the leather still left.

What we have here is the character lit and rendered with the glow FX added in the composite. The character was modeled in Mudbox and Maya, brought into Houdini for some magic, rendered with Renderman and lastly composited in Nuke. Here our character has pink glow, but we have full control of the color and well as many other things in Nuke. We are using an EXR workflow, so we have lots of control after the fact.

Hope you all enjoy. Chris worked hard on the model and textures. Marshall did all of the lighting, rendering, VFX and compositing. Thanks for the hard work guys.

For the character turntable click here:
Character Turntable (
(video 3MB and in 720p)

Character Turntable (
(video 2MB and in 360p)

05 May 2010, 12:52 AM
Here is a test in Houdini of our derez VFX. We will have two instances of a derez in our long animation, one in the short version. The idea is a mix between the original Tron effect and a little inspiration from the Final Fantasy movie where the soul of the person gets ripped out.

Here you are only seeing the particles, the final image will be much better. But we thought you might like to see the direction that we are going in. The first time through is at regular speed, the second time through is in slow motion.

Thanks to Marshall for the previs on this.

Character Derez VFX Test (
(video is 7MB and 720p)

Character Derez VFX Test (
(video is 3MB and 360p)

05 May 2010, 02:40 AM
Hey all. Back with some more work-in-progress. We have completed our layout for our sequence 05 shots for our submission. This clip is representative of the timing and very rough animation of the sequence. Marisol did the layout on this, basically pulling in assets, setting up the scenes in Maya for the animators to work on, and getting the camera roughed in. Thanks Marisol for the work on this.

Sequence 05 Layout Playblast (
(video is 5MB and in 720p)

This will give you a look into the direction for our sequence. There is a lot of tough animation in here but we are having fun. We are hopeful to complete all of the assets by the end of the week and even have the look dev done on all of the pieces. Then we lock the animation and start rendering. The rendering will take some time. Lastly we will have the compositing, final edit and the sound effects/score. Only a couple of weeks left.

Lots more posts coming this weekend. See Ya!

05 May 2010, 05:53 AM
Looking pretty cool, I definitely like the idea of having particles being "pulled" out of their body. Unfortunately the video playback was very choppy for me, so I couldn't really gauge the timing of the animation, but it seems like a nice shot so far!

06 June 2010, 01:36 AM
Hey all. Back with a couple of updates. First off, we have changed our scene selection for the contest. It will end up as a character blocking a disk and then getting distracted as another disk comes in for the kill and derez. This is actually sequence 3 in our full piece. We switched because of the animation time the other scene was taking up. The team continues to work hard to get all of the environment, characters, and animation done. We have been spending the long weekend working every day.

In this post, we have the animation for our contest shot completed. Here is a Maya playblast of the animation. You will notice that we have roughed in the other moving blocks and the arena as well. This gives you an idea of the look of the environment.

Animation Playblast for Sequence 03 (
(video is 2MB and in 720p)

Animation Playblast for Sequence 03 (
(video is 1MB and in 360p)

06 June 2010, 01:49 AM
So this post will show a first pass on the character glow and the derez effect on the character. The derez effect will have another element that will implode and then move upward in the frame, much like the original Tron VFX. We also will work on the timing a bit and try to slow down the effect and allow the character's shape to linger for a beat or two more. Video shows the effect twice.

Sequence 03 - First Pass on Character and Derez VFX (
[video 2MB and in 720p)

Sequence 03 - First Pass on Character and Derez VFX (
[video 1MB and in 360p)

06 June 2010, 02:26 AM
Well all, this is the derez shot that we completed. Hope you all like it. We really worked hard the last few days. Special thanks to Kendall and Marshall for all of the lighting, rendering, and compositing the last couple of days.

Final Tron Derez FX (720p) (
Final Tron Derez FX (small) (

The team is hard at work animating the rest of our full piece outside of the contest. When we finish it we will be sure to post it to CG Talk so you all can see it. Thanks for letting us participate in this contest with all of you. We really loved doing this and enjoyed seeing all of the pieces that you have submitted too.


06 June 2010, 03:09 AM
Damn, that's a nifty shot! The derez effect looks very cool. Interesting to see you used Houdini. What all did you use it for? How did you like it?

06 June 2010, 04:15 AM
I particularly like the shape of the "dead blob" as it moves upwards. The overall animation and timing of the effects are quite nice. Good job!

06 June 2010, 05:08 PM
Looking good, Scott. Can't wait to see the rest of it! I'm missing you guys out here. See y'all at SIGGRAPH!

-- End of line--

06 June 2010, 05:54 PM
Good job!
Dont forget to post the entry on the Voting thread...
FXWARS TRON TRIBUTE! Post you Final Entry ) (

Note You may tweak you entry if you wish until Friday.

06 June 2010, 05:22 AM
Thanks Tim, can't wait to see you at Siggraph in a few weeks.

JimCrafton, thanks for the compliments. My team and I have been following your shot also and we like it. We did use Houdini for all of the particle effects during the derez. There are a couple of elements that are combined in the comp in Nuke that we rendered as layers in Houdini. There is the particle explosion coming from the program as the disc goes through, there is the program disappearing and then the blob that moves upward at the end. All of that was done in Houdini and rendered through Mantra. The rest of the scene and character model was rendered in Maya with Mental Ray and lastly all composited in Nuke. I also forgot, the disc trails were done in Houdini too.

grantmoore3d, thanks for the compliment also. We have enjoyed following your shot too.

Good luck to everyone!

06 June 2010, 03:38 AM
Hey all. Even though we are done with the contest piece, I have some more images of our work, I'm trying to catch up on the details of some our models and textures and such. This post, I'm putting up images of the character. It went through refinement as we progressed during the weeks.

These images are rendered from Maya using Mental Ray. The model itself was created by Chris in Mudbox. From there we generated a displacement map from the 1.2 million poly model. The lower rez version in Maya is around 150k polys. We have a diffuse map, the displacement map, a glow map for the glow lines on the suit, a specular map and a reflection map. The diffuse map contains textures of leather and spandex mesh. The glow color is defined in the composite, so we can control the color without rendering again.

Enjoy. I hope to have some more images in the coming days.

06 June 2010, 01:00 PM
First I would like to thanks you for joining our last FXWars challenge.

I would love to hear you and your team opinions and ideas for the future...

Roberto's Bullhorn: Tron Tribute Postmortem: LETíS TALK (

Thanks again for all your effort,

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