Daft Legacy - Tron/Tron Legacy inspired animation short

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  01 January 2012
Daft Legacy - Tron/Tron Legacy inspired animation short

hi all,
well i've been working on this project for a fair while now on and off. It initially started out as a 10 second piece just to animate a character jumpin on a lightbike but then slowly outgrew itself (I'm good at that!) and has become a 3minute sequence!
I wanted to use the piece to tackle numerous little techy things - daft stuff like animating the bike materialising, the character derezzing when hit by a disk, a recognizer crashing and numerous compositing tricks.
The piece is all modelled, animated and rendered by myself and composited by myself in after effects. I've used numerous plugins to generate depth of field, motion blur, light rays and glows. I exported out camera moves from maya then used them in after effects to generate extra elements that match up with the camera moves in maya and it seems to work great - especially with matching up post effects particles (for refraction and smog) and lens flares coming off the headlights or various other elements. Each shot is generally taking about 1-2 hours to composite once all the layers are rendered out.

The sound design is being done by a friend/work-colleague of mine and is really coming on - its not a direct copy of the Tron Legacy film but it definitely sounds powerful and effective and really brings the piece alive.

Theres a few little examples on my youtube channel - couple of turntables:

bike (quadbike/lightbike hybrid thing)...

and the recognizer model...

quick run cycle for character..

...and a playblast of the bike derezzing into characters hand...

I'm refraining from posting up the edited piece yet till the audio is included and the final shot is done (I'm literally working on it lol!) but overall I'm quite happy with the piece (altho fed up of working on it now for the last 6 months heh!)... see what you think

...here's some composited stills of various shots throughout the sequence...

  01 January 2012
and a few more composited stills - they're 1280x720 but cgtalk seems to shrink them down :/

  01 January 2012
Awesome! This is coming along very nicely. I have been following your project on YouTube for some time now.

What did you use for the lens flare? Overall comp looks very nice i would love to see some video test shots.

Keep it up!
  01 January 2012
thanks Ricardo i dont want to put up any test shots just yet - just playblasts really... here's another of the recognizer crashing behind the character... it might be a bit dark (thanks youtube) but it gives a very rough idea of whats happening... it looks alot better rendered


re: lens flares - if you notice on the playblast of the bike derezzing you'll see that there are small cameras attached to the front. I bake out the animation for these, then import them into afx. I then pin a 3d light to it. I then write an expression to track the motion of said light and apply it to the position of my lens flares. It takes about 8 or 9 layers of various glints and glows to get them to look right and alot of manual keyframing too.

I'm looking forward to getting it finished soon actually then i can upload it to youtube and vimeo and receive literally tens of hits (tens.. not tons lol!) but it has been fun to work on. I just need to really tie down the length of my pieces as i have a knack of turning them into saga's that run on for a year and i simply dont have the time to do this kind of thing on my own again.
  01 January 2012
Thumbs up

Very cool, looking forward to see the full version.

I see now, i normally just use track date and create the flares on AE but i never did something so "intense" as this.

I might try it out in the future, its a nice challenge to achieve that "tron legacy look".
  01 January 2012
Originally Posted by rt: Very cool, looking forward to see the full version.
I see now, i normally just use track date and create the flares on AE but i never did something so "intense" as this.
I might try it out in the future, its a nice challenge to achieve that "tron legacy look".

yes the flares are created in afx but i just used baked maya animation that i was then able to extract and plug into expressions. this gave me focused lensflares but other shots required extracting out the highlights from a renderlayer, then using the luminance of this coupled with lots of motion blurs and fast blurs at different levels with other elements to create lens spots etc - it was really heavy and one shot in particular took about 5 hours to composite 8 seconds - blinking thing heh!
its definitely ALOT more work than you initially think doing something like this and even now i look at it and hate it but its been alot of fun learning along the way...
  01 January 2012
I see what you mean now, seems like a good method, lots of work but worth it.
I do it in a similar way but only one per scene when needed.

Hehe i know what you mean, i have been working on my short since last summer, on and off during my free time...I hate the result by now =P

As long as we learn something itís a productive experience. Really looking forward to see the final version.
  01 January 2012
just a quick update - got the shots re-rendered out over the last couple of days as uncompressed avi's. This way when i render out the full sequence in premiere i can use a decent H264 compression ratio that'll let the detail hold up. Should have something sorted towards the end of the week
  02 February 2012
I'm looking forward to seeing the finished animation, the few bits and bobs you've shown are looking very nice.
Can we see some animatics or test shots in the meantime?
  04 April 2012
just thought i'd keep this thread alive... final HD animation is rendered and the final audio pass is done! I'm putting the piece on youtube and vimeo tomorrow guys :¨)
  04 April 2012
Hi Anthony,

Supa work...
I really loved "tron Legacy", and you've realised a great CG work.
Short's end by sacrifice is pretty cool ...
...Let's groove!
  05 May 2012
Hey Anthony!
Your stuff looks amazing, keep up the great work.

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