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Old 05-31-2007, 09:03 PM   #46
scook
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Memling
Hi,

Just one simple question :
where can we see the work of E. J. Krisor

His drawings for the movie are very impressive
(really great)

Felicitations

Thank you


Hi Memling,
Yeah, E.J.'s stuff is fantastic. You can see a lot of his artwork for Spidey 3 in the new making of... book. It's called "The Spider-Man Chronicles". Grant Curtis, one of the producers for the Spidey movies, wrote it. There are a lot of great photos and descriptions of the entire filmmaking process. Highly recommended.

thanks,
Spencer
 
Old 06-01-2007, 12:04 AM   #47
Render3Dean
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Dean
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Hi Spencer,

Your work is really amazing. I have a few questions in regards to getting into the 3D animation. When did you first have the desire to try 3D? Did you go to a film school, and if so, which one. What was the process of getting the job at Sony Imageworks?

Also something that I've wondered.

What program(s) do you primarily use? When you got the job, do they accomadate you with the program you're comfortable with (say, perhaps, XSI) and let you animate with that, or do they only use a spefic program, for ease of sharing (i.e. Maya)?

Thanks,

3Dean
 
Old 06-01-2007, 12:26 AM   #48
CB_3D
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C Ferreira
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Smile

And one more from me ;-)

In the Superman space shuttlethrow sequence I saw a musclesimulation running under the Supermanmesh.

Does the Spiderman deformation use Muscle simulation, and if so, is it the muscle system that directly deforms themesh? Or does it only serve as an orientation for the animators?

Or do the Spiderman puppets use only weighting?

Specially in Spiderman, when his limbs go into extreme positions the jointdeformations were perfect, congrats.

If there´s automated compensation/musclesliding etc by what tecniques is it achieved?

Thx again
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Last edited by CB_3D : 06-01-2007 at 12:29 AM.
 
Old 06-01-2007, 01:51 PM   #49
LavenPillay
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Laven Pillay
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"Time Stop" Shot

Firstly, Mr Cook, HUGE kudos to you an the ENTIRE ImageWorks team. I think it goes without saying that you guys are almost "benchmark" level with regards to the entire end-to-end VFX pipeline.

Secondly, Questions :
1. For the intro fight with Goblin and Spidey, I'm assuming that that was a mix of
a) Live Actors
b) Digital doubles
c) Photographic/Video back plates
d) CG'ed buildings
e) real buildings
Tricky question, but could you tell us what some of the desicion-making process is like for a shot like that ?
I'm thinking its not just the technical considerations, but also time and money budget etc.

2. What were average render times per frame for really complex shots ? I'm just trying to compare to things like Narnia where Aslan scenes took about 9 hours to render!

Thirdly, and i dont mean to contradict what you said, but just suggest a more probable method :

Quote:
Originally Posted by scook
Hi akhenaten,
Thanks for the compliments. The effect you are referring to is from a sequence in Matrix Reloaded that I didn't work on. All of the bullet time effects were done at ESC. At Imageworks we mostly handled the sentinels and ships in the tunnels. However, I'm pretty sure those were digital models in that particular shot. If anyone knows differently please correct me.

thanks,
Spencer


My understanding is that for shots like that, where it appears that time stops and the camera does a "fly around" the subject, what they do is setup an array of cameras (sometimes over 30-40, more ?) in a ring around the subject.

Then, they fire the cameras off all at the same time.
(say, when a person jumps up and reaches the height of the jump)

The result is that you have multiple frames of the subject from different angles, but at the same time. So, you just play those frames back in sequence and it appears that a single camera is moving around the subject in freeze-frame.

Hope that answers your question, akhenaten.

And thanks again for taking the time out of your obviously crazy schedule to answer our questions, Mr Cook.
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Last edited by LavenPillay : 06-01-2007 at 01:55 PM. Reason: Spelling errors
 
Old 06-01-2007, 03:03 PM   #50
TheJinj
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While it's true that what you describe was truly the method pioneered by a French company for a Rolling Stones clip and then used for the bullet time sequence in Matrix one, I don't think someone could fly over an exploding truck and have that captured by multiple stillframe cameras. It was digital.

Spencer, Thanks for answering all these questions. Here are mine:

1)I have heard that begining animators have a very hard time in the big companies. What's life like for a begining animator in Imageworks? Is any slack given or even possible to give with the tight deadlines? Or do you hire only battle-tested animators that are expected to dive into production from the first minute?

2)Coming from a smaller, generalist team, and hearing your pipeline description here, I wondered what modelers do after the animation has started. Are they all fired after the first couple of months of production? Do they make the animators coffee? Or do they zip around from project to project, working the first month or so on each?

Thank you very much for your time and patience. Your kindness to the community is as inspiring as your work.

Adam.
 
Old 06-01-2007, 05:30 PM   #51
amitabhverma8
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amitabh
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Smile what are the best trainning institues available for reach that level and ...........

hello their

recently i watched the the 3rd Series of Spiderman Movie. First let me congratulate you the special effects and the camera work is quite outstanding and top notch. so here are my question every thing is quite brilliant. what i would like to ask is that their something called the x factor you know the character like venom and sandman and the darker spidey quite didnt reach at the level of the xtreme goblin aka mr harry osborne. i mean the projection to the character and the way he performed his task is quite impressive in comparison to the other characters. secondly why is that the part of darker spidey is so less. i mean from the point of view that he was projected so much in the trailer and in the posters and in teasers.

secondly what is the difference of doing a shot in a digital world in comparison to doing it in a real world. how do you project so much information and surrounding in so much small time in a digital world.

thirdly what does it take to become a smooth animator and rigger. where can i get the best trainning who do you recommened

finally. do you think their is going to be another chapter in the series. i thought when spiderman 3 was pounded by sandman and venom their was an intresting shot in which he was nearly again caught by the symboite. and i thought wow may be he will go the darker side or turn into something that we never expected. so what is your opinion is their spiderman 4 happening. ?

thank you

amitabh
 
Old 06-01-2007, 05:33 PM   #52
scook
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wotanist
Hi Spencer,

I was wondering if there were any sequences that the director demanded which were too difficult to pull off and were dropped because of technical limitations, or would you say that you've met even the most outrageous demands?

My second question is about the CG Spiderman and Sandman? How many animation controls each do they have approximately, and how long did it take for rigging them?

Thirdly, how long did it take to render the most complex scene in the movie? Amongst the characters, I'm assuming that with Sandman's complex shaders, he would have taken the longest to render. Whats the size of the renderfarm?

Finally, What were the specs of the Workstations the team was working on? Despite working on high end workstations, were there any scenes that may have crashed the workstations while working?


Hi wotanist,
Most of the considerations for whether a sequence can be done or not involve time and money. There are very few things that can't be done technically given enough time(which equals money). I remember on the first Spidey movie Sam wanted to have a more massive aerial battle between Spidey and the Goblin in the Times Square sequence. It was ultimately simplified because of the expense. Sam got his aerial battle in #3 though.
Concerning your other questions, I'll have to get back to you with the specifics. I don't have that info handy at the moment.

thanks for your questions,
Spencer
 
Old 06-01-2007, 05:37 PM   #53
amitabhverma8
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amitabh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scook
Hi wotanist,
Most of the considerations for whether a sequence can be done or not involve time and money. There are very few things that can't be done technically given enough time(which equals money). I remember on the first Spidey movie Sam wanted to have a more massive aerial battle between Spidey and the Goblin in the Times Square sequence. It was ultimately simplified because of the expense. Sam got his aerial battle in #3 though.
Concerning your other questions, I'll have to get back to you with the specifics. I don't have that info handy at the moment.

thanks for your questions,
Spencer


thanks for the answer good day
 
Old 06-01-2007, 08:34 PM   #54
catizone
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Hi Spencer,

It's been a while. Nice to see your work being spotlighted! Some very amazing stuff, to say the least. Thanks for this forum.

Best,
Rick Catizone
 
Old 06-01-2007, 08:35 PM   #55
scook
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anthonymcgrath
hi Spencer

thanks for taking the time out to answer the questions put forth to you. I have a few questions myself:

1. In Spidey3 alot of the animation was more flamboyant than the previous 2 films. By that I mean there are wilder camera angles & more extreme motions in characters in the 3rd film than there are in the first. Have you found you can push the limits of what an audience can expect to see on screen and what a supervisor can 'permit' to be seen on screen between the first film and the 3rd? Have you found that feedback from initial audience screenings has been alot more understanding of what they see compared to say ten years ago?

2. Would love to know about the webbing around spideys suit myself lol!! From some of the previs stuff on imageworks I'm guessing its a displacement map to pull the detail from the final tesselated model?

3. Watching Imageworks birth-of-sandman-making-of video clip on the website still puts my jaw on the table and I've lost count of how many times I've been to the cinema just to see that part of the film. The emotion in the character is truly superb and I was wondering how it felt to you as animation director/supervisor when the final shot was put together - did it strike the same chord with you as Sam Raimi intended because personally it put a lump in my throat, especially where the character collapses into a heap for the first time then later on tries to grasp the necklace with the pic of his daughter in it.

4. What kind of animation is your favourite personally? Is there anything you've seen where you've thought "thats a really original piece of work" (big or small scale). My current fave is the stunning work on the rigs for transformers and I really would love to see how they tackled alot of that.

5. You mention you have used Maya for all your animation. I'm a Maya user myself but play with Softimage XSI in my spare time. the enhancements I've seen in Softimage XSI lead me to think that its by far and away the best package in getting high end effects (specifically secondary motion of hair, fur and cloth on characters) out quickly and I'm looking at switching. Is there anything in Maya you think "bloody hell I really wish it could do that more effectively" Do you or the team use XSI at all in any of your projects at your current place of work?

6. I've seen alot of muscle-based simulations now on various films. Are they easy enough to work with when doing the animation (ie: realtime feedback) on your characters or is this something that is simulated afterward? I watched a making-of on the hulk and it was interesting to see that alot of this is cluster blendshapes in xsi then I watch that vid clip on superman returns and they're using muscle simulations. Which do you prefer as a all-rounded approach to tackling motion on characters?



sorry for the tirade of questions there!
cheers
anthony


Hi Anthony,
Great questions, I'll tackle them one at a time;
1. We always try to give the audience something new and exciting in every film we work on. The hope with character animation is that the audience doesn't "understand" what they are seeing. By that I mean that I hope the audience isn't watching the film and saying "wow, that's some good (or bad) animation". We want people to be swept up in the story and situations not looking for effects. In pushing the limits of what we had done before we run the risk of going too far and a shot ends up looking fake, but we don't do this stuff to play it safe. We may not hit a home run every time but we try. There is so much information out there about effects work that I think audiences are pretty savy about what they are seeing. There are certainly more people today criticizing or complementing effects work than there were 10 years ago.

2. You can refer to my reply to Bracer who originally asked the question about webbing but basically you are correct, it is displacement maps.

3. I'm so glad you enjoyed sandman's birth sequence. I was very nervous about that sequence. It's such an emotional moment in the movie that it would have been bad if the audience didn't buy the animation and efx. Personally, I was very touched by it. I think the emotion comes across as Sam intended. The success of that sequence is due to Sam Raimi's great direction.

4. Of the current films I've seen I'm very impressed with Davey Jones from Pirates. That character fit into that world so well and has such incredible screen presence. Kudos to the ILM team. I still get a thrill from watching any of Ray Harryhausen's films. His work is what inspired me to choose animation as a career and I'm still in awe of what he did.

5. For animation we only use Maya. XSI sounds like a great package but I usually think less about the software and more about who is using it. A good animator will get good results from any software.

6. Which system to use depends on the character and who is setting it up. Spider-man is all point weighting (from Koji Morihiro), it has worked so well from the first movie that we have never changed it. Venom had a muscle system(from Erik Miller) and it worked great as well. As long as the final results looks good I'm fine with either system.

thanks,
Spencer
 
Old 06-01-2007, 08:39 PM   #56
scook
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kunal
Hello Mr. Spencer. I hope you're doing fit and healthy

I have no questions but rather a much difficult request.
Whenever you meet them, remember to give a special thanks to everyone(again) who pulled in any sort of effort in the "Birth of sandman" .Effects crew, music guys, Animators...all of them .

I saw something that inspiring after quite long
and... I thank you a lot for that


Thanks so much kunal, I will pass along your kind words. It truly was a team effort and I'm happy to have been a part of it.

Spencer
 
Old 06-01-2007, 08:45 PM   #57
scook
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Quote:
Originally Posted by modelviz
Hi again,

Would like thank you for taking your time to answer those. Wel, Mr.Spencer I have a another thing to know about. I waited to ask from you guys for long time but I forgot it last time as wel. Anyways here it is!
Through out the spideman series of movies, who is responsible for camera movements? do you'll have a specific person to do that or who ever it is doing the scene working on the camera movement as well ? What I mean is the except of matchmoved cameras..

I've seen some brilliant camera shots in it!!.. can't even think of.!!.
wish you all the best and good luck for your future animation work..

cheers.


Hey again modelviz,
The camera work for is usually part of the animation process (if it doesn't involve a matchmove). Many times we get previs or animatics that give us some direction to start with. After that it's part of the character animator's job to animate the camera as well as the character.

thanks,
Spencer
 
Old 06-01-2007, 08:55 PM   #58
scook
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EfrenStudios
Hi Mr. Cook.

Im very glad to have the oportunity to talk with you on this forum, Thank you very much for your time, and thank you to CGTalk too.

I have a simple 2 questions:

1.- The team where you work have a "mix" of nationalities or is all American?. (Im from Mexico, and I always want to know this).
2.- Do you have already a great future proyect (like work on another Marvel Movie or SCFI Movie)?.

Thank you for your time


Hi Elfren,
I'm glad to be able to chat with you guys, thanks for the questions.
1. Our team, like any other studio, is made up of the best artists from all over the world. It's not important where you were born, if you are good at what you do we want you on the team.
2. There are some other projects in the works now, it's too early to say more than that.

thanks,
Spencer
 
Old 06-01-2007, 09:05 PM   #59
scook
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catizone
Hi Spencer,

It's been a while. Nice to see your work being spotlighted! Some very amazing stuff, to say the least. Thanks for this forum.

Best,
Rick Catizone


Hey Rick,
Nice to hear from you. It sure has been a while. I think the last time we worked together was on the Starship Troopers tv series? That was a pretty fun time at Flat Earth prod. Thanks for the kind words, it's great to hear compliments from someone with your experience.

hope you are doing well,
Spencer
 
Old 06-02-2007, 12:46 AM   #60
scook
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Render3Dean
Hi Spencer,

Your work is really amazing. I have a few questions in regards to getting into the 3D animation. When did you first have the desire to try 3D? Did you go to a film school, and if so, which one. What was the process of getting the job at Sony Imageworks?

Also something that I've wondered.

What program(s) do you primarily use? When you got the job, do they accomadate you with the program you're comfortable with (say, perhaps, XSI) and let you animate with that, or do they only use a spefic program, for ease of sharing (i.e. Maya)?

Thanks,

3Dean


Hi Render3Dean,
Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed the work. I was always interested in character animation from a very young age. Specifically, stop motion animation. I was inspired by the original Willis O'Brien "King Kong" and Ray Harryhausen's "7th Voyage of Sinbad". Somewhere around 11 years old I began experimenting with stop-motion using my Dad's super-8 camera and clay figures and G.I. Joes. I went to The School of Visual Arts in New York City and majored in film and video production. I made a stop-motion short as a thesis project and used that to apply for work with New York commercial animation studios (this was in 1985 before cg animation dominated the animation industry). To make a long story short, I spent many years as a stop-motion animator in commercials and tv shows then in 1998 I moved to Los Angeles because I wanted to work on features. The transition from stop-mo to digital animation was not easy at first but I stuck with it. I worked at Digital Domain, Flat Earth and eventually Imageworks where I started as an intermediate level animator.
At Imageworks we use Maya for animation. Every studio has their preferred software, some create it themselves. When you are hired by a studio they will want you to work with their preferred software. Allowing everybody to use whichever software they want would be a nightmare pipeline to try and manage.

thanks for your questions,
Spencer
 
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