DreamWorks Animation - Home!

 

Lighter (January 2014 - February 2015)
Senior Lighting Technical Assistant (June 2013 - January 2014)
CG Supervisor
: Greg Lev
Lead Lighters: Pietro Materossi | pietro.materossi@dreamworks.com

Home! is a movie about an alien invasion on Earth and the bond that forms between a unique outcast alien and a little girl. It is still currently in production and will release in the March of 2015.

PRODUCTION LIGHTING
183 shots total (7 minutes 53 seconds)*
8 Style Guide / Marketing Stills

*To be updated when the movie releases with final counts

Responsible for the lighting and compositing of production shots to meet the art direction of the movie. Developing and adjusting lighting rigs for one-off shots and locations. Debugging and solving rendering artifacts and errors.

KEYS
Click on a thumbnail below to enlarge and view a description of the work:

home!
home!
home!
home!
home!
home!
home!
home!
home!
home!
home!

 

ADDITIONAL LIGHTING EXAMPLES
All lighting and compositing see below was done by me.

GENERAL TA TASKS
Lighting rig installation, rig testing, comp template creations, environment/character matte setups, crowd setups, troubleshooting and debugging noise and common rendering artifacts, Digital Imaging mattes for lustre

COMPLEX SETUP BREAKDOWN
My role on Home! has been to install lighting rigs for my leads and also optimize the setups for large sequences so they render efficiently. For example, my first sequence was a city sequence consisting of about 20 square blocks and involves the main characters, several hundred crowd ants and generics fleeing from its destruction and FX debris.To manage this, I split it into 16 regions, each with separate passes for direct lighting, self bounce, and occlusion. This allows the lighters (myself included) to render only specific portions of the city as needed while having full control over each section within Nuke.

Always endeavoring to optimize our render times, I also led the testing for a new method of level of detail (LOD) for our studio which involves baking down an asset (both its geometry and surfacing network) into a colored point cloud. The point cloud is then used for future renders instead of the original high resolution geometry. In this case I used it to bake down regions of trees and managed to cut their rasterization and shade times by half.

 

DreamWorks Animation - Turbo

 

Senior Lighting Technical Assistant (September 2011 - June 2013)
CG Supervisor
: Scott Mckee | scott.mckee@dreamworks.com
Lead Lighters: Max Bruce | max.bruce@dreamworks.com and Avedis Ekmekjian | avedis.ekmekjian@dreamworks.com

PRODUCTION LIGHTING
7 Sequence Keys
41 Total Shots

I lit approximately 4 minutes within the movie, several of which were sequence lighting keys that I had the privilege to set up the initial rig and finish lighting through to the end.

GENERAL TA TASKS
Lighting rig installation, rig testing, comp template creations, environment/character matte setups, crowd setups, troubleshooting and debugging noise and common rendering artifacts, Digital Imaging mattes for lustre

COMPLEX SETUP BREAKDOWN
I helped develop the look for a few of the main characters and worked to optimize their render times. My focus for optimization was on Tito, as he originally took around 16-20 hours to render per frame. Through testing, I revised his translucency and fur settings to be more efficient. Once the lighting rigs were complete, I trained lighting TAs new to the show on their workflow and set up. Turbo was also the first show to use the MSL shading language, so during setup I also spent time documenting bugs and working with the developers to fix them.

One of our key sequences was the LA river, in which I spent a great amount of time debugging and optimizing for rendering. This included implementing a new level of detail look and rendering options for the set by creating a mixture of high resolution models, decimated models with simplified surfacing networks, high resolution models with completely baked down shading networks, and billboard planes/cards for distant objects.

Grass was also featured very prominently in several of our sequences. Working with surfacing to optimize the render times, I created a level of detail density map for the fur grass based on camera distance. To achieve a realistic grass look, I created a multitude of render and matte passes that could be dialed and tweaked in compositing by the lighter.

TROUBLESHOOTING BREAKDOWN
PBGI cleanup such as noise and resolution artifacts, shadow quality artifacts and hair buzzing, use of NUKE and the inherent 3d import function to project final renders onto parts of objects to clean up noise and artifacts, and advanced roto work

KEYS
Click on a thumbnail below to enlarge and view a description of the work:

turbo
turbo
turbo
turbo
turbo
turbo
turbo

 

ADDITIONAL LIGHTING EXAMPLES
All lighting and compositing see below was done by me.

 

EXAMPLE SEQUENCES WORKED ON
Please note this is password protected since it encompases over a small chunk of the movie. If you would like to watch the clip, please email me and I will provide the password. Please note this is also only a few sequences of the movie. I worked on 9 sequences in this movie which is over 25 minutes.

Video to come.

 

DreamWorks Animation - Puss In Boots

 

Lighting Technical Assistant (June 2011 - September 2011)
CG Supervisor
: Marc Scott | marc.scott@dreamworks.com

PRODUCTION LIGHTING
1 Total Shot

GENERAL TA TASKS
Lighting rig installation, rig testing, comp template creations, environment/character matte setups, crowd setups, troubleshooting and debugging noise and common rendering artifacts, Digital Imaging mattes for lustre

COMPLEX SETUP BREAKDOWN
Puss in Boots was my first full length movie, and presented a unique challenge because it was being worked on simultaneously in LA as well as our office in Redwood city. As a result I ended up being the TA for 3 different sequences and had to support teams in both offices.

I also helped do some preliminary particle based translucency testing for our jungle scene, to discover the best rendering settings for the foliage within the jungle. This testing involved rendering all possible plants for the location, at varying sizes on the screen with both particle translucency and fast translucency. We then applied a set of overrides that would switch the object to use the best looking translucency based on its size on screen.

 

DreamWorks Animation - Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Masters

 

Lighting Technical Assistant (March 2011 - June 2011)
CG Supervisor
: Aaron Smith | aaron.smith@dreamworks.com

PRODUCTION LIGHTING
1 Total Shot

GENERAL TA TASKS
Lighting rig installation, rig testing, comp template creations, environment/character matte setups, crowd setups, troubleshooting and debugging noise and common rendering artifacts, Digital Imaging mattes for lustre

COMPLEX SETUP BREAKDOWN
This was my first show as a lighting technical assistant, and in additon to my normal TA duties I did some preliminary volumetric ray setup for my sequence. This involved using a light to create a volume with animated noise to simulate god rays coming through the windows. For general occlusion I used a particle based ambient occlusion setup that was then baked as a set of images using the UVs.