Post Magazine

November 2015

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FIELD TESTED 45 POST NOVEMBER 2015 efore I even opened a software package, I had real-world knowl- edge of filmmaking and how cameras worked. I studied digital cinema in col- lege and, for me, this made a transition to a career in VFX easier. I approach VFX in a similar way I do shooting footage or photographing. And, when using a soft- ware solution such as Maxon's Cinema 4D, I employ what I've learned. For in- stance, I'm conscious of the focal length and lighting setups I'm using in Cinema 4D and I plan my composition and cam- era movements with story in mind. As a VFX supervisor, artist and film- maker, I often start working on a project in the pre-production stage, planning how to shoot the VFX and R&D. Then, I typi- cally work on the project throughout the whole production and post stages. This requires me to take on many different jobs and, because of this, Maxon's Cinema 4D is absolutely vital to my workflow. To be a successful generalist while working within a tight deadline, I need to be able to problem solve and create high-quality results quickly and efficiently. Also, story is the most important thing, so I strive to have my VFX support that story. Because I wear many hats both in production and in post, I try to get my work finished with as few pieces of software as possible. This saves time and keeps a tight pipeline. Cinema 4D is my main 3D hub and it integrates very well with the composting packages I use (After Effects and Nuke). GREAT WORKFLOW Now using Cinema 4D Release 17, it in- troduces some great workflow additions that will be helpful to anyone's pipeline. For example, the new Take System offers an intuitive way to create multiple versions of a project in the same scene file. This is great as it allows users to experiment with different designs and looks in a very efficient way that is cru- cial to any production, especially in the beginning stage. Earlier this year, I finished working on a feature film (One & Two) as the VFX supervisor, lead compositor, 3D gener- alist, and several other titles. This film had its world premiere at Berlinale and had its US premiere at SXSW. This is an independent film that features supernat- ural effects. The script had me excited. It was a film that I wanted to see, so I knew I had to figure out a way to pull off the effects. Two of the main characters, played by Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men) and Timothée Chalamet (Interstellar) have teleporting powers. That was a pretty intense effect to create for an indie film on a limited budget and a very tight deadline. Pre-production time on this film was also very limited. So while I was figuring out a plan for VFX supervising with the director Andrew Droz Palmero and the DP Autumn Durald, I was also working on the concept design for the teleporting effects. For concept design, I turned immediately to Cinema 4D. CREATING THE RIGHT EFFECT It was very important for the director and myself to have these effects grounded in reality as much as possible. Traditionally speaking, fluid and particle simulations can be a complex task but I knew I was going to have to use them to create a re- alistic and unique teleporting effect. We had about four weeks before shooting started to finalize a look for the teleport- ing. Andrew and Autumn shot some test footage at Panavison and sent some shots over to me to use for the concept design. I worked with VFX consultant Eric Leven, who was a great help to me during this concept phase as he has a vast knowledge of VFX for film. Cinema 4D with plug-ins Turbulence FD and X-Particles allowed me to quickly create different looks for the teleporting effect. I was able to stay within Cinema 4D to create the main look of the teleporting and then mainly relied on After Effects (along with some Nuke) for compositing. We soon had a look for the teleporting that we all liked, which was vital to have before shooting started. It gave the actors an idea of how things were going to look and it was, of course, extremely important for myself, the director and DP to all be on the same page with the look of the teleporting while we were on-set. Once post started, I already had a good chunk of the work done on the teleporting because of the concept phase. This really allowed me to focus on making it as realistic as possible for all the final shots. I can honestly say I couldn't have completed the work on this show without the help of Maxon's Cinema 4D. I even created an all-CG shot for the film and C4D was key in making that happen. Cinema 4D is a tool that helps me be a better artist and, at the end of the day, all I want to do is make art. B CINEMA 4D IN THE REAL WORLD BY JOSH JOHNSON VFX ARTIST & SUPERVISOR VFXDAILY.COM ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI WWW.VFXDAILY.COM MAXON'S RELEASE 17 INTRODUCES SOME GREAT WORKFLOW ADDITIONS

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