cebas thinkingParticles featured in the challenging world of â€œTEKKENâ€ !
Experience the world of “TEKKEN” in 3D with tP!
Digital Frontier Inc. - Based in Tokyo, Japan and founded in 2000, is a motion picture company engaged in large-scale production CG feature films for the movie and game industries.
Digital Frontier owns "OPAKIS"; one of Asia's largest motion capture studios, with affiliates in Taiwan and Malaysia. Currently, the company has about 230 employees; 160 of which are working in the CG department.
Senior Designer, Mr. Yoshiharu Komiya and Designer,
Mr. Gen Ito shared with us their experiences working on the movie
“TEKKEN Blood Vengeance 3D”.
cebas: It seems that "TEKKEN" was an important project for you (and your firm). Can you tell us how you were involved?
Komiya: We had experience in production of full 3D CG feature films, but "TEKKEN Blood vengeance" was the first full CG stereoscopic project. We had about 110 people involved and working as full-time production staff.
cebas: Which shots/images/sequences in particular were you involved in? â€¨
Komiya: The final fight was one of the main shots, where the character is composed of a collection of small objects that should be solid not hollow, with many objects.
cebas: What cebas software did you use and why?
Komiya: Maya can arrange objects on the surface of polygons, but it was not suited for solid with many objects. When I was researching, I saw one movie the “Duracell Bunny Fusion of CM”, done by thinkingParticles (tP). It was a good reference for what we wanted, so we decided to use it. There were similar sample files, which helped me make first test scene in a week.
cebas: What features in particular helped you achieve your goal and how?
Komiya: The director wanted me to take care of the sense of scale. Instead of having one big collapse, I created secondary collapsing effects based one big chunk in a way where it can break multiple times till the end.
cebas: What was the most difficult aspect of this project and how did you solve it?
Ito: We wanted to create a realistic destruction effect. In the sequence of the leg falling apart, we had to add secondary breaking effects handled by the rigid body dynamics simulation. The simulation then became more complex as a result it was looking much more realistic. In my opinion, automatically handling secondary fracture effects is one of tP's strengths.
cebas: What was a step-by-step breakdown of a typical shot/image/sequence? â€¨
Komiya: As an example, I will explain how we cut the arms and create the collapse. It was done by creating particles inside the volume of the human arm, resembling the shape of the arm. I placed a dummy sphere so when the arm comes into contact with the sphere, the arm collapses as the wooden dolls fall apart. The number of particles used to resemble the arm was 7,000; twice the amount in the leg, which was very fast to simulate - thanks to tP.
Ito: In the “Playback of Arms”, the inside of the arm had to be shown as well. This was done by controlling the particle emitters, revealing the arm gradually. Hidden dummy objects were used to adjust the playback timing for this effect.
Another tP feature that was used for the leg collapse sequence was switching the particle groups based on certain rules. This made it possible to transfer the wooden dolls from the particle group in the arm to the particle group in the leg.
cebas: How did the cebas tools perform for you and how was the experience of working with them like?
Komiya: I was expecting tP to be difficult to use, however it was not. The FX TD creates a complex setup of multiple nodes, then the designers only have to fiddle with object replacement and parameter settings! You can easily create complex effects with tP. Certainly, making assets in the form of tP BlackBox setups decreased the workload for the designer.
What we learned through this project will help us in our future projects
cebas: How did it compare to other software you may have used?
Komiya: We considered various tools for the vfx effects, such as ICE and Houdini. However, to achieve such complex rule based effects, our in-house designers would have had a hard time using and learning these tools.
cebas: How did cebas software integrate into your production pipeline? How straightforward was it? â€¨â€¨
Komiya: At Digital Frontier, Maya is considered to be the main tool. For effects with tP, we used both 3ds Max and Maya.
However, when creating effects with 3ds Max and tP matching the quality of
rendering and camera are necessary. Although this is not easy, our frequent usage of tP in our current projects led us to seriously consider extending our license of the product.
We are looking into using finalRender within our pipeline. I have tested it and it is very compatible with FumeFX, as it integrates perfectly with all kinds of raytracing effects (reflections, Gi ..).
Wow! Amazing stuff!! Thank you Komiya and Ito for your time, we are a fan of your work :)
Check out more videos for the 'TEKKEN' movie Here and Here!
To see the Duracell video tP was featured in, click Here
** Digital Frontier is currently recruiting a variety of CG specializations, such as CG designer, production manager, technical director and staff capture. If you are interested, please visit their website for more information and contact details.