FATHEAD - ETC@USC
(Further Images under NDA)
The Entertainment Technology Center at the University of Southern California (ETC@USC) asked to collaborate on a VP project for their film FATHEAD. I supervised the Virtual Art Department consisting of myself and two RIT students. Our initial role was preparing the photogrammetry 3D assets that would be used in the scene and decimating (i.e., removing polygons), scaling and trimming the geometry. After we completed the background for their film they asked me to rig and animate a dog. To further explore and develop the use of VP, I decided to use Unreal’s new Control Rig system versus rigging and animating in Maya and then porting to Unreal. This allowed me to animate directly in Unreal, allowing for motion capture as well as keyframe animation to be performed on the character for a more streamlined and time saving workflow.
My students and I were invited to the set for the filming of FATHEAD where I worked with the director during filming and helped create a new animation pipeline option. Typically all visual effects are created in post production, but because I was on set the director could make changes almost instantaneously to the CG characters movements and the actors could see real-time composites and adjust their acting based on the CG animation. Virtual production is able to enhance the relationship between the director, actor, and animator allowing the director to leave the set with a product that is much closer to his final vision than is normally possible and significantly reduced post-production changes and additions.
Most of FATHEAD’s collateral is under NDA at this time, however, below are a few images and a short video showcasing some of our work.
At a Glance:
•RIT VAD Supervisor
•Virtual Set Placement
•Dog Rigging and Animating
•Photogrammetry Model Cleanup, Scaling, and Polygon Reduction
•Panelist: 2022 UFVA Conference: Real Time Rendering Pipeline: From Maya FBX to the Unreal Engine Workflow.
•Workshop Presenter: 2022 UFVA Conference: Unreal for Rendering and Animating
Four images showing rendering and geometry in Sketchfab and Unreal