Terragen 2 used extensively for Paramount Pictures 100th anniversary logo

Started by Oshyan, December 20, 2011, 01:56:00 AM

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Quote from: Tangled-Universe on December 29, 2011, 04:10:09 AM
Thanks for that tip Matt :)
If I understood correctly it is as simple as replacing the planet node with a plane object and adjust it's size? (perhaps a check on displacement tolerance value?)

Yes, but you still need a planet node to put an atmosphere in the scene, with 'render surface' turned off.
Just because milk is white doesn't mean that clouds are made of milk.


The entire project was completely designed, produced and finished in-house at Devastudios, Inc. in Santa Monica, California. I was the environment lead and the lead compositor. Much of the environment was modeled by Ethan Summers (environment artist) and Brad Colwell (art director and creative lead). Opening clouds and low-lying clouds were rendered in Maya with a rig that Ethan Summers set up. Maya clouds and water effects by Andrew Honacker (CG lead). Also involved were Matt Hartle (Maya), Ryan Quinlan (compositor), Ed Anderson (compositor), Giancarlo Lari (matte painter, generalist). Executive Creative Director: John Berlin. Art Director and creative lead: Brad Colwell. Producer: John Busenberg.

The schedule was a bit unusual, but it probably works out at about 3.5 months for the version you see, with an average team size of maybe 4 or 5. Concept development began much earlier.

There is also a 4k stereoscopic version which hasn't been released yet.

Just because milk is white doesn't mean that clouds are made of milk.


Thanks for all the info and great tips Matt.
The schedule time seems quite refreshing, as I would have expected the turnover to be much shorter than that, based on the on the type of schedules I usually see.
Good to see that you all had the time you needed to get it right. Congrats to all the team on such a good job. I used to pour over Ethan's paint fx 101, great artist.

One thing I used to do years ago, and am thinking of resurrecting, (as I have a bit more time than usual in the evenings these days) is compiling a day to day production diary. I used to find it really helpful when I was starting out, but realise now it could also help others see how we use the software on a daily basis. Sorry, don't mean to hijack the thread, just thinking aloud.
I found it very interesting that you combined maya clouds with tg atmospherics as I used to use them a lot, but rarely these days with the advent of tg, and it's those kinds of details and combinations of usage I find really interesting.

Sorry to be a nag, but I do have one more question, as I'm about to start on a 4k stereo film. Were there any particular pitfalls or techniques you used when working in stereo, say for calculating correct padding beyond the camera frustum to ensure correct lighting, matching, etc?




Thanks Chris.

We knew we wanted some motion in some of the clouds but we didn't know how much. We also wanted to be able to art direct them easily, and also be able to use artists that weren't used to Terragen. In the end we decided to use Terragen for any of the clouds that would be seen reflected in the Terragen lake, and Maya and small amounts of matte painting for the others. The clouds on the final frame are 100% Terragen above the horizon, Maya below the horizon. I did some comp tricks to improve the scattering through the Maya clouds.

Regarding 4k stereo: I'm not a stereographer but I have some opinions on it. We rendered with a parallel camera rig and adjusted convergence in the comp. Delivery will be at 4096 horizontally but we rendered all of the raw elements at 4500. So that's about 5% padding on each side. That would allow for up to 10% positive parallax (into the screen), but you never want to use anywhere near that much positive parallax because that would cause the eyes to diverge on a typical cinema screen. Apparently on IMAX you don't want any positive parallax at all, as the screen is treated as infinity, but I guess that's a decision you'd make only if you were delivering for IMAX. I believe that 1% to 1.5% positive parallax is pretty normal. I am sure there are people in here that know a lot more than me about this.

On the other end of the scale, the 10% was useful for adjusting elements that were rendered way out in audience space (negative parallax) that we needed to push back a little, or to bring something even farther forward. Actually the 10% wasn't quite enough in one case. We needed a bit of paint work on a couple of frames of a foreground element, but that's only because it was too far forward on a few frames and we needed to push it back by more than 10%. If you have a lot of audience space elements you might find these are the parts that will be tweaked a lot in post.

On another show I worked on previously, I think that was also 5% overscan on each side, but that used a toe-in rig with convergence adjustments in post being kept to a minimum. Different people have different opinions on toe-in vs. parallel.

Terragen-specific issues. We didn't use GI. I added specific sunlights and ambient settings to get the mood, colour and detail in the shadows that we were looking for. I don't think I had to tweak any other padding settings or anything like that, but we were lucky enough to have most of the lights coming directions that didn't cause any rendering problems.

Just because milk is white doesn't mean that clouds are made of milk.


Thanks Matt, thats all good and useful information.

The comp tricks on the maya clouds work nicely as they really do blend and match well with the tg clouds.
I can also appreciate the use of traditional light rigs as opposed to using GI when working at those resolutions.

Thanks again



Any chance we will see a stereoscopic version somewhere in the near future?
Did you need to work explicitly in real world scales to make the stereoscopic effect work, say for inter-ocular distance and such?

4.5K resolution :) Holy shit man. Wonder how long that took per frame!

I'm curious to see/know how such a lightrig would look like...how many lights are there?
I suppose there's a kind of threshold where the number of lights to create a GI-like effect exceeds the rendertime of actually using GI at 1/x/y ? (regardless for the moment of the flickering it may introduce).


Wow, good work guys! I saw the previous Paramount logo recently and thought how cool it would be to rejig that myself one day... with Terragen. Better be careful what I think about now as it seems someone reads my mind!  ;D Excellent use of the software. It's another string to the bow that will be TG2's future in film vfx imo.


Quote from: Oshyan on December 20, 2011, 01:56:00 AMYou can check out the new logo in high resolution at Deadline.com
- Oshyan

Oh no !!

Global Warming has melted the snow cap !!!


Wasn't it Ben Lomond Peak in Northern Utah (Wasatch Mtn Range) the source for the original logo?


No one seems to know for sure. I believe it was "inspired by the memory of" that peak, or something like that. There are other theories.

Just because milk is white doesn't mean that clouds are made of milk.


I believe you are right Matt. After a brief Google search I found the following info at this website: http://www.summitpost.org/ben-lomond/152185

Ben Lomond is thought to be the inspiration behind the Paramount Pictures logo. It is the oldest studio logo in continuous use. It's nearly a decade older than the second-oldest logo, MGM's roaring lion. It also predates Paramount Pictures as a film production entity. They trace their history back to the 1912 formation of Adolph Zukor's Famous Players Film Company, but the Paramount Pictures name was first used by a film distribution company founded by William W. Hodkinson and other independent exhibitors.

Hodkinson was the one who first designed the Paramount logo in 1914. Legend has it that he sketched an image of a star-crested, pyramid shaped, mountain on a napkin during a meeting with Adolph Zukor. It was an image he remembered of a mountain peak from his childhood in Ogden, Utah. The Paramount Pictures logo was known as "Majestic Mountain" and is one of the most familiar images in Hollywood.

There has been speculation about just where Majestic Mountain really is. Some people have assumed it to be Mount Everest or other famous mountains. If it is a real mountain at all, it is most likely Ben Lomond in the Wasatch Range. Even if Hodkinson had meant it to be a generic mountain, Ben Lomond is a prominent landmark in the Ogden area and would have been the first mountain to come to his memory. The logo has been used with only a few cosmetic changes for over half a century. The familiar mountain with its ring of 24 stars remained the most popular. Many people tend to believe that the pointed and sharp mountain used on the logo today is what Majestic Mountain actually looked like. The logo was drawn to make the mountain look more impressive than it really was.


When i first saw this new logo the first i thought was this looks like TG2 but some other elements made me indecisive.
When i heard here that TG2 really was used i liked it a lot more .
Thanks for the insight Matt!
Great work! Nothing much to say more  :)

Matt i really think you should post more about the work you do on movies with TG2 !
I don't know the others but i would not be bored to hear much more detail  ;)