Thursday, June 21st, 2012 Posted by Jim Thacker

Gnomon releases five-hour DVD on making ‘Archetype’

Aaron Sims’ short, Archetype. In the latest Gnomon Workshop DVD, VFX Supervisor Rob Nederhorst deconstructs the production process of a shot from the film, from building an HDRI to final composite.

The Gnomon Workshop has released a mammoth five-hour training DVD breaking down the entire visual effects production process of a shot from Aaron Sims’ dark science-fiction short, Archetype.

In ‘Archetype’ VFX Breakdown: Lighting and Rendering Pipeline, Visual Effects Supervisor Rob Nederhorst dissects the lighting, rendering, and compositing pipeline he designed for the film.

A complete end-to-end breakdown
The video begins with the use of PTGui to create the HDRI used in the GI pass of the shot, then moves on to shading, with Nederhorst illustrating various methods for working with high-res geometry in Maya and V-Ray.

The tutorial discusses basic smoothing operations, render-time subdivisions and V-Ray proxies; along with the construction of the V-Ray shaders and textures.

Nederhorst then discusses how the lighting rig for the shot was constructed, the V-Ray controls he uses to give the optimum balance between render quality and render time, and the render passes exported from V-Ray.

The tutorial also covers the compositing of the shot, including roto and clean-up of the live-action plate in Nuke, color grading, and the creation of a Nuke control group, or ‘gizmo’.

Finally, Nederhorst reveals how he adds his famous VFX mojo to the shot, via film grain, flicker, atmospheric effects, real-world camera shake, lens flares and accurate lens distortion.

Something for artists of all backgrounds
The DVD should appeal to anyone looking to integrate V-Ray or Nuke into their visual effects pipeline, or simply looking to understand how effects are created in real production conditions.

‘Archetype’ VFX Breakdown: Lighting and Rendering Pipeline is available now from the Gnomon Workshop’s online store on DVD or digital download, price $69.

Buy ‘Archetype’ VFX Breakdown: Lighting and Rendering Pipeline from the online store

Other links

Visit the Archetype website

Read our interview with Aaron Sims about the making of Archetype

Read our interview with Rob Nederhorst about visual effects ‘mojo’

Full disclosure: CG Channel is owned by the Gnomon School of Visual Effects.