Monday, August 12th, 2019 Posted by Jim Thacker

See 10 great VFX breakdowns from the 2019 V-Ray showreel

Chaos Group just posted its 2019 V-Ray showreel, its annual round-up of the best new visual effects and animation work created with the multi-application production renderer.

In previous years, we’ve picked out our personal highlights from these reels. But this year, we thought it would be fun to go one step further, and show how those projects were actually created.

Below, we’ve compiled a run-down of 10 key projects from the new V-Ray showreel, complete with VFX breakdown videos from the studios that created them.

The showreel itself (above) also contains great work from the likes of Blur Studio, Method Studios and Goodbye Kansas Studios, but we’ve focused here on projects with actual making-ofs online.

Editor’s note: This article isn’t sponsored by Chaos Group in any way. If it proves popular, we may try doing the same thing with the showreels of other DCC applications.

Game of Thrones: Season 8

Format: Broadcast series
Studio: Scanline VFX

V-Ray has formed part of Scanline VFX’s pipeline since the early 2000s, with the studio integrating the renderer with Flowline, its fluid simulation software, as well as using the 3ds Max and Maya editions.

For the epic final season of Game of Thrones, Scanline used Flowline on a number of key sequences, including the destruction of King’s Landing and – alongside Houdini – the melting of the Iron Throne.

Read more about Scanline VFX’s work on Game of Thrones: Season 8 on Art of VFX

Lost in Space

Format: Broadcast series
Studio: Mackevision

Mackevision worked on seven episodes of Netflix’s reimagining of classic 1960s sci-fi series Lost in Space, and was heavily involved in creating the Jupiter, the Robinson family’s escape craft.

You can see breakdowns in the video above, along with Mackevision’s digital creatures and environments. The work, created using 3ds Max, Maya, V-Ray and Nuke, landed the studio an Emmy Award nomination.

Read more about Mackevision’s work on Lost in Space on the studio’s website

The Orville: Season 2

Format: Broadcast series
Studio: Pixomondo

Seth MacFarlane’s sci-fi comedy has used both practical and digital effects, but the massed space battle shown above is, not surprisingly, CG, created using Pixomondo’s primarily Maya/V-Ray pipeline.

The studio also designed the massive Kaylon City, and provided previs for the entire 13-episode season, shown in detail in this side-by-side comparison to the final effects.

Read more about Pixomondo’s work on The Orville on Art of VFX

Ant-Man and the Wasp

Format: Movie
Studio: Scanline VFX

As well as Game of Thrones, a lot of Scanline VFX’s movie projects feature on the 2019 V-Ray showreel, including Bumblebee, The Meg and Black Panther – for which the studio has an amazing VFX breakdown.

But arguably its most eye-catching single shot comes from Ant-Man and the Wasp, showing a 90-foot-tall Ant-Man falling backwards into San Francisco bay, the resulting splash created using Flowline and V-Ray.

Read more about Scanline VFX’s work on Ant-Man and the Wasp on CGW

The Wandering Earth

Format: Movie
Studio: Pixomondo

The second-highest-grossing Chinese movie ever, The Wandering Earth called upon both Asian and Western VFX studios – Bottleship VFX, featured later in this list, also contributed a spectacular destruction scene.

Pixomondo produced 216 shots for the sci-fi disaster movie, over 50 of them full CG, recreating the frozen city of Shanghai based on aerial footage, along with the 400 metre wall of ice that surrounds it.

Read more about Pixomondo’s work on The Wandering Earth on the studio’s website

Hanson and the Beast (Er dai yao jing)

Format: Movie
Studio: Macrograph

South Korea’s Macrograph also worked on The Wandering Earth – you can see its VFX breakdown here – but for this list, we’ve chosen a slightly older project.

Fantasy comedy Hanson and the Beast has a bestiary of part-human characters, with Macrograph creating the digital wing rig above. The studio uses a mixed pipeline, including Maya, 3ds Max, Houdini and V-Ray.

Read more about Macrograph’s work on Hanson and the Beast on the studio’s website

Game of Thrones: Winter is Coming trailer

Format: Game Trailer
Studio: RealtimeUK

Game of Thrones features on the 2019 V-Ray showreel in many guises: as well as Scanline VFX’s effects, Elastic’s title sequence and RealtimeUK’s trailer for a GoT browser game were rendered in the software.

The work required RealtimeUK to recreate the main cast of the TV show in 3D, using 3ds Max, Substance Painter and Mari, with V-Ray’s interactive rendering capabilities helping to check materials.

Read more about RealtimeUK’s work on Game of Thrones: Winter is Coming on Chaos Group’s blog

Apollo Tyres ‘Thrill Up Your Beast’

Format: Commercial
Studio: Mackevision

One of the most spectacular commercials included on this year’s reel, Mackevision’s spot for Apollo Tyres features a lead character that is part motorbike, part panther, lit using 360-degree footage of Chicago.

Although a hard-surface model, the machine-animal hybrid was created using the Maya/V-Ray pipeline the studio developed for a rather more conventional CG creature – the ill-fated piglet from its recent PETA ad.

Read more about Mackevision’s work on the Apollo Tyres ad on the studio’s website

Renault ‘The Postman’

Format: Commercial
Studio: NKI

Paris’s NKI has also created its fair share of CG big cats, but the 2019 V-Ray reel shows the studio in more whimsical mood, in a charming 90-second animated short promoting the Renault Z.E. line of electric cars.

Its characters – a hapless postman, his dream girl, and her over-protective dog – were sculpted in ZBrush, rigged in 3ds Max and rendered in V-Ray, with the final spot composited in Nuke.

Read more about NKI’s work on the Renault ad in the studio’s Behance gallery

SpaceX Falcon 9

Format: In-house R&D
Studio: Bottleship VFX

Having featured studios from North America, Asia and Western Europe, it seems fitting to close this list with one located just down the road from Chaos Group’s headquarters in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Bottleship VFX has some great movie breakdowns on its Vimeo channel, but we’ve chosen something more unusual: its CG version of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launch vehicle, created as a test asset for VFX workflows.

Read more about Bottleship VFX’s workflow in Chaos Group’s Q&A with founder Hristo Velev

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