Paradise Lost: End of Rhythm and Hues India ?

Today was a black day for many of my friends at Rhythm and Hues, Mumbai. As many were given a month’s notice, also there were quite a few who were not so lucky. Those guys were told to immediately pack up and leave. Many departments were totally closed down.

RnH as it is fondly called, was one of the few places on earth were artists working there were treated with dignity and respect. It was a place were we enjoyed while we work. It was full of life that every artist can possibly dream of. People sharing their knowledge, supporting others to learn and grow.

Bad management, Blind faith…whatever the cause for the down fall and this situation may have been. It will take a while to get over this tragic incident, as news of a similar situation for the Hyderabad office looms large. Hope the new management has something sensible enough to roll up their sleeves to revive RnH, now left with full of machines.

Which 3D Formats are used in Manga Studio?

The OBJ file format DOES NOT support anything other than 3D geometry, materials, and textures (actually the texture locators and UV map information and so only one UV map per OBJ). Therefore, no bones, no animation, no lights, cameras, etc. This is the limitation of the OBJ file format.

If you need bones/animation then you need file formats like FBX or DAE. File formats are developed to carry with them specific information. For example the .max format for 3D Studio MAX will carry all the information for a scene made in 3D Studio MAX, including the way the UI is set up (such as if a view port is set to full screen when saved, etc.) and a lot of stuff that NO OTHER software will need or be able to use (since no other software is Max). Obviously, a piece of software like Manga Studio will not need 3DS Max UI info. So, export formats are used instead. Each format was developed for a particular purpose.

So all in all, if you only need a 3D object or simple 3D scene with one UV map, material information and texture locater info, then OBJ works fine. If you need additional information like cameras, animation, etc., then typically you need FBX or DAE, though DAE tends to be used a lot for 3D game development (though FBX gets used as well). Knowing a bit about various file formats will go a long way toward understanding which ones to use for whichever purpose. And it will also keep people from blaming a piece of software when it is not at fault (i.e. wondering why a skeleton did not export when using the OBJ format).

Besides Previz…

While Previs is a collaborative process that generates preliminary versions of shots or sequences, predominantly using 3D animation tools and a virtual environment. There are several other similar techniques in use today. Using digital tools these are used by various relevant departments of the film production crew.
• Pitchvis illustrates the potential of a project before it has been fully funded or greenlit. As part of development, these sequences are conceptual, to be refined or replaced during
pre-production. (Although pitchvis is not part of the main production process, it allows people like executives and investors to take a first look at the potential result.)
• Technical previs incorporates and generates accurate camera, lighting, design, and scene layout information to help define production requirements. This often takes the form of dimensional diagrams that illustrate how particular shots can be accomplished, using real-world terms and measurements. (In good practice, even preliminary previs is most often based on accurate real-world data, allowing technical data to be
more easily derived.)
• On-set previs creates real-time (or near-real-time) visualizations on location to help the director, VFX Supervisor, and crew quickly evaluate captured imagery. This includes the use of techniques that can synchronize and composite live photography with 2D or 3D virtual elements for immediate visual feedback.
• Postvis combines digital elements and production photography to validate footage selection, provide placeholder shots for editorial, and refine effects designs. Edits incorporating postvis sequences are often shown to test audiences for feedback
and to producers and visual effects vendors for planning and budgeting.
• D-vis (design visualization) utilizes a virtual framework in preproduction that allows for early in-depth design collaboration between the filmmakers. Before shots are developed, d-vis provides a preliminary, accurate virtual design space within which production requirements can be tested, and locations can be scouted. Approved design assets are created and made available to other previz processes.
In recent years, digital previs (in virtual 3D space) is playing a more and more dominant role. It offers a path to new forms of filmmaking (see later section on advanced  techniques). But traditional practical previs techniques also continue to provide economical ways to communicate desired action and imagery. Regardless of the technique chosen, the principal goal has always remained the same. By developing and then expressing the intention of a sequence in an accessible visual format, successful previz increases the likelihood that that intention will eventually be realized.

And the Oscar goes to …..

…Erik Jan De Boer, Animation Director (Rhythm and Hues) for his outstanding contribution in “Life of Pi”, along with senior colleague Bill Westenhofer (this is his second Oscar). While it’s not surprisingly but is still inspiring to of us who work along side these great people at Rhythm and Hues. People who appreciate our effort and show their gratitude.

And the Best VFX OSCAR GOES TO “Life of Pi”

erikNBillReceivingTheOscar

WOOOHOOOOO !!!!! (Celebrations all around) The Best Visual Effects Oscar goes to “Life Of Pi”. Another proud moment of being a part of an Academy award winning team, once again. The first time being in 2008, when we got our Oscar for the best VFX on Golden Compass. Congratulations to all those who worked on it !!! 🙂
Regarding the guys i know (and have met) in picture, second from left is Bill Westenhofer (VFX supervisor at Rhythm and Hues) and second from right is Erik De Boer (Animation director at Rhythm and Hues).

P.S. i do not own any copyright over the picture, its just for the record.