resources

Quick and dirty free IBLs by Xuan Prada

Some of my spare IBLs that I shot while ago using a Ricoh Theta. They contain around 12EV dynamic range. Resolution is not pretty good but it stills holds up for look-dev and lighting tasks.

Feel free to download the equirectangular .exrs here.
Please do not use in commercial projects.

Cafe in Barcelona.

Cafe in Barcelona render test.

Hobo hotel.

Hobo hotel render test.

Campus i12 green room.

Campus i12 green room render test.

Campus i12 class.

Campus i12 class render test.

Chiswick Gardens.

Chiswick Gardens render test.

Split EXR in Fusion by Xuan Prada

I recently started to use Blackmagic's Fusion at home (budget reasons) and I'm liking it so far but, one of the most important features coming from Nuke, is obviously the ability to shuffle between all the AOVs of your multi channel EXRs. Unfortunately Fusion doesn't support this. It has something called booleans to separate RGB channels but not AOVs.

Chad Ashley pointed me to this third party script that splits a multi channel EXR in many different loaders with each one of your AOVs. Not as good as Nuke's shuffle but good enough!

UDIM workflow in Nuke by Xuan Prada

Texture artists, matte painters and environment artists often have to deal with UDIMs in Nuke. This is a very basic template that hopefully can illustrate how we usually handle this situation.

Cons

  • Slower than using Mari. Each UDIM is treated individually.
  • No virtual texturing, slower workflow. Yes, you can use Nuke's proxies but they are not as good as virtual texturing.

Pros

  • No paint buffer dependant. Always the best resolution available.
  • Non destructive workflow, nodes!
  • Save around £1,233 on Mari's license.

Workflow

  • I'll be using this simple footage as base for my matte.
  • We need to project this in Nuke and bake it on to different UDIMs to use it later in a 3D package.
  • As geometry support I'm using this plane with 5 UDIMs.
  • In Nuke, import the geometry support and the footage.
  • Create a camera.
  • Connect the camera and footage using a Project 3D node.
  • Disable the crop option of the Project 3D node. If not the proejctions wouldn't go any further than UV range 0-1.
  • Use a UV Tile node to point to the UDIM that you need to work on.
  • Connect the img input of the UV Tile node to the geometry support.
  • Use  a UV Project node to connect the camera and the geometry support.
  • Set projection to off.
  • Import the camera of the shot.
  • Look through the camera in the 3D view and the matte should be projected on to the geometry support.
  • Connect a Scanline Render to the UV Project.
  • Set the projection model to UV.
  • In the 2D view you should see the UDIM projection that we set previously.
  • If you need to work with a different UDIM just change the UV Tile.
  • So this is the basic setup. Do whatever you need in between like projections, painting and so on to finish your matte.
  • Then export all your UDIMs individually as texture maps to be used in the 3D software.
  • Here I just rendered the UDIMs extracted from Nuke in Maya/Arnold.

RGB masks by Xuan Prada

We use RGB masks all the time in VFX, don't we?
They are very handy and we can save a lot of extra texture maps combining 4 channels in one single texture map RGB+A.

We use them to mix shaders in look-dev stage, or as IDs for compositing, or maybe as utility passes for things like motion blur o depth.

Let's see how I use RGB masks in my common software: Maya, Clarisse, Mari and Nuke.

Maya

  • I use a surface shader with a layered texture connected.
  • I connect all the shaders that I need to mix to the layered texture.
  • Then I use a remapColor node with the RGB mask connected as mask for each one of the shaders.

This is the RGB mask that I'm using.

  • We need to indicate which RGB channel we want to use in each remapColor node.
  • Then just use the output as mask for the shaders.

Clarisse

  • In Clarisse I use a reorder node connected to my RGB mask.
  • Just indicate the desired channel in the channel order parameter.
  • To convert the RGB channel to alpha just type it in the channel order field.

Mari

  • You will only need a shuffle adjustment layer and select the required channel.

Nuke

  • You can use a shuffle node and select the channel.
  • Or maybe a keyer node and select the channel in the operation parameter. (this will place the channel only in the alpha).

byWord by Xuan Prada

At the beginning of the days I used my iPad just for fun but now I use it in a professional way for a lot of different tasks.

This time I’d like to talk to you about one of the applications that I most use on my iPad every single day.

I’m talking about byWord.
It’s a simple text editing software for Mac, iPad and iPhone. Nothing fancy here you might think, and you’re probably true, but the good thing about byWord is that you don’t need to think about anything but writing.
byWord is simple, clear, tidy and will keep you focus on writing, that’s it.

I use it for all writing related stuff, from blogging to outline courses. From planning shootings to write emails. You won’t be distracted by things like type fonts, colors or menu tools.

byWord has nice features like syncing with Dropbox or iCloud, so you can keep all your content in different devices or in the cloud.

Another nice feature is the dark theme which turns your screen to black and your text to white.
This is very useful for dailies sessions, you can write down feedback easily from your vfx supe under dark light conditions in the daily room.
I usually write a few words and then on my desk I just expand all this key words to complete a text with the whole feedback given and a small strategy to address it.

If you are involved in writing related tasks go to http://www.bywordapp.com and give it a try.

Mari 2 Maya script by Xuan Prada

I was lucky enough to find this simple but effective script to import your Mari textures in to Maya in a really quick way.
It is a Python script created by Kushal Goenka.

Follow these instructions to install the script.

# Mari2Maya – PyMEL Script
# Written by Kushal Goenka ( Animation Maniac )
# kushalgoenka@gmail.com
# http://AnimationManiac.deviantART.com

# Description:
# This Script Automates the Process of Setting up given MARI Texture Patches
# into one Single Layered Texture in Maya.

# Setup:
# Copy Script to ‘\maya\2012-x64\scripts’ folder. ’2012-x64′ might by different.
# Source the Script. ( Script Editor > File > Source Script… )
# Call the Python Command: ‘Mari2Maya()’ (or add to Shelf)

# Requirements:
# Export textures from MARI with ‘$UDIM.extension’ at the end.
# For Example: $ENTITY_$CHANNEL_$UDIM.tif >> Castle07_color_1003.tif

# Instructions:
# 1. Drag Texture Files into Hypershade.
# 2. Drag Select all Imported Texture File Nodes in the Hypershade Work Area.
# 3. Run the Script. via ‘Mari2Maya()’ Let the Magic happen.

Download.