Volume 16

June 07, 2018

Preacher: Angelville

Season 3 Promo - Directed by Josh Norton

In a spot that took us into the delightfully odd world of Preacher, we had the chance to introduce new characters and the third season on AMC.

Our concept was to set the stage for all of the mayhem to come in season 3. Inspired by the compositions of David Lachapelle’s photography, we wanted to bring the cast together at the gates of Angelville in a similar way, pulling back slowly to reveal all of them seemingly unfazed by their apocalyptic surroundings.

Early Arch Render by James Sypniewski

The idea was to shoot each character individually on set. In preparation for the shoot, we storyboarded and illustrated character references, mapping out each cast member’s placement and actions. Then we flew off to New Orleans for a day's production to capture all of the characters locked off on green-screen with the exception of our main character, Jesse (“Preacher”).

Storyboards by Ivan Viaranchyk
Josh Norton directing on set - New Orleans

For Jesse, we shot with an extended, pullback dolly move, which would end up as our final movement in post as well. This motion felt the most organic, as we matched and tracked that camera in 3D for the remaining locked off characters. The geometry for the fully CG background was built in 3ds Max and the final renders were created out of Octane, using C4D. We brought the fire effects in by using Phoenix FD.

Early Render vs. Final Render

After crafting all of the major VFX components, we worked final compositing and color correction in After Effects, and completed the sound design and mix with our partners over at Plush.

Inspired by the compositions of David Lachapelle’s photography, we wanted to bring the cast together at the gates of Angelville in a similar way.

A huge thanks to our partners and collaborators over at AMC. We had a lot of fun with this process and look forward to more Preacher facetime soon.


June 07, 2018

Krypton S2

Tease

Fresh off of our collaboration with SYFY for Krypton season 1, we were given the opportunity to hint at the beginning stages of a new season. We wanted to build off of our original design for the first teaser, making the familiar “S” logo into something new and exciting.

C4D Render vs. Final
3D by David Rowley and Liu Chia-Lung

With David Rowley as an addition to our team, we switched up our workflow by bringing X Particles 4 into the mix. By using this in connection with C4D, we were able to create a visceral experience in the shattering effect of the rock.

Original Boards vs. Final Render

The original symbol crumbles into pieces, as we shift into the new “S” with a stream of blue light. Our environmental elements like lava and rock transition into space, landing on the final logo with an authoritative quality.

By using X Particles 4 in connection with C4D, we were able to create a visceral experience in the shattering effect of the rock.

3D by David Rowley and Liu Chia-Lung

Thanks again to SYFY for another great opportunity -- we’re always ready to swoop in for more!

-BGSTR


June 04, 2018

Artist Spotlight: David Rowley

A welcome to David Rowley, our new Technical Director & Sr. Designer.

We’re happy to announce our newest team-member, David Rowley, a self-taught VFX artist, problem-solver, and experimenter.

Like fuel to our fire, David came to BigStar at an essential time in our continued mission to up our 3D game. He has an expansive technical skill set, experience at admirable motion design companies and a truly collaborative spirit. As our new technical director and senior 3D designer, he has already contributed on several projects in production, including the freshly delivered SYFY’s Krypton season 2 promo.

Our partnership with David has only just begun, but his innovative thought process and creative insights have already led to exciting new creative ventures with our team. We can’t wait to share more of his collaborative work down the line.




Q&A with David Rowley -

When did you first realize you wanted to be a designer / animator?
I saw the opening titles to Carnivàle by Angus Wall. I had just started learning After Effects at the time and had no idea how these titles were done or if I would ever figure it out, but knew I wanted to try.

What makes you love what you do?
I love that we can create something valuable and meaningful out of seemingly nothing - just our imaginations and a computer.

What perspective do you bring to the industry / what makes you different?
I am self-taught in design, so I never had an event like graduation from a school to tell me that I was finished with a phase of learning and ready to create. Not to imply that students stop learning when they finish school, but I think they can easily get either burned out on technical study, or become highly specialized and narrow in their focus. I think that being self-taught ingrained a habit of continuous learning and openness to a wide range of approaches that is different from what I see in a lot of artists.

Original Hero Images by David Rowley

How long have you been a 3D generalist?
I was a 2D designer and animator for a while before moving in to 3D. My first job in 3D was in 2010, using Cinema 4D R11.5.

What/who has influenced you the most?
Unquestionably that is Tim Clapham of helloluxx.com. There were a handful of sources for C4D tutorials when I was starting out, but Tim Clapham stood out by making sure to explain the fundamentals behind whatever technique he was demonstrating. His generosity with his knowledge inspired me, and whenever I learn something new I find myself imagining how I might explain it in the style of Tim Clapham. Also he talks like Jude Law.

For me, a successful animation creates an imaginary world that the audience is compelled to enter, doesn’t want to leave, and wants to return to once they’ve left.

What are you most passionate about professionally?
The thing I enjoy most about this profession is discussing and comparing techniques with other artists. I love explaining methods I’ve developed and seeing the solutions other people have come up with.

Do you have any side-projects you continue to work on?
I spend most of my free time exploring the endless potential of Cinema 4D, and lately I’m branching out into Houdini. I try to balance learning with doing, and I post my experiments on twitter, but I always seem to end up spending most of my free time on the learning side.

How do you determine the success of a piece?
For me a successful animation creates an imaginary world that the audience is compelled to enter, doesn’t want to leave, and wants to return to once they’ve left. Not every project can fully create that experience, but I think it should always be the goal.

-BGSTR


Volume 15

Next Project: Volume 15
Telling the Bigger Story