Subscribe via: ( Email / RSS )

Care to watch? VFX Pipeline Video

Hey everyone! So another video I’m putting out this week – as I promised! This is actually more to gauge everyone’s interest and see whether there are enough of you interested in this sort of thing before I go head first into developing a series of free videos on this subject and then find out that everyone just wants to blow stuff up and has zero interest in the more ‘big picture’ kind of stuff.
Something, that I do a lot of is developing tools to automate a lot of processes. Both day to day tasks such as repathing FumeFX caches, render output paths and versioning up tools, Render submission tools and that sort of thing. But, I also develop tools specific to film productions to do a lot of the heavy workload that would take weeks otherwise to complete. On Transformers, I developed a set of tools that would actually construct 100 or more Max files from scratch with my FX in them with updated rigs and assets that I would plug into it, to make characters die very carefully based on specific variables and rigs I implemented. And for F-Light, the short film I created all of the visual effects for recently, I literally would have each shot generate the first pass of visual effects for me automatically, before I even touched it myself. So I could see all of the fluid simulations and particle effects simulated and built for me for first review so I can see how the effects look before I start changing them. All of it was purely generated from nothing but the camera track file I was supplied, and the animated shoes. Each project has it’s own requirements and I tend to be doing al to of very ambitious things every time that lately have been massive game changers for me.Why waste time doing the manual work, and also risk human error and mistakes, when you can supply the artist input that it needs and let the other 98% of the work, the parts that slow us all down, automatically happen for you?!

In this video, like I said, it’s more just a quick demonstration of something pretty simple at first glance. But, it’s more to gauge your interest and see if you are interested in this sort of thing. And, if you are, I will make a lot of how to videos demonstrating how to write your own tools and custom scripts to apply to your FX heavy film productions.

The idea here is simple. I’m in Boston, working on a movie, all of my render farm and file servers are back in LA. I wanted to use my render nodes, to simulate my FumeFX simulations, as well as render them out. However, I DON’T want to have to

* Manually email a file to myself, remote desktop into my LA workstation
* Download the file
* Make a shot directory, save file there, make a Render directory, FumeFX directories, path everything there.
* Submit each simulation manually to back burner, and my render image sequence too
* Go into Nuke and build a quicktime video of my FX renders, and send it back to myself for review
* Make a folder back on the PC I am sitting at remotely, and transfer the files over manually once I have viewed the quicktime and like the frames

If I have to do this every time I want to render something out, it’s going to eat up all of my time and bring production to a halt. However, I do need to do this, because I do not have access to any render nodes in this city. So, didn’t take that long to do but I built a couple of small tools that would automate the process. Now, keep in mind that I could have automated this process further and tried to be all fancy about it but just like Kung Fu in movies, and “procedural automated FX driven pipelines” and trade shows and such, fancy is cool to show off, but you really want to do the most affective approach that will give you the most control and the best results, the fastest way possible.

So, things like transferring the files back to me, I had it write me a .bat file, or batch file. So that when I am ready, I can double click it and it manually starts copying each file over for me through that batch script. The reason, so that it’s ready to go if I decide to transfer the files, but I won’t transfer them until I watch the quicktime video and make sure I like what I see. A QT is 5mb, an image sequence is 1.2gb.

This is just a fun demonstration, but I thought it would be cool and best off the whole thing is short. However, all of the things it’s doing under the hood, are actually very useful tools So, off the top of my head I can think of a dozen cool scripts I can show you how to write yourself.

* How to automatically make a directory and repath your scene file’s render output to that directory and naming for you automatically. So each time you change the version of your file to v05, v06, it’ll repath your render images output directory to a new directory named ‘My FX Pass_v06′.

* Same for all your FumeFX containers, as well as each folder is named individually for your container and then furthermore for each version. This is useful because most of us will have a specific FumeFX simulation folder on the network where we save our stuff out, usually outside of everything else so its easy to blast FXD data when necessary. But it’s also good to have it all organized, so it’s easy to delete that data when IT starts nagging that the server is running out of space.

* Backburner job submissions, both simulation jobs as well as render jobs, plus additional render passes built at render time, such as RGB lighting passes and other things. You can have so much control when you control how your jobs are submitted! I have had productions this year that had 20+ FumeFX containers in them, and submitting them to sim has been painful Worse, what if I have back burner mode accidentally on on a container I didn’t want it on and I overwrite the old data. you can write tools that protect you from yourself!

I could go on and on, but the point is, there’s lots of cool shit to do and the more technical you get the more you want to do this. And the thing is, there’s not really any tutorials out there on this sort of stuff. I’m far from a programmer, in the sense that I don’t live and breathe math. I’m no Bobo, and hell I didn’t even finish Jr. High. BUT I’ve yet to run into a problem I task I haven’t been able to do, and it’s just a matter of looking at it all from the right angle, and I’d have KILLED to have had a helping hand in my early days of learning all of this stuff, but I had to do it all on my own. You don’t need to do that. I’m here to help, and I’d love to help you!

Watch the video and then tell me if you want to see this kind of stuff. If you do. I already have a few things ready to go and I will put out more video content on this subject over the xmas holiday period. If you are like “Nah, Allan, I just want to blow things up, more FumeFX and Krakatoa tutorials please” Then that’s cool too. I’ll stick to what you know me for!


Posted on December 18th, 2013
Comment Rules: Feel free to leave comments, ideally I would like everyone to be mature and responsible for their actions, there will be a 0 tolerance to spam or rude comments by anyone posting. Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation!
'Ideally' it would be great to have people who are vising to post relevant comments or links to things that might be interesting and related to the articles they are commenting about.
I'm sure there are dozens of people who visit this page that are far smarter or talented than I am, so I encourage everyone to share knowledge, add and contribute to these threads wherever they can!

Rock on guys!

-Allan McKay

2,483 Responses to "Care to watch? VFX Pipeline Video"

  1. Zwiastuny says:

    Lawrence Tanguay

    whoah this blog is odiassd fantastic i love reading your posts. Keep up the good paintings! You already know, a lot of people are looking around for this info, you could aid them greatly.

  2. check n go payday loan fees

    [...]below you will locate the link to some web-sites that we assume you should visit[...]

  3. avs video converter discount coupon

    [...]please pay a visit to the web sites we adhere to, such as this 1, as it represents our picks in the web[...]

  4. nba profit

    I must show my respect for your kind-heartedness in support of people who actually need guidance on this important idea. Your very own commitment to passing the solution across became exceptionally practical and has really enabled those like me to arri…

  5. online therapist

    [...]here are some hyperlinks to internet sites that we link to due to the fact we consider they’re really worth visiting[...]

  6. Family Dentist Cary

    [...]Every once in a while we choose blogs that we read. Listed below are the latest sites that we choose [...]

  7. fifa online

    I would like to convey my passion for your generosity for individuals that require guidance on this one subject. Your very own dedication to passing the solution all through appears to be rather beneficial and have in every case encouraged others much…

  8. how to get facebook likes

    [...]we prefer to honor quite a few other net websites around the internet, even if they aren?t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages worth checking out[...]

  9. nice play

    I wish to point out my admiration for your generosity in support of people who must have help with your concept. Your real dedication to passing the message all around ended up being exceptionally invaluable and have surely made girls much like me to r…

  10. Greetings! Quick question that’s completely off topic.
    Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly?
    My weblog looks weird when viewing from my iphone4.

    I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to
    fix this problem. If you have any suggestions, please share.

    Also visit my site free online psychics

  11. stargazer tinte fantasia

    [...]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine some unrelated data, nonetheless seriously worth taking a search, whoa did one study about Mid East has got extra problerms also [...]

  12. Energy Booster

    [...]just beneath, are quite a few completely not related websites to ours, having said that, they are surely worth going over[...]

  13. costa rica tierwelt

    [...]we came across a cool web page which you may possibly take pleasure in. Take a appear in case you want[...]

  14. nice play

    I must voice my affection for your kindness giving support to all those that must have help with this area. Your special commitment to getting the solution across ended up being astonishingly insightful and has in most cases made regular people like me…

  15. Garcinia Cambogia

    [...]one of our visitors lately suggested the following website[...]

  16. fotos de unhas decoradas 2014

    [...]check below, are some totally unrelated web sites to ours, nevertheless, they are most trustworthy sources that we use[...]

  17. fifa games

    I would like to convey my passion for your generosity in support of persons that really want guidance on the idea. Your special commitment to getting the message along turned out to be extraordinarily invaluable and has all the time permitted workers m…

  18. goat weed says:

    goat weed

    [...]The details mentioned within the article are a number of the very best available [...]

  19. sort of courses should be on your

    radar, then you can start to look around and see which among the writing courses available will match your writing coursesif you want to achieve formal qualifications which you can add to your resume, then looking at university-base…

  20. acne says:


    [...]Here is an excellent Weblog You may Uncover Fascinating that we Encourage You[...]

  21. fitness cookbook

    [...]Here is a great Weblog You might Obtain Fascinating that we Encourage You[...]

  22. deep space

    I must get across my passion for your generosity for men and women that actually need help with this important theme. Your very own commitment to getting the solution up and down has been pretty informative and has specifically helped some individuals…

  23. deep space

    I wish to get across my affection for your kind-heartedness in support of those who really need assistance with your field. Your special dedication to getting the solution up and down had become remarkably advantageous and has continuously empowered in…

  24. sex toys says:

    far west

    I have to show my appreciation for your kind-heartedness for people who really need guidance on this important subject. Your personal dedication to getting the solution up and down appears to be unbelievably invaluable and has all the time enabled peop…

  25. sex toys says:

    far west

    I want to voice my love for your generosity giving support to individuals who must have assistance with that study. Your personal commitment to passing the solution around had been certainly invaluable and have really allowed regular people much like m…

  26. indexed fast. the trick to making this

    work is to optimize content around a niche keyword for your this site has many nice looking templates that make your blog look very professional. you can also use it to set up your own blogging site and drive more

  27. buy ebook

    I have to convey my admiration for your kind-heartedness giving support to those who need assistance with this one niche. Your real dedication to getting the message across ended up being exceedingly productive and has really empowered most people like…

  28. Illuminati

    [...]always a major fan of linking to bloggers that I appreciate but really don’t get quite a bit of link appreciate from[...]

  29. apps for babies

    [...]The data talked about inside the article are several of the top readily available [...]

  30. latest celeb fashion

    [...]just beneath, are several totally not connected web pages to ours, having said that, they may be surely really worth going over[...]

  31. 80's Fashion says:

    80′s Fashion

    [...]The info mentioned in the write-up are a few of the very best accessible [...]

  32. Gutter cleaning London

    [...]The facts talked about inside the report are several of the most beneficial readily available [...]

  33. Filmovizija says:

    smart books

    I would like to get across my passion for your generosity in support of people that must have assistance with your subject. Your personal dedication to getting the solution all-around ended up being rather important and have in most cases allowed peopl…

Leave a Reply

five + 1 =

Get Adobe Flash playerPlugin by wordpress themes