TRON :)

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I finally have got some time to start posting some of the cool stuff I mentioned in a previous post. A little while ago I got contacted by Alex Lindsay from Pixel Corps to work on a testshot for a Tron inspired piece for SalesForce. This was one of those projects you have to thing about for well… minus 10 seconds before you say YES!.

In the early 80’s I saw the first Tron movie on television (I wasn’t at the age yet that I’d just go to the cinema myself). We already had a home computer since, I think it must have been, 1981 or so. The computer nerd virus had already completely saturated every cell in my young body (at that time that was nothing ‘cool’ as not many people around me understood what all this computer stuff was all about). However, seeing Tron (after quite a period of anticipation) I got really hooked up on computer graphics, which was rather challenging as our Phillips P2000T computer was hardly capable of doing anything closely resembling computer graphics. Anyway I consider Tron my biggest single inspiration for getting into CGI.

So having waited for about 29 years for Disney to finally come up with a sequel, I get a chance to work on a cool animation project based of an earlier vfx test of this new Tron movie. Suffice to say my ‘Yes’ came about as quick as I could hit reply.

Before I ramble on let me first show you the end result for this test:

View in full resolution: h264.

I ended up doing the animation of the bike (both FX and non-fx), camera, shading, rendering, compositing and a first rough version of the character animation. Do note that this was a test done in a very short time frame (about 2-3 weeks from the go-ahead to delivery). The goal of the animation was to be very close to the animation of the original vfx test. This worked so well that you can actually copy in the audio from the vfx test and it is totally in sync ;). Considering the time constraints under which the work was done some great details of the original had to be omitted (some of the frame of the bike in the beginning, the motion captured beginning of the shot, a character on the red bike, etc), but I still think the results are quite cool!

I worked together on this with a bunch or great guys:

The beautiful bike model was created by Dion Burgoyne. Nick Jushchynshyn was the project lead. Nick also worked on the background matte painting. And as I mentioned we were brought together by Alex Lindsay from Pixel Corps.

In following posts I will go into more detail on the fx work for this piece. The most interesting part to work on was (obviously) the ‘materializing’ of the bike.

I’m also still considering to add some more to this shot, specifically the crashing of one of the bikes into the others exhaust wall, which I think is one of the coolest fx in the new Tron movie.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this animation and I will be back with more detail hopefully soon.

Cheers,

Erik