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How Brick Visual is pushing the boundaries of animation with Chaos Vantage 2

Get ready to be captivated as we go behind the scenes of Brick Visual’s stunning animation, a collaborative project that pushes the limits of Vantage 2.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but what about an animation that transports you to a whole new world? We’ll dive into the mesmerizing realm of Brick Visual's architectural animation creations and explore one of their collaborations with Chaos, in which they harness the power of Chaos Vantage 2 to push the boundaries of visual storytelling.  

Harnessing the power of Chaos Vantage 2 

So, who are the great minds behind this imaginative project? Andrea, the Art Director at Brick Visual, and their creative team of 3D artists together with Chaos. Known primarily as an archviz studio, Brick Visual has recently expanded its horizons into the media and entertainment industry. This exciting venture opened up endless possibilities for showcasing their skills and expertise through the lens of Chaos Vantage 2. 

Bringing ideas to life

The animation's story was quite simple and personal, as it was based on the daily life of a 3D artist. The team wanted to approach it in a funny way that highlighted the struggles of receiving feedback, dealing with clients, and trying to remain creative. They wanted to make the animation exciting while still being respectful of the art form. They also wanted a main character, which led to the question of whether they could do it with a green-screen character.

The green screen character

Andrea decided to use a green screen character to create an animation hero, as they wanted to push Vantage to its limits. Then, he began the narrative process by digging into storyboarding and testing ideas, using Vantage from the very beginning of the pre-production process. They heavily based the animation on sound effects and body language and used close-ups of the character's eyes to convey emotions. The final storyboard was similar to the final result, and the animation followed the story of a 3D artist becoming anxious after receiving an email at the office.

Pre-production and staging

A critical part of the process involved building and creating a mockup and then blocking the apartment scene. Andrea experimented with the color palette, lighting, and camera angles in real-time to achieve the desired composition. 

They decided to use Vantage to create a visual insanity of effects to make the final scenes as visually impactful as possible. They wanted to play in two different stages, the apartment, which is the main location of the character, and the city – two different scales to try to go on a macro approach.

It was really good to test the scene while I was modeling it - with light, shadows, colors, materials, and the depth of field - playing with all of it in real-time is essential. That's when we understood that this software has potential.

Andrea Perdotti, Art Director, Brick Visual

© Brick Visual

Throughout their journey of testing Vantage's capabilities in order to identify the right approach for the video, Brick Visual discovered the power of real-time animation previews via Vantage’s Live Link. The feature proved to be very useful for the timing of animated things such as flying objects and other stuff. 

© Brick Visual

Andrea, an avid fan of Avatar, was particularly intrigued by the idea of using Vantage as a virtual camera, similar to the groundbreaking techniques employed in the film. As Brick Visual delved deeper into the capabilities of Vantage during the pre-production phase, they found themselves navigating the virtual world in real-time, allowing them to experiment with different scenes, materials, lighting setups, and camera angles. This newfound freedom opened up a world of creative possibilities, enabling them to discover fresh perspectives for their storyboard and collaborate closely with their storyboarder to define the composition and bring their main character to life.

In terms of hardware during the testing phase, Brick Visual used two graphic cards, one was an NVIDIA Quadro RTX 6000 with 24GB of RAM, and the other one an NVIDIA RTX 3060 12GB. For the last timelapse city show, they reached almost all of the 24GB of video memory they had.

Casting and shooting

Brick Visual went through a big process of selecting the main character, who ended up being Andrea himself! They wanted to be open for a reshoot, especially for the exterior scenes, in which the green screen room was not needed. Andrea was constantly in front of the camera, which was initially weird for him but became fun after a while. With the help of Vantage, they were able to do an amazing job at adjusting the lighting, shadows, and reflections.

One of the challenges faced during the animation was that they needed a believable character with a believable highlight on the shoulders. They actually ended up shooting outside instead of using the green screen room in order to achieve the look they wanted. They made it happen, and it was a game-changer for shadows in the compositing phase.

© Brick Visual

Brick Visual highlights the remarkable efficiency in the production of the first part of the animation, which encompassed shooting and rendering in Vantage, all completed within a single week! This impressive accomplishment was made possible by meticulous planning and the creative freedom they enjoyed in shaping the narrative. Additionally, the fast rendering speed of Vantage played a pivotal role in expediting the process. They were able to iterate on various aspects, such as adjusting lights, fine-tuning assets, and enhancing local and global contrast, resulting in a final product of exceptional quality.

The process of creating insane visual effects 

Brick Visual relied on CG doubles in the animation, and they made sure to set up the lighting to fit the overall lighting of the scene. Real assets were used to make the interaction with the objects believable. The process was challenging but fun and involved many iterations.

They iterated and tested the visual effects, using real-time simulations and virtual cameras to experiment with different angles and effects. They also used references and observations of real-world mechanics to make the effects look more realistic.

© Brick Visual

All the animations with special effects were done in a few days - lighting, rendering, and multiple iterations. We started experimenting with the visual effects in Vantage in real-time ( the clock, the emerging tree, the flat) We could all test it instantly. I also could play and adjust the visual effects alongside my modeling tool, which was priceless (pushing the limits of my creativity to make it look cool). Vantage also helped us with rendering extremely heavy scenes.

Andrea Perdotti, Art Director, Brick Visual

Brick Visual's journey with Chaos Vantage 2

Brick Visual's journey through Chaos Vantage 2 is a testament to the marriage of artistic vision and cutting-edge technology. Rewatch the webinar, and we’re sure it will leave you inspired, awestruck, and hungry for more projects from Brick Visual.

Brick Visual leveraged Vantage in numerous creative ways while producing the Vantage 2 release video. From pre-production to final rendering, the software proved to be an integral tool in their pipeline, allowing them to push the boundaries of visual storytelling. If you're looking to enhance your own production process, we highly recommend giving Vantage a try by downloading a trial today and testing it for yourself! 

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