Low budget? I read that it was about 10 fold of the Ozzy movie which was 10mil right? I think it looks amazing!
Watched this last night with my 5 year old niece. We both thoroughly enjoyed it.
I had no idea Blender was used until I saw this thread. Any behind the scenes stuff on this, like how much of a role Blender played in the pipeline? Was it rendered in Cycles?
Blender was the primary DCC app on this, and yes, it was rendered in Cycles.
It’s funny, I remember catching myself at one point in the movie admiring the aesthetics of 7723’s face. I was thinking about how I would go about creating a material in Cycles that would light up a grid of pixels based on the movement of a facial rig.
@twitchmedia will speak about that at Blender Conference: https://www.blender.org/conference/2018/presentations/467
We’ll be releasing some code at some point that enables you to replicate what we did for the robot characters - it’s based on curves driving a node in the Cycles material network to generate textures on the fly, plus some trickery to get the pixelated display.
Regarding Blender’s usage: I’m comfortable in saying that it was involved in 95% + of the work on the show. Ancillary software used to supplement it included: Substance Painter, Houdini and Fume FX for FX work (combined with our modified VDB and Alembic importers), Photoshop, and Golaem for the more directed crowd work. Blender was utilized in all these areas though:
- Many of the crowd scenes were Blender based, utilizing animation clips created specifically for this purpose - characters were then instanced, and some material properties were randomized based on the index of the instanced node to get variation in the crowds
- Blender was used for a lot of the surfacing, with Substance helping with the more complex organic assets, such as characters
- Blender was used for a good chunk of the effects (most of the anime style effects), but Houdini and Fume handled most of the explosions, smoke, fire, etc.
As Stefan points out, we’ll be doing a behind the scenes look at Next Gen at the Blender conference.
I really loved it, the story was such a surprise. But so sad about the hair renderer, and some low sample renders patches, I guess thats time and re-render dependent.
Wow, the character animation really got me in the end, I really felt their heart. And those anime style FX were surprising and fun. Can’t believe they were Blender native!
Yes the hair didn’t really match the quality of the rest. I wonder how the Principled Hair BSDF and 2.8 live hair Preview would have helped there.
After all compared to Pixars Hair System in Presto, Blender looks like a toy but thats probably an unfair comparison to make.
It would have helped immensely, and we’re looking forward to using it on our next production. We’re also very, very keen on the standard Principled BSDF - we rolled our own PBR materials for dialectric and metallic shaders, and would have loved to have the Principled BSDF available for Next Gen.
I have mixed feelings about “realistic” things in 3D animated cartoons. Skin, eyes, teeth, mouth, etc. do not look “realistic” at all in this kind of movies, they are animated cartoons characters. Why should hair be realistic?
I mean, pixar hair is amazing and really gives an extra to their movies. But I do not think that not having a pixar hair ruins a 3D movie.
It’s less about realism, and more about not looking like bad CG. The problems with the hair are numerous - low res, low density, intersecting patches, bad simulation of motion…
That said, I have a feeling little Jimmy won’t care one whit while enjoying the awesome movie
I’m beyond myself seeing the trailer. Having seen Ozzy I didn’t expect something that good looking and - apparently - that fun to watch.
I try to avoid Netflix but that may just cross the line of temptingness !
@Goranimation Thanks! I needed to see this and reassure myself of Blender’s power. The movie looks beautiful, I have only see the trailer, got to subscribe to NetFlix to watch it
BTW, please what is Houdini? And is the movie 100% made in Blender?
Think you’re doubling the numbers here. Yes, I saw $10M for Ozzy (which is kind of insane for a CG animated feature). The quote from BlenderNation that I read was that it was 5x the budget. Initially the BCon presentation said $40M so I’m guessing, in the end it cost about $50M. Which is still very low budget considering.
I’m just going to repost my review from the other thread so they are all in one place:
Oh man, I just watched it too. Visually stunning. The trailer doesn’t do it justice. I’m kind of surprised that they didn’t try and add more of those kinds of shots to the trailer. It really makes it look so simple and cartoony but when you watch it, you see that it’s really not. They really hit a wonderful blend of cartoon stylization and gritty realism that I’ve never really seen before. You can tell that they referenced some really great live action for a lot of it. Some of the frames are simply works of art. Just the overall design of the movie in general was really striking. There were scenes that I could swear were inspired by Bladerunner and other Scifi greats.
I was also surprised by the story. I wasn’t expecting it to be as complex as it was. Again, the trailer doesn’t do it justice and leads you to believe it’s just a simple girl and her robot save the world from other killer robots. But there’s a lot more to it so that was really nice.
Another aspect I wasn’t expecting was how well the action shots worked. Again, I think they referenced a lot of really great live action for this. They seemed very focused and without a lot superfluous explosions just for wow factor that you normally see in modern sci-fi moves like Transformers and Pacific Rim. Just really well crafted and choreographed.
The animation was really well done too. Again, a lot of really beautiful subtlety. So often in these kinds of movies the action can feel so over-acted and it was nice to see they held back a lot and went for something less heavy handed.
No movie is perfect though and I do have some criticisms if we’re being honest. Mostly related to things that seemed out of place amongst all the amazing quality. For example the lip-synch animation in general looked kind of stiff and subdued and at times distracting. I wondered if there was a secondary team that did that part after the main animation was done. Also the design of a lot of the background human characters seemed kind of simplistic and out of place. There was a marked difference in the quality of the main characters hair and those in the background. I have a feeling they just ran out of time and money to make it look better with so many characters on the screen at once. Which was quite a feet in and of itself. But even saying all that, these things were very small compared to the how much quality they packed onto the screen at once.
As far as the Blender aspect goes, I think there’s going to be a lot of people who will assume it was just done with industry standard tools. There’s a certain natural artistic beauty to the surfacing and lighting in the movie that you just don’t see in kids movies now a days. In that respect, I feel like Tangent has actually raised the bar with this picture. Any negative aspects of the movie are just par for the course. The leap between Ozzy and Nex Gen is so huge that it makes me really excited to see what they come up with next. It just makes the fact that Blender was used even more amazing. But more than that, I think it really just underscores the importance of having really good artists that you trust working for you regardless of the tools that you use. Tangent deserve applause not for using Blender but for making a really well crafted movie.
I totally agree with you. I have always tried to point out that movies don’t need to be “Realistic”, it needs to be “Believable.”
I disagree. 3D animation movies don’t need to be either “realistic” or “believable” but for me they must be lovable.
The trailer looks amazing! Can’t wait to watch it with my daughter.
That’s awesome! I had an idea on one way the pixel display could be done using dynamic paint. I started a thread to chronicle my tests.
It’ll be interesting to compare notes once you release your method.