Romeu&Julieta were listed as one of the top 10 digital art studios in the world by Larva Graphics earlier this year, and we got a chance to ask them some questions about their work on the “Trident + Lollapalooza 2016′ campaign – created in just 7 days!
You only had 7 days from start to finish for the Trident + Lollapalooza project, how did you manage to hit the deadline? Did you get any sleep?!
Sleep, what is this? lol. As complex as this Trident project may seem, we could organize everything to have the least possible nuisance during the production. An example of this were the 3D scans of real people, which saved us an absurd amount of time compared to having to model them.
How easy or hard was it working with highly detailed, high poly scanned models?
3D Scan is a strong ally here at Romeu&Julieta, we follow the examples of the VFX market where scanning of real people is the surest way to get a good quality model in a very short time, such as on this project. The process of capturing the model takes just over 10 minutes, then we do the RAW processing and clean up the model in ZBrush (which reduced the noise and optimized the mesh). In the end, and in less than 1 day, we have a hyper-realistic model ready to be lit and placed in the scene.
It is difficult to make ice look good in a 3D render, and according to the “Making Of” you shared, it only took 1 day to get everything looking fantastic! What tips can you share on how to make materials and lighting for ice?
Ice is always complex, because it has much to do with the influence of the environment on the reflection and the refraction. I will try to explain a little bit and, to help understand, here is a picture of the setup we used:
For the composition in the scene, we used an HDRi in Enviroment in the “Reflections Override” and refraction was made by a “plane”, which was added behind the model with a real image of a split/cracked ice.
We used Max’s native Blend shader to mix the shaders of “refraction” and “absorption”. In the “refraction” shader the values were: Refraction: 1.0, IOR 1.33, Glossiness: 0.96
Then we used a mask in the Blend mix to differentiate the solid ice from translucent. In the “absorption” shader the values were: Refraction: 0.3, IOR 1.33, Glossiness: 0.6
Using this mix of shaders plus the plane with a noise map behind the model was our secret to get the convincing effect of ice for the model. And the secret to the final look dev was doing 2 renders, one with reflection and the other with SSS, and mixing them in post production.
You’ve used Corona on all your latest projects – what made you choose that as your renderer of choice?
It was the rendering performance and the easy setup of materials and light. We work mainly with advertising, and this market is often unfair when it comes to production schedules, so we have to use all possible weapons to do quality work without increasing production time and costs.
Corona, since its beginning, has been our main ally in render times, with a reduction in render time by 1/3 compared to other renders that we worked with. Also, it has a practical and efficient setup for materials and lights settings.
As well as realism, you have projects that adopt a cartoon-style to the characters – how does Corona meet both of those approaches for you?
We enjoy it a lot, using Corona to create our characters. We always experience new things with every update of Corona Renderer, and we believe that in the future it will be amazing to see a skin shader, for objects that require a setup more complex to SSS. And we are cheering for a grand solution to HAIR. ^^D
You were recently listed by Larva Graphics as one of the top 10 digital art studios in the world – how did that feel?
Illuminated, lol! No, just kidding. It was a big surprise, as I said to some friends, I noticed a lot of people missing on that list, studios with infinitely superior work to our projects, whose work I admire. But I will not deny that I was very happy to have such positive feedback on our work, we have been working hard for almost 10 years to bring something new to the market, either with hyper-realism or with 2D illustrations, and consequently we try to inspire other artists to do the same. It makes us proud to be in a top 10 with such fantastic people.
Your by-line for the company is “All made with love” and that shows through in your images, which are bursting with energy and fun. How do you keep that sense of fun while dealing with tight deadlines and creative challenges?
If you don’t do your job smooth, you’re dead! Even though we are working on projects for others, we believe the JOB is also part of us, and that motivates us to go beyond the expected and overcome technical and artistic challenges and surprise the client with something amazing.
We always do everything well, because one day that project will pull in another, and so on. We like to think big, to always do great. After all, we are passionate about art, and “do everything with love” (#ALLMADEWITHLOVE)
I appreciate your time, and keep on making such amazing work!
It is us who appreciate the opportunity and space to talk a bit about what we do.