Computer Arts - - Projects - Jonathan Gales

We worked in a rel­a­tively small pro­duc­tion team of four over a two-week pe­riod. We started with the idea of cre­at­ing more lit­eral, fig­u­ra­tive ar­chi­tec­tural spa­ces. For ex­am­ple, one scene is an in­ter­pre­ta­tion of Ponte City, a residential tower in South Africa. That’s the kind of space we’re in­ter­ested in, and it lent it­self ge­o­met­ri­cally to mod­el­ling a ver­sion of it. As the pro­ject went on, we also de­vel­oped more form-based and ab­stract spa­ces that lent them­selves to the in­stal­la­tion just as well.

The tran­si­tion be­tween spa­ces was the most cre­ative chal­lenge – how do you move from one space to another? But when we de­signed it, ev­ery­thing came back to the core con­cept of un­wrap­ping or un-peel­ing.

The de­sign of the an­i­ma­tion var­ied, ei­ther fo­cus­ing the viewer’s at­ten­tion on one area or sur­round­ing them as it wrapped around. We just wanted to test dif­fer­ent sce­nar­ios. For ex­am­ple, there is a slightly origami-es­que seg­ment, which un­folds from one point and then wraps around the back of the dome; or a square-in­dented one that ro­tates around the viewer. It makes the viewer cu­ri­ous to look around and see what else is hap­pen­ing.

All the an­i­ma­tions are done in 3D us­ing stan­dard an­i­ma­tion tech­niques. Our main ren­der en­gine is V-Ray: it’s equipped with a dome cam­era that will ren­der in a cir­cu­lar dis­torted for­mat which is di­rectly ap­pro­pri­ated for these dome pro­jec­tions. So the V-Ray phys­i­cal dome cam­era drove what we were do­ing tech­ni­cally. All the cam­era work is static – it’s very much about tak­ing the viewer through the space, through the ar­chi­tec­ture of the vis­ual bounds of what they see.

The Ponte City tower in South Africa was one of the spa­ces that inspired the team

The ini­tial idea was to cre­ate more lit­eral spa­ces for the film

As the pro­ject pro­gressed, they also de­vel­oped more ab­stract spa­ces

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