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Striding forwards: R&D and experimental VFX

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New experimental VFX videos, designed to showcase complex simulations and highly detailed 3D animation, have been released by the R&D team at SBLabs.

Saddington Baynes is well-known for pushing the boundaries of technical innovation in the creative industry, establishing an R&D arm known as SBLabs to showcase this in-house ability. The purpose of SBLabs is to train artists and perfect technical discipline in preparation for commercial projects.

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The resulting videos range from celebrating London Pride with CG paint, to replicating Gangnam Style through motion capture:

  • Love is Love – Created using FLIP Fluid Solver, with viscosity and customised colour mixing. The centerpiece statue was simulated using 3D photo scans, before being rendered with Arnold.
  • VFX Dancers – Procedurally generated geometry, particle simulations and fur were created with shaders, driven by custom attributes, and then attached to motion capture. The results were rendered with Mantra.
  • Gangnam Style – A combination of motion capture and cloth simulation, using Flipbook (a player in Houdini that creates a sped up render).
  • ‘InflataSean’ – A human replica generated by processing data from full-body scans. Simulations were then applied to produce an inflation effect. The results were rendered in Mantra/Arnold.

Each video allows the artists at SBLabs to indulge in a bit of hands-on training, to develop their skills in a fun way. The projects are also about self-expression – a chance for artists to exercise creativity and imagination, such as teasing their colleague Sean by turning him into a blow-up doll.

Although no ground-breaking technology was used, SBLabs gives artists a chance to experiment with existing tools in innovative ways. A full reel combining each experiment can be found here.

 

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