Project: Tony Hawk Secret HuckJam Factory
FX Studio: StrobFX
Director: Patrick Boivin
Producer: 900 Films

I, Jocelyn “Strob” Simard did all the 3D on this using 3dsMax and also a bit of XSI in my own independent studio: StrobFX. My friend Patrick Boivin was the director and he also did the compositing in Adobe After Effects. We did this for Tony Hawk’s 900 films in California. Pat went there and shot it “Phylactere Cola” style. 900 films’ crew built the set from the back of a giant skate board ramp and I added 3D enhancements to the set. Tony Hawk himself is barely recognizable as the grimacing mad scientist. I explained to Pat how to take 360 HDRI pictures with my Sunex fisheye lens and I used those for the lighting and reflections using a linear workflow and 32 bit float EXR as file format. The 3D job consisted in designing, modeling, texturing, rigging and animating the high security lab door, all the robot arms and set extensions and the highly detailed red BMX (the white one at the end was filmed because it was not interacting). I have to thank my friend Joseph Tran who is learning 3D and was trainee for some modeling on the bike so I had to teach him 3dsmax and XSI modeling at the same time. Everything was done over the course of 2 months. I used XSI only to do some hard surface bevels because it create cleaner bevel with more quads in it (like Modo do too). 3dsMax is doing star patterns in bevel with lots of triangles which becomes ugly after turbosmoothing. Or you can add lots of loops in the corners but then you get millions of useless extra polygons after smoothing.

The most difficult part was modeling the bike with its 1024 pieces and 2.7 millions polygons. I liked designing the door and the way it opens and also the robot arms mechanics. Achieving good motion blur for some shots was insanely long with Mental Ray. After this project I bought Vray for my future projects cause the motion blur is way faster. I did a test after delivery on the shot with the robot arm pedaling (circular motion is hard to motion blur right in 2D so I had to use 3D motion blur). It took 3.5 hours to render a frame in MR and only 3 minutes in vray…
strobFX.com

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