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Tuesday, 31 January 2012

My Vimeo Video on Lesterbanks

Mengdi (my colleague) spotted my Vimeo.com particles video tutorial on Lesterbanks.com!

http://lesterbanks.com/2011/12/methods-for-resetting-particles-initial-state-in-maya/

This is totally unexpected and a pleasant surprise. It is so exciting that tutorial portals actually pick up things (even blog posts) that are relevant to them, and I am glad that I get to contribute to their site!

Hope there'll be people out there who will benefit from the tutorials.

The Definition of Wedging in FX

I came across a term that I havent been using for 2 months. Its called "wedge".

I don't know if its a proper industry term for FX artists, but at dneg London all the leads and artists working on costume use it. I've tried to look-up the term on the internet, but I havent been able to find it in an article that mentions it in a vfx context.

To wedge some values is to set off a few simulations with a range of value,(hopefully derived from some kind of educated guess).

At the end of the processing, the FX artist comes back and takes a look at the result and use the value that gave the result closest to his/her satisfaction.

I am wondering why it is called wedging. It is probably due to the fact that the artist is trying to squeeze in a few simulations instead getting the computer to just process 1 set of values. This is true especially in a big facility where you have a huge number of processors. To send off a few sim jobs simultaneously would definitely be much more efficient than sending off 1 job, waiting for the result, and then setting off another job with another set of refined values.

This would apply to rendering as well, where the Lighting artist would set off different renders with different values or light placements, and see which of the returned results are more favourable.