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Network Rail
show user profile  bonzepeet
Hey everyone! It's been a long time since I last managed a post here but it's nice to see some familiar faces are still around ;)

It's not very often I get to post up any work that I do, what with being gagged by contracts and legal blabber but we just finished working on an advert for the UK's major rail operator. We helped Darkside Animation and Nick Scott Studios produce the concept animation for Pretzel Films and Network Rail's big reveal of their new futuristic rail line.

The building of a whole city, landscapes, several train stations and all the character animation and rigging, special effects programming and fluid simulation was carried out in a ridiculously tight schedule of just 2 weeks from assignment through concept and to completion.

The full animation can be seen here:

Parts of it was also featured in BBC News' covering of the story plus most of the other UK press.

Cheers for looking!

read 1009 times
8/26/2009 3:52:16 PM (last edit: 8/26/2009 3:52:16 PM)
show user profile  Nik Clark
Awesome. I saw this earlier today. Great work.

read 996 times
8/26/2009 4:04:35 PM (last edit: 8/26/2009 4:04:35 PM)
show user profile  ScotlandDave
Wicked guys that`s an amazing piece of work! Well done..

Any thoughts on what you`d have done differently/improved etc had u to do it again?

Website | Blog | Contact | Vimeo

read 983 times
8/26/2009 4:21:39 PM (last edit: 8/26/2009 4:21:39 PM)
show user profile  Joey Parker Jr.
Added to favs. Nice job Pete!
 photo 2012-sig_small3_zpsbd114b69.png

read 973 times
8/26/2009 4:40:03 PM (last edit: 8/26/2009 4:40:03 PM)
show user profile  Reality Man
It's always nice to have great picked me right up! thx!
read 968 times
8/26/2009 4:45:52 PM (last edit: 8/26/2009 4:45:52 PM)
show user profile  Dub.
A lot of work there.

Nice work!

read 964 times
8/26/2009 4:50:33 PM (last edit: 8/26/2009 4:50:33 PM)
show user profile  bonzepeet
Cheers for the replies, guys!

If anyone's particularly interested in the process, I've gone off on an interminably long ramble about how we go about doing a rapid fire project like this, just to give an idea of why we didn't get everything that we wanted done:

We spent about 6 hours making a 3d pre-viz animatic of the whole animation, which involved setting up all the camera moves and roughing in the sets with simple geometry. This first animatic is basically a super low poly version of the final film. I think we changed three or four shots and the rest was essentially down from the get go.

We load up the animatic scene files and start swapping out the low poly proxies for the high poly final objects as they get built. When you've got an animatic nailed down on day one like that it's pretty much just 'paint by numbers' and race to the finish line, filling in all the blanks as you go and tightening up what you can.

The rendering is the same deal too - everything is set up to render in passes, so if there's a slight error on a texture, we can just re-render the fixed part of the flat colour pass without rerendering the whole thing from scratch. Pretty much as everyone else does it these days, I guess.

Even so, I think the main things I'd wish we'd have had more time on would have been for renders and the final composite. I'm currently setting up light cards and reflectors to get a proper reflection pass on the train, which is something I really wish we'd got in there. Anything else would have been endless tweaks, really. Some more time unifying the lighting in the comp or finding some way to get the pretty translucency on the ink that we'd originally had but couldn't get time to render, would definitely have helped.

I'd started setting up roads and putting in cars and animating traffic flow for the city shots but I think somebody wisely pried my fingers off the mouse and made me go do something else before I tried to spend the whole two weeks trying to make Liberty City out of graph paper. Would have been cool to see, though, if I'd just had another day or two.

So, yeah. Too much text here. As a little credit thing, I need to add this if I'm posting it here:

I mostly modelled/animate/rendered all of the city shots and final station shots, amongst other things.

- Client: Pretzel Films
- End Client: Network Rail
- Concept & Director: Nick Scott, Nick Scott Studios
- Production Company: Darkside Animation

- Animation Producer: Andrew Bishop
- Compositing: Richard Acton
- Audio: Si Begg
- Modelling: Dan Barker, Peet Lee, Mike Rollinson
- Scene setup & Rendering: Dan Barker, Andrew Bishop, Greg Cox, Julian Davidson, Lucy Hare, Peet Lee, Vegard Myklebust, Simon Percy, Caroline Phasey & Mike Rollinson.
- Character Rigging & Animation: Vegard Myklebust
- Effects programming: Vegard Myklebust
- Effects animation: Peet Lee, Vegard Myklebust, Julian Davidson, Dan Barker
- Fluid simulation: Julian Davidson.

Thanks to everyone for the kind words. It's good to see y'all agaiin!

read 930 times
8/26/2009 7:08:54 PM (last edit: 8/27/2009 6:49:36 AM)
show user profile  npcph
good to see you again. amazing stuff there. loved the whole thing.

read 908 times
8/26/2009 8:52:09 PM (last edit: 8/26/2009 8:52:09 PM)
show user profile  inxa
That's awesome stuff mate.

I always wonder how do we show the geometry filling up the scene. Hmm, any clue on that.

Those 6 hours making the 3d pre-viz have definitely paid off.

Super stuff.

Edit - The ink bottle and bridge part, real cool. I feel in the beginning part where the paper edge moves as if due to the wind could have been done a bit better.

3D ArchVis
Photography blog
Facebook Photography page

read 889 times
8/26/2009 10:20:54 PM (last edit: 8/26/2009 10:25:04 PM)
show user profile  dd
nice work mate, fun project

read 866 times
8/27/2009 2:33:31 AM (last edit: 8/27/2009 2:33:31 AM)
show user profile  MONOLITH02
Very nice indeed. I saw the story covered by BBC news. Must be very gratifying seeing your work get that exposure. Well done.

"The only thing worse than failure is the regret at having never tried."

read 862 times
8/27/2009 3:05:45 AM (last edit: 8/27/2009 3:05:45 AM)
show user profile  mrgrotey
Awesome work dude :)

read 858 times
8/27/2009 3:10:59 AM (last edit: 8/27/2009 3:10:59 AM)
show user profile  Chris123643
awe inspiring... i hope to work for a company working in a team producing this kinda stuff.

read 843 times
8/27/2009 4:01:49 AM (last edit: 8/27/2009 4:01:49 AM)
show user profile  STRAT
job well done :)


read 832 times
8/27/2009 4:26:07 AM (last edit: 8/27/2009 4:26:07 AM)
show user profile  advance-software
So, Network Rail have commissioned CG work for a rail line they already know they can't afford.

Sounds like a great use of public money.

Still, work for you guys (nice job).

"futuristic" - hmmm ... not really. As stated in the BBC piece, the French did this years ago.

Whatever happened to maglev ?

Solution: Get the 2M unemployed off their lazy backsides to go build it.

People of Sheffield : You get a lower speed train to the nearest high speed link, then change trains. It's really not so difficult to comprehend.

Rail analyst : "Serious study needed" ... see TGV.

Will this proposed new rail line conform to European standards so TGV trains can travel through all the way up to Scotland ? IIRC our rail lines are currently narrower than the French equivalent (except for Eurotunnel + station links). Adopting the French / Euro standard & illustrating the advantages - direct link Paris/Brussels->Scotland might encourage more investment (inc. Euro investment) and further CG commissions to illustrate / sell the point.
read 830 times
8/27/2009 4:29:16 AM (last edit: 8/27/2009 7:08:03 AM)
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