When I was seven years old, some well-meaning adult asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up. Proudly, I said: “An artist.” No, you don’t,  He said, You can’t make a living being an artist. My little 7-year-old Picasso dream was crushed. But I gather myself went off in search of a new dream eventually setting on being a scientist perhaps something like the next Albert Einstein. I have always loved math and science, later coding. And so I decided to study Computer Programming in college. In my junior year, my computer graphic professor showed us these wonderful short film. It was the first computer animation any of us had ever seen. I watched these films in wonder, transfixed. Fireworks going off in my head thinking “That is what I want to in my life.” The idea that all the math, science and code I had been learning could come together to create these world and characters and stories I connected with , was pure magic to me. Just two years later, I started working at the place that made those films, Pixar Animation Studios. It was here I learned how we actually execute those films. To create our movies, we create a 3-dimensional world inside the computer. We start with a point that makes a line that makes a face. That creates characters or trees and rocks that eventually become a forest. And because three-dimensional world, we can move camera inside that world. I was fascinated about all of it. When I got the first taste of lighting. Lighting in practice is placing inside 3-dimensional world . I actually have icons of light. I move around in there. Here you can see I’ve added a light. I’m turning on the rough version of lighting in our software, turn on shadows,  and placing the light, As I place a light, I think about what it might look like in real life, but balance that out with what we need artistically and for the story. So it might look like this at first, but as we adjust and move that in weeks of work in rough form it might look like this, and in final form, like this. There’s this moment in lighting that made me fall utterly in love with it. It’s where we go from this to this. It’s the moment all where pieces come together and suddenly the world comes to life as if it’s an actual place that exists. The moment never gets old especially for that little-seven-year-old girl that wanted to be an artist. As I learned to light, I learned about using light to help tell story, to set the time of day, to create the mood to guide the audience’s eye, how to make a character look appealing or stand out in a busy set.  Did you see Wally.There he is. As we can see, we can create any world that we want inside the computer. We created the world with monster, with robot falling in love. We can even make pig fly. This untethered artistic freedom it can create chaos. It can create an unbelievable world, unbelievable movement ,thing that are jarring to the audience. So to combat this, we tether ourselves with science. We use science with the world we know as a backbone to ground ourselves in something relatable and recognizable. “Finding Nemo” is an excellent example of this.  A major portion of the movie takes place underwater. But how do you look underwater? In early research development, we took a clip underwater footage  and  recreated in the computer. Then we broke it back down to see which elements look up that underwater look. One of the most critical important elements was how the light travels through the water. So we coded up a light that mimics this physic. First the visibility  of the water and then happen with the color. Objects close to the eye have their full, rich colors. As light travels deeper into the water, we lose the red wavelengths, then the green wavelengths leaving us with.   In this clip, You can see 2 other important elements. The first is the surge and swell or the invisible underwater current that pushes the bits of particulate around in the water. The second is the caustics. These are the ribbon of light like you see under bottom of a pool that are crend the sun bends through the crests of the ripples and waves on the ocean’s surface. Here we have the fog beams. These give us color depth cues,  But also tells which direction is up in short where we don’t see the water surface. The other really cool thing you can see here is that we lit that particulate only wiht the caustics,

Advertisements