| Source: SplutterFish, LLC
June 09, 2003 --Beans Magic Co.,
Ltd. based in Tokyo creates cinematics for games, television
programs, commercials, and more recently, human character development.
Impressed with principal Koji Yamagami's use of Brazil r/s in the
incredibly life-like character studies pictured, in May we asked him
about his work and here is what he told us through an interpreter at
SplutterFish: Please tell us a bit about your
background as an artist and how you started creating
Koji Yamagami: I started working in interior design and
got into computer work by studying CAD. I then became interested in 3D
computer graphics and four years ago I began to study 3D modeling and
work as a character animator for motion pictures
SF: How did you first hear about Brazil r/s and how
long have you been working with the software?
KY: As a 3ds max user, I regularly check the HALLUCINO
(http://www.maxuser.com/) site here in Japan, which offers comprehensive
3ds max-related information. I read some information about Brazil r/s
at HALLUCINO, downloaded the public test version, and tested it.
I purchased Brazil r/s approximately three months ago while I
was creating this character and have been impressed with its ability to
render photorealistic images. One of the real benefits is that I can
still use the base functions in 3ds max and work as I normally do. In
other words, I don't have to change the way I work in order to use
SF: Some of the human character images that we have
seen are amazingly photorealistic. What qualities in the Brazil
Rendering System enabled you to achieve this level of realism?
KY: I would like to ask you in reverse; how did you make a
tool that has such nice rendering quality? (Grin)
Brazil skin shader test
Having tested many Global Illumination renderers, I came away with the
impression that the Brazil Rendering System provided superior
photorealistic images. I think the combination of Brazil r/s's
fast and correct Global Illumination calculation and the ray tracing
refraction features were able to highlight the quality of the image.
SF: Can you provide a brief summary of the 'mamegal'
project? What were some of the rendering challenges you faced in
creating this character?
KY: This character is being developed for Discreet
Tokyo. I was really focused on creating a beautiful character, and one
of the most challenging aspects of the project was creating the
character in a very short amount of time. There was a total of about a
month, but in reality, there was only about two weeks to complete the
Brazil r/s's speed and the ease in adjusting parameter
settings were very helpful in being able to finish the project under a
severe deadline. Another tough challenge was the rendering for the
poster size. It took 7 minutes to render an 800 x 600 image, but took
several hours to render a 6K image.
SF: We understand you have also used the Brazil r/s Toon
shader. Could you share your impressions with us?
KY: I have used other toon renderers in the past for a
job on a TV program, which was a composite of a cel animation. I used a
different 3D package/renderer combination back then, and was looking for
something similar to use in 3ds max. So far, I am only testing the new
Brazil r/s Toon shader, but find that even when rendering many polygons,
the anti-aliasing works well and is quite stable. It rendered this image
in 1 minute and 30 seconds, which is very fast.
SF: You have commented previously that "Brazil r/s is a
very stable, fast, and very high quality rendering system." Are there
any other cool features or comments you would like to make about using
Brazil r/s in a production environment?
KY: I haven't been using Brazil r/s for very long, but I
am quite satisfied with the results so far. It is stable and I get the
results I expect. Remarkably, I haven't experienced any crashes!
When using Global Illumination in general I have found previously that
it is sometimes difficult to match/merge the texture mapping. But
with Brazil r/s, surprisingly, they fit the map. Oh, and although I did
not use it on this project, I have noticed that the Brazil r/s's
caustics and skin shaders are fast, too. I would like to continue
testing them and to use them in other projects as well.
SplutterFish LLC, established in 2001, is a
Venice, California-based software provider of high-end, affordable and
efficient 3D rendering tools. The company develops solutions focused
towards the needs of production professionals working in the film,
broadcast, architectural and product visualization, design engineering,
3D cartoon-style animation, and CG research industries. SplutterFish
software products are currently available from the company and its
international reseller representatives.