Brazil r/s
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Artist Spotlight

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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 Discreet Tokyo.

SplutterFish: Please tell us a bit about your background as an artist and how you started creating animations?

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 Brazil r/s.

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?

Brazil skin shader test

KY: I would like to ask you in reverse; how did you make a tool that has such nice rendering quality? (Grin)
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 work.

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.

About SplutterFish

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.