Action Ident Breakdown

Continuing with the recent Foxtel On Demand rebrand breakdowns, next is Action. This ident was created using Maxon Cinema 4D, Adobe After Effects and plug-ins from GenArts, Boris FX, FX Factory, Video CoPilot and textures from Greyscale Gorilla and The Pixel Lab.

ActionBlower01
The main section of the blower started with a rounded Rectangle spline modified to remove the bottom rounding and flatten the base. This was then extruded, converted to polygons and modelled to add the flat top and side struts.

ActionBlower01
The original rounded rectangle was extruded, converted to polygons and modelled. Using the same rectangle spline as the block ensured that this section registered perfectly with the main section.

ActionBlower01
The bolts were modelled from a Tube object, with an Instance object used to create the duplicates.

ActionBlower01
A Cogwheel spline and Circle spline were combined using a Spline Mask object, extruded, then combined with Tube objects to create the main gear.

ActionBlower01
Bolts for the main gear were added using Cloner object with radial distribution.

ActionBlower01
The logo was extruded from Illustrator splines and positioned on a plate extruded from a rounded Rectangle spline. The rivets were duplicated using Instance objects.

ActionBlower01
The Edge To Spline command was used to split off a spline from the top of the block. This was then extruded, converted to polygons and modelled.

ActionBlower01
Bolts were created using n-Side spline objects united using a Spline Mask object, then extruded. The washers are extruded Circle splines. The bolts were duplicated and positioned using Cloner objects.

ActionBlower01
The top of the blower was created using rounded Rectangle splines and a Loft. Generally all elements were created with low polygons and dropped into a Subdivision Surface for smoothing.

ActionBlower01
The flaps were created using extruded Circle splines and the levers were box modelled. All of the flap elements were grouped inside the Flap Rotator null.

ActionBlower01
The flap Circle splines and rounded rectangle were combined using the Spline Mask object, extruded and converted to polygons, from which the arches were cut out. I intentionally used less control cuts on the arches to give them a more rounded appearance, which works well with the Chrome material.

ActionBlower01
The grill was created in Illustrator, imported and extruded. I find it easier to create these kinds of patterns in Illustrator.

ActionBlower01ActionBlower01The cables are a combination of Tubes, low resolution Cylinders and Sweeps.

ActionBlower01
The belt was created by combining an inner and outer Bezier spline inside a Spline Mask object then extruding.

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The bonnet was box modelled. The Edge To Spline command was used to create the Trim spline, which was then dropped into a Sweep with a flattened Circle spline.

ActionBlower01
The finished model.

ActionBlower01
The tight framing of the shot made it unnecessary to model anything more than a simple windscreen and bonnet. A simple Cube was placed below the bonnet and extended up under the windscreen to ensure that no light or background could be seen through any gaps and that the windscreen was dark.

ActionBlower01
Greyscale Gorilla Texture Kit Pro and The Pixel Lab Material Pack once again came in handy for quick and useful materials.

ActionBlower01
The majority of the lighting was done using an HDRI image from hdrlabs.com, inside of Greyscale Gorilla’s HDR Studio.

ActionBlower01
The HDR image made a huge difference to the overall illumination and is reflected beautifully in the chrome. The logo was still too dark at this stage.

ActionBlower01
Placing two Area lights helped the logo to stand out better. It’s important not to over illuminate and lose detail, which gives more flexibility when grading in After Effects.

ActionBlower01
Depth of Field was activated and adjusted to make it quite narrow, keeping the logo area in sharpest focus.

ActionBlower01
This view shows the two Area lights and the front and rear blur positioning on the Physical camera.

ActionBlower01
The gear was animated on the Z axis. Keyframes were set for the Offset U parameter of the Leather Black material to create the illusion that the belt was also moving,  Motion blur was enabled for the final render.

ActionBlower01
The blower was nested inside a Null object with a Vibrate tag. Low settings for the X Position and Z Rotation make the blower vibrate slightly from side to side.

ActionBlower01
The background environment was rendered separately from the blower in Cinema 4D, imported into After Effects, brightened using Curves and blurred using Sapphire RackDefocus.

ActionBlower01
The blower was rendered in 32bit Open EXR format and comped on top of the background in After Effects.

ActionBlower01
ActionBlower01Multi-passes and object buffers were used to darken the windscreen, brighten the flaps and increase the reflection in the bonnet.

ActionBlower01
The initial grade was done using Curves to brighten the image and tweak the blue channel.

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Video CoPilot Optical Flares provided a subtle flare.

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The final grade was done using Boris Continuum Complete Two Strip Color.

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Sapphire Grain was used for some very subtle film grain.

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FX Factory Pro’s Heat effect was used for the the heat haze look.

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FT-Lens Distortion was used for subtle chromatic aberration.

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A subtle increase in exposure finished off the look.

Discuss
  1. illd
    Reply

    A (wild) thing of beauty 😉 Thanks for sharing John!

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      You’re welcome!

  2. roger
    Reply

    nice !!! thanks for sharing John!

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      You’re welcome Roger.

  3. Matt
    Reply

    Wow, that’s beautiful work. I’ve fought long and hard to get reflections to look like that on industrial metal objects. I always get lost in what to do after the c4d render, and how to make it better in after effects, this gave a little look into it to see what the next steps would be.

    Just a little note though, The butterflies open when then throttle is pushed, not close. So, the engine would rev as the flaps opened, and normally would be closed at idle. I’m a bit of a motor head, so I notice these little things.

    For the background, did you use the camera movement from c4d to match the move in AE, or was the background rendered in c4d as well?

    Thanks for sharing, cool little piece!

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Thanks Matt, I asked around the office for how the “butterflies” worked. They are opening but probably not far enough perhaps. The background was rendered in Cinema 4D, it’s the Sky Object with the HDR. Best, John.

  4. JT
    Reply

    Looks really sharp! The engine revs and the blower closes, it’s supposed to open when it revs to let more air in. I love that shake though!

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Thanks JT.

  5. Dan
    Reply

    Beautiful work, John! Love the breakdowns. The gun you are modeling is very impressive as well. I have to just hunker down and force myself into a project like that as well. I’m sure you’ve learned a ton when it comes to modeling doing that. Keep up the great work. Best, Dan.

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Thanks Dan. Yes the gun has been really good, it’s showing me everything I don’t know!

  6. Anil Viji
    Reply

    Another superb breakdown sir. I truly appreciate your work.

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Thanks Anil.

  7. Scott
    Reply

    Great work! Thank you for sharing the process with us. How quick was the turnaround time on this project? Thanks again

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      You’re welcome Scott, I had 10 days on this one.

      • Scott
        Reply

        Wow very impressive indeed!

  8. chris
    Reply

    This was great, thank you!

  9. fredaubailly
    Reply

    Amazing work and a big thanks for the breakdown.
    I’ve got a little negative critic though…
    I think lack of work on the windshield almost ruins the movie. It looks like some sheet of plastic…
    You could have work a little bit on this to add realism. Reflection and a little bit of colored transparency. A quickly made human form inside the car and a torus for the steering wheel would have done the trick then.

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      There’s always room for improvement!

  10. Jamie Oakley
    Reply

    Hey John I watched your interview with Tim Clapham and noted that you said you do a modeling tutorial every morning. What are some of the ones you’ve found most useful and who are some of your favorite online tutors?

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Hi Jamie,
      I got a good start with Making It Look Great 8, then 10. After that I spent a few months doing the modelling tutorials on digital tutors.com. Also check out Shane Benson on vimeo.

      • Jamie Oakley
        Reply

        Thanks!

  11. bobo
    Reply

    Thanks John!

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      You’re welcome Bobo.

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