Cool VFX: Important Looking Pirates win another gig with makers of Kon-Tiki
In a follow-up studio focus, Niklas Jacobson and Måns Björklund from Scandinavian studio ILP tell us about a new challenge following Kon-Tiki.
▲ A series of famous landmarks feature in the 60-second film for a Norwegian oil guild
After wrapping up their work for the feature film Kon-Tiki, the Norwegian director duo Joachim Rönning and Espen Sandberg offered Scandinavian studio Important Looking Pirates a new great challenge.
Having completed a dramatic white shark sequence for Kon-Tiki, they were called upon to work on an epic piece for the Norwegian Oil Guild. The 60-second full HD spot is about the secret wonders of the world and the impressive engineers behind them.
Producer Måns Björklund says: “The challenge was to create 50 seconds of full CGI with complex dynamic water simulation. This task was right up our alley having completed some very complex water shots for Kon-tiki.
“We have a lot of experience of liquid simulations since we were early adopters of Exotic Matter’s fluids solver Naiad,” says Niklas Jacobson, Visual Effects Supervisor at ILP. “We have been their clients since the alpha days in 2008 and over the years we have completed several high-end commercial productions with Naiad.”
▲ Creating the film was the most data-heavy work Important Looking Pirates had ever done
This new project required simulations on a much greater scale than Kon-tiki so ILP had to do lots of new research and testing of various techniques.
As Niklas explains: “This project was a real technical challenge. The final simulations consisted of hundreds of millions of particles in order to convey the scale of the shots. To render such quantity of particles we relied on our proprietary in-house render engine, Tempest. We felt that the off-the-shelf software programs had trouble handling those amounts of particles.
“The sheer amount of data that had to be pushed through our pipeline everyday was overwhelming and it really stress-tested our hardware and technical infrastructure.
“By the end of the show the work files took up 30 terabytes of online storage, which is equivalent to about 45,000 CDs, a factor that is easy to overlook when working with complex simulations.”
▲ ILP has a lot of experience of liquid simulations, having been early adopters of Exotic Matter’s fluids solver Naiad
In 3D World issue 163, we take an in-depth look at how three Scandivanian studios Gimpville, Storm Studios and Fido rose to the challenge of creating Hollywood-style VFX for Kon-Tiki at a tenth of the cost of a Hollywood production.
Read more about ILP’s work on Kon-Tiki.
Learn where to find textures for 3D projects at our sister site, Creative Bloq.
on Thursday, November 8th, 2012 at 2:09 pm under Movies, Showcase.
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Tags: CG, Kon-Tiki, particle simulation, VFX, water