Earlier today I’m having a discussion with a friend, let’s call him Liam, about a particular bit of R&D for a new project we’re working on. We’re trying to find a good way of rendering 3D elements in After Effects using camera paths from 3ds Max… A simple thing until fulldome is involved and then several weeks and a myriad of plugins are required to figure it out. We’re struggling for a good solution. But after speaking about my new project, I realise I’m trying to do the opposite thing. I’m trying to do motion graphic style work in 3ds Max. Liam asks me why?… I tell him I’m not totally sure. But really I did have a few things in mind when I started. I was trying to come up with some new techniques, explore new avenues etc. But mainly I was thinking about rendering. It’s hard to maintain the momentum required to complete personal projects of any kind, but fulldome is a weighty beast. 4k resolution is the standard resolution and testing in domes is essential. All the issues that come with rendering fulldome compound the timescale and the effort required to push something to completion. So my last project I decided to do 8k, 3D and 60fps, which was stupid really. There’s not many companies in the world doing this. But it was only 1 minute long, so it was manageable. I’ve sent the 8k files to the only domes in the world capable of playing them… old skool… On a hard drive, by post. Uploading the 100gb masters just isn’t a viable thing at the moment. So anyway, back to the new project. My thoughts were, if I can keep everything in 3ds Max, as vectors with no mapping, it could be rendered at any resolution without needing to create 8k standard textures… It could be rendered at 16k or any resolution. It could potentially be ran in realtime. No need to render anything. No need to post hard drives. … … So then another friend, let’s call him Paul, sends me a link to this: Pixels to be superseded by vector technology in new video codec. The article highlights the issues that are becoming more apparent with higher resolution imagery and how the way we store images might be changing dramatically. After having a plethora of issues with my brilliant idea of trying to produce motion graphic style animation in 3ds Max, I’m not so sure why I’m doing it.
Some concept art created for the new project. These shapes are the spatial and temporal dignostic devices used to analyse realtime EEG data and show connected activity throughout the brain. They dance like digital shrimp accross the data vessels. Math sticks, if you will.