Project Pause, 2017 Opening title
3D Concept Art presents, Pause. A project interview with Mike Zeng about his opening title for Pause festival 2017. The event is hosted in Melbourne, Australia.
He tries to convey a feeling of isolation between human and their environment in this CG opening title. He is a director and a 3D generalist.
3D Concept Art presents a special projects interview about Pause – Opening title.
| 3D Concept Art: Tell us about your starting idea, how was it born and what was your main goal?
| Mike Zeng: → I had four ideas at first, and the first one is entirely different from the final. The first one is inspired by the micro world and I want to design all the nanoscale objects and activities such as DNA duplication and Antibody, but it was hard to me to design all the objects and required lots of new techniques that I haven’t acquired yet. After that, I just abandoned two ideas which were too hard to execute out. Somehow I watched my childhood anime called Digimon Adventure and its opening is pretty unique and shows different shot angles of a Japanese city, and some digital devices among the shots enhance the unreal and the fantasy, so I took the idea and developed it to the final opening titles of Pause Fest.
| 3CA: What initialize the process of creation of the concepts and then what should be in the different perspectives? Why did you choose those environments?
| M.Z: → After decided the concept, I took lots of references on the website and picked the environment by simple logic.
It is assuming a man is going to his office and then came back home. So we would have a department to a parking yard which means he is going to work from home and take his car, then he leaves office and waits for a bus, take a subway to a street to have night snack and then go home.This logic is totally irrelevant to the theme, but it works when I construct the shots.
| 3CA:During the time you spent working on the concepts for each shot, what did you expect to be the more challenging?
| M.Z: → There are lots of realistic CGi videos, and they are looking pretty good and admittedly realistic, but I think the most difficult thing I expected is the design part, how to create the whole shot that looks realistic but a bit of unreal and illusionary.
| 3CA: Doing opening titles is not an easy task, especially all in CG. The cat is the main character in a bigger perspective as seen. Is it any underlying meaning to why you have a cat in nearly all the shots?
| M.Z: → At first, there is no cat at all, but I came across an indie game called HK which has a cat as the main character walking in a cyberpunk Kowloon Walled City. It gives me a big shock that the cat lift the feeling of the whole environment, also I am raising cats at home, and I think maybe bring one of my cat in the scene would make me feel more closed to the whole film.
| 3CA: As you modeled for the different parts of the sequences, what did you felt was the most difficult to achieve? And the easiest? Also any tools you would recommend?
| M.Z: → I mainly modeled almost all the individual buildings and stations; they are easy enough to model by adding cubes and cylinders. The most difficult parts are maybe lighting and texturing to achieve the illusionary atmosphere of the empty city. I used Octane Render to do all the rendering, which is fast and realistic.
| 3CA: What was your texture pipeline? Did you use procedurals and what was your texture resolution?
| M.Z: → I used a pretty short pipeline that making all the materials inside Cinema 4D and the textures are mostly from Poliigon.com with average 2K textures; some of the textures are procedural such as steel and wet floor.
| 3CA: Which elements do you feel are important for creating a good atmosphere?
| M.Z: → Lights are pretty significant in this opening titles because it is at night time and with lots of wet materials. Good lighting creates convinced reflections as well.
| 3CA: Did you have any pipeline you preferred for the shots and why? any specific workflow?
| M.Z: → I used a very short pipeline: Cinema 4D-Premiere-AfterEffects. I made all the 3d assets in Cinema4D(some external assets from internet) and textured them inside the software as well, then I rendered hardware previous of each shot and took them into Premiere to cut an animation previs. After that, I rendered each shot a style frame to lock the final looks, after all of these, I rendered all out and took them to AfterEffects for some simple grading and effects.
| 3CA: Project sometimes get bigger than expected, what were the biggest challenges and what changed your vision during the project, is that something that you would like to change now?
| M.Z: → I agree with what you said, at first I was very cautious about that, so I explored different ideas and tested all of them, making sure the tasks are executable for one man. Although I cannot ensure that the project would go on the way I expected, just setting a reasonable schedule and stick to it, that’s the only way to control what you can do.
| 3CA: What is your advice when it comes to making this type projects?
| M.Z: → Lots of ups and downs during a project are pretty normal, just stick to it and solve the problem, everything would be there in the end. Also if possible, it would be great to have a good schedule and follow it and make progress.
3D Concept Art Community thanks Mike Zeng for this interview about Pause – Opening titles. Where he shares his knowledge and his workflow on how he got this opening title done for the Pause 2017 Event in Melbourne. He also shares how his vision was from the beginning and how he was able to make it into a doable experience thanks to inspiration and passion. A commersial project and a finalization with a interesting feeling of isolation between human and their environment.
Event : Pause
Producer/Designer : Zaoeyo
Music & Sound Design : Echoic Audio
Special Thanks : George Hedon, Somei Sun, Yan Liang, Yuan Wang, XiangDong Cao and Lewis Orton
Produced at BeautyofScience(Render Machine and resources support)