Resin production studio in Adelaide integrates live action production and direction, 3D, visual effects, motion design and animation to produce commercials, feature film and television series, visual effects, post production and titles design.
Digital Media World Magazine issue 116 out now

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The studio’s team has diverse, multidisciplinary skills, evident in some of their recent work.

Fun & Games

Resin describes their new ad for local games distributor Gametraders as ‘a visual kaleidoscope’ that recognises gaming milestones from the original Nintendo console and Sega Mega-Drive through to classics like a roller skating grizzly bear. The agency Adcorp chose Resin for Gametraders, and contributed a large number of design elements and product images to the project. Resin added a few stock elements and animated the piece in After Effects to run through the collected images at top speed.
A more serious job was the commercial for the SA Premier's State Budget announcement, focused on job creation. It features a flyover of the state showing people at work in locations from construction and mining to agriculture, banking and education.

3D at Work

The agency JAM presented their treatment to Resin, who directed the shoot with co producers Piper Films. With limited time for a complex project involving 3D titles, they sourced locations and sifted through the library of existing footage. “We directed a helicopter and a range of location shoots that would allow for the placement and composition of all the 3D type required,” said Grant Lovering at Resin. “We then edited and created a 60" and 30", with extensive 3D tracking, and created the 3D type elements and lit them to belong in each of the shots.”
The Resin team used the 3D tracking - which can be achieved with software like Boujou, Syntheyes or PFTrack - to replicate the camera’s movement, lens and the positional data in the scene, and were able to accurately place the titles’ giant numbers and letters into the scenes’ 3D space. Resin followed their challenging production schedule with the compositing and grade to achieve the final product. Grant said the studio had to collaborate intensely over several days to develop a streamlined pipeline and pull the project together.

No magic bullets

“All the 3D was created in Maya and lit to match the scenes as closely as possible, keeping in mind we didn't have the opportunity to create our own HDRI's [high dynamic range imaging] for the shots. There wasn't any ‘magic bullet’ or plug-in to make these. When you want to get them sitting in the scenes convincingly, there is a lot of tweaking to do to get the look right,” said Grant.
Although they needed to combine stock and new footage, they avoided making many replacements in post. “We wanted to keep the shots looking real. We did manipulate some of the darker shots with the grade and added some lens flare and light rays to help lift a few and make the gloomy skies feel positive and optimistic, which was important given the intent of the commercial.
“The grade was fairly straight although a few of the shots were worked fairly heavily including the final aerial of the city. A major problem was the absence of a mount for the available helicopter, due to the short notice. The aerials were shot hand held out the side. We needed to do quite a bit of finessing to get them feeling nice and fluid. These limitations on the shoot aren’t visible when looking at the final result.”

Parallel pipeline
To optimise their pipeline and avoid delays, different artists handling various components worked together up and down the chain. For example, the 3D and compositing staff were working in parallel to make shot stabilisation, tracking, type design and placement, lighting, rendering, compositing and grading the shots a continuous process, so no one was left waiting for handover. “We had around 16 shots with integrated 3D elements, enough to run a pipeline like this,” Grant said. “It felt like every minute we had was used effectively, which allowed us to spend time detailing some of the shots.
We really just had a week to pull it together, which involved scouting locations, a helicopter shoot and on the ground shoot, and then the post and 3D which needed to integrate really tightly. Bringing the 3D effectively into the shots is a fairly involved process, and this is a really good example of how something quite complex and sophisticated can be pulled together in a short time frame with a studio based approach as opposed to a typical one-man-in-a-suite approach. It's how we've always worked.

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