Tuesday, 7 May 2013

IGA - Aide Gourmet

Here goes the 2nd spot of the 2013 IGA campaign. "Aide Gourmet" was about showing how much knowledge an IGA employee got in his head. For this we had to create a huge library filled with characters that suggest different idea to the client. Here's some behind-the-scenes!

View the final in english here:

IGA - Aide Gourmet - EN from SHED on Vimeo.


This was a great opportunity to revisit our favorite section of the IGA store (Fruits & Vegetables). We went back to the previous campaign and retrieve all our asset. The biggest part of the job was to re-update all the shaders since the assets were getting old and dusty!

We created this section so camera could basically film in any direction without having to rethink the assets. That way, we could reuse the same layout in the two IGA commercials.

The library section was definitely more tricky. In the end, with all the bookshelves, it contained more than 30 000 objects. We proceeded to split it in different floors so we could easily manage each "character setup" of the sequence. As for the books, we used an ICE setup to populate the bookshelves.

When the layout was done, it was exported as an Arnold standin (.ASS) so the render scene wouldn't get heavy. That way, our lighting artist could position the lights based on a lowres mesh of the scene, and the the high res object would be processed only at rendering.

You can see here the result of some of our dailies internal comments after a basic lighting setup was built to put the modelling in context.

Then of course came the shading of the environment, here's some quick shading wip:


As usual, here are all our animation step:

IGA Aide Gourmet :: Animation from SHED on Vimeo.


Our lighting pipeline goes like this. Instead of  beginning by lighting characters, we first light the environment, and go through all the pipeline with it (lighting, render, comp). There is several good reason for this. To name a few: our environment renders are way longer to render than our characters so it's good to start them as early as possible in the production and once we know the look of the background we can more easily light the characters.

Here's a small breakdown of the first shot of the commercial:

IGA Aide Gourmet :: Behind-The-Scenes from SHED on Vimeo.

Some Work In Progress of the environments Lighting:

Arnold render didn't support IES lights files, so we created our own
gobo filters to create a similar look

Some work in progress and final frames of the characters lighting

As you can see, we put the environment look dev. in rotoscopy while we light the characters so we can get a quick visual representation of the final look of the shot

 And of course, some fun technical failure

This spot was also tricky because of the number of characters. We had to create 14 characters. Of course some of them are seen in the background and doesn't need to be as polished as the main ones, but even removing those, we had 6 characters seen in close up. That means that all those character also needed proper hair grooming and simulation. In a couple of days, we will have a post about our Hair creation pipeline. So stay tuned.

Some final Full resolution (2538x1080) frames (click on the thumbnail, then open full size image in a new tab to see the real resolution) :

I hope you liked this behind-the-scenes! We definitely loved working on this commercial! Again, keep checking the blog because in a few days we'll do a post about our Hair pipeline!


  1. Very impressive! As usual, I really like the skin shader and the hairs. The lighting of the library is really nice as well. I also had fun watching the different nose shapes of the characters.

    I'm more and more interested in Arnold, it's just hard to find informations about it... I hope it will be available for 3ds Max one day!

    Thanks for the tips!

  2. Very nice job!!! Like the lighting setup and char design, and overall is great... You have a lot of lights in your scenes! How many samples per pixer in average frame are, and what is rendertime?
    Can't wait for your Hair tricks!

    1. I don't have specific data on the amount of sample per pixel...but it was massive. In the library, we averaged between 10 and 15 hours per frame (including the passes of the characters, volume scatter, etc.) It's all brute force rendered, without any special tricks except hiding everything the camera didn't see when coming up close to characters. We merged the different "shots" of the library when there is alot of motion blur. We also created a 360 'hdr' of the library to help the lighting and reflection so we wouldn't miss those objects when we hide them.

  3. Awesome, thanks for sharing!

  4. Amazing stuff. How much time and how many people did you have on the project?

    1. Thanks for the kind words. We were 14 artists for a little more than two months including pre-production (character design, storyboard, animatic)

  5. amazing as always!! cant wait for the hair info!

  6. thanks for sharing!

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  8. Thanks a lot! Just great!

  9. I adore your blog.I really appreciate your work in remolding this shed and especially the lighting all those things are mesmerizing. I have seen some Storage Sheds in Miami they all are very creative and takes attention of all towards them.

  10. great blog....

    GameYan Studio