Unexpected Uses Krakatoa on VFX-Intensive Ad Campaign For Snickers
"The first test scenes that particle artist Emil Stefanov set up while we were shooting contained several hundred thousand particles and were extremely quick, and then our more sophisticated test scenes containing millions of particles outputted pretty efficiently as well," said Hacker. "It was then that Alex and I looked at each other and thought, 'Hey, maybe this Krakatoa is actually going to do the job!' We found Krakatoa's saving-out feature of particles to PRT sequences a particularly brilliant tool. This allowed a calculation to be recycled for different passes such as for the diffuse layer, RGB layer for different PFlow events and, of course, for changing values afterward, like size of particles. Even though Krakatoa doesn't support Particle Age, color info could still be saved out within the PRTs to use as a mask for the compositing artist."
Krakatoa was mainly used for all transformation and re-transformation shots of the main characters. In addition, the tool was employed to create discreet and detailed particle animation, such as falling rust and dispersed dust from the moving characters. Krakatoa also gave the Snickers product shot added appeal by integrating several million particles to accentuate the Snickers bar's movement.
Krakatoa features that Unexpected particularly liked included how the toolset handled matte objects as selection sets, and the intuitive and clearly arranged renderer user interface. Frantic Films Software substituted the small checkboxes with checkbuttons that were hard-to-miss, and right-click options made the settings overview and troubleshooting easier. And because the UI is a MaxScript, it can be adjusted individually to suit the artist, who can add more functions or change the color of the background buttons to different shades at will. Even the learning curve was not as steep as anticipated-Unexpected's 3ds Max TD Jorg Haberle learned Krakatoa during the project in a very short period of time, and was fully working with its project files a few days later.
"Krakatoa performed under our very demanding commercial production schedule, and we've seen only a fraction of what the software can do. Without a doubt, we'll be using Krakatoa on future projects. I highly recommend this tool to anyone with a general knowledge of particle setups and a lot of creativity, because you can really help make magic with this useful tool," said Hacker.
To view Snickers RUGBY and to find out more about Unexpected, visit www.unexpected.de.