Producing CGI is a bit different then using traditional techniques such as photography or film. The handcrafted work remains the same, we consider ourselfs as craftsmen in a computer world.
A visit to our factory
This is a quick introduction to how we produce CGI and the steps involved. As you probably already may have noticed it has a lot of similarities with traditional work even if done completely inside a computer.
The idea – the birth of a CGI!
Creativity and passion for products is what drives the people at RapidImages. Each CGI production starts with an idea. It can be a storyline or a simple sketch. The idea is developed and refined with our client and finally put on paper to show off it’s full potentials and possibilities. After the idea is pitched and “sold” it goes into storyboarding for further refinements. This is more or less small “comic-book” pictures of the storyline and it shows where we are going with the idea.
The storyboard and colorscripts
It doesn’t really matter if we produce a single image or a complex animated sequence, we always develop storyboards and color scripts along with gathering of reference materials. Getting all creatives in the right mode is crucial for production. The storyboards and colorscripts are presented to the team and discussed. As soon as everyone is on-board pre-production begins.
Preproduction, research, research and even more research!
Preproduction figures out how to produce the CGI, it is based on the storyboard and colorscripts. New tools are developed or evaluated and “processing power” is reserved. Once pre-production is completed all tricky problems and obstacles are hopefully under control and production will flow as smooth and efficient as possible.
Once in production the CGI is first created as a set of computer models, a model is the basic sculpture or outline of all possible things that will show up in the image or movie clip. It can be a chair or a car but also a complete background set. The computer models are handcrafted with perfectionism to create an accurate representation of the actual product or environment in the CGI.
The computer model is being sculpted and developed.
Now that all computer models and sets are created the creatives will start to add materials to all objects. It can be about adding the right leather material to a sofa or getting the right reflection from a car laquer.
The computer model is refined and the materials are added.
Lighting and review
After adding the materials it’s time to bring in the lighting equipment. Virtual lightning sets are constructed in the computer to give life to the CGI. Traditional lighting techniques are used to create life, realism and depth. This step brings feeling and temperature into the final image or movie clip.
The CGI is being reviewed and lightning is added.
Compositing and final retouch
The CGI is composited together and final retouch is added.
Editoral and reviews
Through the editorial process everything is fine-tuned and issues are fixed based on customer reviews, this is the last stop before the CGI will be delivered.
Finally, deliveries to customer
The CGI is now produced, it is prepared for the web, TV or whatever the output media may be.