Batman Arkham Knight
For this cinematic we divided up the various locations seen in the cinematic and gave each one a lead and team. As Scene Assembly Leads, we are tasked with modeling, shading, lighting, compositing and general look development overseen by a Supervisor.
Set for the the lake environment, I knew from the beginning it was going to rely heavily on Forest Pack, a plugin we use extensively at Blur. I started with developing a few libraries of assets (trees, rocks, plants) that would each have their own Forest Pack setup. For reference I pulled a bunch of photography from Bass Lake, a lake near where I grew up.
(click to enlarge)
I got comfortable with Speed Tree for modeling trees, but also appreciated how Onyx came packaged with geometry-needles for their coniferous presets. Alternatively, I was able to model some meshes in 3DSMax and bring them in to Speed Tree and output a nice model. I wanted to stay away from using opacity mapped leaves due to the fact that VRay can slow down pretty badly when tracing rays through multitudes of opacity-mapped cards. Unfortunately it was a bit later that I found a different workaround for this, though the liked the way the 3d needles caught the moonlight.
The water was a bit of a problem. Working with the FX team, we went back and forth as to how extensively we planned on using RealFlow and how large of an area could be simm'ed realistically. As it turned out, only a small square in the middle (where the water pours into the chamber) was simm'ed. For the rest, I had to find a quick solution for moving water using maps and shader tricks in VRay. In the end I compiled some moving water images in Fusion to make a tileable, animated map sequence that I later applied as a displacement map. For the more distant shots, I used a series of normal maps (blended in Max's composite map) that I generated using ShaderMap.
Batman Arkham Knight
Scene Assembly Lead
Environment modeling, shading, light setup and look development for the forest area.
Lighting, compositing and rendering for other specific shots.