10 Lessons Project Files Included MP4
Title: FXPHD – KAT201: Intermediate KATANA
In our ‘Intermediate KATANA’ course we’ll take everything we learnt in KAT101 and put it into practice by adding a CG character into two live action plates. During the term we’ll be working with 3D tracking data and building stand-in geometry for the environments using MAYA. We’ll be completing look development within KATANA for an entire character along with various environment assets as required. When it comes to lighting the scenes we’ll be utilizing ‘localized HDR lighting’ with KATANA using RenderMan’s Global Illumination technology and then setting up various render-passes. Finally we’ll move into NUKE to complete the final compositing. This course is a natural progression from our first 100 level KATANA course and fantastic for anyone interested in state-of-the-art Look Development and Lighting techniques.
Matt Leonard has been in the 3D and visual effects industry for 20 years. He has spoken at various events and shows on behalf of Autodesk, The Foundry and eyeon Software and has had articles published in various magazines and journals. He is a member of the Visual Effects Society and has worked as a beta tester for Maya, Katana, Arnold, RenderMan, Mari and Nuke. He currently runs his own on-site training company in the UK and has trained artists from companies such as ILM, Pixomondo, MPC and Framestore.
KATANA is available on the VPN, but the install requires advanced linux knowledge and is not for the average user. KATANA 1.1v6 is tested and qualified on Linux 64-bit CentOS/RHEL 5.4 and requires A graphics card which supports OpenGL shader model 4
In our first Katana 201 class we look at the project we will be covering over the next 9 weeks. We start by looking at the shots we will be working on, then the main workflow. We then talk about HDRI Lighting vs. Localised HDRI Lighting before doing some practical work in Maya. We then talk about the main Templete file we will be using in Katana before moving into Katana itself. A bonus video helps to explain how to load a Katana template.
In our second class we look at preparing the main environments. We start by looking at the camera track of the kitchen done in Syntheyes, from there we export the tracking data from Nuke into Maya where we set up the correct camera back and Image Plane. Next we bring in the high resolution geometry of the kitchen to see how it fits with the tracking data. Then we return to Nuke and using ModelBuilder we rough out some basic geometry for the kitchen and then bring that back into Maya. Finally we talk about light placements.
Our third class starts with importing the pre-build Alembic cache of our main character. From here we assign its geometry into various Collection sets before building some basic shaders and assigning them to the geometry. Finally we build a basic Lighting Rig and run some test renders to make sure everything is working correctly.
In our fourth class we start by looking at Physically Plausible Shaders and Lights using RenderMan inside of Katana. We then build some Physically Plausible Shaders which are assigned to the geometry of our environment. From there we add Physically Plausible Lights and look at using Aim to orientate them correctly. From there we talk about Co-Shaders vs Monolithic Shaders before building a Co-Shader setup in Katana.
In our fifth Katana class we look at extracting the specific local image parts from the main high dynamic range capture of the kitchen. These localized HDRI’s are individually saved before being converted to RenderMan .tex and .env files using TXMAKE. From there we clean up the original image removing the lights we’ve extracted. Finally we move into Katana and build a test scene using Plausible shaders, Plausible Lights (with our new HDR’s attached) and full Global Illumination.
In our sixth Katana class we start by looking at Scenegraph XML, a system for transferring data from Maya to Katana using an .xml and Python setup. Ben Greasley then takes up through the scripting side of things being we return to Katana to try the result. The second half of the class continues to look at the Plausible shaders for RenderMan. We have Christos Obretenov from Lollipop Shaders taking us through how he edited the RenderMan shaders (adding the AOV’s) and re-compiled them into the final .slo files we use in Katana. From there we add one of the new AOV Shaders to our master model, imported in via the new ScenegraphXML system and render out some AOVs. Finally be bring them into Nuke and build a very simple composite.
In our seventh class we start in Maya and look at some issue regarding last weeks ScenegraphXML relating into UV’s and Normals. From there we move into Katana and look at the creation of the final Shaders and Textures for our main character. We also look at CEL and how it can be used to help automate the task of converting PolyMeshs into SubdMeshs. Next we move into Photoshop and look at how we created some of the textures and then converted the OpenEXR output to RenderMan Texture files using ‘txmake’. We then head back into Katana to create our master LookFile before returning to Maya briefly to create an animated version of our main character. Finally we bring that character back into Katana via our new ScenegraphXML Python script and reapply the LookFile.
In our eighth class we move away from our main project to look specifically at RenderMan for Katana.We look at Render Settings, Motion Blur, Depth of Field, and Render Passes. All this is done using our Pixar RenderMan teapot scene. We finish up the class in Nuke rebuilding the Beauty.
In our ninth class we start by loking at the animated character which has been created in Maya. From there we move into Katana and look through our final scene, covering the Importamatic, Cameras, Materials, Collections, Material Assign, Lights Cameras and Render Passes.We end the class building our Nuke script and combining the rendered Character with the live action environment.
In our final Katana class we look at a mixture of miscellaneous subjects including Groups, GroupStack, GroupMerge, Expressions, CEL, Macros and FaceSets.