There are many good textures in Octane live DB, so I downloaded some of them and tweaked the colors and the settings to make it more interesting. Some of the textures are customized textures with photoshoped images.
I realized that great hdri map is really important for lighting, so I bought the hdri map from MAXIME ROZ's website. His hdri map has the solid information of the lighting with the reasonable price.
Wei-shen modeled this interesting looking tubes with the 10 wind simulations that moves the balls.
Besides the lighting from the hdri image. I put the lighting top and below of the tubes to create more reflection on the tubes.
I modeled the fan and the triangular gates based on the IKEA shelf bracket Ekby Lerberg. It was pretty hard to make the balls go to the inside of the gate, so we did multiple simulation tests and cached the one we liked.
To make the balls changing textures scene, I render the two different version with only the white texture and with their own textures, and then comped them in AE.
I modeled the interesting looking robot based on DANSA disco ball. I used the multiple numbers of Xpresso and created the xpresso controller to have the full control of its movement.
I used the pose morph tag to animate its basic movement and linked the pose morph data to the controller. I also have the controller change the color and the power of the light. Check out this tutorial for the customized controller.
Hal did great job to make the basic set up for the conveyor belt with the hair. He used the cloner to create the shape of the conveyor and used connect and correction deformer to put the hair on the face on the conveyor. Here is some good tutorial for conveyor belt.
I used Thrausi tool to break up the wood ball, and did many tests of breaking up simulation to get the best look of the ball, maintaining the good shape of the letter K.
The hair simulation test with Wei-shen's model with Hal's cloth texture.
This is one of my favorite scene because the whole movement of the scene matches really well with the music. I modeled the tube by using the helix and the sweep object.
Based on Wei-shen's IDEALISK model, I remodeled it to make it more realistic. I animated the squeezer by tweaking the graph editor and used the vibrate tag to create the squeezing feeling.
I also put the vibrate tag on the camera to make handheld and dynamic camera movement.
We tried many different ways to make the letter E.
We used hair object to create realistic looking threads. I put the cylinder inside of the squeezer, which has the exactly same numbers of the polygon with the bottom of the squeezer to match the holes and the vertex of the cylinder. Then I set the hair root from the polygon vertex and animated the end parameter of the hair instance in the generate tap. I put the wind object to shape the hairs' overall looking so that it can have the better transition to the next scene.
This weaving animation scene was the most hardest one to create. Wei-Shen and I did many tests animations, but it took very long time to figure out the best way to do. We wish we knew Houdini, and no one really had a experience with the 3D weaving animation at this time.
When I was interning at Gentleman Scholar, I had an opportunity to work on some weaving animation. The people in GS showed me many different ways to make the weaving animation, and the experience helped me a lot to create this scene. I met one of the best motion designer, Michael Rigley at GS, and he showed me this tutorial to make the realistic looking cloth. Thanks to him, I could create the 3D knitting animation, using the cloner and plain effect. I also used the delay effect to create more organic movement.
After the many test animations, I came up with this device that weaves the cloth. I used the Spline IK for the spline coming to the pencil and used spline dynamics for the spline coming out from the pencil. I put the constraint tag on the splines having the spline dynamics, and I link them to the boxes on the left side. Then I used the vibrate tag on the boxes to make the jiggling effect. Using the spline warp, I could achieve the line growing animation.
I modeled the pencil and the wood frame in C4D and textured in Substance Painter. This was my first time to use it, but the interface was straightforward enough for me to pick it up in a short time. Using the Substance Painter, I could achieve the fine details of the pencil and the wood.
So I put everything together into the one scene and put the soft body tag on the mesh of the letter E. I tweaked the parameters of the soft body tag, especially shear and flexion numbers to get the most realistic looking of the cloth. I also utilized various angles of camera, including close up, medium, and wide shots to create more dynamic feeling.
Wei-shen and Hal set up the basic animation for the last scene. Wei-shen created the spline path and attached the silverware to the path, using the Align to Spline tag so that the silverware follows along the path. He also did the dynamics simulation to make the balloon pop and confetti fly with the wind. Adding the aerodynamics makes the flying confetti feel more realistic. Checking the box of 'Two-sided' was the key to have it move like a real paper.
After I got the basic animation, I tweaked and edited the animation to make it more interesting. While I set up the camera, I realized how the camera makes everything look alive and better. Thanks to Octane's sample setting, I rendered out many test animations with the lower samples to get the right timing with the music.