Archive for the 'projects' Category

3D Nature shots

This summer we had an interesting opportunity at work to create some nature scenes. Check the movie at the end of the article

Nature Shots

The type of nature we were looking for is the karstic jurassic scenes of Jura (not sure about the geological correctness of it). We created 3 sets of shots, a blueish one, another yellowish, and finally a night shot. In the end we edited them nicely so we do not feel too much the differences.

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 23.25.54

We used those shots as background and integrated the images and footages provided by the client. Here are few examples of end result (using open movies content as placeholders).


We managed to create a nice 2 minutes movie of nature background and front content from the client. As usual the trick to manage all those shots in only a few days, was to create a small library of assets that we could reuse. Those included stones, rocks, trees, pine trees, leaves, plants and flowers (all plants were just 2d planes) and more low-res rocks

some rocks

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 23.24.34

The movie was used internally so we can not show the company’s content, but instead I made a small edit of just the 3D Scenes, including a small “behind the scenes” sequence.

Here is the result (Edit of only the 3D scenes)




A journey through Architecture and Openworked Creations

Finally there is some interesting commercial project worth mentioning on the blog : “A journey through Architecture and Openworked Creations” , for swiss watch manufacturer Vacheron Constantin .


Openworked technique known in french as “skeleton” , is the art of opening the watch movement so that one can see through it.

here is the movie :

We had to create 3 different 3D universes, each inspired by one of the watch models. Elements of inspiration include shapes, curves and the gravure patterns.

Rendered in cycles (600 samples) on 2 PC. One with Nvidia GTX 690 and the other with GTX 660. Each frame took an average of 15 minutes to render with a maximum of 31 minutes ( when the train passes very close and generates lot of motion blur on the first scene (train station)).

Golden smoke particles are Particular in after effects, we also used Bartek Skorupa’s awesome script for importing blender cameras inside AE . Thanks man! This movie was made at RGBprod.

here is a gallery of some making-of images  :

train and locomotive based on great CC models by  KuhnIndustries and seavenois. Thanks guys

Spike the mouse – Shortfilm

Hello mouse lovers!
Today’s blogpost is one about a lovely clever animal: the mouse.  And especially about one called Spike.  He is the hero of our 3d movie that we produced during our sparetime this summer.

introducing: Spike

The competition
It was part of a competition called Golden Velvet (link FR/DE only) organized by the Swiss Textile federation. On first step (april 2012) teams were invited to send in a short synopsis on a A4 paper. All medias and styles allowed (doc, fiction, anim, stopmo, shooting, papercut etc…) We had to chose one of 6 themes provided. Actually more than themes, it was 6 technological innovation of the Swiss Textile Industry. So at end of May a total of 12 teams were chosen to get a small production funding and start the actual production. Our theme was “schock-absorbant rope” and we had to deliver the movie at the end of august.

The result
Well it seems the jury liked the story as we finished 2nd of the competition 🙂

You can see all the other movies on this page. There are some really good ones (much better than Spike in fact…)

Here is a quick-dirty comp of Spike with the trophy 🙂

Cycles rendering!

Very early in the project I decided to render using Cycles. It was a challenge to self, plus a good opportunity to learn the tool on a production level. So was cycle worth? Yes!  and even more now that all the mango optimizations are in. First of all cycles and viewport render allows instant feedback, which is more than great for lighting. Secondly it needs some time to optimize renders ( more on this on a later post). We had a tight schedule (too many scenes) and I only had 2 computers (with each a gtx 560 ), so basically if we wanted to finish the movie and its 6000+ frames the rendertime per frame had to be at around 1 minute. Some too noisy scenes were allowed to 2 mins. Oh yes, don’t even think of rendering on a non-gpu computer.

As a render farm/management I used brender, little software I created with Francesco Siddi 

Coming back from 3 weeks in China with my wife and daughter I thought it would be interesting to make an auto-critic of myself and the movie 🙂
Many details and problems are still present and animation is often not smooth or polished. It was nevertheless a real challenge to finish the movie on time for the deadline. Most of the animations are a one pass work. No refining, or minimal only. If I had only one mistake to point out is that the movie is too long. We had too many shots. Shorter movie would have allowed us way more time to add details, refine characters (yes Mr. Cat I am looking at you), and perfect the animation.
At one point I was really wanting to redo the most ugly anims, re-render the flickering and noisy scenes (now that I could have infinite time/no deadline), but I thought NO. It was made like this, delivered on a deadline, it is all part of the movie. In 10 years when I’ll show it to my daughter (who inbeetween will be making 5 times better movies in 10 times less time on her iPad 9 HD) there will be stories and explanations to be told 🙂

The final movie:

Credits go to :
Character/Set design + rendering + animation : Olivier Amrein
Animation : Andres Bajares
Director+Editing : Luc Walpoth
Sound: Bruce Wuilloud

a making-of might follow if it rains a lot and next sundays are like today: quiet at home.

3d tracking on mobile phone shot

Yesterday David (our young new talented 2d animator) and I were walking to the bakery to grab some sandwiches and in the flow of the conversation we started talking about 3d tracking. For a mysterious reason that even google doesnt know, we had the compulsory need to track something.

But we had no camera on hand, just a mobile phone. No problem, smartphones are supposed (its amazing how we believe ads) to shoot videos ! So we gave it a try and here is the fun result after an afternoon of cam tracking and some animation + film grading/degrading for hiding the bad shadows and comp hehehe 🙂

Maybe if spare time is available (!) I can make a little making of video. Tracking was done using Syntheyes.

By the way the 3d model is a CC model taken from : FLOPSY by hjmediastudios

One Way – open movie

My friend Francesco Siddi ( has been working on his BA project, a movie called “One Way” ( It is a story set in 1930’s railway station of Milano Centrale, telling the encounter of 2 persons waiting the train.

About 3 weeks ago i went to Milano for an extended weekend to help him to set up the stereo rig and create the animatic, designing the basic workflow, eating good pastas etc. One of the question we faced was “should we use a stable 2.49 or beta 2.5?”. Somehow we did not discuss it too long and decided to take the 2.5 challenge…So we (especially Francesco, as i am back to work on my own projects now)  sometimes have to struggle with some bugs or limitations, but overall it is a nice experience, UI is better organized and i still miss some tools (bridge,svg import, bevel etc).

So back in switzerland, our apprentice Andres also started to help the project by creating one of the main locomotive. Based on references given by Francesco, he managed to build a nice looking and rigged loco. On my part, I also decided to model a control tower one evening while watching a teutonic-batave semi-final. It is quiet interesting to have a little specific task to do. A great training for everyone, that I would suggest especially to students or hobbyist, as in that case you have to model/animate something specific, that a director needs, a bit like a client asking something specific for a commercial project, instead of just what you like or are interested in.

There are still many ways to contribute to the project.

Last but not least Francesco needed a render farm system to manage the 11 macs provided by his uni. As we worked together at RGBprod before, he knew about our in-house renderfarm solution called brender and asked me if he could use it. Of course!
The only problem being that I never installed it outside of our network, and it was not working with 2.5 yet… So suddenly I had something to do on a sunny and too hot saturday (but dont worry fellow readers, i also went to see the sun and have some night drinks). A hotline skype-call with Francesco and some time later we had it running and improved a bit.

Having to install it on an outside network and through phone really made me notice how in-house this brender is. In itself it is not complicated, but myself being a very poor programmer, i tended to add feature and hacks on top of them as we needed them instead of thinking deeply to future implications. Resulting in a very organic, unportable, buggy thing that i would love to clean and restart from scratch, to allow easier installation and fixes.Development to be continued if I have time.

Again the link the website/blog :

Indirect Lighting test

Yesterday i was playing around with the indirect lighting and environment lighting options in the renderer. Although the options are not that new anymore, and there have been many videos around, i never tried it before. So here is what i got after an afternoon, it can be tweaked much more but for a test it is enough 🙂

It is the same scene, same simulation (done in game engine then baked as f-curves, rescaled for timing). Scene has no light, only the emiting materials (emit 2.0) , and these are the scene world setting :

The factor level was boosted to 2, and a falloff effect added. The 2 first animations are the same renders, but with different color-corrections and glow values. As for the third one I slightly changed the balls, trying to use one material with a texture (with 2 values of colors) instead of 2 materials on different polygons (the middle glowy-emitting lines of polys and the rest of the ball).

You can download the .blend 3d scene here from It is creative commons license so you can of course use it as you want. I hope it can be helpful to some people.
The physics was done using the Game Engine physics, then recorded as f-curves using the Game->Record Animation option in the menus (when using Game Engine as render engine)

Our latest 3D project at RGBprod: Grand Prix Horlogerie Geneva


We have just finished our latest job here at RGBprod . We were invited to create the 3d animations for the introduction of the different awards of the Grand Prix de l’Horlogerie de Genève 2009. This event can be explained as the “oscars” of watchmaking. It was shown last Saturday to an audience of 1200 of the most prestigious watchmakers of Switzerland during the award Ceremony held in the Geneva Grand Theater.

The animations stars a robot made of an epic amount pieces taken from a watch mechanical movement. We basically modeled a shape we liked and started to stick these pieces to the shape, adding details and creating some pieces if we needed them, but most of the piece very already modeled from a previous project we did. As for the rigging process well…it was like any other rig, nothing much special 🙂 Except maybe that most of the gears are driven from bones using drivers, so they rotate whenever you move an arm or leg, handy!

For more technical things, all 3d done in blender some compositing and effects in aftereffect. The project credits goes also to Francesco Siddi (our talented italian) and Andres Bajares (our talented apprentice). Music and sound from Impactaudio.

and as with the other projects, you can also try to spot the Blender Initiative logo (for more infos please check Pablo’s Venom Lab DVD , on the bonus top secret zip).

GPHG Robot

A shot showing the GPHG watchrobot


Flickr Photos

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