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jtnimoy

AboutAllWorkTweetsContactCvLogin

Year:2010

Tron
Legacy

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Ispentahalfyearwritingsoftwareartto
generatespecialeffectsforTronLegacy,
workingatDigitalDomainwithBradley
"GMUNK"Munkowitz,JakeSargeant,and
David"dlew"Lewandowski.Thispagehastaken
alongtimetobepublishedbecauseI'vehadto
awaitclearance.Alotofmyteam'sworkwas
doneusingAdobesoftwareandCinema4D.
TherestofitgotwritteninC++using
OpenFrameworksandwxWidgets,thewayI've
alwaysdoneitwiththisteam)Uniquely
however,DigitalDomain'sCGartistswereable
toportmyappsovertoHoudiniforfurther
evolutionandbetterrenderingthanOpenGL
couldeverprovide.SpecialthankstoAndyKing
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forshowingmethatwhatseasonedCGartists
doatDDisactuallynotsofarofffromwhat's
goingonintheProcessingcommunity.
InterviewwithGMUNKabouttheteam'sprocess

Inadditiontovisualeffects,Iwasaskedto
recordmyselfusingaunixterminaldoing
technologicallyfeasiblethings.Itookextracare
inbabysittingtheelementsthroughtofinal
compositetoensurethatthecontentwouldnot
beartisticallyalteredbeyondthatfeasibility.I
takerepresentingdigitalcultureinfilmvery
seriouslyinlieuofhavinggrownupinaworldof
verybadlyresearcheduserinterfacegreeble.I
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cringedduringthepartinHackers(1995)when
ascreensaverwithextruded"equations"is
usedtosignifythatthehackerhasreached
somesortofneuralfloworambiguous
destination.IcringedforSwordfishandJurassic
Parkaswell.IcheeredwhenTrinityinThe
Matrixusednmapandssh(andsodidyou).
ThenIcringedagainwhenIsawthatinevitably,
Hollywoodhaddecidedthatnmapwasthething
touseforallitshackerscenes(seeBourne
Ultimatum,DieHard4,GirlwithDragonTattoo,
TheListening,13:GameofDeath,Battle
Royale,BrokenSaints,andonandon).InTron,
thehackerwasnotsupposedtobesnooping
aroundonanetworkhewassupposedtokilla
process.Sowewentwithposixkillandalsohad
himpipepsintogrep.Ialsoendedupusing
emacseshelltomaketheterminalmorel33t.
Theteamwasdelightedtoseemyemacs
performancesplittingtheeditorintonested
panesandrunningdifferentmodes.Iwastickled
thatIgotemacsintoablockbustermovie.I
actuallydouseemacsirl,andalthoughIdonot
subscribetoalt.religion.emacs,Ithinkthat'sall
incrediblyrelevanttotheworldofTron.

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HexVirusisasphericalmapoftheglobethat
featuresvectoroutlinesofthecontinents.These
continentvectorsareslowlyeatenawaybya
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morehexagonalrepresentation.Algorithmically,
thisisapathsteppingfunctionwhichlooks
aheadfortheclosestmatching60degreeturns.
TheHexVirusglobewasusedintheexecutive
boardmeetingscene,andalsoinsidethegrid
asavisualaidinCLU'smaniacalplan
presentation.Intheboardroominterface,the
globeelementissurroundedbythelovelywork
ofmyteam.

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ThescoreboardwasthefirstelementIworked
on.Icreatedalinegeneratorthatproduced
burstsoflineswhichturnedatadjustable
angles.Thelinegeneratorhad"radialmode"
whicharrangedthegeometryinconcentriccircle
form.Thislinegeneratorwasusedtogenerate
genericelementsandlayersofstyleindifferent
things,andisaGMUNKfavorite.Atthispoint,I
foundmyselfmovingtomultisampledFBOs
becausethenonantialiasedpolygonswerejust
toouglytoworkwith,andweneededtomake
filmresolutionrenders.Infact,thisisthehighst
resI'veeverseenmyappsrender.

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Fireworks,mmmm.Istartedwitharegular
physicssimulationwhereaparticlehasan
upwardforceappliedatbirth,sendingitupward
whilegravitypullsitbackdownresultingina
parabola.Ithenaddedparticlechildren,
followedbyvariousartisticstyles,includingwhat
ourteamhascalled"egyptian"acrossseveral
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jobswhichisasidesteppingbehavior.We
weretryingtocreatefireworksthatlooked
enoughlikerealfireworksbuthadinteresting
technoaesthetic.Asahomagetotheoriginal
TroncharacterBit,weusedicosahedrons,
dodecahedrons,andsimilar.Iwasdisappointed
thatBitisn'tinthisone.Afterdoingthis
simulation,I'vegrownmoreawareofhowoften
fireworksareusedinmovies.

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Fortheportalclimax,theTronLinesappwas
used,butalsoappslike"Twist"fromourteam's
previousjobs.Oncethelookwasmockedupby
gmunk,ahoudiniartistrecreatedtherigfor
deepercontrol.

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Iwroteaparticlerendererthatcouldmakethe
headhologramsslurpinandoutofthedata
discs.SpecialthankstoKeithPaskoforCLUing
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meinaboutusingexponentialfunctionsto
createaslidinggooeysortofdelay.

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WhenfixingQuorra,therewasanelementinthe
DNAinterfacecalledtheQuorraHeartwhich
lookedlikealavalamp.Igeneratedan
isosurfacefromaperlinnoisevolume,usingthe
marchingcubesfunctionfoundintheGeometric
ToolsWildMagicAPI,atrulywonderfullibfor
codingbiodigitaljazz,amongotherjazzes.The
isosurfacewasthendrawnalongdifferentaxes,
includingconcentricspheres.Theappwas
mesmerizingtostareat.

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Afterthisproject,Iwasfedupenoughwith
wxWidgetsandCarbonthatIwasreadyto
authormyownOpenGLbasedUI.Themost
importantthingIcoulduseisafloatingpoint
slider.Ialsogotirritatedwiththewaythe
Carbonsliderswouldnotslideallthewaytothe
minimumandmaximumvalues.Ittotally
messedwithmyzenthing.Also,afterajoblike
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this,it'sclearthatamemberoftheProcessing
communityworkingwithinaCGcommunityis
greatlyrestrictedbythedifferencesofrealtime
graphicsrenderingengines,andthatprobably
messeswithanartdirector'szenthing.
"TRON:Legacy"DisneyEnterprises,Inc.All
RightsReserved.
tags:cplusplusdigitaldomainmayamovieopenframeworksopengltronwxwidgets

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