“KatanaForFX: Intertwine FX and Lighting”

  • ©Leïla Schemali, Bernie Wong, and Nigel Ankers

  • ©Leïla Schemali, Bernie Wong, and Nigel Ankers

  • ©Leïla Schemali, Bernie Wong, and Nigel Ankers

  • ©Leïla Schemali, Bernie Wong, and Nigel Ankers



Entry Number: 69


    KatanaForFX: Intertwine FX and Lighting



    On many shows we are working on at MPC, we have to deal with shots containing a high number of FX elements of various types (particles, volumes, animated geometry). A large majority of these effects are rendered by the Lighting department in Katana and Renderman eventually. However, the FX elements are crafted in either Houdini or Maya where the FX artists are also doing their renders, using Renderman or Mantra. The FX artists would often take great care in the shaders and materials they are using for presenting their work as they can have an important impact in the perceived shape and behaviour of their simulation, especially for volumes and particles. The usage of different softwares and renderers to produce the renders between the FX and Lighting departments lead to important differences between the dailies presented by FX and the renders done in Lighting, requiring more time for the Lighting artists to match the look approved in FX.

    The KatanaForFX initiative put in place a new workflow to make it easy for FX artists to generate their final renders in Katana and Renderman, save their set up as a released asset and hand it to the Lighting artists without requiring any prior knowledge in Katana nor interrupting their usual workflows. KatanaForFX enables the FX artists to focus on the design of their simulation itself while presenting them with the look developed by the Lighting department. The Lighting artists can in turn receive exactly the settings defined by the FX departments to reproduce their renders as well as develop the materials and shaders for the FX elements simultaneously.


    J. Auty, M. Chazot, R. Hernandez, and M. Romeo. 2016. Rapid, High Quality Dailies with RenderFlow for The Jungle Book. In ACM SIGGRAPH 2016 Talks.



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