Virtual gallery #2: From the outside…

Discover a virtual Parisian gallery made entirely in CG!

This article is also available on Medium.

Today, here’s a new sneak peek at the virtual gallery that Cali Rezo and I are working on at the moment to showcase her paintings. Last time, I talked about the project goals and the overall setup. This time, we’re getting closer to the window and looking at the hall from the outside…

We made a little 10”-movie to glaze through the gallery window and move in closer: we’re nearly in! Make sure to watch until the end 🙂

About this render…

Can you spot the differences in the gallery between this article and the previous one? There are actually two!

One, we changed the guardrail of the stairs level into a black metal railing so it doesn’t block the view as much – looking back at our previous render, it really was a weak point that closed the space too much and prevented proper lighting.

Two: we added the exhibit title and dates on the gallery window! The title, “Energies dérivées” (Derived energies) is a play on words between the common concept of energy as life power and this notion in physics, plus how math formulae relate energy to potential via derivatives 😉

In terms of animation, we wanted to go for something calm, so we only did slow shots with linear keyframes (i.e. no acceleration or deceleration, the movement has a constant speed). But we decided to put the title-zooming shot in the middle to break up the monotony of the translation.

Finally, we really worked on the feeling of depth, both with the parallax effect and the depth of field on the camera. You can see some parallax at the very beginning of the movie, when the posts are clearly moving faster than the window because they are closer to the camera. The depth of field is mostly visible in the last shot, because we used it to shift the focus from the exhibit title on the glass to the paintings behind it.

To improve our camera movement and neatly prepare everything, we even did some previsualisation shots (aka “previz”). This is a common way of checking that your scene layout is ok: you first record a solid (textured) version of your animation, without any real lights computation, which makes it really fast; and this allows you to quickly spot the potential problems in your sequence!

Conclusion

I hope you like our virtual gallery and the series of renders so far! Once again, this new work was a nice opportunity to learn about CGI: how to do previz in Blender, how to handle text objects, how to set up a nice camera framing and movement…

I’m really looking forward to seeing what the next renders will teach me!

Until then, if you want to stay up-to-date with our creations and news, you can follow Cali on her Instagram or me on the various social networks 🙂

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