How We Faked Boston Dynamics Robot
The motion capture stuff That ended up being really easy all the stuff that we thought was gonna be easy ended up being the hardest part good ideas take a lot of work that Laugh was kind of just me reflecting on Look guys myself and Ren are currently working on the most difficult Challenging most technically involved shot that corridor digital has ever seen. I’m confirming with Sam confirmed with Nico. I Absolutely confirm and I take 100% of the responsibility for all the pain that you feel We’re working on the hardest shot the quarter Digital has ever seen not only is there one there’s six of these shots would you say this is someone’s fault could Will you blame me for this because I’m trying to figure out if I should feel bad or not.
I blame nobody Okay blame nobody I blame the good idea being so good that we just had to do it good ideas Take a lot of work You guys have seen those Boston Dynamics videos where there’s like that Mechanical dog walking and there’s this random dude who just kicks it, but it catches its balance I’ve always wanted to do some sort of video around this concept these Humanoid robots that are just getting kicked by scientists and whatnot And we got this motion capture suit for mechs ends and all of a sudden BAM the idea hit to a Boston Dynamics Video with the xn suit about scientists trying to test the robots But also kick them and beat them with hockey sticks all sort of Inconveniences that eventually result in the robot turning on the scientists in some goofy way.
Actually the hard part’s over Now we’re at the easy part where we’re just doing a quickie ol background paint out Rob Let’s name it the motion capture stuff that ended up being really easy all the clean play stuff that we thought was gonna be easy Ended up being the hardest part to rewind all of this a little bit. Let’s explain what it is we’re doing Have you ever seen the movie chappie by a Nile bleem camp pretty good? Newell blooms cop chappie The way they approached making that movie was basically have Charlie’s car plot See he wore the xn suit the exact same suit that we borrowed and made the Transformers video with they basically just had him Acting out the scene as the robot chappie So it’s actually the real actor Sharlto Copley in every single shot of the movie And then what they do is in post they basically just erase him from the shot and composite in the motion captured robot the advantage to doing that is it gives the other real actors and the scene someone to react off of that gives a More honest performance from the actors and it makes it so good.
I mean usually those big-budget big bowling movies They’ve got a lot of big boys on those things, you know. Hey Christian, can you print out the credits for chappie? I mean, how big do you think the VFX team was on Chevy? Like 30 people Joey this movie visual effects special is like 50 people The entire team not including animators, but I figured this would be enough for two guys one out Artists technology lead on asset dented Wrangler digital compositors research and development visual effects artist modeler If we can just split up these jobs So circle all the jobs that you think you can handle for this I’m gonna take pages two through Five here.
Look I’ll go from here We’ll just draw a line through the sand we’re doing there’s not a time to goof around you do all this work, man Look at all this work alright So why do I go through that whole little exercise other than to point out the fact that we’re basically doing? Hundreds of people’s worth of jobs between the two of us obviously chappy has hundreds of the effects shots And they just need lots of people working on it in order to do everything in the time allotted yes, but the other thing is that each one of those people are specialized to To skewing what’s their fortune You have a vibrant personality No way. That’s what it says It’s a hot day today. I wanna be able to go outside get some fresh air and move around so throughout the day Kalea I’ll go and take like a ten-minute one wheel ride I have to limit it to ten minutes because in the middle of summer in Los Angeles like it’s pretty hot out it’s like 92 degrees out right now, and I know Where you’re watching this from it might be hotter wrong.
They actually sent us a couple of things today from their commuters selection We’re gonna put these through its test by actually going out in that 90 degree weather in Los Angeles for a one wheel ride Nick and I are both gonna go cuz Nick also has a one wheel now these are meant to be worn like to the office Supposed to be really comfortable casual wear, but you can also sweat in it and no one will ever notice We’re gonna test them out and see how they perform so voila is a men’s lifestyle Premium clothing brand and they make stuff with like high quality designs high quality materials It’s all really well engineered together and it fits really well They make all kinds of things such as like shorts t-shirts tank tops when wear socks even it’s kind of like the performance alternative to regular everyday clothes Breathable, it is a little hot out today.
I’m tempted to roll my sleeves up, but no These clothes are so nice and breathable Can we just take a moment to appreciate that Nick is filming on a 100 right now check this out So I gotta do is go to Rome calm score accrue and use the promo code corridor crew to get 20% off your first purchase It’s great Should we head back now. Yep, you gotta get back to work man Dude oh my god. You’re right. I’m gonna straight-up say I recommend these shirts. I think they’re great Alright, so in the world of visual effects There are literally dozens if not hundreds of individual steps to take you from I have an idea to basically delivering something that’s finished I wanted to break it down step by step without going into too much technical detail That’ll make you just snore your your eyelids off your face now obviously before we can actually proceed with making this video we need a 3d model of a robot that can be rigged to our Motion capture suit and that’s where Clint comes in take it away Clinton.
What’s up guys? There’s enough time to build the robot So we downloaded a robot and it looks like this just the gray old robot first off We have to match the colors of the real Boston Dynamics robot to this CG robot What I’m looking at here is how reflective is this chest plate same for the rubber I’m looking at these reference images and translating it to cinema 4d once I’ve textured at listen I got all my colors in the right place it got on my rubber my metal my chrome my Plastic we got carbon fiber carbon fiber thighs.
That is the strongest material Super strong and it is destructible Anyway, I got a whether the robot it looks too clean my Wacom tablet They’re scratches all over the top of this thing, right? You can see it’s weathered. It’s not perfectly clean It’s not off the box just like this robot I want to make this thing look dirty because this thing has been abused dirt texture on it It’s got you can see the fingerprints here scrape some scraps all that good stuff Last thing I need to do before I kick it back to ren separate all of the lid I have to move the anchor point of those pieces Right in the center of the joint so that when the elbow bends the elbow is bending and somewhere Somewhere in here the 3d robot will move exactly as my body moved driven by the motion capture data now that we have our robot ready to go we can connect it to our motion capture data in our Actual scene our loading dock here to the building is where we filmed this whole video and in order to make the motion capture suit Actually work you have to have it in the correct space in 3d The entire idea here is that we’re trying to recreate exactly what our set was in real life digitally So that way we can actually place the camera Exactly where it was in real life and also Clint’s motion capture data exactly where it was in real life So now that we have a digital set and have our tracked camera in a synchronized robot The shot is essentially ready to render except that.
We don’t have any lighting yet. And that’s where than HDRI comes in So using an insta 360 camera I was able to take several different 360 photos at different exposures And I merged them together in Photoshop to make one high dynamic range image Why is that important what allows me to basically take the real lighting of the scene to? Influence a 3d model and it looks pretty good. Once the lighting is set. We can now render the shot This is where people commonly refer to render times because this is where it starts taking a lot of times all that 3d stuff is the fun part now comes the Compositing which can be considerably less fun Sometimes especially on a project like this as the compositing that’s been taking so much of our energy So the first step is to erase Clint from the shot We have to create what’s called a clean plate now. Clean plates are Incredibly easy to do if you don’t have a moving camera if your camera is moving around on a tripod It’s a little bit more challenging but not super hard.
It’s essentially like a jigsaw puzzle of different freeze frames of different empty images So this is what that looks like Clint’s been removed from the shot But so if I and so has Jake we’re all just completely gone from the shot So the trick here is now bring us back so now we’re at a point where Clint’s been removed from the shot and everything that needs to remain in the scene has been put Back in that brings up one very important challenge that this video has taught us never put anything Absolutely, nothing Behind clicks because Clint and the robot are not the same size and because the proportions don’t match up Exactly.
We have to remove Clint But the problem is that anytime anything is occluded by Clint we have to now recreate that check out this part right here So I’m stepping here in Clint’s foot you can see is directly in front of my leg here How do you paint out a moving leg? The answer is you don’t you recreate it from scratch using different bits of the leg from other moments in the shot That’s an actual composition of multiple different parts of my field. Now. This is the final shot That’s one example of probably about a dozen different times throughout the course of this video where we had to recreate different parts that had to be erased and then brought back into the shot which brings me to the most intense moment of the entire video that had to be a race Which is something that we thought was an amazing idea on set Then in hindsight turned out to not be the best idea and that was having a practical light on sets to recreate a muzzle flash now we have this light that’s really cool for creating muzzle flashes on set because then you get the realistic actual lighting that you would get from a muzzle flash just from off screen with a little He’s already pointed up to the ceiling and yet there’s still no light.
Boom. There’s the light He’s pointing at the ceiling when the actual light goes off that’s out of sync with the actual gun shot that we’re gonna have to composite in but that’s only one of the two problems the Other problem is that we have a clean plate erasing Clint that doesn’t actually have the lighting of the scene suddenly There’s no light in the scene at all. Now, I have to actually create a muzzle flash light in the scene So I actually went back into cinema 4d and opened up the project file for this shot and I placed the light right in front Of the robot to capture the shadow from that light It looks like there’s an actual gun shot going off for that frame now Now we know not to do that in the future just add that to the list of the dozens of things We’ve learned while making this video and once all those steps have been done once everything has been finished You want to watch it all and then critique it? Over and over and over again it we’re our own harshest critics You guys think you can be pretty harsh with how our visual effects are that’s nothing How harsh we are on each other Clinton is the worst visual effects arts I’ve ever met in my entire life Nothing, I didn’t say you do this cost-benefit analysis when you’re doing this polish review cuz you’re like, okay This is something that I can fix but do I have enough time to fix it? Is it worth spending that time to fix it? A lot of the times it’s not worth it once you’ve gotten to that point Then you can hit Ritter from your compositing package and put it into your edits then you are done doing the effect and then you can sit back and watch all the comments tell you about how bad of a VFX arts you are and just cry into your pillow at night at the end of the day I just want you to think it’s a fun video.
I just want you to be entertained We’re not perfect artists, but we’re decent, you know, and we’re trying hard Assuming everything went right the video is out right now and you can actually click the link in the description there’s probably some sort of end card at the end of the video you’re watching right now and it’s gonna Automatically end and keep watching to watch this Boston Dynamics video that we’ve made .
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