After lots of issues with Vray for C4D I decided to switch things around a bit and attempt to use another render engine – Octane by Otoy. This render engine comes with a few additional positives over Vray and the standard C4D render engine; it uses CUDA enabled video cards, like the Nvidia GTX970 I just purchased, it has an active viewing window of your current render, so you can see a lot clearer the results of your tweaking, and finally it seems to be pretty damn fast. Which is a massive plus!

Continuing issues with all of these render engines have pushed back the likelihood I’ll get the whole thing finished for my hand in, but for the exhibition it’s still possible. Every time I’ve changed my setup I have to research how best to use it, change all my shaders, lights and camera and tweak until I get something worth looking at. All this said, I’m certainly getting faster with it all, so fingers crossed.

I’ll almost certainly have to stitch together around a minute to 1 1/2 minutes of footage as expecting all the geometry to run smoothly is giving me a headache. I’ve been exporting the footage from RGBD Toolkit and moving it over to my main PC, which is taking some time. Apparently the exported OBJ file sequence doesn’t play very nicely with Cinema 4D so I may have to look at another plug-in called Riptide Pro, which will allow the sequence and it’s colour info to be imported.

Filming day

I’d booked an evening at Gun Factory studios in East London to do the filming with the Kinect as  Khaidian’s usual studio is a bit too small to work. I decided to film each member one at a time performing through the band’s track. This way I could take the individual elements and place them around the spherical camera in Cinema 4d.

After a couple of technical problems of power, one for my Canon 600D (a faulty fuse) and forgetting my Mac power supply (D’oh!), I started to calibrate the DSLR and Kinect within RGBDToolkit. This requires that you take 13 short video clips of the chequerboard you print out, import them into the toolkit and work out the intrinsics of the lens you are using. All lenses have slight imperfections which you have to match with the Kinect’s view.

After around an hour of calibration and setup I then asked each member to perform through the song 3 times. Recording both colour footage (the DSLR) and depth (the Kinect) simultaneously.

Fuck yeah! #mosh #heavymetal #guitar #livemusic #recording

A post shared by Khaidian (@khaidianband) on

Some more tests and a crash.

After working on the animation for a while, I was noting a lot of lag with Cinema 4d. I decided to cut the animation down slightly and render in sections.

Various plugins used – Greyscalegorilla’s Transform and signal, AJ Haines On Off switch, Strobe Pulse and Flicker, and quite a few tutorials.

I did a test render of the animation so far.

This was mainly for timing and getting the general feel for the environment.

I then decided to look into using Vray for C4D. Although I was getting some decent looking renders from the standard C4D renderer, after doing some research I know that Vray is the only render engine that has a spherical camera. I need a spherical camera in order to render in full 360 degrees, so if I want to achieve my goal, I have no option.

Some initial tests with Vray proved to be pretty frustrating. None of C4Ds native shaders actually work with Vray, so you have to convert them or start again. I found this pretty annoying as you also have to attach tags to each light… some of which (looking at you omni light) don’t work. And even then, there’s a lot of mucking about to actually get the render to see light reflecting off of black surfaces.


In all of this to-ing and fro-ing my PC had a tantrum and decided to corrupt the C4D file. Usually I backup, and I had… but not far enough along my project to make it worth sticking with what I had. So, re-do!

I went back to square one and attempted to construct my scene quicker and more efficiently with Vray textures and lights. Here’s a couple of test renders.

Tell Tale Heart

I decided a year was long enough after completing it for me to upload this animation, so here it is!

This was completed for the Ladybird Books project wherein I had to create a more adult concept around the Ladybird books franchise. I decided to use all the original illustrations for an animation. It’s also one of my first forays into After Effects.

And yes, that is me narrating as well…

Spiky monolithic doooom

A very short test render to see how the spiky movements work within the environment. Not a bad first attempt.

This uses various effectors including animating noise to affect the size of the spikes. Seems to work, although I think it will be interesting to see how introducing music to it all – and possibly some sound effectors instead of the random ones, will change how it reacts.



As I have almost completed one of the videos, I figured I should have the virtual world I’m creating for this one a little more complete.

After spending some time working around Cinema 4D I was attempting to create a monolith with a band of light around it that glows. Apparently this is harder than I first thought… After looking at the Grayscale Gorilla tutorial for the shattering ball, which has a ball with a band of light hitting another, I worked out how to have a masked off light emanating from the monolith. Only issue is that any distortions I seem to apply to the monolith do not apply to the light source. It’s an effect I can partially use I imagine.

Here are some environment tests looking at different sizes and shapes of monoliths. I think I prefer the rounded objects as opposed to the flat planes, there’s a lot more reflection and light play with them.

test 2test 3test 4test 5test 6test  7test 8