蓝, blue; showcases Koi fishes, a symbol of power, wealth and courage, gliding elegantly in a sea of milk, leaving faint traces in their wake. The Kois are adorned with the distinctive blue and white motifs of Chinese porcelain, signifying the influence of Chinese art and culture along the Silk Road in the 9th Century.
Media Art Nexus Format, with music
蓝, Blue at Elbphilharmonie Hamburg
蓝, Blue animated and modelled in C4D, edited in After Effects
Koi fishes are adorned with blue and white chinese porcelain motifs. Octane daylight lighting are used in C4D to give a sense of time in the video; day to night; which provides a nice glow on the milk and the fishes.
I’m writing down a checklist of the workflow I did for my animation in C4D:
✓ Model Koi Fish ✓ Animate Koi Fish ✓ Simulate fluid from Realflow (sea of milk) ✓ Collide tags for fish to react with water ✓ Add noise in the water to create a more dynamic flow ✓ Add blue trails on fishes using Turbulence FD ☐ Animate more fishes flowing across the sea (total of 24 fishes) ☐ Octane Daylight for reactive lighting scenes (day to night) ☐ Add glow effect for fishes during the night scene
For this post, I’ll be updating you guys of the increase in animated fishes, adding octane daylight, glow effect for the fishes and some Octane rendering tips.
Here is a print screen of my C4D workspace, as you can see I like to keep things really organised. And there you see the daunting 24 fishes around my little box.
After adding a total of 24 animated fishes, I was quite stressed as I’m sure it will lag my laptop even more and also, increase both the simulation caching and rendering time.
Just a brief explanation, for the fluids use in realflow, we have to simulate the cache so we can preview it on the screen and then we will only be able to render it. After caching the fluid, which only caches the moving water particles, we also have to cache the meshes which is the “cover” of the water, otherwise when you render, it will be empty.
And guess how long it took to JUST simulate the cache and the meshes? It’s not even the final render hahaha. This in taking into consideration of only my 24 fishes that collides with water. I honestly had a shock and this is kinda giving me PTSD. It took about 7 hours+ in total just for the simulation caches. I almost died. But after this is done, next I will simulate the turbulence fd – the blue trails, which luckily only took about 30 mins + to simulate.
Anyhow, for all my previous renders, I only had one white light source which I felt was a little too flat for my liking. I knew I wanted to have a day to night transition throughout my animation.
In my head, I envision the golden hour, where the sun casts a golden glow on the water, making it glitter with moving shadows and shimmers. Thus, I am so happy that Octane has this function which is called the Octane Daylight. This allows me to create and set certain timings of the day, which will accurately give me the colour of the hour, depending on the sun/sky colour I choose.
Additionally, I was even able to set the coordinates of the country I wanted. To accurately present it, I stuck to our Singapore coordinates which allows me to have a forever Summer and light in my rendering. I was also able to create different timeframes of the sun timing, which allows me to create a day to night transition which I’m so excited to see after it renders.
Here’s some stills to see the difference in colours after adding the daylight function. I’m so happy with the results!
For the evening scene, those “glitters” which see are actually what we call “fireflies”, technically there are just noise pixels. I thought they were quite nice but we all know noise renders are not acceptable hahaha. And it will be too obvious when it’s blown up in the huge screen.
Octane Rendering Tips
So I went on a full research mode on Octane render settings. I didn’t know there were so many options and settings, and realise I have always been using the default one. For any future juniors who are viewing this post in hopes to find some tips in Media Art Nexus and are using C4d Octane, I’m not a render professional but I’m gonna sum it up for you guys for what I’ve learnt and also a lowkey diary log to myself so I don’t forget haha.
In the Octane render settings, there are 4 render kernels. Kernels are basically “modes” of the renderer which will give you different results and are also use differently depending on the project you are rendering for. For what’s important now, and what you’ll normally use are Direct Lighting and Path Tracing.
It is said that Direct Lighting would be faster for Animation, while Path Tracing are used for Stills renders due to it’s accuracy. But for my renders, I decided to switch to Path Tracing as I felt it was better, and less noisy than direct lighting even though it will take super long. As I’m typing now, I’m currently rendering. It also depends on your computer’s RAM. My laptop takes approx 7 – 20 mins to render one frame, more lights in the scene will definitely take longer. If I’m using my laptop to render, it will take a total of 29 days to render which is insane…. I’m so glad for the existence of my brother’s desktop which takes about 2 min and 45 secs per frame. Note that I have a total of 2100 frames…. And I’m just praying that it can render on time till the submission.
The reason for the pixelation would most probably be the number of max. samples you keyed in. Of course, the higher the sample, less pixels/noise you’ll see. But that’s not only the factor, you’ve to take into consideration of your lighting samples, materials as well. Ahhhh there’s actually alot of things to research on and I can’t write everything here otherwise it will be too lengthy.
All I know to myself is, when I render, my max samples is at 5000, diffuse depth and diffuse specular are at 16-20. Below are some videos I watched which I felt was very helpful in teaching me the uses of each render setting.
Glow in Fishes
Next, is adding glow for the fishes in the night scene. At the near ending of my animation, the scene gets darker and darker. I wanted to create a more ethereal atmosphere and thus decided to add some glow effects on the fishes at the end. I rendered out different hues of light colours, starting from warm tone to cool tones to see which fits the best.
Here you see, a warm yellow, light yellow, white light and blue tone. Ultimately, I decided that a cooler tone fits the entire aesthetic more even though the warm light looks cute, but it might look abit disruptive. So the tone is in between a white light and a blue light.
I tried the glow animation on a seperate file to make my workflow faster so I don’t have to wait for it in my actual file as there’s too many things going on.
The fishes will be glowing at about this speed, or probably even slower as I can still the total speed of the animation in the post production. This is the end of my process post for now! Honestly during this semester, I’ve learnt alot from C4D which I wouldn’t if I’m not given an “excuse” to explore into this. I’m excited for my render to be done, HOPEFULLY it can render in time as I’m so shook that it’s gonna take like a few days for it to render finish… I’ll check back to this space soon!! Ciaooo
So I’m back again with some new renders after listening to the feedback about my work. I’ve added blue fish trails using Turbulence FD in Cinema 4D which I feel gives a certain touch of elegance and augments the flow for my piece. I am very happy with this result!
This is a draft render as I will definitely be adding more fishes. Hopefully, it will give an overall ambient look of bringing a porcelain painting to life; as though fishes are swimming across the white clear stone.
As of now, time spent to render for 20 seconds video of just two kois takes about 6 hours and 30 minutes which is crazy. This will be a reminder on how I manage my time in the future after adding more fishes.