CG expert and CINEMA 4D trainer “Dr. Sassi” meticulously documents the entire production of his short “JET.”
NEWBURY PARK, CA — MAXON, a developer of professional 3D modeling, painting, animation and rendering solutions, has made available a new 3D filmmaking tutorial series for users of Cineversity, MAXON USA’s online education and training resource.
Created by Dr. Ing.V. Sassmannshausen, a renowned computer animator and 3D authority better known as Dr. Sassi, JET Production Notes is one of the most comprehensive collections of instructional videos and tutorials ever created documenting the entire 3D animation filmmaking process from conception to execution. The series is aimed at motion graphics artists, independent filmmakers and those collaborating in large film studio production teams and use MAXON CINEMA 4D as the cornerstone software application to illustrate fundamental skills and techniques digital artists can use to add dimension and elevate the quality of their 3D animated projects.
“Animators and visual effects artists today sometimes have limited or no fundamental education before joining studios and often find they need to run before they learn to walk,” Sassi explains. “With this new series I hope to fill in some gaps. My goal is to take a vast amount of filmmaking and 3D animation info and break it down into simple, yet valuable methods, ideas and knowledge — not flashy and cool tricks.”
Sassi, who holds a Ph.D. in computer animation, draws reference material for the Cineversity tutorials from his decades of production and technical experience, artistic knowledge and the real world production challenges he faced as an independent filmmaker of Junior Extra Terrestrial (JET), a four-minute animated and live-action short film he created entirely on his own in shortly over a year, using CINEMA 4D.
JET tells the story of a curious little space alien whose adventurous spirit takes him on an extended voyage when he visits Earth for the day. To date, the film has screened in 35mm Cinemascope at over 20 international festivals and continues to be a critical success having scored numerous awards and accolades.
Beyond the challenge of making a film that combines live action and CG elements was the fact that Sassi was also simultaneously documenting the entire creative and technical process of animating a short feature complete with illustrations, animations and other assets, for the Cineversity training series, a process that took several years.
“Thinking in terms of procedurals and production pipelines for the film and instructional videos at the same time required intense focus,” Sassi says. “Having access to the feature rich, intuitive CINEMA 4D tool set allowed me to detail how elements can work together and the spectrum of widely used production techniques to bring it all to life.”
Since 2006, Sassi has been the leading contributor of training resources to Cineversity and he also has mentored hosts of visitors to the site.
“Dr. Sassi’s CINEMA 4D expertise as a production professional, artist, educator and trainer, make him uniquely qualified to author this groundbreaking step-by-step tutorials series documenting every facet of the complex animated filmmaking process," Paul Babb, President/CEO, MAXON US says. “MAXON remains committed to providing Cineversity members the highest quality online education and training materials and we’re confident the new JET-based tutorial series will provide animators and visual artists at every level with practical CINEMA 4D knowledge to elevate their 3D skill sets.”
JET Production Notes is comprised of four sections with a focus on topics ranging from cinematography, integration, speed modeling and more. In addition, there are three additional series focused on animation techniques, lighting and industrial modeling.
The entire collection will be released over the next few weeks, one new section each week, starting February 4th.
Highlights of the JET Production Notes series and each section (in order of release):
Integration (release date Feb 4th) – is a 54-part, in-depth and more advanced theoretical and practical introduction to help artists think in terms of production pipeline interoperability and workflow. Using a structured step-by-step approach, it demonstrates the elements of integrating a 3D spaceship with practical footage. Included is new, state-of-the-art RED HDR-X raw footage and raw 3D models with instruction that allows members to create their own demo clip. Other topics covered include, creating 3D environments, compositing, and more.
Cinematography (release date Feb 11th) – is a 27-part, two-hour ‘crash course’ for 3D artists. The tutorial content focuses on elemental cinematography principles including the rules of camera use and lighting as they apply to the features available in CINEMA 4D. [Note: The Cinematography tutorial series received two Telly Awards and a Remi Award.]
JET, Making of (release date Feb 18th) – is a 40-part series that takes all of the large 3D environment scenes in JET, including those with thousands of buildings, to introduce and breakdown widely used digital filmmaking techniques.
JET, Speed modeling (release date Feb 25th) – is a production-based series providing ideas and procedurals to create the background and middle ground for a complete cityscape. Based on the ‘Pershing Square’ scene in JET and using its set design as a base, it shares methods to quickly model detailed facades and also demonstrates use of the powerful CINEMA 4D MoGraph toolset to create 4,000 different objects – in less than a day.
Animation Techniques for Teams (release date (Mar 4th) – is a course in "non-linear-animation" designed for artists at large-scale production facilities or those collaborating from remote locations sharing video assets. Because JET was created solely by Sassi, this ‘bonus’ series provides critical knowledge and concepts for filmmakers working in teams that are not discussed in the other tutorials.
Lighting (release date Mar 11th) – is a collection of themes that addresses the day-to-day challenges and mistakes artists make using 3D lighting options.
Modeling Industrial Holes (release date (Mar 18th) – is a ‘bonus’ series demonstrating how the powerful modeling tools in CINEMA 4D provide options to produce specific structures, i.e., metal mesh filters and vents.