UPDATED: Every VFX supe needs one of these

…and one VFX supervisor is actually 3D printing it.

Today, Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor Andrew Whitehurst posted a very fun project on his Twitter account – a dice inspired by http://pocketartdirector.com that would be a quick way to give some of the hilariously common feedback in VFX dailies.

So, I quickly asked him all about it, including how he built it in Houdini and is getting it 3D printed.

Update: Whitehurst has received the 3D print from Shapeways, where you can buy a copy or download an STL model file to print at home. He says he may do a paint job on the final product, so keep staying tuned! 

The final 3D print.

The inspiration

Andrew Whitehurst: There is a brilliant “Pocket Art Director” D20 designed by Fuzzco, and I thought it was funny and pricked a bit of the pomposity of the Art Director ego. And VFX Supes are not so dissimilar (takes one to know one), so I thought I could design one for us.

What’s on each face

-APPROVED

-split the difference

-revert to v001

-make it more organic

-needs more weight

-make it faster

-make it slower

-soften the edges

-match the black levels

-add a rim light

-make it more magical

-make it bigger

-add camera shake

-add saturation

-reduce the weathering

-blah blah blah

-is that finished?

-match the grain

-check the defocus

-check the motion blur

How it was designed

I designed the whole thing in Houdini, as making the model procedurally is faster than trying to do it by hand (shudders), and exported the geometry as a 77670 polygon OBJ file which I uploaded to Shapeways for printing.

Houdini’s Boolean tools are really good so the mesh was clean and hole free, which is a requirement for printing. I like the reflexive nature of an object gently poking fun at VFX supes being made by a VFX supe in a piece of VFX software. It’s the Circle of Liiiiife! I’ve had quite a bit of interest from other supes who want one so I hope the print comes out well. [Editor’s note: Andrew has said ‘if my print comes out OK, I’ll post the STL file so anyone can order a print.’]

We will keep you informed on how Andrew’s 3D print goes!

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