Mettle Reveals Fafi’s Process For “Vegas: Alter Your Reality”

In part two of a series of posts about the recently-completed “Vegas: Alter Your Reality” 360º video art project, Mettle has taken a plunge into the process that brought Fafi’s vision of Las Vegas to life. Of all five artists, Fafi’s style was the most ‘analog’, which presented many creative and technical challenges for the team to solve. Most of Fafi’s artwork is drawn by hand in Photoshop or painted directly on walls, so we had to establish a workflow that allowed her to stay in a comfortable 2D workflow while assuring that we could translate her work into 360º. Most of the handoff between Fafi’s artwork and the final VR experience involved breaking her Photoshop files into layers so that we could multi-plane the 2D art with the stroke, fill, and shading all separated slightly in 3D to give it a subtle dimensionality. “Las Fafinette Star” is also the wildest ride of all 5 films, featuring aggressive camera moves that required numerous iterations before they stopped being nauseating to watch:

The camera move at the start of this film covers a huge distance and features a handoff between a free camera move and one parented to a slowly rotating 3D model, all during an animation of the interpupillary distance to give a sensation of shrinking for the viewer. The combination of rotations and eye distance animation made for a series of nauseating review sessions before the move was locked into something that viewers could easily handle.

This film featured the highest number of 2D assets in the series as well as the largest single element – the massive particle galaxy seen in the opening was over 1.5 terabytes of data just by itself. The surface texture and render-time greeble geometry on the Fafinette Spaceship was also one of the largest data-wrangling puzzles we faced, requiring a lot of careful planning and some seriously intense render times before it was all noise-free at final resolution.