15th Annual VES Awards
Congrats to the Nominees!

We’re thrilled to learn that Gaffer was a key lighting and rendering software for a VES nominated project! CG Supervisor Edmond Engelbrecht and the Image Engine team were nominated for Outstanding Created Environment in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project for their work on Game of Thrones; The Winds of Winter, with the procedural texturing, look development, and rendering for the Citadel environment produced using Gaffer.

Siggraph and DigiPro
Gaffer gets published

The buzz surrounding Gaffer was pretty solid at Siggraph this year, thanks in part to our Gaffer paper, published and presented at DigiPro. If you’re unfamiliar with DigiPro, its a co-located symposium that takes place the day before Siggraph. The presentations focus on production proven technology, providing a space for long-form papers about actual production challenges (rather than pure research). Image Engine has presented at DigiPro in the past, about our Cortex based rendering pipeline, but this was the first paper about Gaffer itself.

Gaffer at the movies
Independence Day: Resurgence

FXGuide has a detailed breakdown of Independence Day: Resurgence, including Image Engine’s key contributions: the aliens, interior mothership environment, and holding prison.

Tip of the Day
Drag and drop objects to assign shaders

Because Gaffer is a procedural system, modifications to objects are made by applying nodes to the scene, using filters to determine which objects within the scene are affected by a particular node. Commonly a PathFilter is used to select all the objects whose names match a particular pattern, similar to the way pattern matching is performed in a Unix shell. For example, /world/octopi/*/*Eye would select all the eyes of any cephalopods that might be lurking in the scene.

Appleseed and Gaffer
Interview with François Beaune

The BlenderDiplom website has a nice interview with Francois Beaune, developer of Appleseed, the open source renderer behind the short film “Fetch”.

Tip of the Day
Shift+Alt click to select upstream nodes

When reorganising a node network, you often want to move all the nodes upstream from a particular point in the graph. You can Shift+Alt click to select all such nodes and drag them to a new location. Here’s an example moving some nodes to make way for the insertion of another node. Also note how the node is inserted automatically when dragged over the noodle.

Tip of the Day
Use autocomplete in path widgets

If you’ve spent much time in a UNIX shell, you probably already know and love tab completion, whereby hitting the tab key will autocomplete the current filename based on the first few characters entered. It’s particularly handy for navigating the kind of deep directory structures that seem to typify VFX job structures. It’s worth knowing that Gaffer’s path widgets support the same tab complete mechanism - just type part of the name, hit tab and if possible it’ll be completed for you. Here’s an example.

Gaffer at the movies
Jurassic World

CGSociety has a great interview with Martyn Culpitt, VFX supervisor at Image Engine, talking about Image Engine’s work on Jurassic World.