Challenging Traditional Film Production Methods
Richmanclub Studios creates first movie entirely using GPUs instead of CPUs for post-production
Singapore, 21 January 2014 – Richmanclub Studios, a Singapore film production company, collaborates with international brands such as NVIDIA, OTOY OctaneRender and Nanyang Technological University’s Multi-plAtform Game Innovation Centre (MAGIC) to create the first feature film that have visual effects fully produced by GPUs (Graphics Processing Unit). This movie, The Boy And His Robot (TBAHR), will also be the first feature film to massively use Markerless Motion capture with just six gaming Webcams and the first feature film to use Act-3D Lumion 4 architectural visualization software.
First feature film that have visual effects fully produced by GPUs
Through making this movie, the director and founder of Richmanclub Studios, Rich Ho, completed some rendering tests to demonstrate that an image that traditionally took hours on CPU, can be done in less than 1 minute on 3 Tesla K20 GPUs. Images reaching final render quality were visualized near real-time using a single NVIDIA Quadro K6000. Industry tests of rendering have shown that GPU performs 68 times faster than CPU (Central Processing Unit). To achieve the same results, GPU cost just 7.6 percent of CPU cost. It was also found that anyone with a mid-range gaming card can also use OctaneRender to visualize and create. “These results prove that with GPU technology, things can be accelerated for film production. NVIDIA enables films to be visualized and creates photorealistic results for the screen,” said Rich Ho.
“Filmmakers choose NVIDIA Quadro professional graphics when they want to tell their visual stories faster and better,” said Sandeep Gupta, senior director of Product Marketing for the Quadro Professional Graphics Business at NVIDIA. “Employing our most powerful GPU, the Quadro K6000, creative professionals like those at Richmanclub Studios realize amazing digital characters and visual effects in dramatically accelerated workflows.”
Using OctaneRender, materials can be converted from other traditional renderers with a single click. Thereafter, tweaks and experimentations can be done in near real-time, and near final render quality with light and shadows, using the OctaneRender viewport. Materials and shading can also be done very quickly in OctaneRender standalone or direct from 3D packages via a plugin. This process frees the artist to joyfully experiment as tweaks are being reflected in real-time on the models in a full sunlight system.
Sam Lapere, project manager for OctaneRender at OTOY New Zealand, also adds, “As independent studios and film makers like Richmanclub Studios delve into GPU rendering, they can attest to the huge improvements in artist workflow and acknowledge the time and cost savings brought by the technology in the process of rendering visual effects. This movie signals the arrival of GPU-rendering in the Film and VFX industry and we hope it will be the catalyst for more studios to use OctaneRender in their pipeline and deploy GPU-rendering in more feature films.”
First feature film to massively use Markerless Motion capture with just six gaming Webcams
Partnering also with iPi Soft, Moscow-based developer of a markerless motion capture software tool – iPi Motion Capture™, TBAHR will challenge elaborate and expensive traditional motion capture methods. Only six consumer gaming webcams (SONY PS Eye) and iPi Soft’s motion capture software was used to create all the motion capture. The simple setup consists of plugging the webcams to a USB hub and calibration is done in minutes using only a normal flashlight. This process can be done in as open area both indoors and outdoors. A markerless motion capture process also makes it easier for actors as they are not required to wear markers or a motion capture suit when performing stunts or movements.
First feature film to use Act-3D Lumion 4
Act-3D Lumion 4 was traditionally used for architectural visualization, however, Richmanclub Studios has taken it into the film industry for post-production. Lumion 4 has successfully proven its capabilities to generate many 3D environments, including volumetric clouds, water, and terrain. All are visualized in real-time, and rendered in minutes.
Other innovations for film production
By partnering companies/institutions and universities that produce innovative technologies, this production also aims to be the ‘first’ in the following:
– First feature film workflow utilizing Cloud Computing for the entire project.
- Allowing the exchange of clips and images among artist around the world in a cost effective way.
– First live-action sci-fi Mecha feature film in Asia.
- Robots fight robots alongside live human actors.
– First made for cinema feature film directly distributed online.
- A paradigm shift taking films out from the thousands of cinemas to the billions of digital devices around the world.
- Creating a viable business model for online distribution.
“I knew that the traditional way of movie production would be too costly and time consuming to allow the story to be brought from paper to reality. A new production method powered by new technology needs to be developed. And thus began the journey of seeking production partners and artists who are adventurous enough to experiment and create change. And I am humbled that many international partners decided to take the risk with this movie, and dive in to pioneer a new movie production workflow that just might revolutionize the film industry in terms of time and costs. It’s a new faster and better way of working, which essentially frees artists to focus on creation, and ultimately entertaining the public with a dramatic, action-filled, live-action Mecha movie,” said Rich Ho.
To date international partnerships include SONY, NVIDIA, OTOY’s GPU based OctaneRender, Technicolor, Act-3D, iPi Soft, Muse Pte Ltd, Research Institute of Systems Planning, Inc. in Japan and Singapore’s leading University in computer science the Nanyang Technological University’s Multi-plAtform Game Innovation Centre (MAGIC). Besides international brands and institutions, artists from Singapore, Russia, France, China and South Korea are handling a variety of work from 3D modelling to Texturing. These artists have worked on major films and games such as: Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon, Pacific Rim, Star Trek: Into The Darkness, Uncharted 3, Medal of Honor, Kill Zone, and Iron Man 3 game.
About The Boy And His Robot
Live action Mecha movies such as Transformers and Pacific Rim have always been created by Hollywood, but now Asia will have its first. 小弟的机器人 (THE BOY AND HIS ROBOT) is set in an alternate universe where humans on Earth and Mars are in constant battle over limited resources. War erupts when the leaders on Mars decide to exert totalitarian control over humankind.
Recruit Kai is an unassuming, soft-spoken 19 year old recruit who unwittingly aced his selection examinations into Mecha Corps– the military’s elite force.
Along with his fighter robot, he is unceremoniously nicknamed “little boy”. As he struggles to keep up and fit in with his fellow trainees, Kai’s desire and frustration to prove himself pushes him to discover his true abilities and a special friendship with his robot.
Directed by Rich Ho, The Boy And His Robot is a fast-paced science-fiction action adventure, filled with epic robot battles, centered on an intimate story about friendship and sacrifice.
Genre: Action/ Adventure/ Science Fiction
Subtitles: English / Chinese / Others
Runtime: 90 minutes
Directed and Story by: Rich Ho Kok Tai
– Ends –
For media queries, please contact:
Kristos Communications for this collaborated production: The Boy And His Robot.
Chong Kai Yang
Account Manager – Film, Media & Entertainment
Tel: (+65) 9862 8546
About Production Company – Richmanclub Studios Pte. Ltd.
Founded by Rich Ho Kok Tai, Richmanclub Studios was registered and incorporated in Singapore on the 6th June 2004 as a motion pictures production company.
Richmanclub Studios’ first official production was the short film, “The Alien Invasion” in 2004, which involved a massive cast of over 80. “The Alien Invasion” has been shown around the world, including being the first Singaporean film to be nominated for the “Chinese Oscar”, The Golden Horse Awards 2004 for “Best International Digital Short Film”.
Other awards that the studio had picked up were “Special Technical Achievement Award” (Hive Film Festival), “Audience Favorite” (Substation First Take) and being the first Singaporean to receive an Asia-Pacific wide “Gold Award-Digital Art” (ACMSIGGRAPH ComGraph).
Richmanclub Studios was also an early adopter of online film distribution. In May 2006, the studios started building the online theatre and community, with the aim of sharing short films and future online entertainment series with audiences worldwide. The world’s first full-scale Digital Launch of “The Alien Invasion” has also successfully garnered viewership from over hundreds of thousands through online streaming, and all major digital devices, gaining industry recognition for this innovative means of film distribution.
In 2011, Richmanclub Studios launched 2 additional departments. Richopus Music was established in 2011 to offer music production services, and IVI VFX was setup to provide post production services.
In 2013, Richmanclub Studios is leading an international partnership of SONY, NVIDIA, Technicolor, Nanyang Technological University’s MAGIC, OTOY’s OctaneRender, Muse Post, Act-3D Lumion, iPi Soft LLC, and ISP Technologies, in producing the movie “The Boy and His Robot”. Where Richmanclub Studios seeks to create a new film production workflow that is completely based on Graphics Processing Units (GPU), which will potentially revolutionize the film industry.
Visit Richmanclub Studios Pte Ltd at www.richmanclub.com
Visit Richopus Music at www.richopus.com
Visit IVI VFX at ivi.richmanclub.com
About Production Partners and contribution
Since 1993, NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA) has pioneered the art and science of visual computing. The company’s technologies are transforming a world of displays into a world of interactive discovery — for everyone from gamers to scientists, and consumers to enterprise customers. More information at http://nvidianews.nvidia.com/ and http://blogs.nvidia.com/.
Nanyang Technological University’s MAGIC
Multi-plAtform Game Innovation Centre (MAGIC) brings to “The Boy and His Robot” a wealth of experience, and cutting edge innovations from professors, researchers, and staff. Numerous technologies will be employed and showcased in the post production of the film from AMPS (Asset Management Production System), motion-capture, artificial intelligence powered crowd simulation, new modelling techniques, to GPU rendering and more. Together with Richmanclub Studios, “The Boy and His Robot” aims to be the platform to showcase new and affordable technologies that can be used in visual effects and other post production areas, in supporting the story-telling.
Multi-plAtform Game Innovation Centre (MAGIC) is supported by the Interactive Digital Media Programme Office (IDMPO) hosted by the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA), and established in Nanyang Technological University (NTU) on 1st Nov 2012.
The objective of MAGIC is to champion efforts in research, development, education, commercialization and impact of digital games in Singapore. It hopes to establish and strengthen Singapore’s position as the leading hub in Asia for managing research, innovation, commercialization, application and impacts of digital games. With MAGIC, the Singapore Game Sector will not only see more exciting high-quality games created and published but also cutting-edge game tools/services created from the industry-relevant R&D undertaken. MAGIC will be redefining gameplay for game development facilitation & solution innovation.
Specifically, MAGIC addresses research, development, education, commercialization and impacts of both high-quality game contents and game development tools/products/services for all platforms ranging from PC, console, social network, mobile and other emerging platforms.
Visit NTU MAGIC at http://magic.ntu.edu.sg/innovation/devproj/boyrobot
Sony’s advancements in producing excellent equipment for Broadcast and Content Creation has freed many movie producers to capture and reproduce stunning pictures and sound from movie screens to the mobile devices in your hand. Their recent line of Digital Motion Picture Cameras, especially the high quality NEX-FS700K Camcorder, has captured the imagination of Director Rich who has shot with many different forms and brands of cameras in his 20 over years of filming. Now, an affordable camera, with picture quality to match major studios’ pictures, is within reach of smaller independent studios and cinematographers. With The Boy And His Robot, Richmanclub Studios has compiled a list of “Independent-Ready” Broadcast and Content Creation equipment with advice and partnership from Sony, which will be put to the test in diverse filming conditions.
The “Independent-Ready” Sony Broadcast and Content Creation equipment that will be used in The Boy and His Robot:
PVM-1741 (17” Broadcast OLED Monitor)
DMX-PO1 Portable Digital Mixer
UWP-V1 Wireless Microphone
OTOY is a leading developer of innovative software solutions, as well as a provider of convergence technologies, original content, and special effects for the video game and film industries. OTOY works with a wide range of studios, game developers and visualization companies to create leading-edge visual and entertainment experiences.
OctaneRender™ will be one of the main GPU-based renderers employed in The Boy And His Robot to create the photorealistic imagery required of the film and its post-production workflow. OctaneRender™ is the world’s first GPU-based, un-biased, physically-based renderer equipped with real-time interactive texturing and lighting environment, post-processing capabilities and a multi-GPU support render engine to speed up the creation of photo-realistic images and film quality animations. OctaneRender™ is used alongside major 3D modelling applications with fully integrated plugins available for 3dsMax, Maya, Poser, Blender, LightWave, Cinema 4D, Daz Studio, Softimage, ArchiCAD, AutoCAD, Inventor, Revit and Rhino. Integrated plugins for Modo, SketchUp and Carrara are currently in beta testing phase and are set to be released in the first quarter of 2014.
Visit OctaneRender™ at http://render.otoy.com/
Visit OTOY at www.otoy.com
Leveraging its unique and long lasting experience in the Movie, Media and Telecommunications industries, Technicolor brings the exciting digital experience to the end-user in theatres and at home through the Digital Home network, by offering its best in class innovative technologies, services and products to the Media and Entertainment industry.
Visit Technicolor at http://www.technicolor.com/
Muse Pte Ltd
Muse Pte Ltd was established in Singapore since 1999. Throughout the years, we have grown in size and stature exploring new innovations in the media industry to deliver high quality, high value content for our clients.
Muse Post offer state-of-the-art media production services and post-production facilities for media content creators ranging from Government bodies to educational institutions; TV stations to Production Houses; Record Companies and Advertising Agencies.
Visit Muse Post at http://www.musepost.com/#1
Research Institute of Systems Planning, Inc
Research Institute of Systems Planning, Inc. (“ISP”) is a Tokyo-based software development company. Since foundation, ISP has kept staying on the edge of progressing technology including the field of medical information, device control, space exploration, communications, network, image processing and more. ISP has performed skills on software development, system integragration, consultation and technology/product development.
ISP contributed to the project “The Boy and His Robot” with “ROBUSKEY”, a patented chromakey technology.
Visit ISP at http://www.isp.co.jp/en/
Founded in 1998 and officially registered in January 2001, Act-3D B.V. is the privately owned
company behind Lumion. Based in Leiden, The Netherlands, Act-3D is dedicated to the development of user-friendly real-time 3D software.
Act-3D was among of the pioneers when the first 3D acceleration hardware became commonplace. After several years of experience in simulation, training, architecture, TV and film Act-3D decided to focus on architectural visualization. Our goal is to transform high end visualization technology so regular AEC professionals can use it. Act-3D software is used all over the world, we have people working for us in more than 5 countries and currently Lumion is the most popular modern visualization solution available.
Visit Lumion, Act-3D at http://lumion3d.com/contact/
Launched in 2008, iPi Soft, LLC is the Moscow-based developer of iPi Motion Capture™, a markerless motion capture software tool that uses sophisticated image processing and computer vision algorithms to recognize and track the human body. The company’s breakthrough technology digitizes the movement of a human skeleton, rendering it in expressive 3D characters for video games or computer. Recent projects that relied on iPi Motion Capture include the hit feature film “Now You See Me” and the upcoming horror classic reboot “Night of the Living Dead: Origins 3D” and the acclaimed videogame “Halo 4.”
Visit iPi Soft athttp://ipisoft.com/