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Master Thesis

Master Thesis

About the position 

Goodbye Kansas Studios are looking for talented students to join our team in Stockholm to do their Master thesis work. Below follows a couple of open Master thesis subjects at Goodbye Kansas Studios. If you have an idea or a certain passion for a specific area, don't hesitate to get in contact with us so we can discuss your idea for a Master thesis subjects.

Environments

Environment are critical for making movies, series or game-trailers stand out. Everything is in the details, and to achieve great detail and high quality the sets team needs a lot of time to get it right. It is an interesting and highly artistic area were a lot of time the artists are limited by their toolset. They might for instance want to see the entire set, fully textured and with lighting, when working. We at Goodbye Kansas Studios aim to give the artists the creative freedom they deserve by in this Master thesis proposal develop new tools for the environment pipeline.

Thesis Subjects

Improve/redesign layout tools

Redesign layout tools to make it more artist friend to place assets into the scene such as artist guided scattering tools based on curves, drawings and scene metrics. Taking into account instancing with per master generic variation and per instance material variation.

References: [Interactive environment creation with sprout, Art-directable procedural vegetation in disney's zootopia, The trees of The Jungle Book]

Art-directable render-time procedurals

Create tools to procedurally generate vegetation and placement of objects in an artist-friendly and art-directable way that will get its full complexity at render-time and have preview objects to work with interactively. For example, to be able to procedurally grow or place objects more densely in shaded areas or grow moss on top of geometries as is done in [Wonder Moss] without the cost of storing all the generated geometry that would take up a lot of space but instead be generated at render-time.

[ The Jungle Book: Art-Directing Procedural Scatters in Rich Environments, Guided Ecological Simulation for Artistic Editing of Plant Distributions in Natural Scenes, Wonder Moss]

Automated LOD system

To fit the entire scene into memory and display it in the viewport, it would be necessary to design a Level Of Detail (LOD) system that will swap out assets to lower poly count and lower texture size assets without noticeable differences in quality as the assets gets further from camera.

References: [simplygon]

Realtime preview

The closer resemblance to the final assets the artists gets to work with in the viewer, the fewer iterations the artist will need. Therefore, it is critical to get as close to the render asset as we can get within the previewer in Maya and Houdini mainly. This would entail incorporating hardware texturing and lighting into the viewer. Also, environments are seldom static, so a way of viewing non-static scenes as in games but in the artists viewer is of interest as well. Using Pixar’s open-sourced Universal Scene Description’s (USD) Hydra render delegate would be interesting.

References: [EEVEE, UNITY, USD]

Characters

Making characters believable is a tough challenge and is something we at Goodbye Kansas Studios have gotten really good at doing. We always strive to get better at it and with these Master thesis proposals we aim to further develop our toolset to help create amazing characters.

Thesis Subjects

Sticky lips and teeth/skull collision

To achieve the most realistic facial deformation it is required to mimic the subtle stickiness of the lips and their collision with each other and the underlying rigid structures such as teeth and skull. Existing out of the box solutions neither achieve realistic results or real time feedback which is critical for facial animators. Skin to bone collision for other parts of the face like brows and cheeks for skin sliding and jiggle effects would further enhance the realism of our facial rigs.

References:[EPFL]

Skin stretch and compression shader

Create realtime and offline shaders that calculate skin stretch and compression factors and blend  textures based on that to simulate blood flow and wrinkles.

References:[ICT]

Automatic tracking of facial feature points

We capture our facial animation using cameras attached to a helmet worn by actors. To accurately convert the captured performance to a digital character we first need to track a large number of points on the actors face which is a time consuming process. There are numerous off the shelf software for tracking feature points on image sequences but they are not very robust without user input since they are not made specifically for faces they do not take into consideration such constraints as how the points can move relative to each other or the structure of the face. We have a lot of data that has been previously tracked using conventional methods that could be used as training data for a deep learning approach.

References: [NVIDIA]

Laser projector system for virtual environment scouting

In motion capture you have to create and place physical visual marks on set to visualize the digital environment for the actors to act on. This usually done by moving a motion capture tracked object around in the physical environment while looking at the tracked objects position in the digital environment and then laying out visual cues such as tape on the floor. This is not only time consuming but it’s also very limiting for the actors to visualize the environment. Instead we would like to try the idea of have a ceiling mounted laser projector that renders a digital environment on the set floor with features such as highlighting edges and color code different objects.

 



At Goodbye Kansas, we don’t just make dreams come true. We make them real. That’s what happens when individuals bring their own, distinct powers to a creative team. We are looking for a few more people like you, whose one-of-a-kind talents can combine with equally brilliant colleagues in a creative alchemy.

The Goodbye Kansas group consists of Goodbye Kansas Studios, Goodbye Kansas Game Invest, Infinite Entertainment and Goodbye Kansas Holding, with 200+ artists in Stockholm, Uppsala, London, Hamburg and Los Angeles. We offer award-winning and uniquely integrated services for feature films, TV, commercials, games and game trailers. Expertise includes VFX, CGI, 3D Face scanning, Motion Capture and Animation, plus development and marketing of games. We also create, develop and manage our own original IPs.

 

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