Marco Macaco - Lighting
Nice Ninja came to us with the request to pitch a system that would allow their lighting and render artists to work on their shots, not on bugs. We came up with an artist friendly system using 3Delight as the primary engine.
We wrote our own GI integration, piggy-backing off of 3DFM's existing hooks, implemented a few sophisticated illumination models, and an extensible platform. We developed Maya shaders, plugins, and wrote in logic for what kind of render strategies the system would use, based on the artist's shader settings.
That way, the artists spent their time working with a couple of knobs, and the system managed the backend decisions.
We also wrote our own shader level color management, which means that this is probably the first animated feature (or one of the first) in Denmark to run a completely linear workflow.
Here are some of our early render tests. We're looking here for flicker, and other photon-related artifacts.