“Dream is not that which you see while sleeping, it is something that does not let you sleep”
Dream has been responsible for some major creative and scientific discoveries in the course of human history and the greatest inventions of mankind.
Vivid or Lucid dreamers from the fields of science, literature, music and movies, Stumbling across vivid or lucid dreaming by accident is not unusual in the general population. Indeed, some surveys suggest that everyone will have a vivid or lucid dream at least once in their lives.So it's not too surprising that there are many famous vivid or lucid dreamers out there - Plenty more than in this list suggests. And for some of them, it has had a direct impact on the work for which they have become famous...
A few examples of great personality
The director of Avatar (as well as countless other hit movies including The Terminator, True Lies and Titanic) has cited lucid dreams as being the inspiration for one of his famous movie scenes. Musing on Avatar, he said: "...I've kind of realized that what I was trying to do was create dream imagery, create a lucid dream state while you're watching the film" - This dreamy success has come true from after having a dream.
Larry Page - The idea for Google
Google Co-founder is Larry Page revealed in his 2009 commencement address to the University of Michigan that the basic platform for google was based on a sleep dream he had in college. - This dreamy success has come true from after having a dream.
The famous surrealist painter, Salvador Dali, knew that lucid dreams were real long before they were scientifically verified in the lab. He used dream incubation techniques to pre-program his dreams, and produced many dream-inspired works. - This dreamy success has come true from after having a dream.
The mathematical genius made substantial contributions to analytical theory of numbers, elliptical functions, continued fractions, and infinite series, and proved more than 3,000 mathematical theorems in his lifetime. Ramanujan stated that the insight for his work came to him in his dreams on many occasions. - This dreamy success has come true from after having a dream.
Einstein is famous for his genius insights into the nature of the universe and he came to the extraordinary scientific achievement and discovering the principle of relativity. - This dreamy success has come true from after having a dream.
The father of quantum mechanics, Niels Bohr, often spoke of the inspirational dream that led to his discovery of the structure of the atom. . - This dreamy success has come true from after having a dream.
Howe invented the sewing machine based on a famous dream that helped him understand the mechanical penetration of the needle. - This dreamy success has come true from after having a dream.
Paul McCartney composed the entire melody for the hit acoustic song in a dream. - This dreamy success has come true from after having a dream.
A prominent German organic chemist, August Kekulé insightfully dreamed of the structure of the Benzene molecule which, unlike other known organic compounds, had a circular structure rather than a linear one. - This dreamy success has come true from after having a dream.
Tesla - Alternating current generator
A genius inventor, Tesla is best known for his many revolutionary developments in the field of electromagnetism. His work formed the basis of modern-day commercial electricity using Alternating Current (AC) power systems. - This dreamy success has come true from after having a dream.
James Watson - DNA’s double helix spiral
The Double Helix tells how Watson, then 25, discovered the secret of life at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge in late February 1953. Watson himself discovered the twisting pair of strands of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) that lie inside the living cell.He said that he had discovered the ring shape of the benzene molecule after having a reverie or Day-Dream. - This dreamy success has come true from after having a dream.
Dimitri Mendeleyev - Periodic table
The periodic table is a tabular arrangement of the chemical elements, organized on the basis of their atomic number, electron configurations, and recurring chemical properties. Elements are presented in order of increasing atomic number, which is typically listed with the chemical symbol in each box. He wrote “In a dream I saw a table where all the elements fell into place as required. Awakening, I immediately wrote it down on a piece of paper.” - This dreamy success has come true from after having a dream.
No longer dismissed by psychologists as random neuron firings or meaningless fantasies, dreams are now considered an ongoing thought process that just happens to occur while we are asleep.
As we mentioned before, dreams are responsible for inventions, great artworks and generally just incredibly interesting. So we should “RECHARGE” our "CREATIVITY" through "DREAMS" as like DREAM FACTORY PICTURES.
“TECHNICAL INFORMATIOM ABOUT DREAM FACTORY STUDIOS ”
Our studio artist are busy figuring out how to transform a written script into the particularly visual language of technical filmmaking.
Studio story artist will draw different chunks of the script - bringing humor, sentiment and specificity to the words on the page. They then "pitch" it to the Director. Hopefully, if the directory accepts, it was a good worth moment being pitched. If not, it’s literally “back to the drawing board”.
The basic elements of the story drawings show camera angles and sequence staging, but most importantly for animated features, the challenge is adding humor and character to the story. Story artists constantly think of ways to “punch up” the script. While many scripts deserve a good beating, that’s not what “punch up” means — it simply means we try to make it as gut-busting and hilarious as possible. Thousands of jokes will be pitched during this process. If one of yours actually makes it into the final movie, give yourself a pat on the back.
The Design department is responsible for developing and implementing the look and style of each film. This is a ridiculously painstaking task since each of our Pictures has its own particular look and the design of every character, set, and prop needs to be developed from scratch.
The Design team is led by the Art Director, works closely with the Director to oversee the look of that film, including a color palette that supports the action and emotional tone of every sequence of the film. Art Directors are a unique brand of meticulous and troubled soul. Yes, they're visionary, battle-hardened illustrators - but their real power comes from meticulous stubbornness.
Here are the kinds of things the Design team has to reckon with every day:
Some of the team is responsible for actually designing all characters in the film’s cast from concept drawings, character expressions and technical details. Many many beautiful drawings are killed along the way.
Would you believe that sculptors create both clay and early digital maquettes of the characters, key set pieces and even some of the important props? They start from the approved drawings and bring the concept art to life by testing the design work in three dimensions. The filmmakers and other departments learn a ton from these sculpts.
From vast landscapes to the smallest props, set designers develop concept sketches and comprehensive plan view and camera view drawings, which define every detail of our film’s environments.
Color Designers provide a concept for the film’s color and textural palette by creating concept paintings, color keys, and character paintings. These include everything from the overall color script for the film, to the lighting and color design for each sequence, as well as the color and texture design concepts for the characters and sets.
The Previs department takes the first crack at interpreting the two-dimensional storyboards and designs, converting them into rough three-dimensional sets and sequences - allowing the Director, Director of Photography and Art Director to visualize the film as early as possible and make changes on-the-fly.
The Previs artist is a highly talented and efficient jack-of-all-trades. Their daily duties involve modeling, rigging, character and camera placement and animation, materials, lighting and fx work. Their noble vigilance and forward-thinking create a ripple effect, allowing the production to pre-visualize potential problems. Most Previs artists are, however, not actually psychically enabled.
In traditional filmmaking, a film crew shoots and shoots and shoots and pulls all the footage into an editing room to see what they got at the end. For animated films, most of the real creative editing happens first. The Story department hands off their hundreds of individual drawings and editors plop in temp musical score, sound effects, and temp "scratch" voiceover from our talented crew. (We have auditions and everything - if you're cast, congratulations: you are destined to be replaced by big Hollywood stars and comedians!)
The director uses these early cuts to shape the sequences - working out the mood of each scene and the type of performances the voices need to embody - trying out ideas here helps with the final casting and lets everyone at the studio understand how the final scene will play.
Once the actual real casting is done, the Editorial department manages recording sessions with the cast and Directors, eventually inserting the real deal over our temporary dialogue and getting the new cut out to everyone on the production floor.
The Editors are working on the cut throughout the full life cycle of a film, continually working with Story, Camera & Staging, and Animation to make multiple versions of shots and sequences for review and approval - updating the cut with new writing, story changes, cameras, and animation daily during the process.
CAMERA & STAGING
Camera & Staging (also known as Layout) is where all the cinematic planning for our Pictures is done. It's creative and technical and iterative and requires a ton of collaboration with most of the other departments. As you might imagine, Camera & Staging artists have one purpose in mind - to tell a great visual story.
Each sequence of the film is tackled by a single artist who begins the process of reinterpreting the storyboard cut and all the Previs material CG shots using low-res sets with low-res stand-in characters. They pick the lenses, block in the action (i.e. Scrat crosses an icy plane) and compose the shots to try to best express the scene. Then they show the director, change everything, cry, show the director, take notes, yell at their kids, etc. It's fun making cartoons!
When this phase is done other artists can bring in the final sets and props and evaluate it all again and tweak away. Once approved, each shot is meticulously separated out and prepped for the Animation team to bring the character performances to life. Camera & Staging re-evaluates the composition choices once the animators do their business - seeing the performance emerge tends to inspire yet more tweaking to help polish every shot.
Stereoscopy is too long to say, so it's referred to as "Stereo" in the industry. We're not talking about hearing sounds in both ears - we're talking about seeing sights in both eyes. Did you know that you perceive depth because you have two eyes? That's how we defeated the mighty Cyclops! Don't you read the newspaper???
The incredibly talented Stereo department works on every shot, throughout the filmmaking process. They set up a second camera (which pretends it's your second eye) and uses it to control the level of depth you see. Key moments might be exagerated or scaled back in order to heighten the overall experience. Once the rest of the departments are finished with their work, the Stereo team evaluates how their cameras are holding up and polish every frame... in 3D!!!
Our team is full of funny-glasses-wearing people who are seasoned vets of an entirely new field. They've invented tools and honed processes that make the stereoscopic 3D in our pictures deeply immersive, but also natural and comfortable.
CHARACTERS & SETS
The Dream Factory Modeling Department is responsible for creating the first digital assets in the CG production process. Using high-end software packages Maya and ZBrush, we create all of the characters, locations, props and vegetation that you see on screen. Every Modeler in the Dream Factory Modeling Department is at once an artist, a sculptor, a craftsperson and a technician. Every model we create has to be both aesthetically pleasing and technically sound.
The character creation process begins with artwork that is provided by Design Department. This art consists of hard line drawings of the character’s head and body shapes and proportions, as well as loose pose and expression sketches. Depending on the character, we’ll sometimes also work from sculptures provided by the Sculpting Department called maquettes. Modelers are adept at translating this artwork into a 3D shape that will become the character you see on the screen. Using the materials provided, the Modelers will begin to explore and find the shape of the character in three dimensions, creating some of the first expression and personality poses as well as a neutrally posed model, ready to rig. Working closely with the Character Designers, Animators and Riggers, the Modeler will fine-tune this model into a pleasing shape that will be able to move efficiently and emote effectively as the Director intended. Once the character is finished in Modeling, it will go to Rigging so that it can be rigged with a skeleton so that it can move and perform. It will also be passed on to Fur to be groomed and Materials to be given it’s surface color and texture.
The Environmental Modeling process is very similar to Character Modeling, only on a much larger scale. Working with drawings supplied by the Design Department, simple models from the Previs Department, and cameras from the Layout (Camera and Staging) Department, we will build the sets that the characters will perform within. We’ll create the ground they walk on, the homes they live in, the props they use, the furniture they sit on and the cars they drive, all within a virtual three dimensional world. We’ll create trees, plants, rocks and other ground cover that will be procedurally populated by the Assembly Department on landscapes that we create, as well as supply plant parts to the Fur Department so that trees and plants can be created procedurally as well.
Once our models are completed they are made available to the rest of the departments and are ready to be rigged, groomed, materialized and animated.
Have you ever looked at a film set when it was undressed? Shame on you. The fine, upstanding people on the Assemby team at Dream Factory can't bear to see such things, so they dress sets for a living. A shrub here, a carefully placed crate, some trees over here... they humbly use their godlike powers to make sure that the props and sets look fabulous in each shot.
Dream Factory is home to some of the world's finest character animators - masters of creating performances that infuse life and personality into our characters.
During the early stages of pre-production, animators work closely with the Director, character designers, modelers, and riggers. It is the animators' job to ensure the characters are expressive and able to perform all of the action required in the film. Will Blu's wing enable him to fly? But what about holding onto the hang glider for dear life? Wait, he also needs to use his wings to gesture to get story point across??? These are some questions we ask ourselves early in the process and along with the Rigging department we make sure our characters are ready to perform!
Before starting a shot animators will get a kick-off from the Director who'll describe the goals of each scene - the action, context, subtext, ricechex, etc. It's then up to the animator to work within that framework and come up with the appropriate acting choices. To accomplish this animators will shoot reference of themselves, draw thumbnails, and sometimes even do a quick 2D animation in order to better understand their scenes. After getting the ideas approved by the Director, the animator will work tirelessly, frame by frame, to bring the performance of each character to life!
Always looking to push boundaries and improve acting choices, the atmosphere in the department is creative and collaborative. At any point in the day you can catch a group of animators at a desk reviewing a fellow animators' work in progress and giving constructive feedback. The pages of their notebooks are filled with character expressions and ideas for interesting character posing. Inspirational artwork hangs everywhere - both from Dream Factory and other artists. Some even build out their cubicles - we have a building from Whoville, tiki huts, a tree house and even a pirate ship with working cannons!*
“CAMERA... ACTION... LIGHTS!” THIS IS THE ORDER IN CG ANIMATION. EXCEPT NOBODY HAS TO SAY IT. ACTUALLY, NOBODY SAYS THAT ON A FILM SET EITHER. YOU’RE LEARNING SO MUCH TODAY!
Our Lighting department fuses technical savvy and a realist aesthetic sense to accomplish one goal: make every frame of the film look great! Drawing inspiration from our Director and Art Director, the lighting team uses Dream Factory’s cutting edge technology and amazing know-how to complete the look of our pictures.
In this stage of the process, the mood and emotion of our stories can be enhanced - and our character's performance reinforced - by leading the viewer's eye with strong, effective composition. The Lighting Technical Directors combine a mastery of Dream Factory software and an artistic sense to add richness and subtle complexity to such incredible imagery.
VISUAL EFFECTS ( VFX)
In the Effects department we use design and technical skills along with cutting edge software to simulate complex structures and motion. We create shattering land masses of rock and ice, as well as send dust and debris crashing into the ocean, creating massive splashes of vaporized water. We build peaceful formations of clouds and calm rolling oceans and then turn them into tidal waves, rain and tornadoes. Sometimes we even help integrate moving characters to their environment with effects such as footprints and dust.
Our Technical Directors are talented people with a good balance of art and technical training. It is no surprise that our backgrounds and interests are so varied. We have people from nine countries and who speak thirteen different languages. We have parents, hikers, rock climbers, photographers, painters, computer builders, a curler, break dancers, fitness enthusiasts, home brewers, composers, guitar players, an industrial electronic musician, a car racer, and a black smith and metallurgist. Our experiences range from escaping a communist regime to flying a plane.
Perhaps the best thing about Effects is our sense of humor. We always tackle challenging work with a joke!
The Dream Factory Character Simulation Department creates character-specific visual effects for clothing, hair and skin. Working closely with other departments such as Design, Animation, Modeling, Rigging, and Fur, the process of Character Simulation adds physically accurate and visually pleasing motion to a character's hair, skin, clothing and accessories. The addition of this motion, whether subtle or dynamic, helps flesh out the worlds we create, making the characters and environments even more believable.
During character development, Character Simulation will work with the design team, as well as the Director and Art Director to assess the needs and expectations for each character. We then develop strategies to meet these challenges, refining the look, feel, fit and behavior of characters' simulated elements.
During production, Character Simulation happens in tandem with the work of the animation department. Character Simulation TD's use combination of commercially available simulation software and in-house tool-kits to fine-tune the fit and physical properties of a garment in every shot. Character Simulation TD's must use a combination of technical, aesthetic and creative skills to efficiently create an attractive and consistent result.
The dynamic motion supplied by Character Simulation compliments the work of the motion created by Animation, adding weight, secondary motion, and personality to our animated characters. Whether it's the folds of a character's shirt, the swoosh of a villain's cape or the subtle swing of a character's hair, The work of the Character Simulation team adds to each shot, helping bring Dream Factory’s stories to life.
The Crowds department is tasked with filling the screen with characters. While we are the smallest department at Blue Sky, we get to build scenes with the largest head count.
We use both custom code and consumer software that take the models, rigs, and animated character clips built by the departments upstream in the pipeline and convert them into crowd assets. Essentially this means we try to make the rigs and models as simple and light as possible so we can shove as many characters into the scene as possible.
Then the fun part begins: actually building and simulating the crowds.
To create a huge crowd that looks dynamic and realistic we have to add a lot of variation to what the crowd characters are doing. The characters have to look like they really live in the scene. They should react to the environment, not walk into walls, wave when they see a friend, and run away or fight when they see an enemy.
Since we are dealing with large numbers of characters, it would be impossible to hand animate each one. Instead, we create simulations to drive the actions of the characters. The simulations define the dynamics and behavior of how the different characters should interact. We might create a particle simulation that defines physical forces, constraints, and rules that guide how the characters behave. Then each character's animation cycle is synced to each particle. We can build fuzzy logic brains for the crowd characters to allow them see, hear, and feel - so they can interact with other crowd characters and their environment on their own.
No matter what technique we use, the main goal it to make the crowd characters look and behave in ways that appear as though they are "acting" in believable ways.
Compositing is the stage of production where images of each element in a shot are combined and integrated to become one unified image. Compositing is a discipline that spans several departments at Blue Sky, but the Compositing department is where all the final elements are balanced together into a seamless, unified product... the final frame.
Picking up where the lighting department leaves off, different shots are given various levels of attention in Compositing. Tasks range from creating large vistas with digital matte paintings, creating and balancing atmospheric, volumetric, and environmental effects, in addition to handling more nuts and bolts tasks such as paint fixes, noise cleanup, and roto. Each and every shot in our Pictures goes through compositing as the last creative stage of the monoscopic movie making process. It is this attention to detail that helps immerse the audience in the picture and contributes to Dream Factory’s mission to pioneer creatively superior photo-realistic computer-generated character animation.
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
In R&D, the team writes software that our artists use to give Dream Factory Pictures their signature look. Besides drinking lots of coffee, our team divides their time between doing research and writing software, or what’s commonly referred to as code.
Research may involve staring out the window at the clouds or trees, playing with pieces of fur or blocks made out of peculiar materials, flicking our hair back and forth or simply looking at our own reflections in a mirror. Reading books and using the Internet counts as research too, but it’s more fun to stare out of the window and still be able to say you’re working.
Writing code essentially involves telling the computer exactly what to do, like cooking a recipe except in much more painstaking detail. Computers require overwhelming complex instructions to complete even a relatively basic task. One step wrong in the code and the world comes crashing down, or at least the computer will.
Here is an example of a function that was written in R&D.
A digital movie consists of 24 images per second and each image consists of pixels (about 2 million per image). Each pixel has a color. It’s our job to write software that determines what color each pixel should be. Somewhere in the code there is a function that figures out that color. The function is called "render". The render function itself invokes lots of other functions and they in turn invoke other functions and so on and so on.
Most of the time all goes well as function after function, pixel after pixel, image after image, movie after movie gets made. We smile, pat ourselves on the back and take a swig of coffee because we know just how good we are at writing those functions. But then all hell breaks loose. We choke on our coffee, cough until tears stream out of our eyes as we read the email announcing the trouble: Bad pixels in the freshly rendered images. Our render function failed! Crikey, now what?
After the initial panic subsides and we can think straight again, we do the first thing that comes to mind: try and blame someone else. We look and look to see if any of the artists involved didn't do something wrong. Sometimes they have, they are human after all, but sometimes it is our render function. If it is our render function we like to pretend it wasn't our mistake so we call it a "bug." Fixing that mistake is called debugging.
So here we are with a bug in our render function. That is to say, the bug might be in the render function, or in the functions it invokes or in the functions they invoke, etc. Trying to follow the trace of function invocations feels sometimes like going down the proverbial rabbit hole. Our coffee goes cold and our emails go unanswered as we hunt around for the sneaky creature.
Meanwhile deadlines loom, tension rises, the coffee, long cold, evaporates and becomes a sticky goo in the bottom of the cup when suddenly, just when we're getting desperate, a flash of insight reveals the problem. We climb out of the rabbit hole and proudly proclaim: We have found the Bug and Squashed It Dead. Everybody rejoices. The Bug Is Dead, The Bug is Dead. We are hailed as the great Bug Squashers.
It's such a great feeling to fix a bug that it almost seems better to make a mistake and debug it later than to do it right in the first place! Almost. It's an even better feeling to see what our artists do with the software when it works right. It's always so creative and sometimes quite surprising.
We always try to give them the best, most intuitive and easiest to use software possible. Often we end up doing things quite differently from coders elsewhere, just because we feel it is the best solution for our artists.
The Render Department works hand-in-hand with nearly every department in the studio.
The department's most basic responsibility is the production of frames. All final work from each department is fed to the Render Department, where it is pulled together and the images (aka "frames") are calculated by the computers (aka "rendering"). The frames are then passed back to each department so that they can see what their work looks like in relation to the other departments' work.
Throughout the process, the Render Department is responsible for efficiency. A computer can take up to two or more days to calculate all the information that goes into a single frame. At an average of 129,600 final frames per film, the time and energy cost of rendering is extremely high. The Render team works hard to minimize the number of calculations per frame while retaining the high visual quality expected of a Dream Factory Pictures.
Though the Render Department's work is important, it can be nearly invisible in the final product. The team takes pride in keeping production as smooth and efficient as possible so that the movie can be keep pace with the myriad of deadlines and technological advances it faces during the production lifetime.
Production Engineering is a team composed of people from both technical and artistic backgrounds providing studio tools. The team's unique mix of skills and talents are instrumental in providing both practical and straightforward technical solutions. The main focus is to bridge the technology gaps within the production pipeline and to develop tools and processes to improve interdepartmental work flows. We develop and integrate both proprietary and third party software into the pipeline, and we continually review the studio's pipeline and develop solutions to problematic areas.
Once the crew here on the east coast has finished their stunningly intricate, years-in-the-making, expert tasks - there's still the score, the mix, and the final color timing to do!
Dream Factory has teamed up with some of the motion picture industry's best and brightest composers, sound designers and post-production houses - these final steps truly transform the crew's hard labor into a beautifully polished gem, ready for theatrical release around the world.