The floor, walls, ceiling and blackboard were created using basic polygon primitives and modeling tools.
To light the scene I used spotlights with quadratic falloffs and wide light angle settings to produce relatively soft shadows.
It was decided that the camera would remain still, so that I only needed to render the hall once, and then render the animated parts of the scene separately. (because I couldn’t spend much time with maya)
They would then be easily composited over the still background.
The frames of the projection video were extracted and used as textures on a polygon plane of the same aspect ratio.
Prior to that, the video frames, which were at 720×576 resolution, were converted in photoshop to 512×512 so as to be optimized for use as textures in maya.
This means that in each and every frame of the render in 3D you have the corresponding frame of the projection video.
The chalk was made using the polyCylinder tool and small adjustments to it’s geometry to have more rounded edges.[The chalk is black same as the blackboard. Therefore, the writing on the blackboard will be faint which will lead the spectator to the concept of empty space (the way I view it). This similar to an empty space, is a space full of something that is not always possible to be understood]
To set the motion of the chalk I created a NURBS curve with the pen curve tool, and made it a motion path. Then attached a locator (NULL) to the motion path, and constrained the chalk geometry to the locator. The effect of the chalk writing on the board was achieved by using blobby particles that would pop out of a particle emitter that was also contrained to the chalk piece. The particles were set to collide with the blackboard. The particles’ energy conserve attribute was set to a very low value, so that they immediately lose their speed once they collide with the board. This enables the particles to “stick” to the board surface. I assigned the same lambert shader of dark grey color to the blobby particles and the chalk geometry.
I used maya’s render layers to break up the render into separate parts.
Still images :
Ambient Occlusion pass for the hall
beauty (color and shadow pass ) for the hall
Color pass for the chalk
Color pass for the particles
Color pass for the projection
For the final video the ambient occlusion pass of the hall was multiplied by the color image, and over that the chalk, particles and projection passed were added.
It was rendered using Quicktime format and Sorenson 3 encoding.