Perhaps in the near future, the barriers to “professionalism” will continue to decrease due to technological development. Even amateurs can continue to break through the ceiling of creation and create highly personalized professionalism at a very low cost. Grade works.
Sun Qiao is 23 years old this year, and he is the “leader” of the supernova cluster SuperNova.
In the domestic game circle, SuperNova (hereinafter referred to as SuperNova) is a well-known “Minecraft” player team. This team has been established for more than 5 years and has attracted more than 300 members. Most of them are very young. From the eleven or twelve-year-old player group to the architectural students in their twenties, this team can be said to have absorbed the most “brain holes”. A wave of “big open” “back waves”.
Sun Qiao said that the team came together based on the same interests and often had bold ideas and creativity. Nowadays, SuperNova has several million-level works in station B.
On the New Year’s Eve (February 4), SuperNova released “My River City World” co-produced with Lenovo. This is the first Chinese New Year game released on the platform this year. Two hours after the video was released, it was on the hot list of station B and was well received by the industry.
Zimin is one of the critics. He has millions of fans at station B. He is a “great god” in the circle of “Minecraft”. Inspired by the micro-film, he not only made a positive review of this work, but also The main creative team had an exchange. He was surprised to find that there are so many details buried in this short video. The characters and QR codes that flashed by inadvertently are all carefully set Easter eggs, which can dig out rich and interesting information. Zimin sighed, ” SuperNova deserves to be an “Easter Egg Monster”.
As the well-known UP owner of Minecraft, Zimin understands the complexity of the video creation process. This time, “My River City World” not only restored the macroscopic view of Wuhan, but also exquisitely portrayed the scenes such as character details and action design. Zimin noticed that the microfilm team especially thanked Lenovo for its computing power and art direction in the video summary.
As Zimin said, although there are already a large number of “My World” videos, “My River City World” is still very special. To a certain extent, compared to a game recording video, its production level is closer to a work that is moving towards animation level.
Atypical “My World” works
Players who are familiar with “Minecraft” know that people will always feel a strong sense of “squares” no matter in the process of playing or in various movies made with “Minecraft”. Houses are cubes, trees are cubes, and even flowing water is also cubes. To a large extent, this sense of square blocks stacked up has become the symbol of “Minecraft”, a symbol of romance.
But this feature has also become an obstacle in some cases. For fans of creative mode, this is a game that uses 1×1×1 blocks to “build blocks”. Each block is not small, which makes it difficult for players to make small objects with rich details. . In addition, to some people who are not familiar with the style of “Minecraft”, the style of squares everywhere may look a bit awkward.
From this perspective, “My River City World” is not a pure “My World” work. “Not all made with “Minecraft”” may be the first impression many players have of this work. In “My River City World”, there are not only the traditional cube modeling of “Mine World”, but also models that seem to be made solely by professional modeling software-from which you can no longer see the “Mine World” Sense of square. Therefore, the feeling of this video is that it is a mixed production. The “Minecraft” part may account for half, and the other half of the models are from other places.
Of course things are not that simple. In fact, most of the scenes that appeared in the film were made using “Minecraft”. This is also the wonderful thing about the entire short film of “My River City”: those parts that don’t seem to be made by “Minecraft” are actually built through “Minecraft”.
“In order to ensure that small objects have more details, and the external scenes have rich street scenes and signboards, we have adopted the technology of’size and proportion fusion’ that is often said in the circle-such as this robotic arm. Very large proportion of the structure-to restore the complete details.” Sun Qiao said.
For gamers, this processing method is closer to the principle of DSR technology of game graphics cards. DSR (Dynamic Super Resolution) is a technology that renders the game at a higher and more detailed resolution, and then intelligently scales the picture to the native resolution of the display. This means that the picture you see on a 1080p screen is actually compressed from 2K or even 4K native pictures, which of course has higher precision than ordinary 1080p pictures.
In “My River City World”, the original model of a tiny robotic arm in “Minecraft” may be larger than the entire street, but in the video, it is scaled to a small enough degree, so small that you almost The iconic squares of “Minecraft” are not visible, and the picture effects that the original game cannot show.
Such technology means more post-production and more complex rendering calculations. Lenovo provided strong technical support for the post-processing of “My River City World”. The SuperNova student team used Lenovo ThinkStation P920 workstations. In addition, the advantage of more professional equipment is that it brings more choices to creativity, and the team can try more things besides the “convergence of size and proportion”.
New technology opens up new boundaries in game production
The first step of the work was to restore a half of Wuhan in “Minecraft”. To this end, several core members came to Wuhan for field inspections. Most of them had only contacted online before, and the feeling of offline gatherings made these young people excited. During the discussion, inspiration continued to burst out. These inspirations became more than 300 million squares, 10 classic landmarks, 8 super-large single buildings, more than 20 night scenes, and more than 6000 frames in “Minecraft” in the following days…
“The inspiration given to me by real architecture can be used in the construction of some ancient buildings. Chinese architecture not only has a very standardized side, but also has a wild side. If I want to restore an ancient building, I must first look at the drawings. Its elevation, column network, etc. If it is close, I will go to the site to inspect the details of all aspects of the building, as well as their internal processing methods.”
Shou Jiale is the head of the Chinese style group in the SuperNova team. In this project, he is mainly responsible for the restoration of the Yellow Crane Tower and the transfer of members. When boarding the Yellow Crane Tower in person, Shou Jiale felt the grandeur of the pavilion overlooking. This is a very tall building. In the restoration, this height even exceeds the upper limit of the game.
In the early version of Minecraft, the building height limit was 128 squares. In later updated versions, this limit was revised to 256. The game has no such restrictions on the front, rear, left, and right planes, and the player can extend the boundary to very far away. However, during the game, the program will only load scenes with a distance of up to 64 blocks away. This ensures performance and also has a certain negative impact on the look and feel-you will see that there are continuous blocks in the distance suddenly popping up come out.
For the “My River City World” project, the height of the Yellow Crane Tower broke through the original height limit, and the requirement for the display of the distant view also made the limitation of the viewing distance a trouble. Through Mod and modifying system files, the above restrictions can be broken through, but this also puts more pressure on the operation of the game.
The height of the Yellow Crane Tower in the game exceeds the default upper limit height, which is nearly 360 squares
Restoring the city in “Minecraft” is not all the work. Sun Qiao said that after the preliminary production is completed, the team uses C4D and Lumion tools for modeling and rendering, and uses After Effects for post-grading and editing. “When using C4D and Lumion modeling and rendering, complex scenes are more difficult to build and it takes a long time to render a single frame. Lenovo computing power technology helps us to shorten the time at this time.” Sun Qiao said.
“In the second half of this work, the appearance of large-scale night scenes and fireworks scenes is also a big challenge we encountered in the production process. It is quite difficult to set multi-angle three-dimensional light effects and reduce noise. . Let me use a key scene as an example. The single scene of Jianghan Road Pedestrian Street contains a large number of large and small scale models. In addition, in order to ensure the realization of the night pedestrian street, we set up a large number of light effects and inserted hundreds of pedestrian models. The combination of night colors, details and smooth animations, etc., has produced a huge demand for engineering construction and rendering. Single frame rendering is very difficult, which was impossible before.”
Compared with personal computers, graphics workstations have more powerful computing power and performance, and are mainly used in professional fields, such as graphics processing calculations. “My River City World” has a larger concept than ordinary projects, and it also needs a lot of post-processing. In this case, the workstation can greatly improve work efficiency.
“In the past, not to mention rendering, it was not easy for us to put up the project file with our own computer. Sometimes there are too many single components inside, and it is common for the project to collapse…Everyone is still a student I don’t have particularly good equipment at hand, so I can only try to do it. This time I got technical assistance, which really gave us very practical help.”
For SuperNova, the improvement brought by P920 is direct. There are fifty or sixty members participating in this project, which is considered a large-scale project, but “the project took a month to complete, and the rendering part took only more than two weeks for a few students. We spend more time polishing the details in the scene.”
Computing power, make tomorrow better
“When I was not in contact with the team, I was in a very lonely state. This game is actually a lonely game, but it allows everyone to find their own happiness. When there is a team, everyone will be together. It feels great to help people start a project together.”
When talking about the feelings of this game, Shou Jiale mentioned his own changes. Ma Ben immediately took the conversation: “Yes. We are all rushing to each other’s hobbies and things that interest each other. In life, we are easily misunderstood and not understood.”
Ma Ben is another core member who came to Wuhan this time. For Ma Ben, the result of the project is a display. It can show others a hobby that was originally not understood, “let others see that it is valuable”, and the team itself also eliminates loneliness. “Including this meeting, we also deeply felt that we can understand each other. There is a group of people who understand each other together. That feeling is a sense of belonging.”
After the release of “My River City World”, it attracted the attention of many people. Among them are “Minecraft” players, and some people who don’t know the game at all. After learning that this is a work of a student-oriented team, they are very surprised-more or less, this work has somewhat subverted them For the “game” impression.
This effect can also be seen in previous “Minecraft” videos or other game videos. Games and tools are sometimes separated by a wall. Using games as a form of expression for micro-films can easily bring about works that are easier to spread than the games themselves. Most of these works are “out of the circle” and can not be limited to the original group of players.
In the past, such video production was a more professional and complicated thing. Relying on the recording function of the game itself, the quality is often difficult to compare with professionally produced videos, but the “My River City World” project explained that the game is used as a “modeling tool”, through appropriate post-processing, a non-professional team It can also produce commercial-grade film and television works in a short period of time.
Why Lenovo will support such a project, in addition to the display of technology, in fact, there is another reason that they have a deep relationship with the city of Wuhan-Lenovo’s Wuhan factory is Lenovo’s largest mobile phone and tablet manufacturing base. After the outbreak of the epidemic last year, Lenovo rushed to help Wuhan; in the post-epidemic era, Lenovo has always hoped to promote the industrial upgrading of local enterprises and help the economy recover strongly.
Generally speaking, at this time point, Lenovo’s choice to support such a work has its own multiple considerations, which are quite meaningful, and supporting a young student team may also better demonstrate its technical strength. We learned from Lenovo that Lenovo will continue to call on and use computing power to support all Minecraft players who love life, “Using technology to tap the vitality of the city, and use our own understanding and insights in Minecraft. “Built out in the game”.
In the field of computing power, in 2020, Lenovo will continue to rank first in the global high-performance computing provider share in the latest list of the world’s top 500 supercomputers. Among the 500 supercomputers with the strongest floating-point computing performance in the world, Lenovo’s 180 units are shortlisted, occupying 36% of the Top 500 supercomputers.
The application of supercomputing and computing power, ranging from major powers and pillar industries to personal creation and work efficiency, is a “weapon” for speeding up and increasing efficiency. In the era of rapid technological development of intelligence, our lives are undergoing earth-shaking changes, and countless impossibility is becoming possible. In this process, computing power is playing an irreplaceable role. Perhaps in the near future, the barriers to “professionalism” will continue to decrease due to technological development. Even amateurs can continue to break through the ceiling of creation and create highly personalized professionalism at a very low cost. Grade works.
Just like the SuperNova team’s summary of “My River City World”, “This was something we didn’t dare to think before.”
Author: Hang Dong Ye
Source: Touch Music