Chaos has posted its 2021 V-Ray showreel: a three-minute compilation of the best new visual effects and animation work created using the production renderer for 3ds Max, Maya, Cinema 4D and Houdini.
You can watch the reel itself above. Below, we’ve picked out some of the highlights, with links to technical breakdown videos showing how the effects were created.
Although release schedules were badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, a few blockbuster effects movies have made it into cinemas this year, several of which feature in the 2021 V-Ray showreel.
For our money, the most spectacular sequence is the destruction of the Red Room from Black Widow, with Digital Domain‘s VFX breakdown (above) showing the aerial training facility crashing to earth.
However, Scanline VFX’s breakdown of Free Guy runs it close, showing entire skyscrapers dissolving into clouds of digital fragments.
Broadcast and streaming projects
With most of the year’s big effects projects having been released on smaller screens, the 2021 reel features a strong selection of broadcast effects.
Fuse FX’s breakdown reel for Snowpiercer is more of a highlights reel than a true technical breakdown, but it shows off some beautiful CG environments – albeit frozen, post-apocalyptic ones.
Showreel stalwart Mackevision also has a good VFX breakdown for The Nevers, deconstructing a range of destruction sims from HBO’s period sci-fi drama.
But arguably the best-constructed breakdown is for a less-known series: UK fantasy drama A Discovery of Witches, with Realtime‘s reel (embedded above) showcasing a beautiful range of art-directed smoke and fire.
Short-form work and motion graphics
For fans of short-form work, Goodbye Kansas Studios has a detailed technical breakdown of its wickedly funny trailer for The Outer Worlds 2, Obsidian Entertainment’s upcoming action RPG.
Although it’s a couple of years old now, it’s also nice to see The Seahorse Trainer, Rooxter Films’ award-winning VFX short, make an appearance on the V-Ray showreel. Watch a technical breakdown here.
Its promo for the Makmak spa, featured on the V-Ray reel, showcases the corporate end of its work, all luxurious gold and marble, but it retains some of the disquieting edge of the studio’s artier projects.
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