The Alienist  – VFX

The Alienist, a new 10 part TV series produced by TNT and Paramount TV, is an unflinching psychological thriller set in 1896 amidst the vast wealth, extreme poverty and technological innovation of New York during the Gilded Age. The Alienist follows the hunt for a serial killer responsible for the gruesome murders of boy prostitutes. Stars Daniel Brühl, Luke Evans and Dakota Fanning.

Shot in Budapest, Hungary, The Alienist required many digital set extensions to recreate the elaborate, intricate and bustling turn-of-the-century New York streets.

Undabo’s Doug Kennedy worked alongside the talented VFX team at Peerless with the initial asset build for the show. Doug’s main role was a layout TD,  writing tools and scripts to manage the vast amounts of models and data created for the very detailed city extensions & laying out and rendering shots for the upfront trailer available below.

The tools created were essentially one click solutions to streamline tasks:

To easily switch between Windows and Linux File paths or locations in a scene for exporting assets from one to the other.

Used for updating merged models with latest textures, rips all materials from the available Libraries and saves the presets to a folder location

Used for updating merged models with latest textures.  Attaches all previously saved presets from location to selected materials

Fixes softimages peculiar scaling system on nested objects, essential for successfully horizontally flipping models.

Automated Exporting of grouped Alembic models, converts reference models to local models, (alembic auto converts instances on the fly)

Basic importer with  incrementing count number. These were used for importing & exporting massive layouts for crowd sims

Automated buffer system for setting up glass pass on buildings.

Point it a folder and import all the models in that folder.

Converts an instance back to to a model

The script above does not come up for air and might run out of memory,  this version autosaves after x amount of conversions.

Make new instances of new model but place in the position of old instances. for updating scenes with new versions of models when updating ref models just doesn’t work!

Made for filling market stands with piles of fruit. ICE makes the fruit piles, the script converts all the fruit back in to normal model instances.prerender_change_to_res1_refmodel
Convert all items in group REFMODELS to resolution 1 reference model. or edit to make any resolution needed. used to load heavy scenes and fix broken loading of reference models on scene load.

as above but can just reload the models not change the resolution

prerender_reload_refmodel _withpause
Hit okay after every update if needed, stops computers exploding!

Reattach_Instances_to Masters
when instances stop working and become disconnected, this will fix them. If they really are dead use  Match_new_Instances to repopulate with fresh ones.

Specifically made to automatically strip down and tidy up complicated town house buildings and convert into fbx exports ready for re-importing and merging (this removes the sharing material dialogue box issue).