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Creating Ice Surface like in NBC Olympics

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Mark Santella
Creating Ice Surface like in NBC Olympics
on Feb 22, 2010 at 11:06:13 pm

I love the look of the reflective ice that NBC has done for the Winter Olympics. I have some ideas how to get started, but sure would appreciate the help. Thanks in advance for your time.

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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Creating Ice Surface like in NBC Olympics
on Feb 23, 2010 at 4:02:15 pm

Hi Mark -

It looks to me as if 3D was used for the reflective ice, at least that would be the easiest way to do it, what with the extruded text, ice blocks with icons in them, etc. that they're using. My guess would be that it's just a plane in a 3D program with a real photograph of an ice surface mapped to it, then set to a reflectivity that would match ice, or better yet, look good. It appears that the falloff of the reflections is not realistic, but it does look really nice.

My guess is that you could do it in AE (just the ice, of course), but the amount of time would be astronomical compared to doing it in, say, 3D Studio Max. Setting up the ice surface would take no time in Max, and the extruded text is simple. The "cubes" appear to be pretty much identical, so you'd only have to model one, then replace the interal icons as needed. In AE, I'd create the ice surface with a photo of an ice surface, then use Andrew Kramer's killer preset, Easy Reflect:

Thanks to VideoCopilot, the reflection process has become a whole lot easier and controllable without having to write your own expressions.

Joe Bourke
Creative Director / Multimedia Specialist
B&S Exhibits and Multimedia

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Michael Szalapski
Re: Creating Ice Surface like in NBC Olympics
on Feb 23, 2010 at 4:50:32 pm

There's also Reflector from Zaxwerks. It's not free, but it works with AE's 3d space really well and is quite amazing.

You might also check out this tutorial for some ice ideas.

A quick google search turns up some good COW stuff in the first few links.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.

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