disc_rebrand5For anyone who hasn’t seeen this amazing rebrand package that royale did for Discovery Channel, you need to watch more educational television!

 This caught my eye earlier this year and it stuck in the back of my head. I pondered how I would achieve this simple but amazing effect.

As they describe in there website they needed to have this effect accomplished in a way that allowed Discovery Channel to use it without a 3d app and swap the transition images out. They go on to say that mattes were created and it was  a heavy use of After Effects. Well it got me thinking about a way to rig  a grid of cubes in Maya that would produce a matte similar to this effect.


cube_matteshaderIf a cube with each perpendicular face shaded with a primary color and parallel face shaded the same were made into a grid of cubes that would rotate on the x axis, the resulting render image would produce an ID matte that would simulate that eye catching effect.The resulting mattes could be used in a compositing software to great effect!



I immediatly thought about how a mel script  would rig the rotation of the cubes to the distance from a controller. This would allow for easily animating the controller and camera.

controllerThe controller will have a max and min distance of influence giving me the ability to control the effect.  Most 3d apps have a tool that returns the distance between two points. The only other nodes necessary for the effect is the setRange utility to remap the distance into ranges more conducive to rotation.





This exercise has lay the foundation for a tool that I plan to call the “ Attribute Controller”.  This rig and script can be used to control any other attribute.  Here are some examples.


Cube Transition