Pohjolan Voima – Kollaja

Pohjolan Voima – Kollaja

  • Production Company: TROLL VFX

Troll produced a lengthy animation illustrating the effects of a proposed dam and the resulting artificial lake on the river Ii. The project is a huge undertaking and getting the local people behind it essential for being given the green light.

Animation was done by Mikko Monto and compositing by Vesa Jokinen, all under the art direction of Jussi Lehtiniemi and production supervision of Molla Karjalahti. My job was modeling, lighting, shading and rendering of the whole presentation.

Rendering two and half minutes of full-CGI animation requires quite a bit of computing power. Luckily we had just moved onto V-Ray 3 and the speed improvements over the previous version really helped to get the project done in time.


We originally wanted to have several levels of contours but a few tests proved them to be too visually distracting. Less was more, especially when readability of the image was of extreme importance.


You know what’s fun? Rendering everything with full blown brute force global illumination and blurry reflections. And still have decent rendertimes. Yeah, V-Ray is great.


Vesa Jokinen did a lot of post work in Nuke to improve the look of the renders and I provided him with quite a number of passes to work with. Depth, normals, world normals, point positions, mask etc. are all of great use when you want fine control of the image after the fact.


Highlight colours work great against white background, but the effects of global illumination really enhanced the effect. Colour bleed is a great thing.


I did all of the modeling in Modo, which actually was quite a bit of work since I did have to roughly follow the contours of the real landscape. Curves to create the shapes were frozen, extruded and beveled to create usable subdivision surfaces. Lightweight but still good amount of detail for closeups.