Learning how to fly?

So I just got hitfilm, went from upgrading sony vegas hd platinum 11 to the sony vegas visual effects bundle that included HItfilm standard, to just upgrading to Hitfilm ultimate. THis is a really good program and I am just trying to learn how to simulate flying without a green screen. I have a clip that simulates landing, with the main character looking around and then leaping up(to simulate flying away) and I do not know how to accomplish my goal of making it look like he is flying. My idea is to make a free hand mask, lower the character in from above keypointing to make it look like he is decending and then switching to the section of the footage where he hands. After he looks around and then leaps. I wanted to do another free hand mask and subbing the video out with a part of the video where the character is not in the shot so I can make it look like he is flying away.

Comments

  • Jernau
    Jernau Posts: 71
    You should know in advance that simulating flying without using a green-screen is going to be difficult and time-consuming. Saying that, your approach with hand-masking the character (called Rotoscoping) is absolutely the right way to achieve the effect you're looking for. Just be prepared for many hours of painstaking mask adjustments and cursing the gods that you didn't use a green-screen! ;)
  • He is right, but look at the tutorial about tracking, and you might have to only mask it once. The learning curve is pretty high with this software, but oh man is it powerful. Hope you have a really strong GPU, or you are going to be also cursing the Gods. The really nice thing I like about this software is it keys soooo much better than SVP.
  • I think you may want to go with the green or blue screen any was. Just to save time.
    If your just doing take of then you don't green or blue screen. Here some tips for you.
    1. Always shoot a clean background plate first like what you do for most effect.
    2. DO NOT MAKE THE ACTOR TAKE OFF TOO FAST. I find witn most do the flying effect the ten to make the actor move to fast. When your actor is jumping try to match that speed the best you can. If it a little bit longer then the real jump that is find. But try your heardest not to make it look CGI. This is heard ever in hollywood.
    3. Try to make the actor float and distance in mind. Take a look at how things really look when in the air. When there close to you they look must faster but when there farther from you they look most slower.
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,034 Enthusiast
    I guess I am trying to get the exact steps. I've masked out the hero in the video, and then any time i try to move forward on the timeline it moves the mask.
  • Jernau
    Jernau Posts: 71

    I guess I am trying to get the exact steps. I've masked out the hero in the video, and then any time i try to move forward on the timeline it moves the mask.
    The thing that's so time-consuming about Rotoscoping is that you have to adjust the mask for every frame.
    So the steps you need to perform are:
    [list=1]
    [*]Use free-hand mask to mask your character (zoom-in and try to exactly match the edges of your character)
    [*]Press . to advance one frame
    [*]Adjust the mask to match the new character position
    [*]Goto 2
    [/list]
    If you don't have a "clean plate" (a shot of the background without the character) then it's probably going to be difficult for you to create the empty background when your character has taken off. If you're lucky then perhaps your character moved around enough that you can get at least one frame of the background, which you can then mask and track to cover up where your character is standing.
    Good luck! :)
  • Creating a flying effect would not be that difficult, even without a green screen, at least not going straight up or coming down. You need to use a tripod so that the background always remains the same. Get a single, continuous shot of you jumping and then leaving the shot after the jump so that all that is left is the background. You then have to slice the clip to create two separate tracks: You jumping and the background. Place the background under the shot of you jumping. After trimming and slicing the clip so that the jump is just right, add a mask around yourself, and it does not have to be precise by any means. This is why you shot the background without you in the shot. Even with masking, the background will always look the same. You just mask as needed for every few frames and add any stock footage or special effects you like. But now you know the general process behind the effect. Check youtube for some great tutorials that were demonstrated with after effects in the exact same way. Using this method, you can still get a neat flying effect without a green screen, although, it will not be anything special like flying in the sky or flying through space. I would still recommend the green screen for more complex environments, but, if you just want a simple jump or flying effect, then the mentioned effect will suffice. It is personal preference, and, if nothing else, the masking method is good practice. :) I hope this helps, although i am sure you and many others already know this. I am still new to special effects myself, but try to pitch ideas here and there as I learn.
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,034 Enthusiast
    yea I am new to this my self. I wanna challenge my self to grow and do the effects that would catch the eye of other people. I am trying to develop an eye for color correction. I think i need to get a better source. SO far its mostly been editing video from my phone(htc thunderbolt, logic 910 camera and film that I had my uncle shoot with his camera. Im trying to create a good red effect for a movie i am working on.
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,034 Enthusiast
    Got it done, at first I was worried because it wasn't looking too good in the viewer window but after it was rendered it looked very sweet. So i made a mask of the video, blacked everything out except the mask and then exported the frame. imported the frame back in and was able to set it and key frame it to the proper location. Deleted the scenes inbetween and it worked
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,034 Enthusiast
    Here is the link
  • AxelWilkinson
    AxelWilkinson Posts: 5,259 Staff
    Nice job for your first attempt! I'd try turning on motion blur for the layer with your character. Then maybe try adding a bit of Shake when he hits the ground, using the Shake Generator.
    When you are feeling ambitious, you could also try adding a bit of a dust cloud when he hits the ground, using the particle engine or stock footage. One step at a time though. You seem to have got a grasp of the masking technique for creating the flying, so once you are comfortable with that, you can move on to looking at some of those other techniques to improve the shot, if you feel like it.
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,034 Enthusiast
    Hahah i actually had that thought after I was done. I never am satisfied with my work. I wanna get better. and be the best. When I get to the point I can be hired for top quality work, then i'll be looking to expand my talents.
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,034 Enthusiast
    Now that has me curious, how to make the ground shake on impact. I know the most basic way and thats cut the clip into a .5 second shot and apply the effect but how can I have the ground shake just for the impact? I really didn't want to do the shaking for this video because i think it implies that something heavy landed. I do want to know how to make the ground shake because when i do have something which should be heavy or durable I want to be able to make it happen.
  • AxelWilkinson
    AxelWilkinson Posts: 5,259 Staff
    You can keyframe every aspect of the Shake effect, so its not necessary to cut the clip, just keyframe the shake to happen only in the bit where you want it.
  • FergusS
    FergusS Posts: 53
    I thought the clip looked really good. Your mask seemed excellent and the speed was convincing. Great work.
    I have a question about the shadow that someone might have a thought about. It didn't really matter on this clip because the flying was quite quick, but I think the shadow only appears when the character does. It there some simple way people can suggest to animate the shadow once he's off the ground?
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,034 Enthusiast
    Maybe free hand masking an all black plane, and then decreasing the opacity. That way you can animate it independently.
    Would I add the shake to the composite of me hitting the ground?
  • AxelWilkinson
    AxelWilkinson Posts: 5,259 Staff
    The shake should affect everything in the shot, so the simplest way would be to add a Grade Layer above everything in the shot, and apply the shake to that.
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,034 Enthusiast
    I guess im going to have to watch a tutorial on grades because I would never have tried it.
  • AxelWilkinson
    AxelWilkinson Posts: 5,259 Staff
    Basically, a Grade layer will affect every layer below it. So, if you want to apply a particular effect to everything on the timeline, add a grade layer on top, and apply the effect to it. Then every layer below the grade layer will receive the effect.