Null_Unit's VFX Thread

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  • NullUnit
    NullUnit Posts: 779 Just Starting Out

    Ok, the link is fixed now. Thanks for the compliment and of course you can share it! You might have to fix the broken link if you already shared it though...  :blush:

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,288 Power User
    Oh, I haven't, yet. Setting up a render of my own. I will link one my PC gets to "hurry up and wait," status.
  • StormyKnight
    StormyKnight Posts: 2,618 Ambassador
    Null Unit- I just watched King Kong vs, Godzilla last night and there was a giant octopus that attacked Kong. You didn't have anything to do with that did you? ;)
    Nice effect! Creepy and wondrous at the same time.
  • OrangePekoe
    OrangePekoe Posts: 452 Just Starting Out*
    That's a fantastic use of planes and the twirl effect!  The tentacles movements felt very natural that thing must be just MASSIVE! lol
  • ESPictures
    ESPictures Posts: 521 Just Starting Out
    Very interesting.  I have a full sized/rigged cthulhu model, but I haven't really done anything with it yet.
  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,288 Power User
    Yeah, I need to play with that planes and twirl technique myself. What a brilliant idea! I love the simplicity in it. We have so many shots going for so much fine detail, and questions about IK and Mo-cap, the getting such a gorgeous effect from some flat shapes and a little distortion is a great reminder that, sometimes, simple is best.
    Sharing your video on the HPLHS Facebook generated another share or two and several likes, so I guess the Lovecraft crowd approve. ;-)
  • NullUnit
    NullUnit Posts: 779 Just Starting Out
    edited February 2014
    Null Unit- I just watched King Kong vs, Godzilla last night and there was a giant octopus that attacked Kong. You didn't have anything to do with that did you? ;)
    Nice effect! Creepy and wondrous at the same time.

     

     

    That's a fantastic use of planes and the twirl effect!  The tentacles movements felt very natural that thing must be just MASSIVE! lol

     

     

    Very interesting.  I have a full sized/rigged cthulhu model, but I haven't really done anything with it yet.

     

     

    Yeah, I need to play with that planes and twirl technique myself. What a brilliant idea! I love the simplicity in it. We have so many shots going for so much fine detail, and questions about IK and Mo-cap, the getting such a gorgeous effect from some flat shapes and a little distortion is a great reminder that, sometimes, simple is best.
    Sharing your video on the HPLHS Facebook generated another share or two and several likes, so I guess the Lovecraft crowd approve. ;-)

     

    Thanks for the compliments! I'm a huge Lovecraft fan, not sure why I waited to make a Lovecraft inspired video. (Though "The Temple" is also inspired by Lovecraft). I thought that this method would work well since the tentacles would be so far away and obscured by the clouds/fog that you would not really see any detail anyway. Plus I've been watching the behind the scenes shorts for the Indiana Jones trilogy and realizing how do-able it is to accomplish older style special effects techniques with HitFilm. What I mean by that is approaching the effect more from the point of view of theater or a magic trick. Which Simon also talks about in the new fireball tutorial. 
  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,288 Power User
    Yeah, I see where you're coming from--using the smoke layers to obscure a simple animation build is still used in "big-budget" live events and films. Like, say, putting a ton of fog in a Halloween haunted house in your yard to hid the painting. Old techniques still apply in the digital age.
    If you haven't yet, take a look at Phil Wesson's tutorial on Compositing a Spaceship into a City Background tutorial--he cheats his 3D space and actually uses forced perspective to set up his models rather than having everything exist to-scale in his 3D space. (He also does this brilliant thing of attaching light rays directly to his model layers, but using DARK light rays to fake a volumetric shadow instead of generating a luma matte and attaching that to a BRIGHT light rays effect to generate the shadow. Very very clever!)
  • CalebK
    CalebK Posts: 422 Just Starting Out*
    edited February 2014
    Hey thanks for awnsering my questions thus far! But could i please ask some more your stuff is very interesting!
    http://vimeo.com/85419016
    1. How did you do the mixing of colors? No gradient could do that but then how did you mix such beautiful colors like that? Also did you change their transparency or something?
    http://vimeo.com/85902037
    2. Im assuming this is an atomic particles twist but how did you get it to look like that? Its weirdly shaped and has main tentacles that seem to individually waver?
    http://vimeo.com/82072395
    3. How did you create the light fire thing on the edges of the ball that wraps around it? 
    http://vimeo.com/82537312
    4. how does each square look so transparent? How do you make the colors mix and overlap? What is the grid on the background.
    http://vimeo.com/78804588
    5. How was this shape created? 
    http://vimeo.com/39749281
    6. Did you artificially enhance this? If so how? If now what camera and lens did this... if i may ask.
    http://vimeo.com/56219377
    7. Where did you get that model?
    please take your time thanks for answering my questions!
  • Nate066
    Nate066 Posts: 190 Just Starting Out*
    Hey thanks for awnsering my questions thus far! But could i please ask some more your stuff is very interesting!
    http://vimeo.com/85419016
    1. How did you do the mixing of colors? No gradient could do that but then how did you mix such beautiful colors like that? Also did you change their transparency or something?
    http://vimeo.com/85902037
    2. Im assuming this is an atomic particles twist but how did you get it to look like that? Its weirdly shaped and has main tentacles that seem to individually waver?
    http://vimeo.com/82072395
    3. How did you create the light fire thing on the edges of the ball that wraps around it? 
    http://vimeo.com/82537312
    4. how does each square look so transparent? How do you make the colors mix and overlap? What is the grid on the background.
    http://vimeo.com/78804588
    5. How was this shape created? 
    http://vimeo.com/39749281
    6. Did you artificially enhance this? If so how? If now what camera and lens did this... if i may ask.
    http://vimeo.com/56219377
    7. Where did you get that model?
    please take your time thanks for answering my questions!

    4. He just adjusted the transparency of the particles
    6. I think he applied a glow effect to the footage and he probably sharpen it as well 

  • NullUnit
    NullUnit Posts: 779 Just Starting Out
    1. How did you do the mixing of colors? No gradient could do that but then how did you mix such beautiful colors like that? Also did you change their transparency or something?
    Actually I do use a gradient to get different colors. I will typically use a four color gradient. The mixing of the colors happens because I tend to use "add" mode on the particles, so when the particles overlap the colors will blend together to make new colors. 
    2. Im assuming this is an atomic particles twist but how did you get it to look like that? Its weirdly shaped and has main tentacles that seem to individually waver?
    I get that by lowering the particle count on one of the axis. It makes it look like strings or tentacles.
    3. How did you create the light fire thing on the edges of the ball that wraps around it? 
    4. how does each square look so transparent? How do you make the colors mix and overlap? What is the grid on the background.

    Thats just "add" mode on the particles. As they bunch together they "add" to each others brightness. "Add" mode is good when you want the particle to look self-illuminated, like embers or sparks. "Add" mode also blends the colors. So, the square particles, for instance, are not translucent they just get brighter where they overlap. 
    5. How was this shape created? 
    I'm not really sure, specifically. Twist and sphere are involved for sure. 
    6. Did you artificially enhance this? If so how? If now what camera and lens did this... if i may ask.
    I definitely enhanced it. On one hand it was after a lot of rain and the green colors were very bright naturally, but I used the "3 strip color" process on it. This effect mimics and old color process that was used on The Wizard of Oz where the image is filmed onto three different strips of film. A red one, green one and blue one. Then the three strips are combined to create a "full color" image. (I think I'm describing that right). The effect it has though is to create a surreal look where all the colors are a little too vibrant. I pushed the effect by boosting the greens and lowering the reds and blues.
    I filmed this with an Olympus Pen that is fitted with a Nikon 50mm lens. The image has a wobbly feel because I stabilized the footage with Sony Vegas. It was so shaky that it was pretty much unusable, so Vegas did a good job, in its own weird way. And I kind of like the effect it has.  
    7. Where did you get that model?
    This is a great site for free models.
    http://www.foundation3d.com/index.php?categoryid=38&p13_sectionid=1&p13_fileid=485
  • NullUnit
    NullUnit Posts: 779 Just Starting Out

    Mainly working on realism, a sense of scale and size. Theres also a little breakdown after.
    https://vimeo.com/87970542

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,288 Power User
    Mission accomplished. That looks really good!
  • spydurhank
    spydurhank Posts: 3,156 Expert
    Awesome!!!  :) 
  • ESPictures
    ESPictures Posts: 521 Just Starting Out
  • Marshall2000_uk
    Marshall2000_uk Posts: 185 Enthusiast
    Very impressive.
  • NullUnit
    NullUnit Posts: 779 Just Starting Out
    Mission accomplished. That looks really good!

     

     

    Awesome!!!  :)

     

     

    Very nice.

     

     

    Very impressive.

     

    Thanks! 
  • OrangePekoe
    OrangePekoe Posts: 452 Just Starting Out*
    Great job!  Really good track, fantastic work with the particle clouds!
  • KirstieT
    KirstieT Posts: 1,272 Staff
    This is so intriguing! I want to know what the premise for this scene is :)
  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,288 Power User
    OK, I just got a chance to watch this in 1080 on my nice 18" Laptop monitor that's calibrated--not at 720 on a Samsung GS3:
    It totally holds up under that increased viewing size. That shot is very very nice! The scale is perfect--That feels to me like "Discovery" would look like over a beach. Knowing the Pod Bay doors aren't more than 10 feet across gives me a "ruler," and you scale it spot on!. Your fog and clouds give a nice sense of fog rolling in...
    I have a couple observations:
    Ya cheated your lighting a bit.;-) The specular highlight on "Discovery's" bridge is too near camera-center. It should be back on that far curve, near that lovely sun flare.
    The birds are well comped in and work, but, if you've seen Axel's "Birds into Face" test, then you probably guessed I'm gonna suggested isolating a couple of birds and using that an animated texture source for Atomic Particles. Atomic is be great for Flocking behavior. I bet if you put a spherical warp on atomic from a point centered around Discovery's bridge, you could get the birds to swirl around her hull.... ;-)
    Aaaaaaand.... I have this marvelous book, "The Lost Worlds of 2001," in which Arthur C. Clarke presents excerpts from various drafts to show how the story evolved: In several drafts "Discovery" is taken through the Stargate...
    So, I'm thinking two moons, or a ringed planet in the sky. :-)
  • NullUnit
    NullUnit Posts: 779 Just Starting Out
    OK, I just got a chance to watch this in 1080 on my nice 18" Laptop monitor that's calibrated--not at 720 on a Samsung GS3:
    It totally holds up under that increased viewing size. That shot is very very nice! The scale is perfect--That feels to me like "Discovery" would look like over a beach. Knowing the Pod Bay doors aren't more than 10 feet across gives me a "ruler," and you scale it spot on!. Your fog and clouds give a nice sense of fog rolling in...
    I have a couple observations:
    Ya cheated your lighting a bit.;-) The specular highlight on "Discovery's" bridge is too near camera-center. It should be back on that far curve, near that lovely sun flare.
    The birds are well comped in and work, but, if you've seen Axel's "Birds into Face" test, then you probably guessed I'm gonna suggested isolating a couple of birds and using that an animated texture source for Atomic Particles. Atomic is be great for Flocking behavior. I bet if you put a spherical warp on atomic from a point centered around Discovery's bridge, you could get the birds to swirl around her hull.... ;-)
    Aaaaaaand.... I have this marvelous book, "The Lost Worlds of 2001," in which Arthur C. Clarke presents excerpts from various drafts to show how the story evolved: In several drafts "Discovery" is taken through the Stargate...
    So, I'm thinking two moons, or a ringed planet in the sky. :-)


    Thanks for the compliments!
    I definitely cheated the lighting. I really wanted to use one light to mimic the sun, but I was getting too much shadowing when I would place the light in the correct area. I added a second light to fill thoses shadows, but wasn't getting the look I wanted. I kept wishing there was some sort of virtual bounce card I could place on the right side of the ship. But yeah, you can tell the lighting is not quite right. I'm going to mess around with that.
    And others have made comments about the birds not looking quit right too. I really should do Axel's Atomic Particle bird flock. Then they would move in a more natural way. By the way, I think thats a really untapped strength of atomic partices: mimicking flocking birds, schools of fish, swarms of bugs. The fractal and flow controls do that really well.

  • NullUnit
    NullUnit Posts: 779 Just Starting Out
    This is so intriguing! I want to know what the premise for this scene is :)


    Mainly I just wanted to practice compositing and getting a sense of large scale, but the scene fell in to place nicely. It kind of feels like the Discovery is docked there somehow.

  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,370 Enthusiast
    For the 'virtual bounce card' you want to use an environment map, with the model's materials set up to use diffuse reflectivity. This will use the env map to illuminate the model even where no actual light is falling upon it. This is a really good way to simulate bounced and ambient diffuse light.
  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,288 Power User
    edited March 2014
    Yeah, you can export a still of your background video as a PNG file, put it in an embedded composite to blur the heck out of it, then use as an environment map source. If you use the source video directly, the reflections will be very sharp.
    Or, there are some true 360 wraparounds buried in the subfolders of wherever you installed Hitfilm. Can't remember the directory, and I am not on my PC, sorry. But one of those might match the general lighting and tone of your background video.
  • NullUnit
    NullUnit Posts: 779 Just Starting Out
    For the 'virtual bounce card' you want to use an environment map, with the model's materials set up to use diffuse reflectivity. This will use the env map to illuminate the model even where no actual light is falling upon it. This is a really good way to simulate bounced and ambient diffuse light.


    Awesome! I'm going to do that. I was aware of this technique, but for some reason didn't think of it as a solution for this.

     

    Yeah, you can export a still of your background video as a PNG file, put it in an embedded composite to blur the heck out of it, then use as an environment map source. If you use the source video directly, the reflections will be very sharp.
    Or, there are some true 360 wraparounds buried in the subfolders of wherever you installed Hitfilm. Can't remember the directory, and I am not on my PC, sorry. But one of those might match the general lighting and tone of your background video.

     

    Absolutely, and the reflections will move with the video as well.
  • NullUnit
    NullUnit Posts: 779 Just Starting Out
    edited March 2014
    Here is what could be an energy/magic ball created with one atomic particles plane. I used fractal clouds on the plane, with some adjustments to the settings. Then I put a four color gradient on the plane and brought the opacity to 50% (the grade not the plane). The ball itself is created with the sphere setting. Then I reduced the scale of the plane in the settings of atomic particles (not the planes settings) so that the plane would not really stick out from the sphere. There is no dispersion on the particles, only displacement. I also upped the iterations. The particles are in add mode. I'm using the standard comp settings for the motion blur. I put lens dirt and anamorphic lens flare on the grade.  
    I cannot stress enough how important triggering the particles with audio is with an effect like this. Audio will make the particles move in ways that are impossible to achieve with just the normal controls. Try out different songs or sound effects. It works just like a luminance map (I think thats what its called) in terms of triggering the effect. You can then mute the audio for the finished effect. Or use the audio that you would use for the effect to trigger the particles. 
    https://vimeo.com/88516867
  • OrangePekoe
    OrangePekoe Posts: 452 Just Starting Out*
    Amazing....
    This is an absolutely fantastic "energy ball" I'm seriously impressed.  I need to learn how to do this.... 
  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,288 Power User
    edited March 2014
    Gorgeous!
    Your notes are also helpful to get to something similar. As you've pointed out, there's a lot of random in atomic, but even chaos follows rules and limitations. Thanks for the talk through.
    Oh, the audio working "like a Luminance map," analogy is close enough to be absolutely right, but, a bit of etymology:
    Technically speaking, any "black and white" image/channel that isn't RGB pixel data is an "alpha channel." (As explained to me in college, it really is just "a" channel.) The alpha data can then be applied as transparency, luma, height, specularity, displacement, or "anything" as a map, with black being 0/start and white being 100/end.
    To use a Hitfilm analogy, an alpha channel is a "graphic 2d point" --it holds data, but doesn't do anything until mapped/parented to a parameter.
    In video, we tend to only call them "alpha" channels when applied to transparency. That's cool.
    I prefer the term "map" to "channel" and prefer to just say what the alpha channel is driving: Luma map, height map, etc...
    Anyways, mattes, maps, masks, keys and channels are all the same thing in digital art--a set of numbers defining a selection and range of pixel values to modify that are visualized as a greyscale image.
    Apologies for the ramble. Pulled an all-nighter going after a very good deal on a Canon xf305 on ebay. Also, somehow REALLY tweaked my back, and I think the Vicodan I took is kicking in. Hopefully to sleep, since I work in 7 hours. (Bear in mind said Vicodan is left over from having to have my left shoulder basically rebuilt. I took that for five days after surgery.They gave me a pprescription for two months worth. I really hurt at the moment.)
    Anyway, once again, gorgeous effect, good notes, thanks.
  • NullUnit
    NullUnit Posts: 779 Just Starting Out
    edited March 2014
    Amazing....
    This is an absolutely fantastic "energy ball" I'm seriously impressed.  I need to learn how to do this.... 

     

    Thanks!
     

    Gorgeous!
    Your notes are also helpful to get to something similar. As you've pointed out, there's a lot of random in atomic, but even chaos follows rules and limitations. Thanks for the talk through.
    Oh, the audio working "like a Luminance map," analogy is close enough to be absolutely right, but, a bit of etymology:
    Technically speaking, any "black and white" image/channel that isn't RGB pixel data is an "alpha channel." (As explained to me in college, it really is just "a" channel.) The alpha data can then be applied as transparency, luma, height, specularity, displacement, or "anything" as a map, with black being 0/start and white being 100/end.
    To use a Hitfilm analogy, an alpha channel is a "graphic 2d point" --it holds data, but doesn't do anything until mapped/parented to a parameter.
    In video, we tend to only call them "alpha" channels when applied to transparency. That's cool.
    I prefer the term "map" to "channel" and prefer to just say what the alpha channel is driving: Luma map, height map, etc...
    Anyways, mattes, maps, masks, keys and channels are all the same thing in digital art--a set of numbers defining a selection and range of pixel values to modify that are visualized as a greyscale image.
    Apologies for the ramble. Pulled an all-nighter going after a very good deal on a Canon xf305 on ebay. Also, somehow REALLY tweaked my back, and I think the Vicodan I took is kicking in. Hopefully to sleep, since I work in 7 hours. (Bear in mind said Vicodan is left over from having to have my left shoulder basically rebuilt. I took that for five days after surgery.They gave me a pprescription for two months worth. I really hurt at the moment.)
    Anyway, once again, gorgeous effect, good notes, thanks.

     

    Thanks! and thanks for the explanation. I couldn't remember the term at all. 
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,370 Enthusiast
    Nice! You really do know how to push the atomic effect. Particularly towards the end the plasma ball has a fantastic smokey appearance.
    Your point about using music for animation even if the music itself doesn't feature is also really interesting, and not something I'd considered. Using audio to drive the animation is obvious, but using audio that is then absent from the final edit is a really interesting point.