Null_Unit's VFX Thread

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  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,448 Enthusiast
    Somehow I completely missed that Lesterbanks.com had covered your work, NU. Very cool.
  • mark_e
    mark_e Posts: 190 Just Starting Out
    Thx good tut v cool stuff and congratulations on the coverage!
  • NullUnit
    NullUnit Posts: 791 Just Starting Out
    Thanks for the compliments! I'm starting work on my second Atomic Particles tutorial, which will hopefully be done by next week. It will cover this effect I did a few month ago.
    https://vimeo.com/84505784
  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,604 Ambassador
    edited May 2014
    Very sexy!
    (You make Daft Punk's amazingly boring soundtrack for Tron: Legacy work!)*
    *(Yes, I called it boring. As an ambient/chill album, it's pretty good. As a soundtrack, it's an absolute failure; utterly lacking in thematic elements, tempo changes and storytelling cues.
    That melody line? Track one: "Overture." Oh! This is the Tron theme! Track two [same melody]: "The Grid" Oh! It's Papa Flynn's theme. Track three [Same melody] "Son of Flynn": Oh! It's Jr. Flynn's theme! Track four [Same melody] "Recognizer" Oh! It's... a Recognizer theme? Who's theme is it?!)
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,448 Enthusiast
    I found Daft Punk's TRON Legacy score to be one of the most invigorating scores in recent years. Played through a decent sound setup it's a visceral experience - a case where the music blends in with the visual style and tone of the film.
    That's what I thought, anyway. :P
  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,604 Ambassador
    Well, obviously any kind of art has certain subjective elements. So we'll preface this with "personal opinion, man."
    When listening to a random playlist of music, let's say something from Star Wars pops up. My brain goes: Oh! Star Wars! Ah--escape from Death Star (1) and TIE Battle---ah, Ben just died. Ah, they're flying away. Ah, Luke is sad. oops, time to get in the gun turret. Here they come! Han gets one! Luke's first kill! etc...
    When Tron Legacy pops up my brain goes: Ah, Tron: Legacy! This must be that scene in the club, because it's that faster bit of music. Ah, this must be the lightcycle battle because it has that pounding drum. However, at best, I can maybe identify the scene. I can NOT identify the actual story beats WITHIN that scene from the music.And I can only identify the two scenes I mentioned because, well, the club scene is the fastest tempo of any track on the soundtrack, and the lightcycle battle occasionally has that super-distorted, super-loud kick drum.
    Wendy Carlos's score for the original Tron has those lovely synth textures, AND is thematic--different characters have different riffs, and I can follow in my mind the scene beats from the music.
    To my ears the Tron: Legacy soundtrack sounds great--it's well produced and it's pretty moody, but, again, it lacks the thematic cues that let me play the movie in my head as I'm listening to it. Which is why I consider it a decent ambient/chill album, but a terrible soundtrack.
    That is, of course, my own aesthetic bias. ;-)
    I'll agree that Tron: Legacy soundtrack blends with the visual tyle and tone of the film, but I also have to admit that I was bored by the movie, and, frankly, underwhelmed by it's visuals--technically it's fantastic, but the original Tron had these long sweeping vista shots and all these fine details--lines and whisps and circuts and colors everywhere... Just this really neat, innovative design. Tron: Legacy--well... That's a lot of grey fog. Oh, LOOK, they made bioluminescent costumes with about 1/10th the detail of the original film. Not to mention Legacy's plot which came down to a quest to get a disk they didn't need to take it to a location they didn't have to go to. And a LOT of grey fog. I mean what's the point of making a transparent ship if all that's outside is grey fog? So much grey fog.
    I suppose, being English, you're used to lots of grey fog. ;-) (Sorry, I couldn't resist that joke. No offense intended.)
    It's not as bad as Hans Zimmer's soundtrack for the Nolan Batman trilogy, where Zimmer seems to have composed his entire score from a single string arpeggio and two brass chords, but, again, in those Batman movies, I don't know if those horn chords of Bwaaaaa---BwaaaAAAAAAA Are Bruce's Theme, Batman's Theme, Gotham City's theme, Joker's theme, etc, etc, etc... Unlike, say, Elfman's music for the burton batman films, where, again, listening to it, I know exactly where I am in the film.
    I mention Zimmer, because, when I got the Tron: Legacy soundtrack, I wasn't surprised that Daft Punk thanked Zimmer for the advice.
    So--obviously a longer explanation of why I feel this way is better for debate than the overt use of sarcasm ("It's boring.") in my previous post. :-)
    Anyway, back to Null's Atomic Particle experiment--I love the look of this. It's like flying in between two landscapes, and it occurs to me that if one fed a ground texture to Atomic and manipulated displacement one could get an awesome "time lapse" effect of land changing from tectonic activity. :-)
    Null's Atomic Experiments are always inspiring.
  • NullUnit
    NullUnit Posts: 791 Just Starting Out
    edited May 2014
    Thanks! It was a very Tron-like experiment. I like the soundtrack a lot, but I do agree that it's a bit repetitive. I think it works well with Atomic experiments because the music transitions so smoothly between verses and choruses it animates the particles in a cool way. 
    I feel like the Tron movies are a perfect example of how a special effect will look cool if its executed in an artistic way, regardless of the tech used to achieve it. To me the 1980's Tron is a better looking movie because it has a more artistic look. The modern Tron movie is basically just using modern tech to "update" the look of the 80's movie and ends up being to sterile and clean.
    Well, here is a older experiment that with a few tweaks became a lot better. It's built on the same principals as the Energy Sphere, but I flew the camera inside it and the camera has a super-wide angle setting.
    Now, I'm going to finally make that next tutorial.
    https://vimeo.com/94522900
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,448 Enthusiast
    I have no particular preference when it comes to film music - motif-heavy stuff I love, but more abstract can work just as well. In fact, a score that overly relies on motifs can become tiresome or overly predictable.
  • KirstieT
    KirstieT Posts: 1,192 Staff
    I love experiment 22. I was watching it in total awe and was sorry when it ended. 
    It reminds me of the kind of opening sequence for a movie where the DNA is mutating or a virus is taking over a body. Starting off calm and then the crescendo fits perfectly with the suggestion that the mutation is going to be world-altering - wipe out species etc. etc. 
  • NullUnit
    NullUnit Posts: 791 Just Starting Out
    edited May 2014
    I love experiment 22. I was watching it in total awe and was sorry when it ended. 
    It reminds me of the kind of opening sequence for a movie where the DNA is mutating or a virus is taking over a body. Starting off calm and then the crescendo fits perfectly with the suggestion that the mutation is going to be world-altering - wipe out species etc. etc. 

    Thanks! There was some cool stuff happening because of the audio sync. Yeah it did kind of look like DNA or a virus or something.
    Heres a new one. I cant stop.
    https://vimeo.com/95253869

  • spydurhank
    spydurhank Posts: 3,193 Expert
  • NullUnit
    NullUnit Posts: 791 Just Starting Out
    edited May 2014
    Trying out some time lapse video. Shot with an Olympus Pen at around a frame every 8 seconds. Then I compressed time further in Vegas. Color graded with Cine Style in HF.
    https://vimeo.com/95637331
  • spydurhank
    spydurhank Posts: 3,193 Expert
  • KirstieT
    KirstieT Posts: 1,192 Staff
    ooooooooooooooooooooooooh! Synchronicity :)
  • StormyKnight
    StormyKnight Posts: 2,722 Ambassador
    NU- So was that shot before or after the Godzilla attack? :)
    Looks great! I love the way the clouds dissipate around the edges.
  • NullUnit
    NullUnit Posts: 791 Just Starting Out
    edited May 2014
    This is all created in HFU. The ground is a plane with fractal noise and parallax. Particle sim jets and smoke. I created the volumetric shadows in a way similar to Phill Wessen method by attaching the effect to the rocket model itself, but I used gleam instead of light rays. I also used the gleam in add mode, which is different from MJ's method.
    https://vimeo.com/96466338
  • spydurhank
    spydurhank Posts: 3,193 Expert
    That is great.  :) 
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,448 Enthusiast
    Awesome! Was the planet a 3D model, or an image?
    The ground texture works really well.
  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,604 Ambassador
    That looks really sweet. Parallax can make a great ground texture, and this shot has a nice sense of scale and mood.
    Wasn't it Phil Wesson who came up with light rays as volumetrics in his compositing tutorial?
  • NullUnit
    NullUnit Posts: 791 Just Starting Out
    Awesome! Was the planet a 3D model, or an image?
    The ground texture works really well.

     

    Thanks! The background planet is a model. The distance fog gives it a good sense of scale.
     

    That looks really sweet. Parallax can make a great ground texture, and this shot has a nice sense of scale and mood.
    Wasn't it Phil Wesson who came up with light rays as volumetrics in his compositing tutorial?

     

    Oops! I fixed it in my post. I'm crediting the wrong people.
  • NullUnit
    NullUnit Posts: 791 Just Starting Out
    edited June 2014
    I kind of stumbled into this fire effect (which is typical with atomic particles). It's sort of a beam/ray of fire. Rough rundown: the atomic plane is duplicated. The audio interaction is different on one of the planes. Both planes are the same orange color. Putting the particles in add mode created the yellow parts of the fire. I can explain in more detail later, its late here.
    https://vimeo.com/97586222
  • spydurhank
    spydurhank Posts: 3,193 Expert
  • OrangePekoe
    OrangePekoe Posts: 478
    I could think of a lot of uses for this!!
    Your atomic particles work / tutorials have been extremely useful towards building energy shields and powering up in the last few projects I've been working on!!
  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,604 Ambassador
    Null is certainly Master of the Atomic Particles.
  • CalebK
    CalebK Posts: 435
    Lols i wish i could do these things! Nice job!
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,448 Enthusiast
    It looks particularly good when it's really big and crazy.
  • KirstieT
    KirstieT Posts: 1,192 Staff
    Yup Null - I think you earn the crown of Particle Master. 
    I especially love the inclusion of the light flares!
  • ESPictures
    ESPictures Posts: 533 Just Starting Out
    Yeah, I'm riffing off of NullUnit's particle effects for what I'm working on now.  I'm wondering if his experiment 24 can be sped up to be used for a more flamethrower like effect.  
    I'm going to add a color temp to this to make it more flame-colored in the final composite.  This one is just a test composite with a prebaked atomic particle layer.  I'm going to have the dragon spit some flames and then have some deflect away and some swirl around to form a magical portal.
    120349_original.jpg