Eye of The Storm and Cloudburst

KeeganKeegan Website User Posts: 294 Just Starting Out
Hello! Its been a while! I've been working hard at school and 11-hour days don't leave much time for forums. regardless, I feel bad and I'm about to go crazy looking at all the projects that have been posted in the past couple months. :))
ANYWAY, I have been working on a new Short Film called "Eye of The Storm", which is a continuation of Cloudburst, the scifi/war/adventure/thriller miniseries that I have been working on on-and-off for the past year.
This one is pretty VFX heavy. The Phantom aircraft and its destruction took a total of 56 hours to render in 3DSMax (I know, I need a faster computer :blush: ) and it was destroyed in Rayfire.
I have begun to use After Effects for some composting because it is what we use at school and its what most of the places that hire expect us to know. However, I use Hitfilm for muzzle-flashes and bullets because, frankly, its faster and easier. B-)
Anyway, I hope you guys enjoy. It was cold as hell (wut) so I didn't make my non-actors redo any lines. As a result, the acting is a bit more "meh" than usual, but who can blame them?

Comments

  • TomMcTomMc Website User Posts: 112 Just Starting Out
    Some very nice bits in there - my main comment would be that a strong grade could have pulled it together and helped sit in some of the compositing.
    I could see your actors were getting frozen!
    It's also good to have people talking about using HitFilm in conjunction with other software, and it completely makes sense to use software that professional companies expect you to know. A good VFX artist will normally be experienced in a few different approaches and applications, and will choose the best one for the each job, so I'm glad to hear you identified the muzzle flashes and bullets as a strength of HitFilm! In general, a lot of the principles of AE can be applied to HF, they are both layer based compositors after all. Node based systems like Nuke are a little different, but the problem solving learned in one piece of software can help with how you approach a shot in another.
    All in all, good job.
  • KeeganKeegan Website User Posts: 294 Just Starting Out
    Thanks! All, I think grading is one of my weakest points. I seem to have better luck with presets than with doing it by hand (I did this whole video by hand). Could you, or anyone, point me in the direction of some good tutorials on the topic?
    Thanks again for the awesome feedback!
  • SimonKJonesSimonKJones Moderator Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 4,450 Enthusiast
    The tricky thing with grading tutorials is that they're always unique to each project. A grading tutorial for one project won't be relevant to another. I am, however, working on a tutorial at the moment based on the HitFilm 2 What's Your Idea? trailer which will be out soon.
    My main advice with grading: tweak it until you think it looks cool, then reduce it by at least a 3rd. Generally speaking, I find the first pass of any grade is always far, far too over the top.
  • TomMcTomMc Website User Posts: 112 Just Starting Out
    It really depends on how in depth you want to, and Simon is also correct in that grading is different for almost every project.
    Grading is a massive area to cover, but there are a few good basic steps.
    The first is to always balance your footage between shots - this is not to give the film a look, but rather to give yourself an even base to work from. This is normally called Colour Correction. Balancing the whites, exposure levels and saturation creates the best starting point for the next stage. Even if you are using presets (which is nothing to be ashamed of - it's how I start most of my grades!), these will look a lot better if the footage has been prepared nicely.
    At this point you can start to consider a look for the scene that adds to the narrative or style who want to achieve. This is the Grading stage, and can have multiple passes. This is where things get complicated, and the route you take depends upon the look you want to get to in the end. My only real advice here is not to try and do it all in one go - use a primary grade then tweak in more layers - that way if you end up destroying a look, you can skip back a few steps without starting again. That's my approach...
    A very young looking Sam & Niko made this video a few years ago that introduces things pretty nicely.
  • KeeganKeegan Website User Posts: 294 Just Starting Out
    Thanks for the advice, guys! More than anything, I want to know how to read things like the histogram and know what its telling me and how I should be using it. The fundamental jobs of the Gain, Gamma and Offset parameters are very vaguely defined in my head and I can't seem to find much information on how those parameters should be used for things other than creating a more contrasted image.
    I went pretty light on the grade for this video, as you've mentioned. Next time I'll try slopping on a heavy grade and then dialing it back, as you suggested.
  • guitar74guitar74 Website User Posts: 506
    A cold overlay would look good with it. The diamond ship thing, I would think a bigger explosion.
  • KeeganKeegan Website User Posts: 294 Just Starting Out
    Thanks for the feedback! I did adjust the color temperature a bit, but my camera seems to be a bit more sensitive to reds, so I think it ended up looking nominal instead of cold. I'll try to amp it up for next time!
    I would have liked the explosion to be bigger as well... But a 56-hour render is really pushing what I have time for on my monthly release schedule. :p
  • guitar74guitar74 Website User Posts: 506

    Thanks for the feedback! I did adjust the color temperature a bit, but my camera seems to be a bit more sensitive to reds, so I think it ended up looking nominal instead of cold. I'll try to amp it up for next time!
    I would have liked the explosion to be bigger as well... But a 56-hour render is really pushing what I have time for on my monthly release schedule. :p
    A 56 hour Render. That is a few days there. I know Vision lab had these presets like a overlay for a cold look or a Matrix movie look, but HF I believe there are not presets like that, but I have not looked either.
  • KeeganKeegan Website User Posts: 294 Just Starting Out
    I'm using Adobe Speedgrade (We currently have a love-hate relationship... I'm thinking of switching to DaVinci resolve?) and there are a few presets but a lot of them are useless effects that emulate something you'd get from an 8th grade video project. (Seriously, who uses sepia and film grain unironically these days..)
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