Star Wars X-wings Flying Over Water Shot

ZachAlan
ZachAlan Posts: 453 Enthusiast
edited March 2017 in Post-production techniques

After doing an AT-AT animation, I wanted to see if this scene is possible to make in Hitfilm. Around 0:27-0:34

I have a 3D model of the new x-wing. I was wondering if the ocean preset from inScape Digital could be used for the water, and if his waterfall preset could be altered to make the water spray from the x-wings.

Comments

  • tddavis
    tddavis Posts: 5,171 Expert

    @ZCC_Productions If the waterfall sim cannot be repurposed you might be able to use a smoke sim and adjust the colors to bluish white, and maybe even use water as a texture of the particles...I'm not certain about the ocean preset yet.  I was planning on trying it with my Seaview model for a surface shot but I fell out of love with the model I first found and have been trying to find a more accurate one before doing it.

  • GrayMotion
    GrayMotion Posts: 1,613 Enthusiast

    I actually tried making water spray a few months back. Easy in AE but not much luck with HF at getting it to look like water spray though. More like smoke.

    This tutorial (first ten minutes) uses Particular to create water spray. Although it's AE and he's using CC Glass all the steps with particular can be done in Hitfilm

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ju1h6ufFgLc&t=435s

    I'd like to see what you could do with it.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,507 Ambassador
    edited March 2017

    I'm just gonna tag @inScapeDigital here. He did this:

     

    So I know he'll have specific hints and tips. 

    I believe he's using his ocean plane for the water, and the particle sim for spray, but Javert knows his process better than I. 

  • ZachAlan
    ZachAlan Posts: 453 Enthusiast

    Here's a quick test of what I have so far...

    The spraying water should be faster, and there should be motion blur on the water. Also the sky shouldn't move so much but the mountains should.

    What do you think so far? Any tips for compositing the x-wing?

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,507 Ambassador

    You've hit most of your own notes already, so I'll just say good start. 

    Compositing the X-wing is like compositing the AT-AT, which starts with lighting. Judging from your mountains, your key light is at the right angle, but the spec highlights on the X-wing are blowing out a bit. You may need to move the light farther from the model and/or turn it down a bit. 

    Shadows on the X-Wing are too deep--use the background mountains as reference for how dark shadows get. Water reflects a lot of light, so you want a directional light (non shadow casting) under the X-wing, pointing up to simulate bounce light. Sample a color from the highlight area of the water (or sky), and try an intensity of around 20 to start. 

    An ambient light also. Sample a color from the sky horizon and try an intensity of about 5. Nothing in sunlight in an atmosphere should fall to pure black. There's always bounce light from something. 

    Light wrap is your friend. Get some of that sky color bending around the wings. 

    You might consider setting model materials to Cook-Torrance shading. Set fresnel to Titanium, roughness to 25 or 30 (except the cockpit glass where roughness should be about 5) and set Diffuse reflectivity to about 20 or 25 to start. Then use your sky as the environment map in the model's layer Materials settings. The environment map may mean you don't need the ambient at all, and can maybe turn the fill light to 10-15, which would mean you could probably turn your key light down to 70 or so. 

    Basically with lights you (usually) want the total intensity to not exceed 100 by too much. A Diffuse reflectivity of 25 means that the model picks up the color of the Environment Map at 25%. A fill of 10 and a key of 70 would be a total of 105. Just about right. 

  • ZachAlan
    ZachAlan Posts: 453 Enthusiast

    Thanks at @Triem23

    Before you sent that message, I did a new version with the water and background paralax looking better. Although, I will try your lighting tips next.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,507 Ambassador

    Cool! 

    Oh. This tutorial to get some heat exhaust off the engine. This is a Hitfilm 2 Ultimate tutorial, so you can use heat/fluid/energy/smoke distortion instead of displacement, but the basic techniques are sound. 

  • GrayMotion
    GrayMotion Posts: 1,613 Enthusiast

    Yes. Got the spray looking pretty decent @ZCC_Productions.  

    @Triem23 - Great tips on the cook torrance and lighting. I went back and worked one of my X-wing renders were I used aluminum with specular refelctivity and went with what you laid out in your response. Looks  a bit more realistic if there is such a thing. How can one learn more about cook torrance?

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,507 Ambassador

    Forget the link. Sorry, was rushing to dinner. 

  • Aladdin4d
    Aladdin4d Posts: 2,481 Enthusiast

    @GrayMotion

    How basic do you want to go? ;) Here's the original Cook-Torrance paper 

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/hj20xna9b7s49pv/cookpaper.pdf?dl=0

    Modern implementations use something called the Schlick approximation which is much faster than the full Fresnel calculations in the original. Here's the original paper on that

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/hnmgsik63p06opv/schlick94b.pdf?dl=0

    Both have a lot of math of course but they also explain the concepts behind everything.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,507 Ambassador
    edited March 2017

    @GrayMotion in my case, I did a lot of Googling. ;-) 

    Here's the short rundown:

    Fresnel deals with how different materials reflect light in different colors depending on angle of incidence and reflection. The more extreme the angle, the more color changes. The three numbers for the fresnel value are (I think) RGB modifiers. 

    Roughness simulates micro divots on a surface. Think like a golf ball. Higher numbers are deeper "pits" which scatter light more and lead to less harsh spec highlights. 

    Specular reflectance is how deep a light ray penetrates before bouncing. Higher values are more intense specular reflections. 

    Diffuse reflectivity is similar to Image Based Lighting. A model becomes "lit" by its defined environment map. This value is hard to 'dial in' and really depends on the shot. 

    Specular reflectivity combines with reflectance to determine size of highlights. This also controls "mirror-like" reflections from the environment map. 

    Index of refraction should be looked up. It's a known quantity depending on a material. Air is 1.0, water 1.33, glass 1.5 to 1.7,depending... 

    Refraction amount controls how much light refracts. Low values for matte surfaces, higher values for iridescent and reflective surfaces. 

    Opacity you can figure out. 

    Example: left statue is rendered in Phong. Looks like smooth, polished granite, and looks pretty good. All models in Hitfilm 2 and 3 tended towards this look. Right statue is the same model and lights, using the Diffuse texture as a bump map and with roughness turned up. It looks like rough stone, and was a look impossible to attain before HF4P. 

    https://flic.kr/p/ABVjyV

  • GrayMotion
    GrayMotion Posts: 1,613 Enthusiast

    Tip of the the hat to both of you gentlemen. Thank you.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,507 Ambassador

    @GrayMotion this article (and the linked primer on PBR is less mathematical than the original papers @Aladdin4d linked. 

    http://www.codinglabs.net/article_physically_based_rendering_cook_torrance.aspx

  • inScapeDigital
    inScapeDigital Posts: 709 Just Starting Out*

    Nicely done! My version of the jet flyover received mixed reviews, but the ocean was made with my preset and the spray was a particle sim. I had them grow larger over time using the Lifetime panel.

    I definitely used Cook-Torrance for the jet model, but I'm not sure which setting I had it at.

  • ZachAlan
    ZachAlan Posts: 453 Enthusiast

    @Triem23

    I tried your settings for the lighting, light wrap, and materials. However, the x-wing is still quite dark. Should I add more diffuse reflectivity? 

  • ZachAlan
    ZachAlan Posts: 453 Enthusiast

    Here is another test. This time I tried using Video Co-Pilot's X-wing just to see if it would look better. It seems to look way more realistic because of the texture, and it reflects its environment better. Any thoughts or suggestions?

    Still need the engine glow/distortion. How would I use the heat distorion for this @Triem23 ?

    Also, does this x-wing come with a bump map, and if so what is it called in the jpeg texture files?

  • GrayMotion
    GrayMotion Posts: 1,613 Enthusiast
    edited March 2017

    Heat distortion - follow the tutorial he linked to. It will explain the entire process of making a displacement source with the particle sim and making a displacement map layer to use the source. I'm not going to type out the process as Mike will probably correct me anyways :-)

    You have the shot looking much better although the vignette is killing your colors. If I might add....I'd imagine being that close to the water there would be specular reflectivity off the surface of the water onto the bottom edges of the X-Wing. In my mind I would try and tweak  the specular levels on the model just a tad...maybe a spot light or directional underneath the craft to help with the bounce light. Also since the sun looks almost dead on , or a tad to the left and high, to the mountains I'd light the front more.

    But...as I said the shot is looking much better since you changed from the Black x70. 

  • Stargazer54
    Stargazer54 Posts: 3,739 Ambassador

    Just my $0.02

    You might consider de-focusing (blur) the background mountains just a touch to provide a little more depth of field.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,507 Ambassador

    I'm thinking take a look at the materials in the "Poe" X-wing. Check out the Diffuse map (the jpeg) colors for the model and make certain they don't actually go pure black. A pure black or pure white color in a model's colors is, in general, wrong. The only thing that should ever be "pure black" is the vaccum of space and the only thing that should be "pure white" is a light glinting in the camera. 

    The old 16-235 range from SD days is actually still a good guideline when working 0-255.

  • ZachAlan
    ZachAlan Posts: 453 Enthusiast

    Here is another test, this time with blurred mountains, better lighting, materials, and grading.

    I have the particles set up for the engines, but how do I use heat distortion with it, because in the video they use displacement. Thanks!

  • tddavis
    tddavis Posts: 5,171 Expert

    @ZCC_Productions Looking very nice.  Btw, did you use the waterfall preset for the spray or something different?  It turned out well whichever.

  • ZachAlan
    ZachAlan Posts: 453 Enthusiast

    @tddavis thanks! I downloaded the waterfall preset but edited it a bit. I adjusted the rotation, position and scale, and I sampled the color from the water. I reduced the radius in trajectory. Then I duplicated the emitter, changed the color to a brighter part of the water, and increased the radius.

  • GrayMotion
    GrayMotion Posts: 1,613 Enthusiast
    edited March 2017

    Since you want to use "Heat Distortion" effect , drawing a mask on a grade layer and using that to confine the heat distortion is probably easier with this shot.

  • Stargazer54
    Stargazer54 Posts: 3,739 Ambassador
  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,507 Ambassador

    ZCC in the Heat Distortion effect there's a control for "Mask." Just set that to the particle sim layer, and that should limit the Heat Distortion to where the Particles are. You might need to follow the steps Simon took to isolate his particle sim as an embedded composite shot.

    You could also just use the displacement effect like Simon dies. Heat distortion (and the other distortions in HF 2017) are actually subsets of Displacement. They're really displacement effects using a built-in fractal noise to drive displacement instead using a source layer. Well, the Distortion effects add in the diffusion controls, but using a fractal noise to drive a displacement map give a 100% identical result to using heat distortion with 0% diffusion.