I made this in Hitfilm Express 2017 after watching Triem23's tutorial on the Hitfilm Channel. Let me know what y'all think.
- Phineas Films
Very pretty. Nice look on the waves!
@thing2pscomcastnet The water looks very realistic, indeed. Great job.
@Triem23 Thanks. I actually used something a little different to get the height map because your method with fractal noise wasn't really working for me.
@tddavis @Stargazer54 Thanks. It took a while to tweak it so it looked right.
@thing2pscomcastnet Yeah, once you hit the sweet spot, make sure and save that version before tweaking further. Getting the look just right can be a finicky function between the scale of the background image and the caustics settings (which is how I assume is how you achieved your shot).
How did you build you height map?
Very nice! i have seen the tutorial for this, but i have a question for Triem. is there a way to add ripples or a wake (like from a boat green screened in) on to the water? Just wondering.
@triem23 I went on google and searched for height map. I got this weird one with all kinds of squiggles. I then duplicated that and rotated it a bunch to get a sort of collage of height maps. I precomposed it then to that new comp I added the waves effect and boosted up the frequency and amplitude. I then animated the center position of the waves effect. I also added a fractal noise layer on the Soft Light blend mode to give it some more variety.
The final product looked like this:
@LiamMcM1 only method that comes to mind for me to make a wake is to build that into your height map/texture maps then align the boat with the existing wake. Depending on if you're in Pro or Express there are different effects that could add the "V" shape of a wake to a height map composite.
This is a test from... wow, almost four years ago!... where radio waves overlaid over the fractal noise made the ripples coming off the buoy. Pond Ripple was added to make the rain impacts during the storm segment, and more radio waves used to make the displaced water after a random plane crash... The ripples for the buoy bobbing and rain hitting the water worked pretty well... The major splash not so much. Takeaway from this test is that you can get a certain amount of "interaction" by planning out the height map, but you can't push things TOO far. And I had to manually keyframe to buoy to try to get it to "ride" the swells. That was (not) fun... Also using one of my old tricks involving using depth fog to make a depth matte to automate the parts of the buoy poking in and out of the water, and Axel's old particle sim build for water on glass.
This one is using Radio Waves composited in ADD mode to create the larger swells.
To hit the point one more time, it's really about getting the height map correct. For a wake you need dark to mid greays for the basic water layers, leaving some darker grays/black to create the trough of the wake and light gray/white to create the crests. A duplicate of the height map comp will be needed. Probably using blues for the base water and needing light greays and whites for the crests to create white breakwater. Another masked fractal noise layer would be needed to get foam in the wake as well.
Caustics isn't a fluid simulation--there's no physics or genuine interactivity involved--but is just rendering a (faked) reflective/refractive surface.
This is also why I asked thing2 how the height map was created, since he said Fractal noise wasn't working for him (incidentally, long horizontal ripples could come from fractal noise by increasing scale on one axis to stretch everything out). But one doesn't have to use fractal noise. Anything that generates a black and white height map will create a caustics plane.... I think I discussed that briefly in the tutorial with a text layer, right?
Last example--fractal noise is the base water texture. A masked text layer is composited in blend mode over the fractal to to the text rising and collapsing from the water. An outline copy of the font was put in a particle sim where it just spawns with no motion but scales up to make the ripples bouncing off the text. It's all combined into a single height map comp.
This is the final height map:
Phineas, not certain if the height map image didn't load correctly or if it's just very subtle dark grays--to my aging eyes it looks like a solid black.
Still interesting method. It does underscore that ANY black and white image can be used to create the height map.
@Triem23 I don't know what's happening there.
I think I get it--you took some squiggles, duplicated/rotated to make a big plate of squiggles, used the Waves distortion effect to give your squiggles some motion, used a fractal noise for the smaller texture and animated the center of the waves to get the main left to right action. I like it!
@triem23 Yep. You got it.
Thanks again Triem. I had found the old threads, but they had kind of fizzled out and i hated to resurrect them. I only recently started to understand how caustics works, but its becoming more clear. I'll try those tips.
Nice work! My one comment is re: the sunset BG. It's fairly obvious that it's a still image because the grain never changes. To take this up a notch, you might consider adding a denoise effect on that layer, then add some subtle film grain back on top of the whole thing in a grade, which will unify the effect a bit more.
(side note: my wife came in and asked what I was doing, so I showed her the video and explained what I was going to suggest. She said, "Yeah, but the waves are freakin' cool." )
@jsbarrett Thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately since I am using Hitfilm Express, I don't have the denoise effect. However, I did add a subtle grain effect onto the grade.
What's the best way (if there is one) to fix the problem in Express.
Tricky. There are some effects in Express that would help remove the existing grain, but, coincidentally enough they're all in the Repair Pack add-on.
I'll try to remember to poke in Express next time I get on my comp, but, right now my best advice is to try a 0.5 or 1 pixel blur at 1 Iteration followed by a strong Unsharp Mask.
Ok! I'll try that.
I added the blur at 1 pixel and it did almost nothing. I ramped it up to 5 px and it ended up looking pretty good. It also looks like a bit of lens blur because it's in the distance. Thanks for the help.
If 5 works, awesome! I suggested 0.5 to 1 because I didn't want to kill the background detail.
Or... What if you convert your background plate to 3D, push it back behind the water layer and turn on depth of field for the camera? Camera DoF is a slow render, but you'd get matching blur on the water.
I added some manual DoF with a Lens Blur and a depth map. It really blends the whole thing together.
That works, too.
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