First attempt at hitfilm vfx, suggestions WELCOME.

LucidFrame
LucidFrame Website User Posts: 15
SO I tried a bunch of different things here, just trying to get a feel for the software, there is obviously a LOT to be worked on, so I welcome any constructive criticism and or tips/tricks/techniques:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eU2d3HkaksA

Comments

  • KirstieT
    KirstieT Staff Administrator, Moderator, Website User Posts: 1,068 Staff
    I'm very impressed if this is your first foray into HitFilm - you must have used vfx software before surely? I like the idea of it and the way that you got your ball of light to move quite smoothly despite some jerky camera movements, keeping my interest. 
    I must say I'm a little confused as to whether the ball of light is a fairy, or a fairy fart (from the title?) There isn't much indication from the light whether it is a fairy (e.g. no tiny person) but you may be going back to Tinkerbell roots there (where it was literally just a ball of light/torch light) so feel free to correct me. The ending adds to that confusion if you think it's a fairy.... 
    So my contribution here would be - interesting simple concept, well executed VFX. Could use a little bit of a reflection on the surrounding furniture (e.g. at the beginning when it rises in front of the computer screen I imagine there would be a reflection or glare there).
  • LucidFrame
    LucidFrame Website User Posts: 15
    Thanks Kirstie, no this is my first use of any sort of vfx software, I give all credit for being able to pull off what I did to the outstanding tutorials of axel and simon among others...
    As a quick background, this is a test for a series the wife and I are trying to put together, think a spoof of a reality show style series in the vein of syfy's "monster man". My wife makes horror dolls and the like, often using preexisting dolls that she remakes in her style. In the series, often odd "ingredients" will be called for, in this case...a fairy fart. 
    The reflection would be a great addition, need to look into how to achieve that, I would also like to figure out how to get an effect simulating the light output from the ball on the surrounding areas when it gets close to them..I'm imagining masks would be the way to go, but I obviously don't want them to effect areas in the distance, so it's a bit of a puzzle how to work it out at this point...
  • OrangePekoe
    OrangePekoe Website User Posts: 478
    Pretty good for a first attempt at using VFX software!  I like the concept of the ingredient (fairy) being released and fusing into an object.  Also the first person view is an ambitious task when adding vfx especially right off the bat!!! 
    Some suggestions:
    Reflections will definitely add to this shot, especially at the beginning when the fairy is inside the bottle.  It sort of reminds me of Navi from the Zelda games.
    This next suggestion is completely personal taste, the way your fairy moves, if the particles being emitted from the fairy formed a trail (could be subtle) rather than being carried exactly with the body of the fairy.  In some instances it feels as if the entire fairy and aura is moving as one mass and since the particles seem to be emitting from a central point, those same particles should 'remain' in their birth location rather than being moved with the rest of the body.  They may have a slight pull or push force applied to them as the emitter (fairy) moves.  However, I'm not a fairy expert and all things magical can do crazy things so ....
    One nit picky thing, is that since this is a third person view of the fairy, some of the movements of the camera should be slightly delayed behind the movements of the fairy as "someone" or "something" would be reacting to it's movements and following it rather than the two of them moving almost exactly together in unison.
    Otherwise, great first attempt!  Looking forward to seeing more :)

     

  • LucidFrame
    LucidFrame Website User Posts: 15

    Orange Pekoe: yeah, the movements for the follow shot were animated by hand, some of them I think had a feel of the orb "leading" the camera, which was the idea, whereas other times I got a bit lazy with the keyframing....I would love to add that lingering trail to the comp as you suggested, I just need to figure out the best way to achieve it as the orb effect is contained inside a sphere in it's own comp layer, so all "3d" movements towards and away from the camera were done with scale rather than z axis movements....I need to play with the software a bit more and get familiar with it's capabilities...so far, I'm loving what it can do.
  • OrangePekoe
    OrangePekoe Website User Posts: 478
    Orange Pekoe: yeah, the movements for the follow shot were animated by hand, some of them I think had a feel of the orb "leading" the camera, which was the idea, whereas other times I got a bit lazy with the keyframing....I would love to add that lingering trail to the comp as you suggested, I just need to figure out the best way to achieve it as the orb effect is contained inside a sphere in it's own comp layer, so all "3d" movements towards and away from the camera were done with scale rather than z axis movements....I need to play with the software a bit more and get familiar with it's capabilities...so far, I'm loving what it can do.


    From the sounds of things, it seems you have a fairly good understanding of the mechanics :)
    How you create your lingering trail will largely be affected by what you want the sphere / orb effect to affect in terms of the inner particles. 
    One possible way to go about this could be:
    Create your emitter - spewing out particles in a 360 degree fashion as it is now
    Create true 3D movements - movement by the emitter will cause the particles to form a trail
    Create a 3D point layer - parent + center it on your emitter (or look at the missile with light flare tutorial - same concept)
    Now once you're happy with the movements and trailing particles you have a few options:
    If you do not want the inner particles (right at the emitter) affected by the orb / sphere effects, - create the outer orb shell separately (don't apply it to your particle simulator layer) and then parent that to the point layer you created. 
    If you do, I'd suggest creating another emitter (as you've already done in the original video) - adjust the life time of the particles so they don't last as long recreate the same effect you've already done and then parent that to the point layer.
    The latter suggestion requires two particle systems with only one affected by the sphere effect.  With a few blending tweaks and particle property adjustments these should blend together nicely and give off both the effect you currently have as well as the particle trail that works in 3D space.  



     

  • LucidFrame
    LucidFrame Website User Posts: 15

    Orange Pekoe,
    some of your suggestions make sense, I'll have to experiment with them, the one concern I would have is that since the trailing particles would all be created with the digital camera at a standstill, the effect wouldn't play well with the footage unless I'm missing a concept? 

    In order to get the effect to really work, wouldn't I need to plot a 3d camera move? 
    and, if so, would that even be possible with the footage I shot? there aren't any common planes throughout the footage for a track to work with are there? 
    So much I need to learn, I really appreciate the feedback.
  • OrangePekoe
    OrangePekoe Website User Posts: 478
    That's a good question, I'm not 100% sure.  The main thing is simply to create the illusion that it is happening.  I've done it to a MUCH smaller extent with panning shots and some handheld moving shots with no good way to track things.  There's just a fair bit of manual work in moving the emitter to make it feel right. 
    Looking forward to seeing what you come up with :)
  • LucidFrame
    LucidFrame Website User Posts: 15
    I figured it would come down to a lot of frame by frame tweaks for some things....well worth it for the quality of output I've seen some people get....I know the potential is there, just need to figure out the tricks and techniques to really maximize the performance...
  • KirstieT
    KirstieT Staff Administrator, Moderator, Website User Posts: 1,068 Staff
    Wow - it's your first time using the software and you're working straight off the tutorials? Now that IS impressive!
    Best of luck to you (and I'm intrigued about your wife's horror dolls!). I can't add anything further to OrangePekoe's great suggestions so I'll let you run with it!
  • LucidFrame
    LucidFrame Website User Posts: 15
    edited January 2014
    I gotta say, those tutorials really give you the groundwork for understanding the concepts, I haven't actually done a step by step follow along with any of the tutorials, but I've watched them repeatedly trying to get a sense of the overall way the software achieves what it does...I still have a TON to learn, but between simon and axel, I think I'm at a pretty good starting point. 
  • KirstieT
    KirstieT Staff Administrator, Moderator, Website User Posts: 1,068 Staff
    Hey LucidFrame - I took off the links just because it doesn't quite fit in with the forum - but those things are RIGHT up my street! Your wife is very talented. I'm pretty sure I'll be making a purchase there soon!
  • LucidFrame
    LucidFrame Website User Posts: 15
    Sorry about that Kirstie, wasn't sure what the proper etiquette was here, I'm glad you like her stuff, I'll tell her to look out for you! You'll probably be seeing more of her stuff here in a relevant fashion soon as her creations figure prominently in the series we are developing and I plan on posting them here when they feature hitfilm effects.
    thanks again for the feedback! 
  • KirstieT
    KirstieT Staff Administrator, Moderator, Website User Posts: 1,068 Staff
    Brilliant LucidFrame - I look forward to seeing them featuring in a short or two!
Sign In or Register to comment.

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!