Need help working with 3d Model Environments and Creatures

HeySiriHeySiri Website User Posts: 382 Just Starting Out

So... in a short film I'm making, there's a scene much like the end of Infinity War where it's, let's say Thanos, walking down towards a bomb he needs to detonate, and all the heroes try to stop him. But, he overpowers them. For the "Thanos" being I'm going to use motion capture. But, here's my problem. We don't know exactly where the scene will take place, but there's also an alien army (all motion captured 3d models)  behind "Thanos". So, what would be easier: a 3d model environment (so easy to place the 3d models in) and chroma key (difficult to place the 2d video of humans in) or real life environment with 3d models composited in. We could even do the motion capture live on set that way in green morph suits and chroma them out after for some shots! Which would be better.


  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,264 Ambassador
    edited January 2019

    The answer is you determine the battle environment then we can discuss the needs of the shots. 

    Chances are you'll combine techniques. There are other techniques you've overlooked like Projector. There are several tutorials on the FXHOME channel (search "Camera Projection Hitfilm.")

    There's also 2.5D/Parallax work. Usually called "Make 2D pictures 3D!"

    Oh  let me demonstrate the power of Camera Projection. 

    That tunnel is a 2D picture and an elaborate projector setup.

    That's the original photo: my patient wife sitting, waiting during our honeymoon as I shoot this awesome tunnel in Heathrow with an 8mm Rokinon on a T3i.

    A little matte painting.

    Keep the screen surface to overlay over the video (notice, btw two of the wall screens are actually showing the "live feed" from Hitfilm's camera!!)

    Final setup. Each colored plane is part of the projector rig. 

    Basically I built a simple 3D set and used the photo to texture it.

    Then I added lights and 3D models. Hand-animated the Daleks. Don't remember if the camera move is a crane rig or gimbal rig. 

  • FilmSenseiFilmSensei Moderator, Website User, Ambassador Posts: 2,297 Ambassador

    Q: What did you do on your honeymoon?

    A: I took pictures of the inside of Heathrow Airport!

    You're a wild man, Mike! :)

  • HeySiriHeySiri Website User Posts: 382 Just Starting Out
    edited January 2019

    @Triem23 it sounds like projection might be easiest—my “battlefield” is probably going to be a forest trail. There’s a bomb, with the heroes surrounding it, and a huge “Thanos” like alien and an army of aliens behind him. I could film some scenes with motion capture aliens in a green morph suit on set (probably with a Kinect on hand or something), and film all the other motion capture work with a Kinect at a different time.

    By the way, what are the best projector effect tutorials? And how do you get the camera to look around the room like that from a 2d picture

  • HeySiriHeySiri Website User Posts: 382 Just Starting Out

    Okay, another problem I’m having is if I film live action footage and try to place 3D models in it, how do I make 3D model characters appear BEHIND the actors, so slightly obscure from camera?

  • Vagabonding101Vagabonding101 Website User Posts: 50

     The two tutorials that I've found most helpful are the Quick FX: Camera projection 1/2 by InScape  Digital. In order to make them appear behind the video, you're gonna need to do a LOT of masking. If you have mocha spline tracking might be able to help a bit, but it's going to be a lot of manual work.


  • HeySiriHeySiri Website User Posts: 382 Just Starting Out

    @Vagabonding101 if I had a chroma key screen behind the actors it'd be easy but the problem is I'd have to replicate my exact camera movements to get background footage to replace the screen with.

  • CleverTaglineCleverTagline Moderator Las Vegas, NVModerator, Website User, Ambassador, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,036 Ambassador

    @Vagabonding101 pretty much hit it. This requires rotoscoping of some form, either manual (tedious) or semi-automated with the help of Mocha (slightly less tedious).

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