Test clip - lights and moving clouds

Wanted to use the Moving Clouds preset by RodyPolis, so thanks to him for making it! :)
Decided to go for a plane on a bombrun in the clouds, with searchlights below and some flarebombs?.
Any tips for improvement? I guess i could have let the plane be hit and explode?

Comments

  • Majahr
    Majahr Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 567 Enthusiast
    Hi.
    Nice idea...but....there's a little bit room for improvements 8-|
    It seems, the clouds are poping up to 100% immediatly...Try to use a gradient in the alpha lifetime properties. You may also play with the DOF (depth of field) parameter, maybe fog and the focus distance...
    Regards,
    Marc
  • AxelWilkinson
    AxelWilkinson Staff Administrator, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 5,250 Staff
    I'd try making the clouds a bit larger in relation to the plane, and slow down the animation of the clouds, as it kind of looks like they are timelapsed. The main thing I notice, though, is that the plane is a still image. If the angle of the plane could change, at all, in relation to the camera, it would really help sell the effect, as would a prop that was spinning. For that particular type of shot, hanging a small model plane in front of a greenscreen on a few wires, so you could wiggle it about a little while filming it, shouldn't be too difficult, or expensive. A bit of fishing line, a toy plane, and I think you could get some pretty convincing results. Also, adding a few blinking lights to the plane would help it look more real as well.
    For the propeller, actually spinning it in front of a greenscreen is going to be hard to key anyway, so I'd take the prop off the plane, then add in the animation afterward. You should be able to drop in a long rectangular shape, or a still image of the prop, align it to the plane, then set it to rotate a lot of times per second, and let motion blur handle the rest.
  • RodyPolis
    RodyPolis Website User Posts: 612 Just Starting Out*
    I would advise putting the cloud emitter off screen so the clouds don't look like they're popping up. You could also duplicate the Moving Clouds and adding a layer far in the background, and a layer closer to the camera (with the opacity really low). That will give the effect that you are in the middle of bunch of clouds.
    Looks good though! Glad you're using the preset.
  • VikingFilm65
    VikingFilm65 Website User Posts: 261
    Thanks for the tips guys! Im working on some changes..
    Now a question, lets say you have a 30 second composition, and then add a explosion effect. Now, you dont want the explosion to start at the beginning of the composition, but lets say 15 seconds into the composition.
    How do you specify that you want the effect to start at a specific time in the clip?
    Yes, I can tell the effect to last for 30 seconds, and then just set the opacity down to zero until I want it, but then I dont get the beginning of the explosion and such.
    Im sure this question many others have asked themselves while working with the effects or presets.
  • AxelWilkinson
    AxelWilkinson Staff Administrator, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 5,250 Staff
    You just drag the explosion layer to the right, on the timeline, so the start falls on the frame where you want the effect to start. Or am I misunderstanding what you are trying to do?
  • RodyPolis
    RodyPolis Website User Posts: 612 Just Starting Out*
    You can do what Axel says, or you can change the 'Time Shift' of the particle to 15 seconds.
  • VikingFilm65
    VikingFilm65 Website User Posts: 261
    Ok, thanks guys! I will do some testing later, but now im off for a little vacation time! :)
  • VikingFilm65
    VikingFilm65 Website User Posts: 261
    edited August 2011
    Ok, i have a new clip with some changes.
    Axel, yes I know the plane is not the most convincing airplane. I used a toy plane just for fun. So I will keep the propeller as it is. I have tried to improve on the clouds, and as RodyPolis said i have now some clouds in the background and some in the foreground with less opacity. Im not pleased with it, as i struggle to get the particle engine to do what I want.
    The search lights does not look so good now, but thats because they dont hit so many clouds as before, and hence its not so easy to see that whole search light cone.
    I tried to put a red light on the wing tip, but the red light would not stick properly in place, i know I used the shake effect, but it should not matter. I guess i need some tracking sw to do that better!?
    It's is a work in progress, and I use this little test to learn Hitfilm.
    Now I will tell you what I struggle with. On the editor timeline, where I have put the composite clip, I there have added an extra "Shake" effect (Distort) on the composite clip. Only that the shake effect is activated for the while composite clip, but I onluy want that extra shake effect to be used when the two explosions occur, to give the illusion that the explosion is so powerful that it has an effect on the camera which also then shakes. But now the shake effect is running on the while clip, since I cant put keyframes on the effect in the editor timeline.
    *UPDATE*: Ok, i solved the Shake effect problem, I added a GRADE layer in the composite shot and there added the Shake Effect, and then I could keyframe the shake effect! :)
    Ok, sorry but I also used stock footage for the explosions...I know! Im bad! ;-) I will try to make them myself given time.
    What was annoying though was that the sound clips I added in the editor timeline was not mixed well, as I wanted to adjust the audio level or volume between the different sounds I used. I could not find any way to adjust the volume level, so I just had to go for the volume level the clips came with. Maybe someone knows of a good solution for this?
  • AxelWilkinson
    AxelWilkinson Staff Administrator, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 5,250 Staff
    edited August 2011
    Hm, I think the clouds need to be moving much faster from left to right, to make it seem like the plane is moving forward. What I would do is keyframe the position of the plane layer, so it is moving a good long distance through the clouds from left to right, then parent the camera to is to the camera follows the plane's movement.
    As far as the prop, just adding in a rectangle roughly the size of the prop, and keyframing it to rotate very quickly, would help a ton. Set it up so it aligns with the prop's position, set the color to match the prop's color, and put lots of spin on it. I think it'll make a huge difference for you.
    To add a light to the wingtip, I would create a composite shot with the plane and the light, get the light in place, then in the main edit add the Shake effect to the composite shot that contains the plane and the light. Then they will shake together.
    Don't let anyone tell you that using stock footage is bad. Stock footage is a crucial and important part of effects work, and given the choice of stock footage or CG effects for fire or explosions, the stock will give better results at least 80% of the time, unless you are a pro with access to high-end software, and the skill and experience to use it.
    You can easily adjust the Levels of the audio on any clip, in either the Editor or a Composite shot, in the Controls panel. If you are in the Editor, select the audio clip, and use the Properties > Level control to adjust the level. If you are in a composite shot, then select the clip, and use the Audio > Level control to adjust it. In a composite shot, you can also keyframe the levels, so they change over time.
  • VikingFilm65
    VikingFilm65 Website User Posts: 261
    edited August 2011
    I found the option of keyframing the audio levels in a composite shot, but it was not possible to use keyframing of an audio level in the editor.
    Not possible to keyframe audio level in Editor:
    [IMG]http://img818.imageshack.us/img818/7340/noaudiokeyframeeditor.th.jpg[/IMG]
    Possible to keyframe audio levels in composite shot:
    [IMG]http://img535.imageshack.us/img535/6930/audiokeyframecomposite.th.jpg[/IMG]

    Any comments?
  • Majahr
    Majahr Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 567 Enthusiast
    Hi.
    You can't keyframe anything in the 2D editor - you had to transform the necessarry clip to a compiste shot or create a new shot and place all clips there - finally, you can drag this shot on your timeline in the editor. Composite shots are the way to edit something over the time...the editor is to arrange the stuff.
    Regards,
    Marc
  • VikingFilm65
    VikingFilm65 Website User Posts: 261
    Ok, thanks for the tip Majahr! B-)
  • Grisby
    Grisby Website User Posts: 299 Just Starting Out*
    edited August 2011
    Nevertheless - A german Version would be nice...