Marvel Scene Recreations update.

Xhan47 Posts: 148

The costumes have arrived for the next set of Marvel Scene Recreations!!


And with this, comes an update: Many of you that I have had discussions with on this forum, probably won't find this as much of a surprise: I'm taking a break from Filmmaking. Planned to be for one year but it could end up being longer.

For the last 3 1/2 years, I have been trying to hit a new level in Filmmaking and uncover some secrets to the Cinematic Storytelling Craft that I have been missing.

As of today, with the end of a e-mail discussion with an author of Screenwriting books, my final question has been answered.

As you can see with the picture above, we have had amazing improvement since joining the forums.

Special thanks specifically to @DafterThings @Rutxer and @Polacono for all the tips on improving story, lighting, and the help on the program It'self. (Just finished Robert Mckee's Story about a week ago and it was certainly an eye-opener.)

Also, the Gotg trailer recreation is my last project with Hitfilm. When I come back I plan to switch to Adobe After effects and get into more advanced vfx techniques to help build up my skills.

Hitfilm was a great starting program and I appreciate and thank all the software developers who put it together and none of my projects would have been possible without it.

Lastly, this post is also, a goodbye to the FX Home community. You might see me every once in a while but I don't plan to be constantly on the forums giving feedback and advice, and whence I switch to the Adobe Suite I'll be gone forever.

Thank you FX Home forums community. I appreciate every one of you, and the times spent discussing things with you will always be remembered.

And that's that. Time to spend some time just living and making things up to people. (Don't think my family has liked having an angry disconnected frustrated Filmmaker around the house for 31/2 years straight.)

(Thanks for reading and being a part of this journey in my life.)

Sincerely: Dustin Johnson, aka Xhan47.









  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,077 Ambassador
  • DafterThings
    DafterThings Posts: 984 Enthusiast

    I wish you success and enjoyment in whichever direction your path takes you.

  • spydurhank
    spydurhank Posts: 3,193 Expert

    Sad to see you go. Do great stuff and you should share your new work here. No need to totally disappear. :)

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,077 Ambassador

     Another note: you don't have to totally give up Hitfilm. Hitfilm and Ae are far more alike than most realize. You'll find some things easier and faster in Ae, other things easier and fastest in Hitfilm. I shifted between programs for several years before I finally dropped off the Adobe train, because  frankly, there wasn't anything I was doing in Ae I couldn't do with Hitfilm (this is a reminder that the artist is more important than the tool). With Ae plug ins coming to Hitfilm Pro that gap continues to narrow. Round-tripping elements between multiple software packages is very common. 

    Otherwise  don't take too long a break. If you got the "last piece of your puzzle" only a day or two ago, then it's fresh knowledge you haven't absorbed, digested and made instinctive, yet. Take a year and a half off, you run a risk of forgetting your new knowledge or getting rusty.

    Not to be snotty, but my guess is your filmmaking is a hobby, not a career (taking a year off is a hint). I merely remind you that Adobe software is rented, not bought. Move to an Ae/Premiere combo and you're looking at $600/year, every year, or Adobe WILL lock you out of your own work when they turn your software off. Recent Abode changes also mean you MUST be running the current or prior version. Anything older and, again, Adobe might just turn you off. (What finally got me off Adobe was them shutting off my valid purchased license - checked as valid with Adobe when I purchased it. Adobe told me it was pirated. I produced the emails with Adobe proving it wasn't. The response "Oh, yeah, that's a valid license, but we can't reactivate it - it's CS6 and you should move to CC." Didn't even try to offer me a discount for the annoyance of them shutting off my legal software under false pretenses. Next day, went to work at University of La Verne... Adobe shut off the entire college's licenses with the same lie. Needless to say, I found other software, and UNLV did too. Adobe lost several hundred licenses because of a shady call).

    Ae is amazing software  but, I absolutely recommend not using it if film isn't something you make money from as job or career. Otherwise you just made your hobby much more expensive. You can buy your costumes and a copy of Hitfilm Pro for less than a year's rental of Ae.... And you'll get to keep HFP after a year. And, as the long parenthetical in the prior paragraph should make clear, I, personally, speaking only for myself (good place to note Mods aren't FXHOME Staff and nothing said here is FXHOME'S opinion and isn't endorsed by them), have a MAJOR problem with Adobe as a company. Going rental, fine. Shutting off old licenses is questionable. Lying to customers with valid licenses and telling them they are using pirated software is unethical and wrong. And the new Adobe policy on requiring current versions? Fallout from lawsuits. Adobe hasn't been paying third party vendors their license fees. After Effects is the most widely used layer-based compositor on the planet. It's amazingly powerful, but, I will never give Adobe money again.

    Sorry, digressed into a rant I didn't intend on. Two years later and I'm still annoyed. 

  • Xhan47
    Xhan47 Posts: 148

    @DafterThings Thank you:) Much appreciated.

    Though to clarify: I am not leaving Filmmaking behind as a profession. I love movie making too much.

    Just taking a break to give me time to process and heal from some rough years.

  • Xhan47
    Xhan47 Posts: 148


    Thanks for the kind words:) Great to hear.

    I didn't want to spam my new Adobe projects on a forum that's for Hitfilm users, but if everyone is okay with it I will gladly post the new content here when it arrives.

  • Xhan47
    Xhan47 Posts: 148


    My reply is taking a little while to write, but I should have it out later tonight.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment about this.




  • Xhan47
    Xhan47 Posts: 148


    Sorry, I think I may have left some details out.

    Bye leaving Filmmaking for a little while, I don't mean removing it entirely.

    If I were distancing myself from everything movie related then yes, that would be a serious problem, and would probably set me back many years. (Making what happened in these past years pointless.)

    Maybe I left the wrong impression but let me clarify: I am not leaving anything and everything related to filmmaking behind, in a spout, and just removing everything about it from my life for a year, that would be disastrous. I am taking a break from editing, filming, vfx, and all the extensive stuff I have been doing an (Unhealthy.) too much of the last few years.

    Over the course of the break, I will be reading Filmmaking/Screenwriting books, trying out the new techniques the author has suggested for a new screenplay, learning as much about the Filmmaking craft as I can, and doing a whole lot of relaxing, resting, enjoying the life I have been missing around me, and hanging out with family.

    But I am not: Leaving Filmmaking completely, entirely, forever. I apologize if that's what people thought,  that's not what I meant. I thought that by informing you I was coming back with Adobe in a year or so that you guys understood I meant the Filming/editing aspect of movie making, and that I was just taking a much-needed Hiatus after some draining frustratingly long years.

    I see where you might be concerned though. We've all heard the saying: Consistency is key. And while it certainly is key, I think a lot of people misunderstand it as do a lot of work, every week and you'll get better every time.

    While that is true, It's only part of the answer. If you do a lot of work as I found out, sure you'll improve every time but you won't get past a knowledge gap.

    For example: If you were to write one story every month but you didn't understand the 3 Act Story Structure, eventually you would get frustrated no matter how consistent you were. The answers would not reveal themselves by writing, writing, and more writing, you would have to do research, ask questions, learn about the structure, and then continue writing.

    I have find most people are afraid to take breaks because they think they will lose their skill.

    As long as you are still actively going for it, in whatever state of your recalibration/resting you should be fine.

    Research actually shows that your best ideas come from rest.

    It gives you time to process, build back up your strength, and come back stronger than ever.

    I've tested this before in writing. In the last 3 years, I have written two scripts. One I had to take a break after completing to find answers to the questions I was seeking. The other after lots of research, and learning, + getting some of the answers to my questions, turned out 10x times better than the last.

    Another great example is Christopher McQuarrie.

    In 2000, his film Way of the Gun failed miserably. Audiences didn't like it, critics were even worse to it, it was, by all means, a failure. After the movies' release, Christopher McQuarrie said he was taking a break from directing,  to process and recalibrate some things, plus figure out what makes a story great.

    In 2008 he popped up again as the writer of Valkyrie, then then a TV Show, then another film.

    In 2012, (12 years later!!! Yikes. Definitely not taking that long of a break.) he returned to directing with the hit film Jack Reacher.

    From there on he would go to write and direct Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, and Mission Impossible: Fallout and now he is known as one of the best Movie Directors of all time, and people are calling him Christopher Nolan 2.0.

    Filmmaking is a process, and there are many fun times, long times, and breaks along the way. It's a journey. And no two are alike.  (I'll be coming up on my 5 year anniversary of Filmmaking in little over a month.) Breaks are not bad, they are good, when needed.




    Technically, while I did get the last piece of the puzzle a couple a day ago, I have been on break for about 2 months now.


    After the Gotg Trailer Recreation came out, and the final quarries were in the process of being complete, I went and saw a Counselor. After discussing with him, many things I wouldn't tell anybody else, (Nor will I say here.) and letting out everything that happened these past few years, it was him that suggested I take a break from Filmmaking.

    It wasn't exactly what I wanted to hear, but I came to him to get a different perspective since I had been trusting nothing but my own understanding for quite some time, and needed advice from someone who could see the whole forest, not just the trees surrounding me.

    I decided to try out his suggestion though and after those first few days, I could see what he meant. The time had taken a toll on me, and as I rested as he suggested, everything in my life has improved.

    From relaxing to just hanging out with friends, I'm sure y family has noticed a significant change in my attitude and engagement.

    I'm not someone to make split decisions on a whim, so I gave it a bit of time to prove It'self, and let people know a little bit at a time. One of my brothers and friends were told a month ago, my actor that was signed on as Captain America and who helped film the Gotg Scene Recreation was informed last week, and now that the final piece to the mystery has been complete I have announced it to you guys, the FX Home Community.

    While I can see from your perspective why you might come to that conclusion, you are incorrect.

    Filmmaking is my profession. And I doubt I have heard of many people who will take 3+ years away from everything just to break through a barrier in their Hobby.

    Switching to Adobe is actually a strategic career move.

    I have a job offer from a video Production company to join their team when I have learned AE, plus when I worked on a Business Conference the organizer in charge was disappointed, seeing as I didn't use Premier.

    Like you said Adobe is the most widely used layer-based compositor on the planet.  and it gives me an advantage for future clients.

     I also have a Movie Director who was impressed with one of the Gotg recreations and were currently in talks for me to be the vfx guy on his next film, in about a year or so, and another video production company getting back to me in six months.

    All things are heading in the right direction, but if I don't give myself some time off, and time to rejuvenate, I'll be too spent and burned out by the time these new opportunities present themselves.

    I hope that cleared everything up and there is no more misunderstanding.





  • Mistery1307
    Mistery1307 Posts: 177 Just Starting Out*
    edited July 2019

    @Xhan47 Good luck finding work in the professional industry! Though I have to say, if you really want to be a big boy big brain compositor, just bite the bullet and invest in learning Nuke. You'll not only feel superior, but more movies and VFX companies will say, "Huh, there's a compositor man doing freelance, we should hire him!" because while After Effects is industry standard, it's only standard for TV and web, not movies, that's reserved for Nuke, which can do really powerful stuff. Or maybe you do want to stick to TV and Web, in which case, you go ahead and ride that horse of Adobe's crippling dept, and good luck in the future!(This is a sarcastic comment, that last line is not an insult, please stop taking me seriously.)

  • rutxer
    rutxer Posts: 176

    Good luck with your endeavours!

    On the Adobe route I am commenting from a hobbyist, so take it with a pinch of salt. The Nuke comment from @Mistery1307 is valid, and you can always get  started with node-based-editing with Fusion. And if I'm not mistaken Avid is one of the industry standards for the big productions (right?).

    Myself I'm more than happy with HitFilm Express + Resolve.

    And about leaving this forum, why would you do that? I haven't really found any forum that is as inclusive, positive and welcoming as this one. Also, there's a ton of wisdom around here and there's plenty to learn and adapt it to AE or whatever you use. 

    And good luck with all these possible upcoming projects. Curiosity question: do you go to film school? Or what kind of education are you getting for getting into/being in the filmmaking business?

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,077 Ambassador
    edited July 2019

     @Xhan47 That cleared up a lot. Thank you.

    Ok, if filmmaking is a career, then, yes, being Ae literate will help you get jobs. Heck, you've already proved that. Again, you'll find your Hitfilm experience speeds up your learning with AE, because most of the principles, order of operations and workflow are the same (honestly, the TRUE biggest difference is more recent versions of AE can pull luma mattes or use layers as maps after they've had effects applied (only added in CC), while Hitfilm requires an embedded comp or use of the "Grade Layer Flatten" trick. So certainly go for that.

    Christopher McQuarrie did take a break from FILM directing for a long time, but he did keep his hand in on commercial shoots. While different from features, and while he worked on his writing and storytelling, he paid the bills for a decade while doing a string of little 1-2 day commercial shoots that kept him from getting rusty on camera language, communication on-set, working with actors, framing shots, etc. Commercial work isn't listed on IMDB.

    @Mistery1307 brings up a good point, but also gets something terribly wrong. I'll address the good point, first. May as well pick up a copy of the free version of Resolve and start playing with Fusion. Nodes are very different from layers, but learning Fusion makes you more employable. May as well use the Resolve version first before shelling out $2000+ for the full version of Fusion, and that will get you used to nodes if you want to jump to Nuke.

    Now where I disagree with Mistery (this section is for you, youngster :-D )- it's not about being a "big boy brain" compositor. Yes, Nuke is used on a lot of films, but, as I just pointed out on Facebook before commenting here, and as I do almost every time someone says anything similar to "if you wanna be a pro you must use X...." A "professional" uses any tool available that gets the job done. While Nuke and AE are the most commonly used compositors, and while Avid and Premiere are the two most widely used NLEs, many other packages get used in "professional" settings. Vegas Pro, for example, still hangs in in news video because there's nothing faster than Vegas for just slapping clips together with cuts and dissolves. Is that Film work? Nope. TV? Yup. News, of course, isn't about fancy, it's about turning around footage ASAP to get it out there. Vegas's raw speed is king. I also know Vegas Pro hangs around in some of the larger FX houses in LA. It's not used on features, but it's used a lot for previz and animatics - again, because Vegas is FAST. Hitfilm itself has been used on things like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Not for the show itself, but, again, in Previz... Because Hitfilm is often faster than AE for slapping roughs together. Especially if you're throwing together a quick mock-up with models and particles and don't want to mess around with Element and Particular throwing renders on 2D layers requiring creating a Depth Map for compositing. With Hitfilm you throw everything into unified 3D space and don't worry about it. Again, this is just faster for pre-viz.

    AE also gets used a lot for film work. A lot of those Video-Copilot plug-ins come from things Andrew Kramer coded for the feature film work he did in AE. Now Kramer was working on these little indie films no one ever heard of, like Star Trek and Star Wars movies, so, you know, that low budget stuff can be forgiven for using AE instead of Nuke (speaking of sarcasm), and... No, wait, they used AE a lot because AE is faster for a lot of things. yeah, one could rig up a dozen nodes to create a lightsaber, or one could just do it in AE (which was still faster before Kramer wrote his SABER plug-in). And, of course, Kramer wrote SABER precisely because he was doing lightsabers for ILM and wanted a faster way to do it than roto planes or seeing if a Lightning effect could be tweaked for the shot.

    So, ideally, one becomes at least familiar with everything they can. I've used Avid, Premiere, Final Cut, Eidus, D-Vision, and Vegas Pro - all of them on paid projects, and, if I were hired by someone who needed me to edit in any of those packages, I'd be up to speed in a day. Of them all, I use Vegas for myself and only the others when forced to for a gig. I've used Ae, Hitfilm, Boris FX and Boris RED on paid projects. I prefer Hitfilm for my own work (and will not purchase Adobe again. For me it's a matter of principle, as detailed above). As far as still/photo-editing goes I'm also literate in Photoshop, Affinity Photo, Paint Shop Pro, PDHowler, Gimp, Krita, OnOne PhotoRAW, Imerge, Hitfilm (yes, I listed Hitfilm again. It's great for stills) etc, etc, etc. I learned as much software as I could get my hands on, or get studio time to learn.

    And, again, learn one and it usually makes it easier to learn the rest. Learn Hitfilm and you can pick up AE or RED quickly. All the layer based compositors have the same basic workflow. Pretty much all the NLE's have the same basic workflow.

    A paragraph ago I listed Hitfilm under photo software. Remember a program can be used for things besides what it's "meant for." I'm painting the cover for an RPG game book right now, but my initial sky background of nebulae and planets was generated in Hitfilm because I've already got existing project files set up for that sort of thing and it was just faster to do in Hitfilm. When I get out of character painting and get into final details like atmospheric haze, weapons fire and explosions I'll be dumping my paint layers out of Krita and doing the final composite in Hitfilm, because, again, it'll be a lot faster to layer in those elements in Hitfilm rather than Krita. Lightning, Lightsword, Animated Lasers, Muzzle Flash --all easier to layer in and adjust than painting. Might even try some of the "Quick 3D" effects and use good ol' Fluffy Cloud for some of my haze layers, and lay in good ol' Bonfire for some of the burning stuff in the BG. Faster than painting AND faster than going through stock images! I have another couple of friends who work as artists in the comic book and video game industry and both of them have picked up Hitfilm Express (one considering going PRO) because there are a lot of tools in Hitfilm that are useful for what they have to generate that are faster than the tools in Photoshop. Heck, my prior mentioned nebulae and planet projects? Basically all I ever need to do is tweak a fractal seed value or a color value and shift a light. Otherwise, it's all set up and ready to go to create space backgrounds super fast. Same with starfields and galaxies. Paint a texture, mask it, bulge/spherize it, shade it for a planet? Nah... too much effort when I have a Hitfilm template. :-D

    Mistery, I know you were trying to be sarcastic, but a bottom line truth is there's a LOT more TV/Web work out there for FX guys than there is Film. Film is mostly sewn up by a few large houses and those houses are, more and more, outsourcing their work overseas. It's Web/TV/Commercial work that's staying local. Also, depending on one's mindset, one might be happier in TV/Web/Commercial work with it's faster turnaround. Let's compare Avengers: Endgame to, say, last year's "Arrowverse" crossover. The Arrowverse crossover was three 45-minute episodes (so, about 2 hrs, 15 minutes). Each episode had about a $3 million budget. The crossover started filming the last week of October, 2018 and aired the first week of December, 2018. Basically that's a superhero feature film whipped out in 6 weeks for $6 million (which pays for one day of RDJ to play Stark). Did the effects on the crossover compare to Endgame? Endgame started shooting in August, 2017 and had reshoots through January, 2019, for an April 26, 2019 release, and a $350 million dollar budget. So about 70 weeks of production time.

    Did the crossover's visuals compare to Endgame? Of course not! Not when they had less than 1/10th of the time and less than 1/50th of the money! But, the artists who worked on the crossover got to pick up their shots, figure them out and deliver them in two-three weeks, rather than work for six months on a single shot (that's not an exaggeration - I know artists who's job required them to work for months on a single shot). I'd rather work on a lower-budget, faster scheduled show where I can work on a variety of different shots, learn/develop new techniques and get a wider variety of things for my reel than on a megaproduction where I spend half of the year doing one thing*.

    *Quick side note to remind us of how lucky we are to be in 2019. On the 1982 TRON all the program characters had several layers of hand-drawn (literally painted on) roto to isolate the glows, etc. The actor who played "RAM" told a story. He was walking down the street and was recognized my a man who proceeded to tell the actor how much the man hated him. He was a roto artist and his job for 14 months was just to roto the actor's eyes... 14 months roto-ing eyes? I couldn't do that. The pay isn't good enough for the tedium. Otherwise, again, I have friends in the industry working for various houses. They're not getting big acclaim for TV shows and movies - they're doing commercials. Hey, they make a couple-hundred thou a year doing it (not too shabby), and they work on a lot of advanced VFX work (here's a tip.... Most of the time car ads don't actually have a real car anymore. The majority of the time it's pure CG. Friend of my who works for the LA office of The Mill went over a recent car ad he did with me. There was a tiny little remote controlled car with a 6k 360-degree camera mount on it. The RC car was tracked and became reference for where the "real" car would go. The 6K 360 footage was used for the reflection map on the "real " car. Of course there was no "Real" car. If you see a car TV ad where the vehicle has tinted windows, it's probably CG. The window tint is so you don't have to animate a driver!

    Anyway, Xhan, if you need to reset and decompress, yeah, you have to do what's right for you. Take your time, get your head where you want it, get back in the game, but you don't have to totally forsake us. Come back, tell us how things go.Share a project. You might still find yourself dropping into Hitfilm for personal work, anyway. As Ruxter also pointed out, this is still a helpful forum, and you can pick up Hitfilm tricks here you might not know that your brain might immediately say "Hey! If I change this ONE THING, I can do that in AE, too!"

  • Xhan47
    Xhan47 Posts: 148


    The plan is to switch to either Mocha or Nuke after After Effects. One step at a time.

    When writing sarcastic comments or something funny don't forget to use the  Emoji. Then it looks great and people don't think you're being rude.

  • Xhan47
    Xhan47 Posts: 148


    Thank you!!! (I'm really excited about it.)

    It's valid however I like to work my up on something rather than jump head in. Nuke or Mocha 3d is planned after AE.  I'll be getting clients using Adobe, then when I feel I am ready, just like with Hitfilm now: I'll switch to the next more advanced program.

    I also had been experimenting with the basics of Blender and plan to incorporate that into future projects when I return.

    Initially, I was going to drop off the forums as I didn't want to spam Adobe made projects onto a forum made for Hitfim users. But as I told Spyderhank since everyone is okay with it, I'll gladly stay and post new projects here as they develop. (I will be inactive for about 2 months on the forums just to clear my head a bit and give myself a rest from constantly thinking about vfx and layers.)

    But now, I am staying on the forums.

    An excellent question.

    I might get some crap from this, but I am not planning/nor do I go to Film School. I am a self-taught filmmaker.

    That doesn't mean that I won't be learning though. Now that I am on break, the biggest focus is going to be on education and knowledge.

    I've got a good list of things here:

    -Filmmaking and Screenwriting books.


     -Martin Scorsese has a course all about Filmmaking on MasterClass.

    -Film Riot has some courses as well on their Store.

     MZed has hours and hours of professional Filmmaking/Storytelling courses all access for 300$ a year.

    -Lights Film School has a similar deal for 997$ but with unlimited access.

    Udemy has some really good online courses as well.

    And the author of the Screenwriting books that helped me out with my queries has a course and is sending me videos and articles every week on how to improve Story.

    For instance: Right now I'm in the middle of watching a video from Michael Ardnt, Co-writer of Toy Story 3 and Force awakens on what makes a Fantastic ending and beginning.

    Plus perhaps the most fun one, but I've got a binge-worthy lot of Audio Commentaries waiting to be watched,  and while they may not be the most informative of all of them, It's amazing to hear from the masters and the people I look up to every day.

    While I try to make that sound like a lot, I am always looking for more resources of online courses that could help me in my Filmmaking journey, so if you have any suggestions I will gladly look into them. 







  • Xhan47
    Xhan47 Posts: 148


    Wow' you're a bit of a VFX wizard.  And I thought I was the only on that could write really long replies.

    Again, thanks for commenting. I'll be replying tomorrow as It's getting late.

  • spydurhank
    spydurhank Posts: 3,193 Expert

    @Xhan47 , Mike @Triem23 is a vfx wizard. Dude knows his stuff for sure. :)

    If you would since you mentioned Blender, take a look at the last two posts in my thread. You don't have to go looking through the whole thread because you'll get lost in there plus I think that all of my Photobucket and imageshack links are broken so a bunch of my old pics and wips are probably gone. I just switched to Google photos which is pretty cool. :)

    It may be difficult to understand what I'm doing in the short 5 minute time lapsed video in the second to last post but simply, I can combine Blender Cycles path tracing with the Hitfilm PBR render engine by being able to export the entire Blender scene over to Hitfilm. Cameras, Empties, 3D objects, simulations, animations... all of it. :)

    This opens up a huge world of possibilities because the only two programs in existence that can do this type of compositing is Hitfilm along with the help of my custom Blender build named "Filmer". Anyway I'm doing a walkthrough video of how easy and simple it is with examples tomorrow.

    I'm very glad that you'll be sticking around. Here is a link to my thread and please check it out if you have the time. I only ask because I always find it helpful to go to the source and you being a professional in the industry, well I don't have the words but pretty much I would love to have your perspective. To me, a Pros knowledge is gold.

  • Xhan47
    Xhan47 Posts: 148


    Welcome. Glad it helped. Sometimes since I've known the details for so long I can forget to mention things thinking other people already know them and it can lead to some pretty confusing results.

    I stand corrected.  While I assumed he must have done something along the lines to keep his film making going, I had no idea he did commercials in between the films. He's someone I find to be quite interesting seeing as he went from a writer I had never of, to being one of the biggest directors in the industry and having made some  very impressive films, so I have been intrigued to see how he got where he is now, especially with that 12 year gap.

    I plan to switch to Nuke or Mocha 3d after spending some time in After Effects, just like how I'm switching from Hit film to Adobe.

    That's cool that Hitfilm was used for previz on Agent of Shield.

    I totally get what you mean by never using Adobe again, I had a similar thing happen on a video game (Not on the same level as an editor but you get the idea.) and I will never play any of It's sequels nor purchase Dlcs for it.

    Because It's personal.

    Totally. Hitfilm is a versatile program. I used it to create YouTube thumbnails/Social Graphics and the export frame button is one of the most useful features in any editing software.

    That's awesome. Could you share some of your work you got payed to do, and the video game book cover you are currently painting when It's complete? I would love to see them.

    Also, I am curious, how did you get started in the video production/vfx world? It's a very unique place and I'm sure there is an interesting story to go along with it.I like to hear how other people made it as it is very inspirational.

    Now, this is where I disagree. I Even just recently watched a set of vfx breakdown videos (For Scene  Recreation research purposes.) all about the process it took to bring Infinity war's Battle on Titan to life. It was amazing.

    I would rather work for months on something far more powerful and epic that will be seen by Billions like Endgame then for a smaller show like Arrow verse that will have nowhere near the amount of impact, but I get to work on different shots all the time.

    But that's just me. I love the big projects, the bigger, crazier, and more outrageous, the better.

    A good example would be the Gotg Scene Recreation: (Which took about 6 months - a year to complete.) It had explosions, planets, jet boots, spaceships, lasers, etc,

    and I hardly told anyone I was working on it because I knew they would tell me all the reasons why it could;nt be done. But whence they had seen it then they could be trusted and believe that the other Scene Recreations were just as manageable.

    But again, that's just me: The more impossible the project seems, the more I want to do it.

    If I was working on a totally awesome big project I would rotto an actors eyes out for 14 months, no complaints from me.

    Though I did want to clarify one more thing: thought it may seem like it, I am not setting out to be a vfx head in the industry.

    Vfx is something I learned to improve my content. It's something I quite enjoy and to helps me get into the industry but it is not the end goal in mind.

    As rutxer knows, I am a Movie Director.

    And my real passion is Directing/writing the biggest, coolest and most enriched fulfilling stories on the big screen.

    Though I talk a lot about vfx, I never want to get that confused with you guys.











  • Xhan47
    Xhan47 Posts: 148


    But yeah, I'll be taking a break to clear things up, before heading into a new level of Filmmaking.

  • Xhan47
    Xhan47 Posts: 148


    Wow, I've never been called a pro before. Thanks, that means a lot.

    Sure thing, I'll take a look at it.

    Whoops, you said the last 2 posts, I thought you meant the last two pages and got a bit lost.

    But I have a pretty good idea of what's going on. Pretty cool stuff.

    As far as the Blender animations go, they are looking fantastic. Just like the car commercial animations Triem is talking about, Bravo.

    Would I want to talk about more specifically is the way they are presented.

    And I am surprised that after 47 pages on this thread no one else has brought this up. Your animations are incredible but the videos that go with them need some adjustment.

    Let's get started:

    Tutorial/ showcase videos.

    -Your mike volume setting is too low and It's hard to hear what you are saying. A good way to test this is to play music on your speakers, then play your audio. If you find yourself cranking up your video's volume after the music (Which is what I had to do for your video.) then your mike and audio is too low.  And it is a huge indication for audience to leave.

    - The next thing is the editing of your audio: all uhu, clearing your throat, so yeah, and I'll just do this right here.... Make you sound unprofessional and like you don't know what your doing. Cut them out. As I've learned in Film making: it is a illusion. You may see someone lit in a room and think that that's the way it was shot and it was natural lighting but It's not: You don't see the extra lights outside of the camera, you don't see the Boom mikes hanging from the actors heads just out of frame, you don't know they re voice the dialogue later in the editing process because the set was noisy that day, and you don't see the colorist color grading and fine tuning the image before they turn in the final cut.

    All you see is the scene of a guy standing in the hallway. Same with video making/editing. It's an illusion.

    Most people that make showcase/demo videos record the footage silently, cut out anything that is unneeded, like say for example, a time you couldn't find a certain file and spent five minutes looking for it while the audience watched. Cut it out, and be mindful of your audience's time.

    After that then they record the audio explaining what  they're doing as if they were doing it (The illusion.) Edit that, re-record lines when needed, take out any clearing throat/coughing plus ummm..s then insert it, make sure the audio is a good volume and edit it so they match.

    The problem with having a illusion so convincing is that everybody thinks it's for real and when they try to replicate it it won't turn out the same. (Personal experience, take it from me, it can be frustrating till you break the illusion and the secrets spill out.)

    Some good examples would be My Avengers Endgame Review, it may seem like I said it i one shot, but ti was recorded and re recorded with a mike plus edited so it flowed smoothly.

    I'll link it here:

    Another great example is this Behind the Scenes look of how ProductionCrate makes their vfx tutorials:

    Don't forget to take a look at your YouTube audience retention graphs that will tell you exactly when and what words you say that might turn your viewer off.

    Another thing to add would be a unique intro and graphics on the videos would improve them a lot.

    Example: A Blender Animator I contacted to work on the Gotg Scene Recreation who unfortunately due to scheduling conflicts had to pass but encouraged me a lot and we are pretty good email friends has Blender tip videos that have over 18k views: Check them out and see what he does. From the editing,to the graphics, to the words he uses:

    (Might actually just want to Binge watch his entire channel as he does pretty similar stuff to yourself.)

    And lastly would be the timed lapse video: A good thing that applies to storytelling also applies to videos like this:

    What's interesting to a writer, can be very different then what it is interesting for the audience.

    While the vfx timelapse with no sound might be interesting for you, because you put all the work into it and It's personal, that is not the same for the audience: They don't care They didn't do all the hard work you did. They want to see a entertaining interesting video and if It's not, they will move onto something else.

    A Timelapse video with no sound is not interesting to a viewer. But add music and suddenly you catch their attention. For instance I played this song in the background as I watched

    your time lapse and immediately I was watching the visuals, what you were doing, and interested, instead about the fact that their was no music and it was kind of boring.

    Add music to time lapse vidoes and they become 10x more interesting.

    A example for this again, form Daniel Vesterbaek:

    I encourage you try it: Play the song I have linked above while you watch the video and you'll certainly see a difference.

    Your animation is top notch. But improve your presentation to match it, and I promise you your channel and audience retention will spike.

    And always ask yourself: Is this entertaining/informative for the audience? If It's not, reconsider.

    Though if you really want to know more on this subject I would suggest Steve Stockman's How to Shoot video that doesn't  suck. It's all about filming sure, but It's key focus is all about how to keep your audience engaged and entertained through the whole way.

    Anyway, Hope all this helps and gives you a huge boost with your channel.


    Also, since your a 3d animator would you be interesting in collabing? It won't be till like a year from now but I plan to do 1 Scene Recreation from every Marvel Infinity Saga Movie and have about 19 more to go.

    I already have an animator who has offered to make some custom models but it would be great to have you aboard if your are interested.

    Take some time to think it over, and let me know.











  • spydurhank
    spydurhank Posts: 3,193 Expert


    See... awesome advice is gold. Thank you for all of that. I appreciate it greatly. :)

    "And I am surprised that after 47 pages on this thread no one else has brought this up. Your animations are incredible but the videos that go with them need some adjustment."

    Actually, maybe a handful of folks let me know that my videos are pretty bad. One dude gets physically ill which is hilarious when I picture it in my mind but yes, I am aware that my presentation blows so for sure, I'll check out your links and thank you for those. :)

    So check this out, everything having to do with cgi, vfx and coding that I've learned in the past 2 years came from people right here on the FXhome forums via tips, advice and weblinks so the only reason that I can do what I do, is because folks like you took time from their own lives to help me, a total stranger. Really I just want to share everything that I've learned from you guys, to show you how I see cgi and vfx and have taken everything that I've learned and turned it into easy magic because that is exactly what it is. The Fxhome forums is a Wizards tome of spells where you can specialize in one type of spell casting or you can read the whole book and see an entirely different world where everything is much, much simpler than you first thought or were led to believe. 

    I'm all for collaborating and will definitely keep you in mind. Thank you very much for taking the time.



  • Xhan47
    Xhan47 Posts: 148


    No problem. Glad you found it useful.

    It's one thing to tell someone it needs work, It's another thing to suggest how to fix it.


    Wow... That's amazing that everything you've done, you learned from the FX Home community.

    Awesome sounds great.

    Again, no problem. Happy to know it came in handy.