Avatar Map Effect

Dimipapa
Dimipapa Website User Posts: 386 Enthusiast

Been rewatching Avatar now that its on netflix, great show.  The intro sequence is cool, I love the map and thought it would be fun to make something similar.  I drew a map in krita and imported it into hitfilm, everthing here will likely change especially the janky camera movement but if you notice on the real intro there are mountains and volcanos that appear to be in 3D space but behave like a billboard texture in the particle simulator.  I was thinking of overlaying a flat particle system over the map with little mountains as textures to create a similar effect.  Im looking for other ways to do it?

Comments

  • TheBenNorris
    TheBenNorris Staff Administrator, Website User, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 1,934 Staff

    @Dimipapa to me, it looks like it's just a 3d terrain with a fancy shader. If you look carefully as well you can see that they start looking at the world from about a 45 degree angle, using the "border" that flies past to make it seem flat.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 19,795 Ambassador

    I think @TheBenNorris is right! I think it is a 3D landscape with a toon shader! 

    But, I also think your idea would look about the same. 

    The Particle Sim idea should work. That will let you semi-automate your map features. Don't overlook layer emitters. 

    The other option for hand-placement of "billboards" is to stick the element where you want it, then have it align towards the camera (Layer Properties Alignment Layer) 

    Hitfilm obviously doesn't have a toon shader, so getting a look like Avatar: TLB's map with 3D would either be a Blender task, or you'd be drawing the Diffuse Maps with the line work placed as needed - which is a pain.

    With your existing 2D elements there are ways of getting some 3D ish depth with Parallax, as well. 

  • Dimipapa
    Dimipapa Website User Posts: 386 Enthusiast

     having it align towards the camera is an interesting idea.   I think I might do that if I can figure out a good way to lay out the mountains with depth or maybe I can do both and automate part of it and use the other method for a few specific spots.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 19,795 Ambassador

    Sure! The Particle sim is good for doing a general fill in, but it's semi random. That can fill in most of the map, and you can hand-place things you might want in a specific location. Just a question, you're familiar with the Layer Emitter in the particle sim? Should I talk about that?

  • Dimipapa
    Dimipapa Website User Posts: 386 Enthusiast

    I know it exists but Ive never used it.  I think it would be useful for this though.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 19,795 Ambassador

     We'll talk about it for a bit.

    A "Layer Emitter" is a modified Quad Emitter. You can designate the layer used as the layer emitter, obviously. Particles spawned by the layer emitter take their color and alpha from the corresponding point on the source layer.

    Knowing that a layer emitter is just a quad emitter pulling color/alpha information from the source layer is important, as there are implications and considerations to take into account. Fortunately, those are pretty easy to deal with!

    Let's say for a moment that I've created a 1920x1080 plane. Let's say I've created a perfect circle mask in the middle of the layer and I've added the 4-color gradient to the plane. This gives me a multi-colored circle. We want to use this as our layer emitter. Here's what we should think about:

    • This layer will need to be an embedded comp for the particle sim to "see" the mask and the gradient. This is typical in Hitfilm workflow, but it never hurts to repeat it.
    • Using this layer as a layer emitter means we've created a 1920x1080 quad emitter. Particles will spawn across this entire plane! Particles that spawn in the transparent areas will be invisible, but they'll still exist.

    So, when using a layer emitter a goal is to make the source layer as small as possible so as to not waste processing power on invisible particles. In the case of the circle example, reducing the size of the comp with the circle to 1080x1080 chops off almost half of the layer, thus reducing the amount of invisible particles that I don't want. If the circle didn't extend edge to edge at 1080x1080 I can go smaller. If I find out that the circle I've drawn is about 800x800, then.... Well, a 1920x1080 layer is 324% of the size of an 800x800 layer, and all that extra space was wasted on invisible particles. By making sure the source layer is only the size I need it to be I've reduced the number of particles I need to generate to SEE the amount of particles I want to see has been cut to under 1/3 of the original layer.

    So, in your case, you don't want to make a single layer emitter with all of your islands and continents on it - you want to make several layer emitters. Roughly one for each continent/area. Your ocean  is different layers from the islands, right?

    I think that covered it. The only tutorials I can think of offhand that go into layer emitters are the Infinity War tutorials by myself (on the FXHOME Youtube channel) and @FilmSensei. I don't think you'll need to watch those to get layer emitters down. It's really as simple as choosing Layer Emitter as the type, then checking the "Use Layer Alpha" checkbox (otherwise "transparent" particles will be black), and the "Use Layer Color" checkbox if you want the particles to be the same color as the base layer, or if you want the particle's color to be controlled by the particle color controls. Don't forget the Hitfilm manual for reference.

    Only other suggestion is to consider hitting your island/continent layers with a little distortion - Heat, Smoke, Fluid, Energy, whatever looks best to you - just to give the coastlines a nice fractal edge and break up the smooth curves a little bit.

    Otherwise, I think you'll get this knocked out pretty quickly, and you'll make it look fantastic. All your recent anime stuff has been spot on!

  • Dimipapa
    Dimipapa Website User Posts: 386 Enthusiast
    edited May 2020

    thanks the for indeph info.  I'm not very good with krita or gimp but I want to redo my map to add texture to the continents.  I think adding the parallax effect could help add some faux depth as well.   Actually I could just do it in HF then export and reimport an image, then I could just split it into 4 for the land massess. 

  • Dimipapa
    Dimipapa Website User Posts: 386 Enthusiast

    All ready re-purposing it for editing projects, but i added some more elements, sky box, clouds, got rid of the visible borders, camera isba little better.