Dragon poster (3d model) composite

iamkhanproductions
iamkhanproductions Posts: 530 Enthusiast

Work in progress, check it out ..

1.

3d model dragon, with shadow and fog and background found on google.


2.


added character from green screen composite.


3.


Better with gleaming rays, or no?..


Cheers.

Comments

  • Georgefilm
    Georgefilm Posts: 497 Enthusiast

    Awesome! I like it without rays, but its your project, so do what looks best for you

  • tddavis
    tddavis Posts: 5,202 Expert

    @iamkhanproductions I am the opposite, I like it with the Gleam better, but I think it would sell better if the center point of the gleam was lifted from the pathway to more behind the dragon body and pulled back just a touch. However, I agree it is your baby so you got to do what you think best.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,693 Ambassador

    I LOVE the dragon, with the blur on the wings and tail. That very much has the right look of a captured photo. The first image alone is great.

    Once you add your foreground figure we run into a couple of issues - the main one is that the lighting angles don't match between your person and background plate - and, for me, if you don't match the lighting angles, the composite immediately looks fake.

    That said, you see terrible lighting mismatches in all kinds of big budget studio projects as well. Star Wars ep II has terrible lighting matching, and, when we saw Peter Jackson's first Hobbit movie, there's the sequence with the eagles and... Ugh, it's a shot of the Misty Mountains, shadows streaming off to the right. Then the eagles fly in and their shadows are on the left. It's horrible, and, in the theater, I groused in disgust, "Sun's on the other side, WETA!" That was a $200 million dollar movie!

    I'm gonna stick on this lighting rant for a moment with this "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" promo image:

    What's lighting Bilbo's face? It's not the fire behind or under him. He's being lit from above and to the right. By a white light source, not orange. The wargs below him? Oh, look, those three are being backlit by the fire behind them, but not by the much closer fires in front. And that closest warg at the bottom? He's basically eyes and teeth. If I wanted to pull another still from this movie I'd also be able to point out that the wargs are gray, not black. Thorin, bottom right, his face is lit with a white light source from front and slightly left. It's NOT the same light that's hitting Bilbo's face. The eagles? Something is lighting them from directly above. The lead eagle's talons are being lit by the fire, but I have no clue what the white light is highlighting the underside of his tail. It's not Gandalf's staff - if it were that light would be lighting Gandalf's face, and it's not. Gandalf is being lit only by the fires. The background mountain is being lit by a cool moon off right, which the tree Bilbo is on has some sort of cool-tinged catch-light from... the left? None of the lighting in this image is correct in any way and it's really REALLY obvious that a bunch of random cast photos and stock images were thrown together in a composite. The artist can't even decide if the flames are going to be underexposed and detailed (like in the center of the frame) or bright and blown out (like those BG tress to the left.) The artists at WETA should be better than this! I happen to think it's because Peter Jackson DID NOT want to do the Hobbit trilogy. He described it as "six years of my career I'll never get back" and said afterwards "We should have done another nine months of preproduction, but I just wanted to get it over with!" Yeah, I use the Hobbitt movies a lot as examples of bad filmmaking, because comparing that trilogy with LotR shows you the difference between a motivated, excited director/producer and one who's been forced into the job under threat of lawsuit.

    The Peter Jackson who made LotR would never have approved the above, sloppy composite. The Peter Jackson who made Hobbit didn't care and it shows.

    End of digression.

    Back to your image. The trees are lit from the back-left, you (I'm assuming it's you) are lit from the front left. Ideally, you'd reshoot the greenscreen image and get the key light farther behind you to match the trees. This will blend things better. Bear in mind, lighting doesn't have to be a PERFECT match, but it's got to be close enough where it's just not obviously not matched.

    Now, I like your volumetric rays, but, right now they're directly behind the dragon, so now you have THREE light sources in the scene - whatever's lighting the trees, whatever's lighting you and whatever is causing the backlighting. I'd keep the backlighting and rays but put the source closer to the dragon's left wingtip. This will wrap the volumetrics around the dragon at a nice slanty angle, and it will actually help cover up the slight mismatch between the trees and man. Maybe enough where the original man image blends "correctly."

    Conceptually, I love this image. The layout, and compositing are solid, the dragon feels like the right size for the environment. Despite my comments about lighting the image, as it is now, is good. I think a few tweaks and it will be GREAT, and I think fixing the lighting angles will also make it feel more realistic than graphic. Keep it up. Your work has been getting consistently better since you first jumped in here a bit over a year ago.

  • iamkhanproductions
    iamkhanproductions Posts: 530 Enthusiast

    Thank you, it seems hit and miss at the moment but thank you!..


    Thanks @tddavis , glad you like the gleam, it was a 50/50 thing to leave it or not, your input will be taken on...


    @Triem23 thank you for the epic input, i wont quote the whole box, but i'll have to say im just a hobbyist in this game, i thoroughly enjoyed reading your write up though, i did not think anyone would write such an awesome reply.. But thankfully this poster is still a WIP and I'm still learning,. Thanks for noticing my work is getting better.. your input will be noted for sure..

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,693 Ambassador

    One more thing, put some Light Wrap on the dragon. That always helps a lot on dark objects on brighter backgrounds.

  • Georgefilm
    Georgefilm Posts: 497 Enthusiast

    @iamkhanproductions Is that you on the dragon poster?

  • tddavis
    tddavis Posts: 5,202 Expert

    @iamkhanproductions It is an effect under Keying in a Folder called Matte Enhancements (I think) The same place Spill Removal is. You drag it onto the layer and then select which other layer to use for the wrap i.e. the background, glow layer etc. Hope that helps.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,693 Ambassador

    As @tddavis says it's in the Effects Panel under Keying>Matte Enhancement. Light Rap is a "Layer Only" effect, so it has to be used in a comp shot.

    There aren't any specific tutorials for Light Wrap, just a "Preview" video, but it's pretty easy to use. Add the Light Wrap to a layer, set a "Source Layer" for a layer behind, and that's about it. The default Blend of "Lighten" is the correct mode (You can play with others for stylized effects, but Lighten is more natural). Otherwise, there's a Radius slider to control the size of the effect and and Opacity slider to control the intensity.

    The 1-minute video here will quickly show you the difference Light Wrap makes.


  • iamkhanproductions
    iamkhanproductions Posts: 530 Enthusiast

    thanks @Triem23 , from what i did i cant tell much difference, but its there..


    here is an update with light wrap added to character and dragon.



  • Georgefilm
    Georgefilm Posts: 497 Enthusiast
  • iamkhanproductions
    iamkhanproductions Posts: 530 Enthusiast

    I want to believe...



  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,693 Ambassador

    That's a 1970's sci fi magazine cover. I mean that as a compliment, because there's a lot of great work in 1970's sci fi magazine covers.

  • iamkhanproductions
    iamkhanproductions Posts: 530 Enthusiast

    Indeed there are, well it mostly inspired by the x-files, that poster Mulder had in his office.

  • iamkhanproductions
    iamkhanproductions Posts: 530 Enthusiast

    Back on topic, here is another i made today... But this time this dragon is a png file found from deviant art. background found on google.



  • Marshall2000_uk
    Marshall2000_uk Posts: 187 Enthusiast
    edited November 2020

    Love these, great work. The one above looks great but I think you and the dragon look too different (like your not in the same place). I'd offer some advice but can't think what you would need to do to it.

    Edit, I think you stand out a little, sorry not been much help there

  • iamkhanproductions
    iamkhanproductions Posts: 530 Enthusiast

    hi @Marshall2000_uk , thanks for the kind comment, i would love to hear your advice buddy..

  • tddavis
    tddavis Posts: 5,202 Expert

    @iamkhanproductions I cannot be sure, but to me it looks like the contrast is a bit blacker on you than the dragon or background, but overall I like the composition.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,693 Ambassador

    Its the lighting. Volumetric rays in the background show the sun off to the right. Khan is lit from the left. See rant about with the Hobbit picture.

    If you don't match the lighting between elements the composite will never look right.

  • tddavis
    tddavis Posts: 5,202 Expert

    Ah, I see it now!

  • iamkhanproductions
    iamkhanproductions Posts: 530 Enthusiast

    Sorry for late replies, i was making my 48hourvfxchallenge prompt for the weekend and also taking a break from these dragon renders, they're tiring my eyes out..

  • iamkhanproductions
    iamkhanproductions Posts: 530 Enthusiast

    So i attempted to go back to this project and correctly light wrap it all...



  • Marshall2000_uk
    Marshall2000_uk Posts: 187 Enthusiast

    Just had a look side by side and the light wrap its definitely helping to sell it more, nice work

  • iamkhanproductions
    iamkhanproductions Posts: 530 Enthusiast

    thank you @Marshall2000_uk appreciate it ..