The only other thing is, finding a way for the foreground particle clones to somehow interact with that one building with all the glass. Would love to see some of the windows reflect the ships as they descend into LA!!!!
All sounds reasonable to me! I like the concept of the helicopter but agree it's not really working just yet. You also really need a model with a higher detail interior. For a larger project it'd be even better to film inside a real helicopter with a greenscreen positioned outside.
It might be worth waiting until summer and going to an airshow to see if anyone will let you film inside a helicopter. And I know about 10 miles or so from where I live, there are some decommissioned Vietnam era aircraft in a city park that I could film in if I needed something like that.
Notes taken and applied:I wasn't planning on doing this tonight, but another compositor buddy of mine showed up and we brainstormed on this and busted it out.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlTCHzqNiqM
Fan-freaking-tastic!The helicopter, glass, bump and shake make a huge impact on this scene now! The camera movement and helicopter glass reflection really sells the viewing from a helicopter.Great job T!!! Man.... I love the reflection on the glass at the end too near the bump!!
Those tweaks make a big difference. In particular the reflection on the glass of the helicopter immediately makes it feel like you're inside a cockpit.Very, very cool.Edit: One interesting side effect of the cockpit is that it makes the city feel much more like a real 3D setup, whereas before it always looked like a couple of 2D comped layers. Having the extra parallax and detail in the extreme foreground sells the whole thing, really.
As Simon mentions about the cockpit layer helping the city feel like a real 3D setup, I think this is extremely important for scenes where you want to add the feeling of depth -- that foreground layer that establishes your natural "distance zones" -- Same thing goes for the reflections on the glass it establishes that foreground presence. Great job!
Yeah, I was thinking of a camera mounted on the bottom of a copter, like a news chopper, initially. Was you and OrangePekoe's suggestions that made me put it in the cockpit. Another friend suggested the handheld move. Got a lot of good ideas to improve this, so thank you all!!The new camera move has a lot more horizontal panning. The geometry of the cockpit and the crop for camera shake are covering up sections where the foreground buildings are peaking through from the background building layer. The building reflections help a lot, too.The cockpit is an 2D embedded composite with it's own lighting rig. The whole helicopter is around the camera, anchor point at the back of the cockpit with the copter rotating around a copy of the main camera a bit. The cockpit has it's own "wobble" keyframes Blurred for DOF. Keyframing it's lights let me anticipate the main saucer by having the cockpit dim about eight frames before the saucer occludes the sun flare. The reflection is from the window material being a dull, mid blue-grey, about 10% opaque, 25% diffuse, 40% specular reflectivity, about 150 for shine with material settings set to an environment map which is the source photo with it's original sky. So it's just the basic Hitfilm render as modified by the grade effects.