A few questions about greenscreening, 3D, and some effects

AzulonsAssassin Posts: 109 Enthusiast
edited October 2011 in Practical Filmmaking
[size="7"]Please note, I am using Visionlab and Blender-not HitFilm for anything.[/size]

Hi. So, for a movie, I need a sorta wierd horse. It's kind of "made of a storm." It's body has kind of a cloudy effect, its mane and tail are made of stormclouds with lightning crackling through them, and its eyes are red and have a barely visible mist comming from them.
So, my questions are-what effects should I do in what program? Should I just animate my 3D model then use particles in the shape of the body, or should I do the cloudy body in Blender? Also, as much as I wish I had a horse, I don't. So, could I just make a green screen thing in the general shape of a horse that can rock back and forth and swivle, then put in my 3D model horse in when I do keying, or what?

Any other ideas about how I could do this more easily are appreciated. Thanks.


  • Jernau
    Jernau Posts: 71
    If I've correctly understood what you're aiming for, then this is an incredibly complex and difficult special effect to create. It's the kind of effect that would give even high-budget Hollywood special effects departments sleepless nights!
    Saying that, the complexity of the effect depends heavily on exactly how you're planning to use it. If it's going to be a small element that's only briefly visible in the background of a shot, then you might be able get away with a relatively simple effect. However, if it's going to be a frame-filling, fully 3D animated subject that's used over multiple shots, then it's a an order of magnitude more complex.
    Could you give us more details on how you're thinking about using this effect?
  • AzulonsAssassin
    AzulonsAssassin Posts: 109 Enthusiast
    well, yeah it's pretty big. The bad guy rides it to chase down the good guys. Though I had thought that if I animatd to horse in Blender, then put it in to fit my footage after keying, it would work. I know how to do the mane and the tail. I'm just a little confused about how to do the whole "greenscreen horse" thing, and how to do the stormy body.
  • Jernau
    Jernau Posts: 71
    edited October 2011
    Like I said before, this is an extremely advanced effect that you're aiming for here. If someone came to me and asked me to do this effect for them, I would politely decline. I just don't have enough technical competence to produce an effect like this by myself.
    Saying that, if you really need this shot for your movie and you want to give it a try, then the least I can do is to try and point you in the right direction!
    Here's how I'd approach it:
    [*]Model the horse and rig it for animation in Blender
    [*]Film the real-world shot that you want to composite the horse onto
    [*]Use a 3D camera tracking tool (such as PFHoe or boujou) to track the shot, creating a 3D scene with a virtual camera
    [*]Import the 3D scene into Blender and add and animate your horse model within the scene
    [*]Render the scene
    [*]Composite the render onto your real-world shot
    [*]Import the 3D tracking data into your compositing software (HitFilm would work great here)
    [*]Add any additional particle effects you require
    Easy, huh?! :)
  • AzulonsAssassin
    AzulonsAssassin Posts: 109 Enthusiast
    Thanks. That answered most of my questions. But does anyone know how to green screen riding a horse.
  • Jernau
    Jernau Posts: 71
    I think that for a wide shot of someone riding the horse to look decent you're going to have to animate the rider in 3D (instead of filming someone on green screen).
    You might be able to get away with green screening a real rider onto the horse for close-up shots (where the horse is mostly out of shot and preferably stationary).
    To film the green screen shot you just need something for the rider to sit on that's approximately the size and shape of a horse back, which is covered in green screen material.
    Good luck! :)
  • AzulonsAssassin
    AzulonsAssassin Posts: 109 Enthusiast
  • This might be of some use to you, it's very interesting anyway- even if the 'phony pony' is way out of our league- the barrel may come in handy though:
  • AzulonsAssassin
    AzulonsAssassin Posts: 109 Enthusiast
    That was actually very helpful. Thanks!