Digital Matte Painting: haunted house

March 26, 2014 at 6:31 am (School) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

This is super fun. Find a picture of a really nice house…

house

…and totally creepify it. Break things like siding and windows. Add grunge and grime. Overgrow the foliage. Remove the surroundings and add dead trees and forbidding clouds. Enhance the lighting effects to be eerie.

haunted house5

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Digital Matte Painting: lavarrific

March 18, 2014 at 6:01 am (School) (, , , , , , , , )

So this shot also involved a day to night transition, but mostly as a device to best showcase the glowing lava. Still have to put in the work, though. Basically, I took this rocky scene:

ROCKS

I went through the rigamarole of making the transition to night, then scoured the internet for lava assets. Using multiple layers, painting and a fair amount of warp and liquify I added the lava into the scene. To make the lava really set into the scene, I painted in the cracks and ravines made by the flow. Using Vivid Light and overlay, I painted in texture and glow on the rocks. Like so:

russellAmanda_lava

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Digital Matte Painting: day to night

March 11, 2014 at 6:01 am (School) (, , , , , , , , , )

So much time goes into a transformation like this. First you have to block everything out. Group things categorically so you can grab them as selections quickly later. It takes so long, but it is totally worth it later. Next you have to remove all harsh shadows and shading, because that nonsense doesn’t happen at night, and paint out people and other things that shouldn’t be holding a freeze-frame in your background. Next, you overlay a dark blue to cast night, but mask out areas that will be flooded with light from any source. Drop in a layer of you light source and mask the whole thing, then paint in your light. Take a look at night scenes and how light behaves, because nothing will ruin this shot faster than light misbehaving. Finally, add in details like glowing windows and light sources. So you start with this…

BathAbbeyDAY

and many hours later, you end up with something like this…

Bath Abbey_day to nightUPDATE

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Digital Matte Painting: fill in the blank

March 4, 2014 at 2:09 am (School) (, , , , , , , , )

This class is challenging, but I am definitely learning a lot. One of the best things about it is that we can always resubmit work for another critique and improved grade. He feels that in an educational environment, just pointing out how to improve work is a missed opportunity to actually do the work to make it better.

Our first assignment was one of the most common for a matte painter, to fill in an area and make it look like it belongs to the scene. We were given this tropical scene to expand and graded on matching colors, textures and resolution.

beachBlank

Mainly, the first question he asks is, is it believable? So… is it?

beachCOMPLETE

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Last term, part 1

March 12, 2013 at 6:53 am (School) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Realized that I never posted anything from last term. LAME.

Nuke. There are always a crap-ton (technical term) of Nuke assignments in a VFX class, rather than a large/term-long project.

Blue screen removal: added noise (aka clouds for the cam to fall through… wheeee!), roto to correct the blue screen removal inadequacies around the legs and cord.

Source assets:

Sky_Dive_Plate

Final video:

Compositing: We got to learn about shuffling & compositing. Basically, you shuffle out different render passes of an image (specularity, shadows, lights, depth, highlights, ambient, etc – there can be a lot). With each shuffled, you can manipulate/adjust each thing independently of the others to maximize the final result.

Original image, pre-shuffle:

original_robot

I added a glow to the lights, but a specific color glow to the robot wires, etc., and used masking to create the glow reflection in the floor; darkened the room and changed the backlighting. I added smoke, because reasons. Post-shuffle composite:

RussellAmanda_wk6

Fake 3D: Take a 2D image of a hallway and fake a 3D camera movement in it. BAM:

MOAR VFX! SO CHEEZY! Hey… lets play spot the fake thing… Ok, so here’s what I did. Took the original video and generated a 3D space using motion trackers to define a ground plane, etc. Once the 3D environment was established, I plonked a spherical primitive into the scene and found a relatively appropriate texture (Why, yes, that is a ridiculously large thermal detonator. Do you have detonator envy? YEAH, YOU DO!), added a shadow. It’s kinda lame, but it was fun in-class exercise and could totally be more awesome with more time to clean up the shadow and color correct… add some snazzy gun fire, etc.

This was our ridiculous final… some doofus decided that in order to make the kid freeze over the pool while the lady walks by, adjusting her suit, they should put a partial green screen behind her for no apparent reason. BTW, this was a real job brought to one of the Ai staff to fix. They wanted to make it cheap. That did not so much work out. FYI… It is MUCH harder and more expensive in human time and effort to remove green screen plus its reflection (aka spill) from people and puddles and metal than it is TO SIMPLY USE THE ROTO TOOL TO CREATE A FREEZE FRAME FOR PART OF YOUR VIDEO. Also… if you are going to use a green screen where the objective is to remove all the green and replace it with something else DON’T HAVE YOUR SUBJECT WEARING AND CARRYING GREEN BECAUSE THAT WILL ALSO BE FIXED ONLY WITH EXTREME TIME AND CARE.

Thus ends the lesson in common sense.

Original cannon ball with freeze frame already completed (water motion reinstated in final video):

Sample of original woman walking by:

Final composite. Painful, le sigh, but got rid of the green junk LIKE A BOSS:

TBC…

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concert tour poster

February 5, 2013 at 7:12 am (School) (, , , , , , , , )

Storm Large poster for my digital illustration class prior to printing. I decided to make a general tour poster rather than a specific concert poster. I originally had info on the tour dates, but the instructor preferred it without… and the instructor = the customer, who is ALWAYS right. 😀
russellAmanda_poster19

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AutodeskMaya… I hate you, but you do good things

October 3, 2012 at 7:44 pm (School) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

SO. Last term was pretty brutal. I was taking two 3D modeling classes in different softwares at the same time: Cinema 4D and Maya. My advice… NEVER DO THAT. C4D is the easier to use software. It is not quite as customizable, but it is a little faster to do things and stable. When you see 3D effects on TV like ads with crazy 3D, animated logos, some CG animation and effects – most of that is done in C4D. Maya is used more for high budget film CG and effects. This is the entertainment version of software from the same people who make AutoCAD for architects and engineers, etc. It is an intense program that does so much, but is also a finicky bitch that you would like to have die in a fire. It was a 100 level class in which we learned the basics of storyboarding, building a scene (literally and conceptually), lighting, texturing, and animation. So when you watch this video, know that it took about 3 months to make (minus 2 other classes, full-time job, and the occasional break for food/sleep/sanity) – I built pretty much everything. The plants are mainly paint effects, because using them was part of the class… and that was the best use of them, really. Sadly, they kind of “twinkle” in the animation, which I don’t really care for. The character was provided by the professor, because character building and rigging for movement is wicked advanced. My finals week, I slept one night out of five… so that was how that term went. But here it is… There are a few things that I could go back in and play with, but overall I’m happy with what I did.

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Some Perspective

August 28, 2012 at 4:04 pm (School) (, , , , , , , , )

Cinema 4D assignment: fake a 3d environment using images and camera projection tools. Basically, I found a good drawing with linear perspective, by deviantArt user MonicaHolsinger. Then I got my angle set up and added a camera from which to make the projections. Once I had that, I started adding planes to correspond to the surfaces in the image (floor, ceiling, and visible walls). I created a new material and put the image on it, then linked it to the camera to project it on the planes.

I wanted to put in some kind of animation, so I added another camera, some dynamics and bounced a shiny ball across the hall… of course, I would have to complicate my life. I use the boule to cut holes in my walls and added cubes for the midway lockers on either side, I added semi transparent planes with a little noise texture on them to blend the open side halls. Good fun. Then it was just managing the bounce and whatnot. Woo!

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Cinema 4D

July 27, 2012 at 12:20 am (School) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

So here is my first real beauty shot from Cinema 4D. We had to model a minimum of 3 objects. It took several evenings and I actually modeled 6 things, but you only see 3.5 because that was what was worthy of capturing (and met the assignment requirements). Fun… Definitely more user-friendly, even if not quite as capable a program, than Maya – which I am also taking a class in right now (oy), but our term will be cumulative into one animated short so you will have to just wait for that.

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After Effects. love it.

July 20, 2012 at 9:31 am (School) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

First assignment with Adobe After Effects: make a self-portrait (or a portrait of whatever…), 30 seconds – 2 minutes long. This took FOREVER. Why did I pick so much stuff!!! It was fun, though. Definitely room for improvement, but overall I really like it. Anyone who knows me will get the references.

The second assignment for After Effects was to find a comic and animate using specific features in After Effects. Art from the online comic Lackadaisy by Tracy J. Butler. She is AH-mazing.

Also, the amount of time this 1 minute short took (about 30 hours)… MAD RESPECT for all animators. Seriously.

Motion graphics with typography assignment: Animate song lyrics in Adobe After Effects. I picked (with the encouragement of others) “8 Mile Wide” by Storm Large. Because it is awesome. It is not safe for work. Or children…

If you want to see her official music video… and you should, because it is pretty great.

Next, make an identity video for a real or imagined film company. The cheesier, the better as far as the instructor was concerned.

Use 3D (or 2.5D, as some say) and camera features in After Effects. Length: 10+ seconds. Concept: a nod to Kamelot (yes, I meant to spell it that way): My friends asked me – the resident expert on special effects – how they made the Game of Thrones intro title sequence. Well, GoT titles were definitely done in Maya or some other actual 3D modeling software, but I was taking After Effects, so… I made this for them. AE doesn’t really have 3D, per se. You can manipulate flat planes in 3D space. So to build a 3D object, you have to construct it like a house of cards, using flat pieces… It was a fun experiment.

There were a lot of assignments… next we learned to use the rotoscoping tools (roto) – you trace around something to replace it with something else or replace everything around it with something else. Tedious, but oddly calming. I chose to torture Ripley… as though she hasn’t had enough already.

Now motion tracking… where you track 1 to 4 points of motion to match movement. You’re welcome, nerds. And, uh, I totally jacked this song clip from MrVoletron’s channel. Because it is awesome and it fit the mood… I wish this clip were longer. Not sure what I did?

*SPOILER AHAHAHAHHAHA!!!*

I replaced the license plate. Added color effects and blur effects to match look of clip.

Finally… the AE FINAL.

Create title credits (open or close). I chose to make opening credits for the characters from my D&D game night.

The art assets were mainly acquired via deviant art using searches to find art that roughly matched each other and the characters I was trying to portray. Having said that, most of them were modified in Photoshop to adjust the background, add features that were missing, change weapons, etc… then put everything I wanted to move on layers and painted underneath to fill in holes, as needed. In AfterEffects I did all of the animations and effects.

Very sad update… Loki and Relic have died… Ok, Relic is not dead, but he was turned to stone and we have to leave him behind. What? We are in the middle of a forrest and he weighs, like, 300lbs… We can go back for him in a few levels… NOT THE POINT! DON’T JUDGE US! A moment of silence, please.

Thank you.

AE Final art & asset credits:
Ayrel by deviantArt user eliz7; I painted her some legs in Photoshop, so she would be standing, and gave her red eyes for the transition at the end of her sequence
Ayrel’s background by deviantArt user jermilex
Bobetta from flickr user twen5: I removed background and changed her two-handed war hammer into a one-handed mace and added a shield
Bobetta’s mace from a work by deviantArt user MarkWinters – I just needed the top of the mace, but it is a cool image so check it out…
Bobetta’s shield by deviantArt user ZombWill (Will Owen)
Bobetta’s background by deviantArt user ink-head
Loki by deviantArt user isriana; I removed background, added glow and wings, used bounce lightning in AE for his magicalness
Loki’s wings deviantArt user littlegoblet
Loki’s background wallpaper by user sasha2d; I painted out the little creatures
Relic by deviantArt user BenWootten; I painted out the flail and added an axe, replaced the rune on his forehead with an anvil
Relic’s axe by deviantArt user vielmond
Urs by deviantArt user Shikamaru-no-kage; I found some vampire teeth (I think I used Kate Beckinsale’s mouth as character Selene from Underworld) and gave her a second mouth for the transition at the end of her sequence
Urs’ background by deviantArt user jermilex (again… his art is pretty great, not gonna lie…)
Brim by deviantArt user NadrojWobrek; I just had to layer and fill in the background – the fire is on 3 separate layers to grow the flames and there are two layers of smoke around them that come in as the fire gets bigger, very subtle but adds something nice…
Minions by deviantArt user ZombWill (Will Owen again – I love his little dudes!)
Minions’ background by deviantArt user jermilex (YET AGAIN)
D&D Logo (a TM of Wizards of the Coast & Hasbro) found on this Adam Ryen Daniels nerdy wordpress review of the Facebook D&D game
Parchment texture image from Mitch Featherston’s blog The Public Domain

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