Stormy's VFX

edited September 2013 in HitFilm User Gallery

This first vid you may have seen before but I thought I would launch this thread with it. Any constructive criticism is welcome!
This is a series of scenes for an upcoming video I've been planning for some time. These clips will finally be shown with scenes with actors setting up the scenario. Here, the Cats Eye blinks open and begins to pull any objects in the vacinity towards it. The ship is attempting to get to the station to rescue the crew but misfortune ensues. The ship loses power, the station loses power and a debris field from a nearby planet looms. The ship then narrowly escapes a series of close calls. The music in this version will not appear in the final production. I'll compose music tailored to the scene. Please leave any feedback and 'like' if you do. If you don't like, please move along. ;) lol
http://youtu.be/RTLoevm_s5g
This is another planned shot for the same video as the one above. The music was thrown in just for fun. Station Beta is located near a Tri-Star system and is an integral part of a bigger plan in the story. Here, Battle Cruisers dock and resupply the station to keep it going.
I will probably tweak this before finally using it so any feedback is gratefully welcome! The first thing I'll correct is the radical flicker from the three stars.
http://youtu.be/bAd5PLX2VU8




 


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Comments

  • edited September 2013
    Another series of clips for the planned movie short "Lazer Tag":
    There is a saboteur in the fleet. After tampering with the targeting array on three ships, the renegade tries to escape. Followed by three ships, the traitor leads his pursuers into an ion storm where one ship is disabled. While attempting to escape, the traitor finds himself near a base station which captures his ship in a tractor beam and a fourth Battle Cruiser joins the others. After the traitor is dealt with, a rescue attempt is made to save the disabled ship as it falls into the gravity well of a nearby planet.
    The music in this version will not appear in the final scenes. Actor parts will be added in post; I did all these together to keep the continuity consistent. It's in 1080p HD.
    Let me know what you think and as always- thanks for watching!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDR5AgJb2lI&feature=share&list=UUfDzgvTZ1FGKKjeHwSrlJJg
  • Your lighting is getting better. :-)
  • I'm not gonna look at it from a 3d technical perspective because I'm sure people more qualified will do that for me. What I feel is lacking is any kind of cinematic depth. I'm looking specifically at that second clip. That could be a far more interesting shot with better composition. People sometimes forget about framing and composition when it comes to this kind of work but it still applies.
    There's something cool happening, you see the station, where in a purple nebulae and a ship is flying past. The shot you've chosen shows that, in a rather boring light. It could be cool to see a seemingly large ship dwarfed by this epic station. Or see the ship flying straight over the camera (ala star wars ;) - toward the station. 
    In your renegade clip, that shot at 0.15 is a different story. It's interesting, you get a feel for the size of the station. You see the ships heading for battle, your doing it in the same shot, there's lot happening & its captured well. 
    I think these are all things to look out for. 
    Maybe this wasn't the kind of feedback you were looking for, I don't mean to be too negative about this kind of stuff. It's simply that your creating very nice scenario's but not always' shooting' them in the most effective & interesting way. This is just something I feel like you should look out for when creating these scenes. Any way, technically (like all things) there's room for improvement in the lighting and the model movement, but I'm sure these are going to improve. Your work technically seems to be improving each time, as Triem indicated. But I think now is a great time to start considering the way your composing these scenes :) 
    Genuinely looking forward to your next bits of work.
  • Thanks guys! That's exactly the type of feedback I'm looking for. I haven't had any formal schooling on film making but I'm soaking up whatever I can on the subject. I think I've got a solid story to work with so now it's just getting it from paper to video in a way that doesn't look amateurish to the extreme. 
    Daniel- don't confuse constructive with negative. Your comments have presented the challenge I need to do better. :)  
  • edited October 2013
    Just a quick test I threw together this morning. I've been trying to replicate a laser ricochet I did in VisionLab a few years back and finally figured out a way to do it with lightning in HF2U. I'd take the time to add a scorch mark where the laser hits but I'll do that in a planned video later.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8lKtrW0uGw&feature=share&list=UUfDzgvTZ1FGKKjeHwSrlJJg
    And if anyone is interested- the energy fire from the battle cruisers in the video above- 'Renegade'- was created using a particle simulator (not a light flare) and the light ray effect.
  • A brief look from a security camera of a city under attack. Is it clear what is happening to the camera at the end?
    Any feedback appreciated.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UN4KRGuVUVI&feature=share&list=UUfDzgvTZ1FGKKjeHwSrlJJg
  • My guess is the camera has been blown off the building, but I think the break needs to be more abrupt and it needs to fall further and faster. One other point that stuck out to me was the change in brightness of the explosion/fireball that moves clear of the building's profile. Explosions are not particularly transparent because of all the dust, smoke and debris inside them
  • My guess is the camera has been blown off the building, but I think the break needs to be more abrupt and it needs to fall further and faster. One other point that stuck out to me was the change in brightness of the explosion/fireball that moves clear of the building's profile. Explosions are not particularly transparent because of all the dust, smoke and debris inside them

    Thank you for the feedback, FlickeringLight.
    Darn- it didn't play out like I hoped. The camera is still on the rooftop. The final approaching ship in the shot fires on the building the camera is on. The camera tips backwards due to the impact of the ionic torpedos and the building starting to collapse. I thought about adding smoke from the building around the edges of the scene- it might look like the camera is riding the building down- maybe? I thought about the camera falling off the building but realistically speaking, the power would be cut to the camera before it left the rooftop. They don't generally leave a lot of loose wire when they install them so I thought I'd leave it on the roof so there's a few seconds of footage until the power is cut from the falling building instead.
    The explosion is stock footage but you're right, I'll see if I can dirty it up some or find something else to use. I've been trying to create different CG explosions but I haven't quite got it to my liking yet. I keep letting myself down. :P 
    Thanks again!

  • I take your point about the cables. I think I'd ramp up the jitter in the last seconds of the jets approach maybe even add some tiny adjustments to the camera position too, then snap the camera back to it's tilted position over 2 or 3 frames.
    For the stock footage I'd try adding a greyscale version on a layer below, perhaps keyframing it's opacity as the blast moves clear of the building
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    My last post here didn't go through for whatever reason. I got that the camera was knocked back in it's housing, but not knocked free. Agree with those who say the impact needs to bemore violent. Additionally that last ship seems to "hang" above the camera. It comes in pretty fast, so staying in frame after the camera impact isn't working. Maybe you should have a couple more fighters streak over the cam in the last couple seconds? For dirtying up the explosions, try combining a particle explosion for some dirt and smoke with the stock explosion? If you look at the "Shuttle Crash" vid on my YouTube, I blended two stock explosions and three particle sims for that. The stock explosions make my fireball, one particle sim for the ground dirt poofing, one particle sim for the smoky, flaming debris chunks, one for the dark smoke from burning fuel. Looks darn good, I think. Overall you have a really cool shot there, and I think your next revision will be stellar
  • Thanks guys! Great suggestions. As soon as I finish a different vid I'll come back to this and see what I can do to revise it.
  • A little ad to be included in a pre-show reel for the 6th Street Theatre in Racine, WI. Any commercial-like vids have to be clear without the aid of sound as hopefully, this one is. Unfortunately, I have to correct the right side vignette.
    Let me know what you think.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YeZZczmMzck&feature=share&list=UUfDzgvTZ1FGKKjeHwSrlJJg
  • It's confusing as to what's happening until right at the end.  I was also confused as to what the popcorn kernel was until the end.  And does the theater really want to put the idea into people's minds that there are flies in the popcorn/refreshment stand and it might be unsanitary?
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    edited October 2013
    It took me till about 2/3 of the way to the video that we were following a fly with popcorn. I think the vignette is a bit heavy (as you've noted), but I like the hex-pattern displacement (but maybe spherize the displace layer to make it feel more like a rounded fly-eye? Or spherize the entire background video? This would have been a great thing to shoot with a fisheye or a GoPro, since the super wide angle would distort the sides and expand distance, adding to the feel of a tiny insect.
    I think it's the animation of the fly legs picking up the popcorn and the bottom-of-screen kernel that's not quite reading for me. The vignette is obscuring the fly's legs and the kernel being held is just a flat grey blob--is that a temp element? It might read better if you took a pic of a kernel?
    Great concept! I'll assume that the final version will have SFX and music--the buzzing of the fly wings will kill a lot of the ambiguity I'm noting, and I'll bet your audience is going to have a hearty laugh when you get to the punchline.
    However, as much as *I* like this concept, I can see where ES is coming from with the note on associating flies and theater food.
  • edited October 2013
    ES- I suppose you would have to have been there a few times to know that the popcorn hopper is never left open. They are excellent at keeping it closed between getting servings, so, they opened it just so I could get the fly in there for a moment and closed it as soon as I left the popper. I think most will understand it's the play on words at the end that's the point......not flies in the popcorn......I hope. ;)
    The guy at the end is one of the founders of the theater troupe and he laughed when I presented the idea.
    I've got more ads in mind too. If we get a complaint we'll just swap it out for another ad.
    Triem23- The version shown at the theater, unfortunately, will not have sound. The audience will probably get to see it a couple times while they're waiting for the play to start. (a lot of people show up a half hour early so they'll see it 3 times possibly 4 with a 6-8 minute preview reel) So 2/3 of the way through to 'get' what's going on is perfect. They'll get to see it again from the beginning and enjoy (? :-? ?) it more the second time. I didn't want it to be extremely obvious.
    I like the idea of a version with sound and maybe that's what I should do when posting them on youtube. But flies don't have ears so maybe a muffled BSG type overall sound effect would work.
    I wish I had a fisheyed lens. That might move up the priority list for future ideas.
    The popcorn the fly carries is a 3D model but not a very good one. With all the Blender tutorials out there I can't find one on how to make popcorn. I've seen a couple really good models but couldn't quite get mine to look as good. I need more understanding of the tools in Blender. Workin' on it. I like the idea of using a picture of the kernel. I just may do that. 
    I'll try the other suggestions (spherization....is that a word?) and reduce the size of the vignette or maybe do away with the vignette altogether. I used it becasue the insect vision leaves an uneven border on the left and right sides. I don't remember if that could be stretched off screen but that's why I added the vignette- to cover the sides. I could probably mask or just put in a black plane on the sides. That would give me better control.
    Thanks for the feedback, guys. I greatly appreciate it!!! >>>>>>see?>>>>> :)
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    Out of curiosity, what do you shoot with? Samyang released an 8mm fisheye for DSLR's last year (same lens is sold, re-branded as Rockinon, and a couple other companies) that has a street-price of about $350 (usd), and available in Canon, Sony and Nikkon mounts, and even for Micro 4:3! Most of the other fisheyes out there are over a grand, so this is a pretty good price, and it kicks out really nice images. The "Hoot X Build Preview" on the movie wall or my "Working on THIS!" thread is all shot using the Rockinon version of the lens on a Canon body so you can see the look. A good option if you're already shooting DSLR. Otherwise, the new GoPro Hero 3+ Black shoots 60fps @ 1080p, 120fps @ 720p, or even 10 fps @ 4k for about $400 (usd).
  • I use a Canon T2i. Just watched the Hoot X Build Preview- that's a sweet lens. I don't know when I'd be able to afford one- tax return time most likely. Thanks for the tip! Maybe someone will sell a used one one cheap on eBay. Every once in a while you find something extraordinary where someone doesn't realise the value. My boss would fall into that catagory about me. :)
  • edited November 2013
    Howdy folks.
    I'm having another problem I can't quite figure out. It involves Blender and HitFilm....I know, again? Yup.
    I've found a tutorial on how to create textures by using displacement & UV sculpting in Blender. A great tutorial that goes in depth on how to get a really cool texture on a space ship or any other model you can dream up. It's intensive for sure.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VY9vHdwUo98

    Below are two examples of what's happening. The second is a screen shot of my battle cruiser (not yet finished) taken from Blender. It's going to be the same shape as the previous version of the model but will have all kinds of cool detail to help make it look more realistic.
    The first example is after loading it into HF2U. I did try using the UV mapping but it doesn't come out looking close at all to how it looks in Blender. Is there a way to get it to look that way? Am I missing a step in Blender or HF2U? Anyone have a clue? @-) ;
    Thanks for stopping by!
  • Hi StormyKnight,
    Sorry to let know that "displacement" are not a 3D objects with dimensions they might look like 3D objects when you render it but they will not work with Hitfilm.
    You need to understand that "Displacement" are a mapping technique it need black/white to work and Hitfilm dose not support that.
    If you want to read more about it Here is a wiki page.
    Good luck and if have any questions or help regarding Blender or Maya I can help just let me know !
  • Don't have the time to check that tutorial right now, but it sounds like you're working with displacement maps to create all those details (which look pretty cool, btw!). HitFilm doesn't support displacement maps, so you need to "bake" them into the model - I assume you are using a modifier in Blender for this? Then you'd have to apply that modifier to the mesh first, before exporting the model to use it in HitFilm.
  • Thanks for the quick reply and offer of assistance, Abidal. I'm still learning the displacement concept and the article helped me understand it a little better.
    Do you know if there is another technique in Blender that would get similar results and work in HF?
  • Thanks, Robin. That might be the step I'm missing. Unfortunately, the tutorial only covers how to set things up and doesn't address exporting with the displacement map baked into the model. Or if it does, I misunderstood something somewhere. I'll look for a tut on that process right away.
    There are three modifiers used in this process. 2 sub surface and 1 displacement.
    Yeah- I like the new model so much better I can't bear to look at the old one anymore.
    If I don't make sense- let me know. I'm not familiar with everything yet- I'm a work in progress.
     


  • You are welcome, as Robin mentioned that you need to bake the displacement and apply all the modifiers before exporting to Hitfilm.. Oliver done amazing job with that tutorial by the way.
    you can read this post on BlenderArtist for more details about baking.
  • edited November 2013
    Yeah, that tutorial was fun to follow but he went a little fast in some places. I had to keep going back to watch what he was doing but I don't mind considering the results.
    Thanks for the link! I will check that out tomorrow when my brain is refreshed and ready to take on the day. :) 
  • I'm not that strong in Blender, but the displacement map--sounds like it uses a greyscale image to generate a G2H map to simulate raised texture? This would be what 3D Studio Max calls bump mapping and what Hitfilm calls a Parallax filter, right? Because now I am curious if wrapping an unilluminated copy of the model in the displacement map, matching that to the main model's motion and using the disp-map pass to drive a parallax filter in Hitfilm might work. Just a thought. Might be worth a try.
  • Unfortunately, the tutorial only covers how to set things up and doesn't address exporting with the displacement map baked into the model. 

    Just to clear that up, I used the word "baking" here only to somehow have an analogy to what's happening, don't get confused though when you see that word in Blender because it is used in a little different context there. Anyway what you have to do is fairly simple, just go to the modifiers and press "Apply" on each of them until there are no modifiers left. Make sure you go from top to bottom with that, otherwise you might get weird results.


     


    I'm not that strong in Blender, but the displacement map--sounds like it uses a greyscale image to generate a G2H map to simulate raised texture? This would be what 3D Studio Max calls bump mapping and what Hitfilm calls a Parallax filter, right? Because now I am curious if wrapping an unilluminated copy of the model in the displacement map, matching that to the main model's motion and using the disp-map pass to drive a parallax filter in Hitfilm might work. Just a thought. Might be worth a try.

    The concepts are similar, but the difference lies in the detail: Bumpmapping means simulating a raised/inset texture at render time, by faking the shadows the bumps in the surface would cause (therefore the name). Blender can do that too (it's called displacement map in Cycles though, I think...). The method used in this case actually uses a displacement modifier, using the same kind of map, but it doesn't change the rendering of a surface, instead it actually displaces the individual vertices (nodes, whatever) of the mesh according to the black/white-values of the displacement map - BEFORE rendering, so the actual mesh is deformed and gets rendered accordingly.
    There are pros and cons for each of these methods:
    The displacement modifier gives you the most accurate rendering because it actually deforms the mesh before rendering, but as it can only displace vertices, it is limited by the resolution your mesh has. So if you have large flat areas you just want to add detail to, this could get too heavy because of the amount of extra geometry needed for the modifier to work.
    The bumpmap on the other hand even works when you have in the most simple case a flat plane made from four vertices you just want to add some greebling to, it is only limited by the resolution of the bumpmap texture. The downfall to this is that if you view the surface at a flat angle, it can get obvious there is no actual depth going on, especially when the bumpmap is strong, because it is just a rendering trick and not altering the mesh at all.

  • Oh good grief do I feel stupid. I should have known that, Robin. The ship will work just fine in HF now. You know how you look at something so closely you overlook the obvious? That's what happened here.
    Thank you for the help!
    I'm so embarrassed. :blush: 
  • Don't be too embarrased--in another thread I gave a detailed explaination on how to build a difference mask from scratch, completely ignoring the fact that Hitfilm has a difference mask filter.....
  • edited December 2013
    It's been over a month since I've posted anything and that's because I've been working hard to improve my modeling in Blender. I've been creating my own displacement textures which appear to be far better than using pictures for textures. Here are a couple of results and any input is welcome.
    The first is a redesign of the space station I used in my video "Renegade".
    Watch both of these vids in 1080 HD for the best viewing.
    http://youtu.be/hZJMPIvpebY
    The second is a redesign of a Battle Cruiser with the addition of a Cargo Ship. I'll have better examples in the future at some point.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAMzlYace1k&feature=share&list=UUfDzgvTZ1FGKKjeHwSrlJJg&index=1

    Let me know what you think and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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