Triem 23's "Hey, I'm Working on THIS!" page (Update: Eagle Transporter Flyby Test Jan 31, 2018)

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  • edited January 2014
    T23- I hope you'll put together a tut on how you did the fantastic planet ring.
    I love the Shadow vessels. When I first saw the scene Simon posted I got a chill up my spine when the larger ship shot out all the fighters. At first I thought it was a projectile of some kind but when it broke apart and all the smaller ships were revealed......YIKES!  
    I have the whole series and all offshoots and go through them every 5 or 6 years. What a great and fun show.
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    I'm allowed to discuss this now that the producers have made the official announcement and the "non-disclosure" expired.
    My short film "InTension" (formerly "T is for Tension") has been selected for inclusion in the "The World of Death and Torture" DVD/Blu-Ray box set. This compilation contains a tick over 200 indy horror films from over 25 countries around the world, and features an introduction and insert by the legendary Sig Haig (best know for "House of 1000 Corpses" and "The Devil's Rejects," although ol' men like me might remember him as "Draco" on "Jason of Star Command.").
    Additionally, the original contest I cut the film for had a three-minute restriction. For this box set, i was allowed to re-edit and add up to three minutes of footage, which I took advantage of to fix some serious pacing issues.
    Right now I've locked picture, am finishing the audio edits, and am about ready to grade. I will probably do my corrections in Vegas, and try my final color grade in Hitfilm.
    I'm kind of excited about this.
    https://www.facebook.com/worldofdeathfilm
  • Sounds cool! That is one crazy name for a DVD box set!
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    It's pretty cool, and the re-edit is SOOOOOOOO MUCH BETTER!. Picture is locked, audio is almost locked, and I'm starting color grade. (Audio lock is on-hold, because the guy who did the music is sending me newer mixes. Once I get that, it's just replacing the old files with the new files and making sure level balance is good.
  • Ooooh! "The World of Death and Torture" has intrigued me - especially the fact that it contains 200 indie films!
    Congratulations on being selected for that - would love to see the final edit once you've finished it? 
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    Wow, you'd heard of it before?
    I will certainly post the final edit--possibly just to this page and not the movie wall.
    There's no nudity or visually graphic violence, but a fair amountof profanity, and the subject matter isn't suitable for younger audiences. I try to treat the forums and movie wall as "family friendly."
    Then again, we have 10 year olds doing headshot tests on here, so maybe I am being overly cautious.
    Ah, screw it, here first, ask viewers if "suitable for movie wall." ;-)
  • Congratulations, T23! Are royalties part of the deal?
    I only ask because two songs I wrote were part of a compilation music album years ago
    and while told I would receive royalties, none were ever forthcoming. But then again the
    outfit had a shady reputation even though I found out about them through the Billboard Song
    Writing Competition. Naturally, I found out they were shady after the fact. I did receive a
    copy of the recording with both of my songs on it but they ripped the heart and soul out of
    them and in retrospect, I hope they didn't sell any copies at all 'cause I wouldn't want to be
    represented that way. I keep that tape locked up so no one will EVER hear it!!! Yup- that bad.
    At least you get to have some control over your content. Again, congrats! 
  • @Stormy: There's a non-disclosure in effect, so I can't talk too much business, merely to say that, yes, there are royalties--now the percentage of sales that is designated as Producer Royalties is split evenly between all producers equally, and there are over 200 shorts in this compilation, so I don't expect much money at all, but it's distribution and potential audience.
    We'll wait a few months and see if they ship checks as promised. Either way, the contract states that basically I am giving them rights to distribute, but, of course, I still own the project, so i can post, share, sell my own film all I want outside this compilation, so, what the heck?
    Anyways, I've meant to do a "Director's Cut" of this project for awhile, and this forced me to do it.
    Right now I'm actually using Hitfilm Ultimate to fix a few shots--there are many candles on set, and in one very pivotal take, we kind of forgot to light all of them. Hitfilm Ultimate is making it very easy for me to virtually light them. Telling VFX people like this forum it's been done, and you'll probably spot the shots. Average audience is never going to notice.
    Since the original edit was in Vegas Pro, this is really my first project to take advantage of Hitfilm/Vegas integration. So far, so good.
    (After finishing these correction, I lock and render the final.)
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    edited February 2014
    Contains Adult Language, Adult Situations and a scene of violence. Recommended for adult viewers. (NSFW)
    AAAAAAaaaaaand:
    http://youtu.be/BrC-J05IpWU

    "InTension" (boring credits bit)
    Part of "World of Death and Tension"
    www.worldofdeathfilm.com
    www.facebook.com/worldofdeathfilm
    twitter.com/WOD_film
    www.instagram.com/worldofdeath
    Directed and Edited by:
    Michael M. Miller
    Directors of Photography:
    Christopher Adam Hruby
    Michael M. Miller
    Story by:
    Michael M. Miller
    Screenplay by:
    Michael M. Miller
    Christopher Adam Hruby
    Producer:
    Michael M. Miller
    Co-Producer:
    Christopher Adam Hruby
    Original Music by:
    Thomas Corsaut
    Starring:
    K.C. Mercer
    Starring:
    Tiffany Bailey
    Featuring:
    Mattrick Black
    David Franklin
    Michael M. Miller
    Christopher Adam Hruby
    Audio:
    David Franklin
    Art Department/Continuity:
    Laura Burke
    Boom:
    David Franklin
    Laura Burke
    Catering:
    Amie Noel Zeoli
    Photographs provided by:
    Michael M. Miller
    "Tremble"
    Composed and Performed by:
    Thomas Coursaut
    From the Album "Forced Perspective,"
    Copyright 2011, Houserules Music
    used by permission
    www.houserulesmusic.net
    Special Thanks:
    Maxwell and Kathleen Miller
    Patty Cumby
    William Hess
    Mattrick Black
    "InTension"
    Copyright 2014, Triem Visual
    All Rights Reserved
    "InTension"(Slightly less boring BTS rants.)
    Yeah, so, originally shot in two six-hour days, with a two-hour pickup the third day, edited, mixed, graded and titled in three days, and uploaded to make the "ABC's of Death" Contest. We didn't win.
    The contest rules were simple: Three minutes or less, begin and end on a fully-red frame, and someone's gotta die. "T is for Tension" flashed into my head, and eventually I hit on a murder in a massage parlor...by, well, "applied tension." I tried for a psychological game. Word games in a room between two characters that do reveal the truth, but in an ambiguous way. It's wordy. I admit it. It's Noir.
    We shot on a T3i HDMI's to a 22 inch monitor--my first DSLR shoot, and my DP's second. We used the f2.8/24-70 L Lens and a Lensbaby (Single-Glass Optic), bounced about 2K of red-gelled lights off the ceiling as a key, put a variable LED on top of the camera set to it's minimum level as a fill, turned on the floor lamp and lit lots of candles for interest and rims. Pics on the wall were of a series I did of my fiancee, my parents had a wall mirror we propped in a corner, (and my co-producer was moving out of that apartment next week, so I helped him pack and move to prioritize that room.), a borrowed massage table, and several rehearsals over two weeks.
    Visual language was planned meticulously. Camera remains on tripod at Lorne's eye-level. Camera is allowed to rest, but should move in a lot of slow arcs. Beginning focal length is 35mm (as marked on lens. add 1/6x crop factor), as the scene progresses, we move up to 50mm, then 70mm. At a certain point we are at 70mm, but handheld, rising from Lorne's eye level to Cassandra's, then we stay handheld, but snap back to 24mm for the rest of the sequence, except the last shot, which is at Lorne's eye-level, and back on sticks.
    Day one was the murder--figured we'd do the hectic day first, so the second day we could just do the dialog. DP Chris Hruby gave me what I asked for and suggested a few fantastic shots of his own.. He also plays the smoking man.
    Day two was everything up to the phone call. Day two was a problem. My DP was called into work on an emergency, leaving me to run my own camera. The acting does suffer as a result, But I think it's shot well for a first-timer on a DSLR with no follow-focus. ;-)
    Day three was just a quick series of pick-up shots. Poor KC had to put up with having his back rubbed as I shot MOS closeups of Tiffany's hands. Torture. Pure torture.
    My buddy Thomas read the script and offered me a rough of a song he was working on--just guitars and drums. I loved it. The night after we shot the murder, I rough-cut it and dropped in the music where I wanted it. It matched as if I'd cut to music to begin with. Lovely! The current version of the scene is nearly untouched from that first cut.
    Editing was done in Sony Vegas. Most color grading was done with NewBlue ColorFixerPro.
    The three minute cut was ok. My opinion was "I learned a lot making this, but I'm not happy with it." I also called it "a five minute film I had to cram into three."
    Well, when WODT invited me to join their compilation, I was allowed to re-edit the film. I did about an 80% ground-up re-edit (YAY ME for organizing my stuff CORRECTLY two years ago, thus making my re-edit so amazingly easy!), got updated music from Thomas: guitar/drums, guitar/bass/drums, and full mix, so my soundtrack gets better!. For legal reason, we had to change the title from "T is for Tension" to "InTension."
    New cut: 4:57. And far better.
    I went shot by shot thru the film, using color curves to pull the shots into a better match, and used a newer version of the Newblue ColorFixer to do a similar grade.
    As I'm sure you've noticed from my space animations, I sure do like my saturated colors... I promise to one day do something muted. ;-) I wanted to keep a lot of it very soft and dreamy looking, with shallow depth of field, except for the fight. I kind of wanted the look of the film to evoke a 1950's Pulp magazine cover.
    I used Hitfilm Ultimate to cover a problem--in a few shots, namely, the few shots I had to be in (I'm the only one in the film who's face is never seen.), we forgot to light some candles--THANKS, HITFILM TRACKING! ;-) It's not perfect, but, really, no one's going to notice it unless it's pointed out here. ;-)
    Finally, I used Hitfilm Ultimate to do that crystal text.
    The official release is April, I think.
  • THIS is why I don't go to massage parlors. :P Okay- just kidding.....but it was a tad racy to be watching at work  no one saw though....whew.
    For some reason, I didn't trust the accountant from the get-go so imagine my surprise when it turned out the opposite way I thought it was going. Nicely done!
    I didn't notice any changes in the acting; it looked consistent to me but I don't know what you were going for either.
    Didn't notice the candle problem at all even though I read your comments first before watching the film.
    I like the crystal letters- also fit in well stylistically speaking. 
    The music fit the mood and tone quite well. 
    I hope you get more recognition for this venture! Thank you for sharing! :) 
  • Thanks for the comments, Stormy!
    Racy? Hey, I had an adult content warning! ;-) Glad the "twist" surprised you. Especially since everything is actually fairly foreshadowed in dialog and action (like, say, references to an eariler call, and, of course the call in the middle of the scene....)
    Acting--well, you'd have to watch to original cut. The best way I can put it is, cramming that film into three minutes just meant I had to take out all those nice little pauses, and cram line after line after line in. It was rushed.
    Candles--yeah, as noted above, there are three shots where the candles weren't lit on set, and I used Hitfilm to fix that. It shouldn't be noticable. ;-)
    Thomas Corsaut gave me a fantastic song to play with. It really does help sell the film.
    The crystal letters--I'm going to do a tutorial on that. After I do the tutorial on 3D models and particle clones. Which I would have done already if I hadn't had this little film to re-cut. :-)
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    edited February 2014
    I am just going to stick the film here again. Those who wish to read the long "production diary" post can go back to page 5 of this thread.
    Contains Adult Language, Adult Situations and a scene of violence. Recommended for adult viewers. (NSFW)
    http://youtu.be/BrC-J05IpWU
  • Bwa-ha! I see I'm pulled from the movie wall. That's cool. I did express earlier in this thread I wasn't certain if it was suitable, despite the content warning. ;-)
  • So, when you combine Particle Clones, 2.5D Parallax pictures, a "Hero" model, some volumetrics and the standard assortment of lens flares, light rays and lens dirt, you get this....
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAfKFL38rr4
  • That looks great! No wonder it took so long to render. 
  • Thanks!
    For the second render I cleaned up my timeline--I deleted the FG and MG Particle fleets while they were out of frame, deleted the "Hero" saucer while IT was out of frame, and generated new texture layers for the BG and MG particle fleets--the BG fleet is a 100x100 texture source, the FG fleet is a 800x800 Texture source (yes, the MG is a 400x400 texture source). The individual particle systems Particle Slace are adjusted so that all saucers are the "same" size.
    I adjusted the BG and MG fleets so all particles spawn on one frame. The FG fleet spawns over two seconds to allow for some variation in their apparent rotation.'
    Deleting things that were out of frame, scaling texture sources and simplifying the BG and MG fleets so that they are all rotating in synch (they're far enough back no one's really going to notice) really really improved Hitfilm's performance
    The first render (not uploaded) was 17 hours and 47 minutes. The second render (shown above) was 9 hours and 12 minutes--so these adjustments cut render time by HALF!
  • Hey Triem - sorry about pulling your InTension video from the movie wall - that was me, I confess!
    Although you did have a content warning at the beginning, we still have to try to be responsible with what we present, and it is well known that very few people pay much attention to content warnings. It was pretty racy (did minimise it right down for work!) but it's still absolutely fine for it to remain on the forums - please don't think I'm negatively policing you, it's just better to air on the side of caution as the movie wall is more public than the forum threads are - and as you said before, it is a little more "family friendly" :) 
    However I did just put this one up on the movie wall! 
    I'm amazed at the difference in your render time - that's such a huge difference for some fairly standard clean ups. Well done on having the patience to do that, I doubt I would have been able to force myself to clean it all up after creating the epic scene. 
    I'm really glad that you included some major perspective shots. At the beginning when the fleet start entering the frame from the left, I was really worried that there wouldn't be a huge amount of movement and that it would just be a standard scene where you're watching the ship particles slowly drifting to the ground. 
    Fortunately, you had a lot of visual intrigue, tons of perspective and that brilliant end shot where we get a close up of the rotating ship. The light flare really sediments the ship in the scene well and I love that the particle becomes crisp just before the camera cuts out so that you can really appreciate the great textures and movement of the rotation. 
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    edited February 2014
    Kristie, no need to worry about pulling the film from the wall--"family friendly," correct? ;-) Additionally, I strengthened my language on the relevant forum posts, with a big, bold NSFW!. However, you've yet to give an audience response to the project. In my opinion, it's a fairly complex psycho-thriller for five minutes, and it honestly does bear a second watch. It's flawed, but I'm happy with it. (Also, those stupid candles are my best VFX work in Hitfilm to date. Alien ships are just cool, but to fix a subtle, natural thing like a flickering candle....)
    I forced myself to clean it up so I wouldn't have to spend so long re-rendering. Trust me, the other version looks very mediocre--missing all the grading and the "Hero" saucer that hovers next to camera.
    I basically looked at Phil Wesson's tutorial, added parallax layers, a 3D move, zoom and DOF, But there's no doubt that my inspiration was his shot. He's got a nice, serene feel... I was going for the feeling of a news helicopter, but just realized (AAAAGH! a VERSION 3!!!!!!!) I need camera shake or wobble to sell it---(can I just add camera shake to the master, 35Mbps render?)
    Also Particle Clones, because I hadn't tried that in a "realistic" environment. Each fleet has a different type of movement to add to the complexity of the shot and build it up. I could have actually positioned the particle fleet so one of it's ships was right in front of the lens and it would look sharp, but that one, actual 3D model with it's unique perspective draws the eyes away from the repetition of the clones....
    Anyway, a picture is worth a thousand words.here's 4700-or-so pictures... with words!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5myqtuiJDc
  • Holy Catsaroni! L.A. was just invaded!!!!!  
    T23- You totally outdid yourself. That's a most excellent vid in all aspects! I'm glad you mention how you trimmed the timeline. I've been mulling over whether to try that process and will now put it into practice. I wasn't sure it was going to make a difference but evidently it does.
    " I need camera shake or wobble to sell it---(can I just add camera shake to the master, 35Mbps render?)"
    Just pick up the monitor and give it a good....well, it would save time and you could claim it 'viewer interactive'. :)
  • edited February 2014
    Thanks!
    For the second render I cleaned up my timeline--I deleted the FG and MG Particle fleets while they were out of frame, deleted the "Hero" saucer while IT was out of frame, and generated new texture layers for the BG and MG particle fleets--the BG fleet is a 100x100 texture source, the FG fleet is a 800x800 Texture source (yes, the MG is a 400x400 texture source). The individual particle systems Particle Slace are adjusted so that all saucers are the "same" size.
    I adjusted the BG and MG fleets so all particles spawn on one frame. The FG fleet spawns over two seconds to allow for some variation in their apparent rotation.'
    Deleting things that were out of frame, scaling texture sources and simplifying the BG and MG fleets so that they are all rotating in synch (they're far enough back no one's really going to notice) really really improved Hitfilm's performance
    The first render (not uploaded) was 17 hours and 47 minutes. The second render (shown above) was 9 hours and 12 minutes--so these adjustments cut render time by HALF!


    Triem, your work has improved so much and so quickly!  I hope you're proud of this shot, it's amazing!  The particle detail, movements, and how they are affected by the lights etc really at times make me question if they are actually particle clones rather than all models.  Great job!
    I really appreciate the 3D environment you setup using your base plate photo.  Establishing the foreground buildings and the parallax really helped draw me into this scene. 
    Patience..... I could not imagine rendering for that long! 
    How long did this entire shot take to setup? 
    If the render times are this long, how is the speed of "real time" editing when you're trying to make adjustments?
    The only things that stand out atm are:
    As the initial ships enter the shot from the top left hand corner they seem to be twitching / the texturing appears strange until the particles have been spawned for a few seconds almost as if they are "de-rezzing" into the scene.  Not sure if this is how it was suppose to be or not it's almost as if they are coming out of cloak.
    Did you apply a cloud effect to the scene with the movements set to vertical?  After the 20s mark it's not noticeable but there seems to be some sort of flickering / dust prior to that. 
    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!!!!
    As always Triem, fantastic work, can't wait to see your next one....
    Edit:  Love that breakdown....



     



  • " I need camera shake or wobble to sell it---(can I just add camera shake to the master, 35Mbps render?)"
    Just pick up the monitor and give it a good....well, it would save time and you could claim it 'viewer interactive'. :))

    Heh. Hehehehe.... Have to add info text for that, maybe? Or add it to the Youtube video description.
     


     


    How long did this entire shot take to setup? 
    If the render times are this long, how is the speed of "real time" editing when you're trying to make adjustments?
    The only things that stand out atm are:
    As the initial ships enter the shot from the top left hand corner they seem to be twitching / the texturing appears strange until the particles have been spawned for a few seconds almost as if they are "de-rezzing" into the scene.  Not sure if this is how it was suppose to be or not it's almost as if they are coming out of cloak.
    Did you apply a cloud effect to the scene with the movements set to vertical?  After the 20s mark it's not noticeable but there seems to be some sort of flickering / dust prior to that. 
    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!!!!
    Edit:  Love that breakdown....


    Hmmmm.... Probably about six to eight hours of actual work time, but I'm including deciding to DO the shot, browsing online for a good source photo, masking the photo in Photoshop, then all the Hitfilm work. There's an earlier iteration of the shot where I did one very large particle fleet stretching from the sky plane to behind the camera, and where the camera dollies forward and zooms in. With the single particle fleet I had render artifacts from particle ships "popping" into view as they passed through the building layers while moving on the Z-axis. Second iteration was changing the camera move (I spent quite a while on this, moving my layers in and out till I had the depth I wanted, and really refining the camera move and rotation. Took a few tries to time the camera move so that you never saw the part of BG layer 01 that's ALSO BG layer 02), tweaking the first particle sim, and creating the next two sims. basically what I uploaded, but I left some layers off (this will tie into your real-time edit performance question in a moment). Third iteration, I went in a changed a lot of basic setup (differing particle texture layers, etc), which cut render time from v2 to v3 by more than half.
    I usually start renders either just before bed or just before leaving for work--then the computer can chug along without me staring at a progress bar. Usually I'll get home from work, or wake up to a shiny new render!
    For "real-time" editing with a project like this, I have to "skip around" in the workflow a bit. Since VFX studios for TV/Film compartmentalize tasks, I try to do one thing at a time--so I set up and refine my camera move/zoom and did a quick DOF (changing focus from that BG tower to the MG buildings) before I touch anything else. Then I turned DOF off.
    Then I set up my cloud layers until I get about the right level of haze...then turn them off.
    Then I load in my 3D Model and setup lighting in the main comp..and turn it off.
    Then copy the 3D model and it's lights to a new comp for particle texture sources. I copied the skyline and it's camera move into another comp to become the environment wrap for the particle clones. Then go build my particle sims and animate them, turning off the previous Particles as I animate the next. I worked my clones background-to-forground. etc
    I wanted to start the shot with just the building, so we don't see saucers for about 3 seconds--then, just a few in the background... Then the zoom widens to bring in the midground layer... Dolly out and bring in the foreground layer... finally, that last saucer by the camera. In this case the animation was built around the camera move--in my earlier particle fleet flyby, the asteroid field and the planet rings, I set up the environment and animation first, THEN planned my camera move around what was happening. So, for this LA invasion, I was working backwards from how I set up a lot of animations.
    Once I know my lighting is good, I turn off lights and shadows to speed up previews (There's no moving lights in the scene, and no real angle changes that effect lighting, so I really don't need to see it..)
    Then I did my grade layers.
    Finally, and LAST, I went back and set up the DOF with the aperture and blur settings.
    Again, for most of this, I was only looking at what I needed--so, no lights, no shadows, no motion blur, no cloud layers, just buildings, my sky plane and my ships. (This is why I managed to do a render with so much stuff turned off.)
    So, for most of the process, things are reasonably snappy. DOF is a HUGE time suck.
    Speaking of DOF, I think the "shimmer" on the far BG fleet near the top of the animation is an artifact cuased by the DOF. I'm fairly sure Hitfilm uses a box blur for DOF, and I think that the BG fleet, being a bunch of flat images, combined with a fairly long zoom, with a wide aperture and the blur setting at 200, is getting a lot of box blur--but only on certain ships. I might do a test render of the first 5 seconds with no DOF to verify this. That also may be the "cloud" shimmer--again, particles close to camera, then a long zoom and a lot of DOF blur. I'm not certain exactly what the motion is on the clouds, because all I did was take the Quick 3D preset, change the color, alpha and particle life, then rotate each instance 180 degrees on a single axis to change the look a bit. Since I WILL do one more iteration of this shot, I'll take a look at that.
    I'll also see if I can figure out how to get reflections in the glass building to camera-right, because, OrangeP, you're right--that would be the last missing element to sell this shot. Maybe copy the MG fleet to another comp shot, change the second comp to something tall and skinny, flip it 180 on the y axis, bring it back into the main comp, make it a 3D plane and match it to the position of the glass building in 3D space with a low-opacity soft-light blend? Unless anyone else has an idea.

    You don't think that the text on the breakdown is going too fast? I should have dropped a random green plane behind the perspective view. That would help the cloud and particle layers stand out better for that part... oh, well--I have a mislabeled object in the breakdown, so that also needs one more iteration. I can drop in green behind the perspective too. (Without re-exporting my PNG files... Just synch up a green plane behind the exisiting Vegas EDL and track move it at the same time as the track motion for the "split-screen."
    Thanks for the feedback, everyone, and, yes, I am quite proud of this shot.

  • Hmmmm.... Probably about six to eight hours of actual work time, but I'm including deciding to DO the shot, browsing online for a good source photo, masking the photo in Photoshop, then all the Hitfilm work.


    That's pretty good considering how much you had going on in your scene! 



     


    For "real-time" editing with a project like this, I have to "skip around" in the workflow a bit. Since VFX studios for TV/Film compartmentalize tasks, I try to do one thing at a time...


    I need to make sure I do this more often, it's something I do but not consistently, there's just something about wanting to see how it's all interacting together -- however inefficient that may be lol....



     


    So, for this LA invasion, I was working backwards from how I set up a lot of animations.


    I tend to always setup my animations secondary to the environment, establishing the natural boundaries I find really helps me to determine how the object is going to move, however, due to the complexity of your technique for particle cloning and keeping the textures lined up appropriately I can see the benefit of working the other way. 



     


    Speaking of DOF, I think the "shimmer" on the far BG fleet near the top of the animation is an artifact cuased by the DOF. I'm fairly sure Hitfilm uses a box blur for DOF... Since I WILL do one more iteration of this shot, I'll take a look at that.


    Interesting discovery, looking forward to the next iteration!



     


    I'll also see if I can figure out how to get reflections in the glass building to camera-right, because, OrangeP, you're right--that would be the last missing element to sell this shot. Maybe copy the MG fleet to another comp shot, change the second comp to something tall and skinny, flip it 180 on the y axis, bring it back into the main comp, make it a 3D plane and match it to the position of the glass building in 3D space with a low-opacity soft-light blend? Unless anyone else has an idea.


    I think that idea would work, at the moment I can't think of a better way that is more efficient than that. 
     



     


    You don't think that the text on the breakdown is going too fast? I should have dropped a random green plane behind the perspective view. That would help the cloud and particle layers stand out better for that part... oh, well--I have a mislabeled object in the breakdown, so that also needs one more iteration. I can drop in green behind the perspective too. (Without re-exporting my PNG files... Just synch up a green plane behind the exisiting Vegas EDL and track move it at the same time as the track motion for the "split-screen."

     


    Personally, I don't mind fast text, if I need to see something I missed, I can just click back on the timeline or pause it.  I had a similar issue when I was trying to decide how to show the cloud layers for the debris field breakdown.
    Thanks for explaining everything in such detail, it's really helpful!

  • That's pretty good considering how much you had going on in your scene! 



    I tend to always setup my animations secondary to the environment, establishing the natural boundaries I find really helps me to determine how the object is going to move, however, due to the complexity of your technique for particle cloning and keeping the textures lined up appropriately I can see the benefit of working the other way. 

    Interesting discovery, looking forward to the next iteration!

    Thanks for explaining everything in such detail, it's really helpful!

    OP:
    You know, the scene has a lot going on in it, but it's all actually fairly simple. Since I've done particle clones with that saucer before, I  Hitfilm, opened the "Particle Saucer Flyby", deleted all the space elements, created a new camera and deleted the old one, but kept my base fleet emitter and texture setup. Why rebuild that stuff a second time? It takes a little time to set up the new lighting correctly with the ENV wrap, but I do that once, then copy that to each texture source. Masking my photo and setting up the camera move took the most refinement, but all the particle layers are moving is straight lines--start and end keyframes, that's it.  So, for each ship element it was really kind of "I want it to stop here," then , "I want to see it enter here." Really a fairly fast setup.
    The particle flyby, particle asteroid field and particle planet rings were all cases where I set up the enviroment first, then decided on a camera move--because LA was just a 2D parallax BG I did the camera move first... My next test is a different workflow altogether!
    I can't take credit for the DOF box blur--I think Simon or Axel said that in a post somewhere and I remembered that particular datum. I'm still guessing on the shimmer, but that theory sounds right.
    Always glad to be helpful! Sharing techniques makes us all better, and, let's face it--that LA animation is a Hitfilm gradient, two PNG's, seven particle systems, four of which are built-in presets, one 3D model and a couple of grade layers. It's actually a fairly basic setup (I don't have 28 layers of clouds and 28 layers of 3D models, unlike a Debris Field I could mention.), but Hitfilm's fantastic toolset makes it so easy to get high-quality results quickly!
    OK, so the next test is mocha tracking a stock footage shot of Monument Valley and trying to get swarms of Blackhawk helicopters out in the desert. This particle clone things is certainly useful for full CG environments like space shots and parallax where I have complete control of everything--let's see what happens when I slave myself to someone else' shot!

  • Ok, so I didn't go with Monument Valley, but, yeah--Another Particle Clone test--this time with mocha-tracked footage, and the Blackhawk Helicopter model that shows up in tons of Hitfilm tutorials and tests. Basically testing the whole particle clones concept with a model that has a defined front.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3ZNkwV-WV4
  • The UFO invasion shot is cool - the second half of the shot I actually prefer, as the camera movement settles down and becomes more convincing. There's also odd noise at the start as the camera pulls back - maybe due to particle clouds?
  • The UFO invasion shot is cool - the second half of the shot I actually prefer, as the camera movement settles down and becomes more convincing. There's also odd noise at the start as the camera pulls back - maybe due to particle clouds?


    I think there's two things going on--first, I didn't turn the speed of the particle clouds to zero--since there's a long zoom at the top of the shot, I'm assuming that's causing some of the shimmer. Also, the far back particle saucers shimmer as well--I think that's due to the DOF effect, combined with a long zoom and the fact the the individual particles are 2D planes.
    I'm getting ready to render another iteration of the shot with the fluffy clouds set to speed zero, and trying gaussian blur to simulate DOF instead of the built-in DOF. I've also taken Orange Pekoe's note and added a bit of reflection in the glass building to the far right of the frame.
    Camera move is going to stay the same on that iteration. ;-) Actually, I'm going to add some shake to it-I was, as I think I said above, kind of trying to get the feeling of a news or traffic helicopter---I'm going to try surrounding the Hitfilm camera with a helicopter model to see if the wide-angle part of the zoom range will bring the rotors into view so that becomes clear.

  • Ok, so I didn't go with Monument Valley, but, yeah--Another Particle Clone test--this time with mocha-tracked footage, and the Blackhawk Helicopter model that shows up in tons of Hitfilm tutorials and tests. Basically testing the whole particle clones concept with a model that has a defined front.
     


    Hey, I liked the particle clone test with the helicopters! I can see great potential in that scene!
    Obviously it's just a test and needs a bit of lighting work and alternate helicopters so that it doesn't just look like the same model repeated, but this could be freaking, hold-your-breath-mentalist awesome with a bit of work!
    Also - where did you get that music from? I was watching it and had a complete flashback to when I was about 12, walking around one of those pop-up fairgrounds with the parades and clowns. I think it's the 'tinkling' part of the music at about 0:20 that caused it - am I being completely insane?
     


    On another note: 
     


    (Also, those stupid candles are my best VFX work in Hitfilm to date. Alien ships are just cool, but to fix a subtle, natural thing like a flickering candle....)

     


    You truly outdid yourself because it didn't occur to me once that those candles weren't real. I just thought there'd been some awesome consistency monitoring going on! Nice VFX work!
     

  • It might be worth trying some depth fog in the comp settings instead of a particle system to occlude the distant UFOs.
    I'd love to see you use all these techniques to do a shot like that one in Independence Day when the alien UFOs attack the airbase. ;)
  • @Kristie:
    One thing I forgot to do is go back and re-edit my Particle Emitters. Right now they all spawn on the same frame. They SHOULD start spawning 2 seconds before frame 1. That breaks up the rotation of the rotors, and adds some "slew" Into the gimble camera, and really adds to the verisimilitude (which is a difficult word to spell) of the shot. But, you're right, I should at least do a second copy of the model and change it's diffuse color a bit, and use the eyedropper to pull the specular color from a highlight in the video. I have plans for this shot... ;-)
    The music is a stock piece from a Sony production library. I am on my phone and can't remember the title. Yes, it has a circus vibe.
    Only three shots have digital candles, but Hitfilm made it easy to match the digital fixes to how the real ones looked.
    Subtle is the ultimate use of vfx, I think. Like, no matter how seamlessly Simon can do a fireball, we know it's fake, cuz, fireball! On the other hand, wheat chaff in a field? I didn't catch that at all until I saw the tutorial. I thought the whole point of the bike sequence was flares and grades!
    @Simon.
    I think distance fog is a good idea, but low opacity, and close to camera. The artifacts are the foreground clouds seen through the zoom, so maybe the fog will give the haze look, and let me kill the foreground clouds. Thank you for the idea. :-)
    Funny you mention Independence Day......
  • http://youtu.be/NYCbF0Fat-c

    Harold Ramis (1944-2014) in a fitting routine from SCTV.

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