Unrivaled compositing HitFilm-Blender owmycgi : design and vfx.

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  • edited March 2012
    Heaven forbid you don't include a Wilhelm scream! :D I remember seeing that video, I can only imagine how much better could be done now.
    Spydurhank, your videos are excellent and have very much inspired me to try and get into Blender, and since seeing these I've downloaded the program and followed several tutorials already. Hearing that you've only really been pushing yourself with Blender since Christmas gives me much hope, lol!
    3D is the one thing I want to learn the most but have never felt I've had enough to time to dedicate to it due to how complicated it looks. We'll see how we go.
  • Dude... that video really takes me back. :D

    Marco has some great skills. I've been wondering, when and if we'll see him around HitFilm forums?
    Tarn, that would be awesome! Even if you made all new films and tuts, it would be great. Imagine though... what if you remade the "Beach Landing & Superheroes" DVD.
    With all of the matchmoving stuff and features, now at your disposal with HitFilm, it would give you a whole different feel to the movies and tuts. I get really stoked just thinking about it. :D
    Thanks NuttyBanana. That really means a lot. Trust me, if I can learn Blender... you can too. :D
  • Yeah, it's certainly tempting, but a part of me thinks it's important to move on to the next project rather than remake old ones.
    However, as part of the Arms Race web series we're quite likely to be doing something similar to the old Beach Landing sequence, so that'll give me a good opportunity to show off. :P
  • edited March 2012

    I tell you what, though - I wish I could remake that film using HitFilm. It would completely transform the style and approach.

    Interestingly Simon, what would you do differently to that film.? I well enjoyed looking through the DVD you made for it.
    Spydurhank - That matchmove clip was awesome. Your Blender skills are going through the roof.!
  • Sounds good Tarn.
    Thanks StopMotionMan, I really appreciate it.
    I'm almost done texturing the cockpit's outer hull of that ship.
    It's starting to look pretty good so far.

  • Interestingly Simon, what would you do differently to that film.? I well enjoyed looking through the DVD you made for it.

    For starters, the backgrounds were all made in 3D by Marco, but then he provided flat 2D rendered plates to me for compositing. In HitFilm I'd be able to take advantage of the actual 3D nature of the sets, putting in much more elaborate camera moves.
  • edited March 2012
    Here're a few pics of the textured ship. I'm rendering out one last test clip and then it'll be ready to be comped with live footage. Hope you like it. If you guys think that it needs more... more of anything, texturing wise... please let me know.
    [IMG]http://img545.imageshack.us/img545/8572/92600455.png[/IMG]
    By spydurhank at 2012-03-07
    [IMG]http://img18.imageshack.us/img18/6192/78340301.png[/IMG]
    By spydurhank at 2012-03-07
    [IMG]http://img543.imageshack.us/img543/5603/93010998.png[/IMG]
    By spydurhank at 2012-03-07
    [IMG]http://img689.imageshack.us/img689/9349/45285418.png[/IMG]
    By spydurhank at 2012-03-07
    [IMG]http://img841.imageshack.us/img841/91/80707670.png[/IMG]
    By spydurhank at 2012-03-07
    Will post the last test clip soon. Waiting on the diffuse pass to complete rendering, then need to render a shadow pass before rendering out of HitFilm. There's no animation in this clip, it's just a matchmove.
  • edited March 2012
    Okay... here's my last test render for this ship.
    Yes... there were a few issues with this clip. The only reason that I'm posting it, is because I've worked on it all day yesterday and finished around 10:15am or 10:20am a little while ago today. Couldn't sleep till I got this looking as good as I possibly could. So here's what I did wrong...
    1. I didn't place any markers for the matchmove. Big mistake!
    2. I accidentally had the white balance and exposure set to automatic on my camera. Even bigger mistake.
    You'll see what I mean once you watch the clip. The upper part of the clip is over exposed, closer to the chain link fence. The camera automatically adjusts itself once I get closer to the chain link fence. You can tell because at the beginning of the clip, the ship's shadow is too bright but it becomes darker, the closer that I get to the chain link fence. This made it impossible to match the CG shadows with the live footage shadows. I also had to try and match the brightness and contrast of the ship to match the live footage which was freaking insane to try and do.
    3. Look at the upper wing on the right side of the screen. You'll see a weird thing going on with the shadow... also near the front landing gear. I think it may have something to do with a glitch in the way Blender is reading the normals' of the mesh, or it's just something that I did wrong.
    4. I didn't measure the live scene with a tape measure which I normally do... because I forgot to place any tracking markers. So you'll see a wings shadow on the side of the house that shouldn't be there.
    So the point of me posting this is... don't forget to do things that you would normally do. It'll make your job 20 million times easier. Trust me.
    Anyway... Let me know what you guys think of the textures. And don't worry... I'll fix those two dark splotches at the end of the ship that look like they have no reason for being there. :D


    http://youtu.be/33DZPXICc1Y

    EDIT
    Whoops... just noticed this. Keep an eye on the top of the ships hull and left wing, you'll see the texture kinda jumping around a bit. Now I'm sure that this was caused by something having to do with the normals.
  • Here's a 3D planet that I just finished modeling. I scaled down the atmosphere layer and lowered the opacity just a bit for the final model since this one sticks out too much. Also subdivided it one more time for smoother edges. let me know what you guys think. :D
    [IMG]http://img15.imageshack.us/img15/4355/planetrender1.png[/IMG]
    By spydurhank at 2012-03-12
  • Okay. I'm super stoked about this render. I finished tweaking the 3D planet. I subdivided the faces for a smoother appearance to get a more realistic look to it and figured out how to get a better atmosphere in post. It's looking super good to me. :D

    [IMG]http://img805.imageshack.us/img805/2132/62585433.png[/IMG]
    By spydurhank at 2012-03-13
  • Very nice! The planet on the previous post definitely needed more definition, as it clearly wasn't truly circular/spherical and you could see each individual edge.
    I wonder whether the spaceship is a bit dark - given how the sun is reflecting off the planet's ocean, the spaceship doesn't quite seem bright enough.
  • Thanks.
    It does look too dark, doesn't it? I rendered it with the same sun lamp as the planet so I'm not sure why it came out so dark.
  • Very nice. Looks like a Star Wars planet. The atmosphere could use a little work because it doesn't look perfectly round and smooth. Otherwise I can't see anything else. Very nice work.
    You are getting better and better. I am working with blender also. Well more like trying to. I am very new to it so I'm pretty much starting at the beginning watching tutorials and modeling. Trying to get used to the way everything is set up.
    Do you have any tutorials on the thing you've done? Would love to see them.
  • Thanks Vik. :D
    Here's a great tut from Andrew Price of Blender Guru. This is how I learned to make that planet.

    http://www.blenderguru.com/videos/create-a-realistic-earth
    Damn Vik, good eye. The planet and ship are for a Star Wars fan film.
    I watch a lot of tuts as well. That's how I learned most of what I know in Blender. Some things though... I haven't been able to find tuts for and had to do a lot of experimenting.
  • Thanks for the link Spydurhank. You did a good job of making that look of Star Wars. Tutorials are the best.
    I do agree with Simon about the light on the ship. It wouldn't really be like that but hey it still looks awesome and gives more of a mood to the picture.
    I have a Question. I was trying to model a ginger bread man following a tutorial. I had to delete a half of a cube that I stated out with but when I went to delete it, it didn't select all of the vertices. It only selected the first vertices not the ones behind it. I used the multi select tool, shortcut "C". If you know what I mean do you know what the problem is? I'm sure it is not the program but me. Is there settings that I need to change? Thanks.
  • Thanks. Yeah, it's easier if you go to wire frame mode so that you can see and select any vertices. Are you mirroring the cube after you delete half of it?
    If you are... it's also easier if you go into edit mode with the cube selected. Subdivide the cube once and then delete the vertices that you don't need, then add a mirror modifier. This will speed up the modeling process. :D
  • Just made a mock logo for myself using some of the work provided for free in the link. You need Blender to edit the text. I slightly edited the 3D mesh to lower the poly count. This sped up the render times. I exported the Camera and empties out of Blender for use in HitFilm to accurately place light flares and the fluffy cloud effect and a pic of a sky in Hitfilm's 3D space. This was fun to make since I've never tried making 3D titles before.
    Hope you guys like this. :D
    http://youtu.be/LSrQmnKaGBo
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFmdhMemmw8
    Watch this on YouTube, look in description to download the .BLEND file.
  • Here's a pic of a comp that I'm working on. I tried out the HitFilm "FOG" setting for the atmospheric haze and it works amazingly well, and it's so easy to use. Just need to destroy the city and this comp will be ready to render.
    I didn't model the ships. You can download the 3D models from the link. It's a free .blend sharing site so let's hope the government doesn't come and shut it down. http://www.blendswap.com/blends/scenes/spaceships-look-up/

    :D
  • Woah. The lighting on that...How did you match it so seamlessly? This reminds me of District 9 :P
  • Glad you liked it.
    1. Create a composite shot.
    2. Go into your Composite shot properties.
    3. Click on advanced and you'll see an option for "Fog" Click enable.
    4. Use the color eye drop tool to pick a color from the background in your live footage from the Composite shot that you created.
    5. Set the near and far distance of your camera.
    6. In your comp, create a 3D camera.
    7. If you have any 3D layers in your comp, move them away from your camera in Z space and you'll see the same effect take place in your 3D layer as I created in the pic that I posted.
    Hope that I explained this correctly. :D
  • Yes very good. You didn't even let us have a chance to give constructive criticism. Jerk!
    Hey, as I said earlier I'm trying to learn Blender right now. I'm going to be making a medieval film this summer that I'm hoping to have entered into a film fest. Yeah I know stupid idea. It is a hard genre but we have many of the props, very good costumes made by my friend and some new actors and actresses that I think will be able to pull their parts off.
    Me being the director of the whole film, I'm in charge of basically everything including the effects. I need some scenes of actual people interacting with a 3d castle. I want to have some intro shots of the castle from far away and also my actors actually being in the castle. Like on the walls and in the courtyard. I know it is very hard but I don't think it is impossible. Do you guys have any idea how I could combine the footage with 3d? Know any good tutorials on it?
    I know I have high hopes but hopefully not impossible hopes. Thanks guys. And great work spydurhank. You've really inspired me.
  • No, I meant the lighting on the 3D model. xD Did you use a skylight in blender or what?
  • Thanks Vik. :D
    Keegs, I was going to use global illumination to fake the atmospheric fall off in Blender but that adds a few seconds of render time to each frame, and I'm all about speed and getting things rendered out ASAP. So I only used a single sun lamp set to 1.00 to get decent shadows. This was pretty much an experiment so that I could try out the Fog effect inside of HitFilm which apparently worked out very well. :D
    Vik, I haven't seen very many tutorials on what you're trying to do... except in the "Learn space Adventure" tutorial DVD from FXHome. All of the backgrounds used in that DVD were 3D models.
    There are some ways that you could do this though.
    1. Shoot your actors on green screen with the camera locked down on a tripod. This can be used for groups or large crowds that are not moving a whole lot, or a wide establishing shot.
    2. After you key them out in HitFilm, they will essentially be 2D planes that you can turn into 3D planes in HitFilm so that you can place them anywhere in 3D space.
    3. In Blender, model and texture your castle.
    4. Now you can animate your camera in a pan or zoom towards your castle.
    5. Place Empties anywhere that you want actors or extras to be located, such as atop the walls or a drawbridge.
    6. Lastly, after you render out your castle and or backgrounds... export you Blender camera and empties for use in HitFilm.
    7. Now you can use the empties which are now points in HitFilm to place your extras or actors accurately out in 3D space or on your castle.
    Now, for a more complicated shot.
    1. You can matchmove your footage in Blender, or whatever app you use, this depends on how large your green screen is, so that you won't have to do a whole lot of manual masking or Rotoscoping, but you will have way more freedom with your camera movements.
    2. Make sure that you have plenty of good tracking points on your green screen but you also need tracking points in between the green screen, your actors and the camera so that your matchmoving software sees some parallax to get a really good matchmove, this depends on how smoothly your camera is moving. You can use live props or items that should appear in your scene for tracking markers.
    3. Now import your castle or background and place them where ever you think they should be.
    4. Your background or castle should now automatically stay in place while your Blender camera moves exactly they way you moved your live camera.
    5. Place empties out in 3D space around your background or castle if you need extras in your shot.
    6. Lite and render your scene.
    7. Export your Blender camera and empties for use in HitFilm.
    I hope this makes sense. :D
  • Sounds great. It is possible then. LOL I'm going to have to learn a lot of this but hey you gotta start somewhere.
    What is an emptie?
    On step four of the second column you said to import my castle or background. Is that in Hitfilm? Well AE for me cause I don't have Hitfilm but I'm not really sure about steps three through five. If you could explain a little more I would greatly appreciate it. Once again thanks for you time. I know it doesn't come cheap these days.
  • Oops,
    When you do a matchmove in Blender or import a camera move from a different app... you need to save that project in Blender so that you don't lose any data. After that you can import 3D models with various file extensions such as .obj .3ds lwo and a bunch of other ones.

    Because Blender projects can be imported into each other and because Blender can't always properly import models created in other 3D apps... the easiest way is to... model your castle or any 3D assets in Blender, save that as a project with the file extension .blend, so once you open a new Blender project file, such as a camera match move, you can go to file, click append, navigate to where your castle .blend file is and click on it.
    You'll see some folders with all of the objects that you used to create the castle, if you had any lamps or cameras, they'll also be there.
    Click on the folder that reads objects. From there you can select your castle or the geometry that makes up your castle if you made it using separate objects. Blender will automatically import materials and textures.
    An "empty" is the same as a "null" object in after effects or a "point" in HitFilm.
    I use them to help me accurately place 2D or 3D effects from HitFilm into live footage mixed with rendered image sequences from Blender.
    Two good examples of using matchmove data from Blender in HitFilm are, the clip of the animated ship on my kitchen table. In Blender, I parented an empty to each of the ships engines. I then rendered the ship as an image sequence, after that I exported those two empties and the camera out of Blender and imported them into HitFilm as a camera and "points". In HitFilm, I parented a light flare effect to each of the points. I did the same thing for my mock logo clip.

    There's a script to export a camera and empties from Blender and into after effects that someone tinkered with so that it works with HitFilm. If you need it, let me know.
    I'm rendering out a few smoke simulations to add to the clip that I'm working on. when they're done I can probably record a short break down of the process if you want. :D It may be easier if you see it right?
  • Yeah thanks, you explain it well, it's just that I'm new to many of the features and processes of blender. A shot breakdown would be great.
    I tried looking for tuts on Youtube but sadly there weren't any. Maybe I'll try retyping and retyping.
  • Here are a few tutorial sites to get you started.
    http://www.blenderguru.com/
    http://cgcookie.com/blender/
    http://blendernerd.com/
    http://www.blenderdiplom.com/

    This site does have a few tuts but mostly it has a lot of development info and articles. They're all good reads though.
    http://www.foreverblender.com/
    Once you watch some tuts, you'll all of a sudden feel very familiar with Blender. :D
  • this is epic... going to have to try some of this. Thank you for the inspiration and the info!! B-)
  • Just downloaded Blender 2.62 and it has an add on for running scripts to AE. I animated a camera move in blender exported it to AE and the camera and the movement both showed up. 1% out of a million there. :)
    Thanks for the link. Very helpful. I also found a video from Creative cow. The guy uses Blender and AE to do the exact same thing that I want to do. It is kinda complex but I'll try it. Here is the link if you want to see it.
    http://library.creativecow.net/articles/ciccone_paolo/ae-exporter-blender/video-tutorial
  • Thanks Vik and Chad.
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