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



  • @Triem23 sorry if I'm digging back into ancient history, but do you have a tutorial or writeup posted anywhere about how you did that Dalek shot Simon featured in the old Projection effect tutorial?

  • @SteveKarstensen not yet, but there will be one eventually. 

    The version of the shot Simon used in the Camera Projection tutorial was abandoned for a couple of reasons--first, when *I*saw Simon's tutorial I realized I set that shot up in kind of a stupid way, and second, the background image isn't mine. I have a new version in progress that's set up better and uses one of my photos as the source image (which means I can distribute that with the tutorial. 

    Here's the original  shot (3'rd Draft)  for reference:

    The most recent test (Redo, 6th Draft)  is this:

    I have a few things to fix here (I am experimenting with a couple of different ways of creating and matting explosions, and a few other tweaks. But I will say there's enough going on here where it's going to require a video tutorial. I think a write up would be too hard to follow (and I am king of the long write up). 

    A few general notes. The original version had unilluminated screens, but a lot of lights on the Daleks (basically there's one light for each light pair on each wall and several lights on the ceiling.) The shot was staged so the models composite in 2D mode so I can use effects like Light Wrap. The screens are just a box--one floor, two walls, one ceiling and a back wall. 

    The updated version has 15(!) screens (or is it 18?) which ARE Illuminated by the lights (there are 28 shadow-casting lights)--and those walls screens are baked into the source layer for the projection. 

  • Thanks!  I was mostly trying to figure out if you'd gone with the box approach or if you'd separately "layered" out all of the corridor details, like how the Splinter Cell guys did it.  I'm still trying to wrap my brain around how to use the Projection effect, er, effectively beyond that so any additional information is always welcome.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    edited February 2016

    @SteveKarstensen Well... let's see if I can talk through some of this. (Everyone else *ahem* @SimonKJones @InscapeDigital --welcome to your advanced Projection setup masterclass....)

    Original Photo: Heathrow Metro tunnel, my long-suffering wife patiently waiting as her hubby snaps yet another picture during the honeymoon.

    After Photoshop: Note that the "white" monitors are actually transparent holes. Same with the skylights. This means the projected image has transparent areas--so I can put and environment wrap in the world and you'll see it thru the skylights!

    And here's the monitor overlay:

    And a quick perspective guide I drew in Photoshop:

    And the setup for the projection screens:

    So---notice here that my screens all have Grid and Tint effects on them to better see what's happening. The Floor layer is currently selected. Notice that the anchor point for the floor layer is not in the center, but at a far corner. Basically I dragged my Floor plane out and lined it up with the perspective of the source picture, using the perspective guide I drew to help as well. Having the anchor point at the corner made this a hell of a lot easier, too! I first did it with the anchor in the center, and that was miserable.

    With the anchor point at the corner it became easy!

    Align floor. Duplicate floor and change it's tint. Drag duplicate left on X-axis until the right edge of the duplicate lines up with the left edge of the floor. Use perspective guide for reference. Rotate Duplicate into proper angle on Z-axis. This is why I moved the anchor point to that far corner! Since the plane is rotating at it's edge now and not it's center it stays lined up with the previous plane. Once duplicate is rotated, adjust X-scale till it fits the perspective guide. Again, we're scaling from that trailing edge so it stays locked to the previous plane!

    And I worked clockwise around the tunnel. Duplicate, change tint, Slide on X-axis, Rotate on Z-Axis, Scale X-Axis, repeat.

    For the monitor inserts I took the desired media( Let's say it was 900x900 to make it easier to explain) into a 900x300 Composite Shot and lined up the top. Add scan lines. Duplicate Composite Shot and slide media up 300 px. Duplicate again and slide media up 300 px. Now I have top/middle/bottom. Drag monitor insert composites into the projector source composite (hallway) and use quad warp to pin each insert into it's monitor segment. Bring in the monitor overlay and plop it on top in Multiply mode at a low opacity. Proxy this.

    Make sense?

    The key thing here was that I moved the anchor points for the Projector Screens to corners. One more time--I've found it's a lot easier to align Projector Screen in a scene is the anchor point is on that corner instead of the center, so I align the anchor point to the desired location, and then I can scale and rotate without messing up the position.

    Oh, yes--the "Video Feedback" on the two side monitors that happen to be showing the main scene? Yeah, it looks cools, but that was a render with no monitor insert. Place render into monitors. Re-render animation. Replace monitor insert with new version. Re-render animation. Replace monitor insert with new version. If anyone has an idea on an easier way to do this ( @AxelWilkenson I'm counting on you for a "Or you could just..." here) than brute-force rendering, re-rendering, re-re-rendering, re-re-re-rendering, I'd be happy!

    Style Note--the other two monitors show clips from "Genesis of the Daleks." Tom Baker and Davros, among others. Genesis of the Daleks clips are also monitor inserts in the original version of the shot that Simon featured in his projector tutorial, but they were too small to notice.

  • Thanks for taking the time to write all that up; it definitely clears up a few things.  I think my biggest sticking point was the original "grassy field" tutorial could probably be replicated(...I think?) by just changing the field to a 3D layer and rotating it to use as the ground., so I didn't really see the advantage other than being able to use a photo.  When you need to project parts of an image onto multiple planes, especially when they're meant to imply non-flat surfaces or complex shapes, that's where the real magic happens.  Great job on the shot.

  • Well, in Simon's tutorial the reason he used projection and not just rotating a 3D plane was that the source picture was in perspective and a rotation wouldn't have worked. But, also, that tutorial was just to show the basic setup without getting too complicated. STARTING with a 12 screen monstrosity would have scared people off! I happen to know that's Simon's reasoning because when he asked if he could use my Dalek shot as an example I talked to him about some of the alpha tricks and other things going on and his actual response was, "Let's keep it simple to start and not scare everyone with complexity."

    It's tricky putting together tutorials and walkthroughs because everyone wants the big complex effect, but not everyone is ready to be shown that yet since they don't get the basics.

    @PaulHesh sorry, forgot to respond to you earlier. The video you linked was interesting for me because the tutor worked pretty much backwards from how I set up my Depth Map. He worked foreground to background moving from his highlights to shadows and I worked background to foreground, shadows to highlights. Otherwise, yeah I'd mask an area. Sometimes I would use a gradient (on the TIE cockpit's walls) and other times I was just painting, using a white brush at 10% opacity to build up my strokes. Of course he was masking for Lens Blur--btw that technique adapts to Hitfilm by bringing in the Depth Map, creating a Grade Layer, putting a Set Matte/Luma on the grade, then the Lens Blue effect. Good video! Thanks for sharing!

  • Is the thing that looks like 虫 in your Triem Test 003: Haloween Hootenanny supposed to be a Chinese character? 'cuz I know some Chinese to tell that IT means "insect".

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    edited February 2016

    @114YiDack It's theJapanese character for insect. It's almost, but not quite identical to the Chinese character. The sponser and host of Halloween Hootenanny is my friend Jeremy Bug Ojeda (yes, "Bug" is his real middle name), and Bug lived in Okinawa for several years,  so he uses that glyph to represent himself.

    I'm Michael M. Miller, so any version of this symbol that I use as my avatar on here me...

    Triem=Tri 'M'=3 "M's" and the Triem Glyph is three stylised. "M's" interlocking. :-) 

    Good eye! 

  • Simply masking out the grass and rotating it around wouldn't work - even though it seems like it should in your head. The problem is that rotating the grass layer skews the perspective in such a way that it looks like someone took a photo and put it flat on the ground.

    Projection instead keeps the image face on to the camera, while adding the perspective of the projection screen layer. That way you get far more convincing parallax. It takes a bit of mental adjustment. :)

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    edited March 2016

    @SteveKarstensen @SimonKJones explained the difference between rotating a plane and using projection better than I did. 

    Speaking of Projection... Shot in progress... Still need to add in the rest of the ships, weapons and explosions, but the one ship here has a interesting "reverse gimbal" rig. There is a point inside the camera, and the ship is parented to it. A little X and Y rotation, and we're done. 

    The city itself startedas a single picture, but it's been cut into four layers. In Photoshop the layers were patched in (so for the layer behind the tallest buildings the tall buildings were removed and the background filled in with tons of cloning) and exported as seperate files. There's a ground plane layer, then three layers for buildings and horizon. Building and horizon layers are perpendicular to the ground plane, and all layers share a camera. The mid-upper sky is a 3D plane with a keyframed Quad Warp shifting skewing the top edge to fake parallax. Effectively the shot combines Projection,  2.5 D animation and Quad warping with a 3D model. 

    EDIT: Video here deleted--replaced with updated version, below.


  • The second half of that shot works really nicely, but the clouds at the start are rather peculiar - they seem to be moving in the wrong direction in terms of perspective.

  • @SimonKJones I probably have a mismatch in my two cloud plates. I hadn't intended to post that first draft, but we were already discussing Projection, and, well, it took a long time to do all the masking and replacement on that dense 6k image. I'll take another look at it.  :-) 

    Side note from observation. Light Wrap seems to be a surprising resource hog! 

  • @triem23;

    So, if I understand you correctly, you parented a point layer to your camera and then parented the ship to the point, so that moving the camera would also move the ship?

  • @SteveKarstensen correct. It's actually kind of a stupid rig.. The camera is moving to it's right, while the ship is moving to camera left, si that's a little strange. But then I rotate the point the ship is parented to to get that arc movement. 

  • Light wrap is likely to vary in terms of its performance, as it'll depend entirely on the source layer. If it's an intensive source layer, then light wrap will take a while too.

  • @SimonKJones For that particular shot I have seperate light wraps on each Projection layer and the TIE but each Light Wrap has it's own grade to drive it, and each layer is 4K. I suppose it all adds up. ;-) 

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Aaaaaand.... A couple of these shots have been abandoned, because I have changed the primary setting/location... But they came out well enough to share.

  • edited March 2016

    Yeah they did! That poor 'window' washer. Did he work for Microsoft? lol As always- BRAVO!!!

    EDIT: BTW- I had to back track a few days to look at the other things you posted. Thanks for the great info! I just can't keep up anymore- I'm still on week 2 of the VFX class! I don't know where you find the time.

  • Very nice!

  •  That was awesome! Your camera moves are always on point!

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Thanks guys! @Keegan since I do a lot of field production work AS a cam op I've actually thought camera moves was one of my stronger areas as an animator since I "get" how an op would have to shoot a scene. I actually rig my camera in different way depending on if I'm trying to simulate a tripod, handheld, crane, jib or gimbal shot.

    Oh, hell, let me tag the gang here--lecture time! @StormyKnight @Stargazer54 @StephansBilderwelt @SteveKarstenstensen @GrayMotion @NxVisualStudio @SimonKJones @AxelWilkenson @Aladdin4d @NormanPCN @Life_Leadership I know I'm forgetting people I should tag for this....

    Simon and Axel in particular might already be familiar with all this: let's talk camera rigs for a quick second. Starting with Hitfilm's thinking of motion.

    Most of you know Hitfilm uses Euler rotation for positions. Two key things here are that rotation for any point is calculated in the order of XYZ, and any axis hitting an exact multiple of 90 degrees causes a mathematical "gimble lock" where the other two axes kind of "lock together."

    Rotation order is the important one for this--an XYZ rotation order more-or-less replicates that way a handheld camera is going to move. For the most part the cam op will bend at the waist if looking up or down (X-rotation), then point side to side (Y-rotation) and finally adjust the horizon (Z-rotation). Great! For a handheld shot you're fine with the defaults! (Except we all rig our cameras to points first in some way, yes?) So, for accurate tripod movement you have to split to a multi-point rig with this parenting arrangment. This lets you pan sideways before tilting vertically, which is, of course, how it really works. From here on out this setup is called a "Yoke Rig," because that's really what it is.

    Jibs and Cranes need this same type Yoke setup for the tripod head, but with more points. In either case Y-Pan should parent to another point (that can be in identical co-ordinates with Y-Pan), ("Counterbalance"). Counterbalance is parented to "Jib/Crane X-Tilt" (i.e. the back/pivot point for the arm) which is parented to Jib/Crane Y-Pan. Yes, it's another Yoke rig." now, keyframing  Jib X-Tilt is going to cause your camera to point off in the distance along the virtual jib arm--so Counterbalance should be a copy of Jib X-Tilt at a negative value (that "Reverse the Polarity" function in Hitfilm 4 Pro update #4 just became useful! ;-) ) which keeps the camera pointed "straight forward" like a real jib would do. You can also move the yoke rig for the tripod head around to simulate real setups--like the head pivots for a crane camera are ABOVE the camera, not below like on a tripod.

    Gimbles are just mounting the camera pivot point inside the target object, and Simon's covered that well in his HF3 Plane-through-clouds tutorial.

    Some, but not all of this is made obsolete by the auto-targeting camera in Hitfilm 4 pro, but even then I recommend NOT auto targeting the camera. This function is going to rotate the camera around it's nodal point, which doesn't usually happen in reality (unless you're using a nodal head of course). Even with auto-targeting I still recommend parenting the camera to an offset point representing the camera mount and auto-targeting the MOUNT layer. It's a small thing but it will make the auto-targeting feel more "real."

    For those of you who already knew or had figured this out, I hope you tuned out three paragraphs ago--for the rest of you, I also not a lot of this applies to object rigs--and also note you can re-rig camera and object to points as needed to alter order of rotation--using a plane as an example (Ben, correct me if wrong here--you'd know), when a plane turns, first the wing flaps kick in banking the plane (Z-rotation/roll) starting the turn (Y-rotation/yaw) with tail flaps correcting orientation (X-axis/pitch), so the proper rotation order for a flying plane is ZYX.  I think proper rotation for a helicopter is YZX..

  • Very interesting, thanks for that. 

  • Okay- give me a minute to let all that sink in............ I'll have to read this again at home- too many distractions at work to 'get' it all.

  • I have read it a couple of times.....

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Look at your camera tripod as you read it. The prop will help "set" the description. It's tricky to visualize. 

  • Since I have to use my tripod tonight for a photo shoot at the theater- I will do just that!.......before I leave or once I get home and still have the tripod out.

  • @Triem23 ahhhhhh  you have solved more than one mystery and many unasked questions! I'll address the one closest to you first and then work mt wat outwards.

    I see:Triple M or Tri M. (good thing you're not Anti Em...ahem...insert eye roll [or is it "U" roll?] here) 

    & 3M was already trade-M-ed.

    Thanks for the X plane ation, on that as well as Camera rigging.

    Very useful as I will be gyre-ing and "gimble-ing" in the  stormy wabe ahead.

    Very very useful indeed!!

    And speaking of Gimbles and Pitch, Yaw  & Roll (etc.):

    have you ever noticed how much Seafaring Jargon has been cemented  into our vocabulary and  can be found in totally unexpected places that are far from any Sea?

    Right now you could say I'm blogging all this.

    Blog= Web+Log, as in logging on the web.

    Why is it called Logging? Thought you'd never ask so I did it for you!

    Well let's go back to the High Tech days of Yesteryore when sailing ruled the world. 

    To find out the speed of your ship you would throw a log  or piece of wood overboard which was tied to a knotted rope. The log stayed pretty much in one place as the ship moved forward and you would count how many knots played out which told you how many "nauts" you were traveling.

    The Captain would then record this number in the "log"book.

    Ooops! Sorry to commandeer (more sailing jargon) your page!

    Anyway I also liked how you adjust the  anchor(damn sailing!) points to a far corner! That alone will be saving me hours of head and finger ache!!

    As for the Heathrow Metro Tunnel: love what you with the place! ;)

    Thanks for the valuable info ! I need to get back to this Forum more often . It'll take some time to go back through your thread.

  • edited March 2016


    Lots of good info! Though I wish I could watch you work so see exactly what you're talking about....Wait.... Did you hear that?..... It sounds like.... Someone's chanting something...... "Arboreal?"  "Memorial...?" .... "TUTORIAL?!?!?"


  • All I'm saying is watch this space, Triem23 has some up his sleeve ........

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Well... my current sequence is taking far longer than anticipated... By the time it's done, the core joke will be five months obsolete.

    Anyways, here's a work-in-progress test of a Camera Projection setup in Hitfilm Pro 4.

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