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

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  • And, YET ANOTHER Particle Clones test: At this point, I think I've got the technique mastered, so... Ready to actually do the tutorial.
    Lighting and atmospherics could be improved, but, again, the point of this test is to camera gimble objects with a defined front and back into mocha tracked footage.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5g_PBOOW5I
  • Getting better and better. As you said, lighting and various things could be improved upon but in terms of the particle movement itself it seems pretty spot on. I look forward to this tutorial!

  • 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!!!!


    For this particular iteration I took out the DOF blur. There are now reflections in the building, which looks pretty accurate. Used the method brainstormed after you last post, and it worked.
    Also put a helicopter around the camera, since I've always felt this shot was new copter footage. I don't know if it plays. But, heck with it.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUK32Tm_tu0
  • The reflective glass in the foreground building is actually a big part of what gives the shot away as being an animated still, as the reflections don't shift with the camera movement.
    The atmospheric smoke works better now. I think the helicopter is a really clever idea and definitely adds to the shot. 
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    edited February 2014
    @Simon... Hmmmm. You know, I added reflection to the background glass building (new Composite shot, tall and narrow to echo building shape, camera in 3D space where that building is in main comp, camera pointed out at guesstimate angle towards copy of MG fleet, using a new texture source so the lighting was correct. Embed in main comp, convert to 3D layer, position over building in 3D space, flip 180 on y axis, Hard Light blend), but didn't think about that FG center building.
    So... How to get a passable reflection in the FG building...?
    Idea: Embed new Composite. I need duplicate main comp camera, FG building layers. Create ADD mask around windows. Blow out to white to drive luma matte. (Or, just create this as a PNG in Photoshop. Either way, make luma matte)
    Create new building layer (duplicate BG, flip 180 Y axis), . Blur. Reveal with luma mask. Position the building layer in 3D space, closer to camera. Reverse camera Y rotation to create reflected motion. That will suggest buildings out of frame, I think.
    Then do the procedure I did with BG building for saucer
    Sound good?
    Glad you like the heli, but it's not working for me, yet. I need to get a heli model like something a news copter would use, not that damn Blackhawk, again.
    Cg motion blur looks good on objects shifting specially in frame, but the rotor is so constant that the "temporal echo/interpolation of motion/opacity mix" is jumping out.
    But: remember that Tron test where turning fps up from 30 to 90 made the wall smoother? Bet that works for motion blur, too... I bet if I turn up the fps of the comp to 90fps, then drag it to a 30fps editor timeline, I will get better blur, at the cost of tripling render time. Three hours for 25 seconds isn't unbearable.
  • All sounds reasonable to me! I like the concept of the helicopter but agree it's not really working just yet. You also really need a model with a higher detail interior. For a larger project it'd be even better to film inside a real helicopter with a greenscreen positioned outside.
  • It's definitely that foreground building that stands out as Simon mentioned.  I should have mentioned that in my original reply concerning the reflections. 
    With regards to the helicopter.  I do like that idea, in addition to using a higher quality interior - could you add the glass window to the helicopter - add a bit of reflection to the window / scratches?  Though the glass would be a very subtle change, mixed with a few reflections (specifically the foreground ship) from the scene could really pull that shot together. 
    Looking forward to the future tutorial ;)
  • All sounds reasonable to me! I like the concept of the helicopter but agree it's not really working just yet. You also really need a model with a higher detail interior. For a larger project it'd be even better to film inside a real helicopter with a greenscreen positioned outside.


    It might be worth waiting until summer and going to an airshow to see if anyone will let you film inside a helicopter.  And I know about 10 miles or so from where I live, there are some decommissioned Vietnam era aircraft in a city park that I could film in if I needed something like that.
     

  • Interesting thought, although I live five min from a private airport, and may be able to find a local who owns a copter. There's also a place near me called "Flight Deck," which does virtual air combat. They have full cockpit mockups, flight suits, and will allow film makers to rent for $200 on an off day. They even hold a green plate for their projectors to assist chromakey. Although, if I go through that time and effort, I need to be doing a full-invasion short film, not a test to refine a technique.
    @ES, decommissioned aircraft you can shoot? What a resource! Can you get cockpit access?
  • edited February 2014
    The Flight Deck place sounds awesome. I'd love to schedule a shoot in something like that.
    Unfortunately, no regular cockpit access.  Although, it might be possible to get permission to film in the cockpit if I asked or got a permit.  I've never tried.  It probably depends on whether the cockpit was welded shut or locked shut. heh  But certainly it should be possible to film exterior shots with a fold-able blue screen or something just run and gun.  There's a cobra helicopter, an F-105, and an M-60 tank.   
    http://www.honorourvets.org/pictorials.htm
  • @ES, Oh, y'know, cockpits are most likely welded shut! Still, there has to be something you can do there, even if it's just take reference photos in different lighting conditions for composite matching. That's a nice memorial. Sacramento did well.
    @Orange Pekoe--you know, when you said "the building with all the glass" my eye went to the tall BG tower, so that's what I did reflections for! Oops! On the other hand, I can  now do the foreground building.
    Oh, the more recent iteration of the LA Invasion with the DOF blur removed renders in under an hour--obviously DOF blur is very resource-intensive.
    Some interesting notes on helicopter windows--the camera isn't actually in the cockpit of the Blackhawk, but "mounted" on the left-side fuel tank. My thinking is more that News Helicopters usually mount the camera on a swivel point on the bottom, but I may cheat that to a cockpit shot in a later iteration, because I like the challenge.
    Also, I did tweak the color grades a bit--less blue, overall. I think it's a bit more "naturalistic."
    If anyone is interested, I actually tracked the aircraft carrier shot using the After Effects tracker (that overcast sky and so many off-white buildings was confusing Mocha--even setting master reference points I was getting a wobbly track). Then I used the script found HERE: http://aenhancers.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=971 to export the camera and a reference null to .ma format and imported into Hitfilm. Worked fantastically. Only thing I would about this script is it defaults units to 0.1 pixels which generates a tiny little space. I dialed that number up to 10 pixels.
    @ KristieT--thanks for the encouragement.
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    edited March 2014
    Notes taken and applied:
    I wasn't planning on doing this tonight, but another compositor buddy of mine showed up and we brainstormed on this and busted it out.
    http://youtu.be/MRrgEy9NsTw
    Edited: The version originally linked here had been deleted. This is the version that has a changelog on the next page of this thread.
  • OK, that was absolutely brilliant. 
    I had watched your previous helicopter short and it actually took me until the end of it to realise what was happening. I thought (partly due to our awful internet access here) that there was a glitch at the top right and bottom left of the screen (now realising that was the helicopter blades etc.)
    However this one is more obvious and gives you a feeling of claustrophobia which really helps with the kind of awe you're trying to achieve here. By the way, 0.25 is genius! I wasn't expecting it and it completely sells the effect to have the camera jumping and the helicopter seemingly tipping as that UFO comes down almost on top of it. Perfect. 
    I think you're almost there!
  • I'm really liking this last version!
  • Notes taken and applied:
    I wasn't planning on doing this tonight, but another compositor buddy of mine showed up and we brainstormed on this and busted it out.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlTCHzqNiqM

     Fan-freaking-tastic!
    The helicopter, glass, bump and shake make a huge impact on this scene now!  The camera movement and helicopter glass reflection really sells the viewing from a helicopter.
    Great job T!!! 
    Man.... I love the reflection on the glass at the end too near the bump!!

     

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    edited February 2014
    Thanks, guys!
    Simon/OP, front building reflection was built as described above:
    Have to give credit to my buddy, Pat, for that camera bump at the end. He had the idea to "handhold" the camera out the side window to focus on the close saucer. If it reads as a copter tumble, that's cool, too. Either way, derez-to-static makes me think the copter pilot is a casualty...
    OP, I never actually did any effects to build cockpit reflections. I think that beautiful blue thing that LOOKS like a cockpit reflection came from the Lens Dirt! Total happy accident!
    There's an odd glitch I haven't been able to figure out. At 19:18, the foreground particle saucers "flip" and "tilt" for some reason. This puts the lighting on the wrong side and reverses the saucer rotation. It's been doing that since version 1,but no one seems to have noticed.
    I'm going to have to update the VFX breakdown of this shot, aren't I?
  • Just looking at the helicopter shot over the aircraft carrier. Is this done using 3d models as the particles or is there some other technique in use to "fake" the effect?
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    edited March 2014
    I used a single 3D model to drive an animated texture source for the particle system. I have a tutorial project in-progress for a cool trick to match the texture source camera to the main comp animation camera so relative angles and lighting match up.
    The basic concept is to have copies of the main comp lights (and something for environment mapping) in your texture source layer. Scale the model so the model fills the frame, position lights and model so it's at the correct angle and lighting for frame one. Create a 3D point in the center of the model. Parent the camera to this point.
    You just built a virtual gimble. Rotating this "gimble point" orbits the camera around the model at a fixed distance.
    Copy the rotation and orientation of your main comp camera and paste it into the gimble point.
    Magic happens!
    There are other tricks to make it work better, easier, but, from there an experienced user can figure the rest out. This is a mammoth tutorial to do, especially since it's my first one!
    Anyway, the whole "particle series, " - - 'Copters London/San Diego, Planetary Fleet Bombardment/Fleet Flybys/Invasion and Particle Asteroids/Planetary Rings--are all this same technique. It's flexible, VERY powerful, but has it's drawbacks.
    Anyway, yeah, tutorial.
  • I think I understand what you have done but I will look forward to the tutorial nonetheless. It sounds quite clever though that's for sure
  • Thats awesome. The camera shake and helicopter cockpit makes it. I've noticed that Hitfilms DOF does create square shaped blur, like in earlier iterations of the shot. I dont think thats supposed to be intentional.  Hopefully that will get fixed in future versions. 
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    edited March 2014
    I think I remember Simon or Axel posting in a thread that DOF is a box-blur. It's certainly the fastest blur to compute, and DOF is s-l-o-w!
    The iterations with DOF blur took 17 and 9 hours to render (9 after I cleaned up my timeline). The most recent iteration took 42 minutes.
    I would say that, for a "2.5 D" shot (2D objects in 3D space) fake DOF with several instances of gaussian blur. For a true 3D shot, you'd have to use the DOF blur--unless an idea I've seen kicked around of kicking objects to pure-white and black distance fog to generate a depth map work. (Ugh, who's idea was that? It's a good idea!)
  • That latest version is very cool. The actual camera movement doesn't quite sell, in that when the first UFOs enter shot the handheld camera doesn't pan to look at them, as would probably happen with a real operator. But the bit with the big UFO coming into view is lovely.
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    Heck, the zoom is also wrong for handheld, too. I know I would crash-zoom out in that situation... Um.. The camera was mounted, then detached. That's my story and I'm sticking to it... (unless I revisit the shot again.)
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    edited March 2014
    I revisited the shot again....
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRrgEy9NsTw
    Hoo, boy...
    *Changed timing of zoom.
    *Changed camera motion for shot to be more "handheld." Certainly more panning.
    *Fine tuned building reflections.
    *Replaced Foreground Particle Fleet. (There was a glitch I couldn't figure out. Remaking it got rid of the glitch.)
    *Fine tuned Cockpit movement.
    *Added reflections (Environment map) to cockpit glass.
    *Corrected lighting for Copter--Cockpit is now shadowed by "Hero" Saucer.
    *Corrected Lens Grades--Added Cockpit to Luma Matte (Flare now occluded by solid parts of cockpit) and placed Lens Grades after Camera Shake.
    *Added more smoke layers and adjusted light rays in the title---just for fun...

    Basically, changing the camera move meant I had to fine-tune the whole thing again.
    Yeah, now I have to update the *#&@$! Breakdown....
    On the other hand, my tests with BB flashback are acceptable! I think first a quick tutorial on glass text and bevels before tackling the mammoth Particle Clones.
  • SimonKJonesSimonKJones Moderator
    edited March 2014
    Those tweaks make a big difference. In particular the reflection on the glass of the helicopter immediately makes it feel like you're inside a cockpit.
    Very, very cool.
    Edit: One interesting side effect of the cockpit is that it makes the city feel much more like a real 3D setup, whereas before it always looked like a couple of 2D comped layers. Having the extra parallax and detail in the extreme foreground sells the whole thing, really.
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    edited March 2014
    Yeah, I was thinking of a camera mounted on the bottom of a copter, like a news chopper, initially. Was you and OrangePekoe's suggestions that made me put it in the cockpit. Another friend suggested the handheld move. Got a lot of good ideas to improve this, so thank you all!!
    The new camera move has a lot more horizontal panning. The geometry of the cockpit and the crop for camera shake are covering up sections where the foreground buildings are peaking through from the background building layer. The building reflections help a lot, too.
    The cockpit is an 2D embedded composite with it's own lighting rig. The whole helicopter is around the camera, anchor point at the back of the cockpit with the copter rotating around a copy of the main camera a bit. The cockpit has it's own "wobble" keyframes Blurred for DOF. Keyframing it's lights let me anticipate the main saucer by having the cockpit dim about eight frames before the saucer occludes the sun flare. The reflection is from the window material being a dull, mid blue-grey, about 10% opaque, 25% diffuse, 40% specular reflectivity, about 150 for shine with material settings set to an environment map which is the source photo with it's original sky. So it's just the basic Hitfilm render as modified by the grade effects.
  • Those tweaks make a big difference. In particular the reflection on the glass of the helicopter immediately makes it feel like you're inside a cockpit.
    Very, very cool.
    Edit: One interesting side effect of the cockpit is that it makes the city feel much more like a real 3D setup, whereas before it always looked like a couple of 2D comped layers. Having the extra parallax and detail in the extreme foreground sells the whole thing, really.

     


    As Simon mentions about the cockpit layer helping the city feel like a real 3D setup, I think this is extremely important for scenes where you want to add the feeling of depth -- that foreground layer that establishes your natural "distance zones" -- 
    Same thing goes for the reflections on the glass it establishes that foreground presence.  Great job!
     


    Yeah, I was thinking of a camera mounted on the bottom of a copter, like a news chopper, initially. Was you and OrangePekoe's suggestions that made me put it in the cockpit. Another friend suggested the handheld move. Got a lot of good ideas to improve this, so thank you all!!
    The new camera move has a lot more horizontal panning. The geometry of the cockpit and the crop for camera shake are covering up sections where the foreground buildings are peaking through from the background building layer. The building reflections help a lot, too.
    The cockpit is an 2D embedded composite with it's own lighting rig. The whole helicopter is around the camera, anchor point at the back of the cockpit with the copter rotating around a copy of the main camera a bit. The cockpit has it's own "wobble" keyframes Blurred for DOF. Keyframing it's lights let me anticipate the main saucer by having the cockpit dim about eight frames before the saucer occludes the sun flare. The reflection is from the window material being a dull, mid blue-grey, about 10% opaque, 25% diffuse, 40% specular reflectivity, about 150 for shine with material settings set to an environment map which is the source photo with it's original sky. So it's just the basic Hitfilm render as modified by the grade effects.

     


    So the title of this video was "Final Version", how many versions did you end up doing with this project lol?
    I know I tend to go through A LOT of revisions, organizing all these during project file revisions... render revisions etc is a skill all in itself :S
    I think the scene is put together very convincingly at this point.  The only thing that stands out is when the helicopter is veering off away from the saucer.  The cockpit camera is locked perfectly on the saucer.
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    edited March 2014
    Hmmmm. Revision 1 had the camera pushing in, instead of pulling out. Revision 2, I rendered without some grades. Revision 3 added the "Hero" saucer, and was the first uploaded here. Revision 4 added the chopper--just for the main rotor. Revision 5 moved the camera to the outside tank on a Blackhawk model and was uploaded here. Revision 6 changed the copter model to a Bell, was uploaded here, and later deleted. Revision 7 is the current, after taking input from the forum on Revision 6.
    File organization is important to be sure, and on actual working projects I have a consistent method for naming revisions. A wedding I am currently doing is "140223_Tag_Wedding" 140223 is the event date (Feb 23, 2014). "Tag" is couple's last name. It's a wedding. The date prefix is also the invoice/billing number. The project will carry the date prefix on all filenames, and go thru the following versions for each segment: "Master Bins" (all footage sorted and logged) this is the start point for all segments to continue with "Synch" (aligning multicam), "Cut" (setting cut/transition points for cams) "Edit" (adjustments/time compression of the multicam cut), "Overlays" (adding graphics/lower thirds/titles) "Audio" (balancing audio, of course), "Final" (color correct/grade) and "Mastered" (move all segments into final timeline and set DVD/Blu-ray chapters). Sub-revisions of each stage have a letter suffix.. "Edit A," "Edit B," etc.
    For a wedding, my segments are: "Prep" (bride/groom dressing, if shot), "Pre-Ceremony" (on-site, candids, B-roll), "Ceremony," "Entrance" (Reception from Grand Entrance/First Dance(s)/speeches), "Cake" (cutting), "Garter" (Garter and Bouquet toss), "Interviews" (drunken guests saying "Congratulations! Have lits if babies!"), and "Dancing" (reception B-roll).
    Films are organized in a similar way, but by scene number. Same with other events, but concerts or seminars are a single timeline, not segmented.
    For this Particle Invasion project, like most of my Hitfilm experiments where I am just playing and learning, I copy all source media to the project folder, but have been just overwriting the same project file.
    Ok, Kristie brought this up as well.--Is the camera move at @19 seconds reading as a rapid movement of the copter? It's intended as the cameraman shoving his lens out the side window to shoot a close-up of the final saucer, not as a copter movement, so that might not be clear.
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    Curse you, Simon Jones!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZykcdJTvCm4
    Animating the radio waves with the extrusion is neat, too!
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    http://youtu.be/kN6uHcB5NeA

    Radio Waves and Parallax
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