Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I've got nothing better to do right now, so i'm gonna lay out all the After Effects stuff going on in this shot for shits/giggles. Cause i'm bored. There's nothing CGI in here (and the whole film) except atmospheric stuff - haze, fire etc.

Background

An HDR pic of a local spot. There's an adjustment layer on it with a brightness contrast going down. All layers are set to 3D; background is at 5000 pixels.

The Stake

It's about 10" high. HDR photograph on a bluscreen. Took a separate exposure with different lighting with the camera in the same spot. Brought that pic and the HDR pic into AE, put Keylight on it, and set it to 'screen matte'. Saved frame as photoshop layers. Used the resulting matte as a photoshop mask to cut out the stake. Put it at about 2500 pixels back.

Banner(s)

Same deal; HDR pic and separate exposure for bluescreen. Cut off the bottom of the flagpole, and put it and the banner on separate layers. In AE, did a precomp with just the banner. Keyframed a mesh warp to make it wave. Put the precomp into the shot, and then stuck in the flagpole, and parented it to the banner. They're at about 2000 pixels back or something.

Dudes

Same deal. I photoshopped out the torch and hand and rotated it about 20 degrees to the left so it wouldn't sit right in front of the stake. I stuck a 'CC generate light rays' on the torch. Mike has, or is getting, a pack of pre-matted fire, including torches. He'll put one of those on there when he gets this project.

There's a smoke dealie going on behind the stake; it's a white solid with a 'generate fractal noise' going down. Set it to 'screen' I think. Evolution is keyframed.

Copied the smoke dealie and put it in the foreground, changed the evolution keyframing and messed with it a bit. I had plans to put another dude on the left, but I liked what the foreground haze/smoke did for the composition. So I left it.


Camera

There's a camera going on here two. Can't really remember what the settings are. I think depth of field is enabled. It's got an expression-tool wiggle of (0.5,5) going down.



I sure like this way of working. Building up a shot from various elements. Kinda like painting.
video

Here's the clip. In tiny low res grainy quality. I could probably post it on a video site and embed the thing, but i'm too lazy. And youtube is gross.

There's a wee bit of 'wiggle' on a couple of the shots. I'm sure digging the expression tools in After Effects. It's ruthless with the syntax (like programming language) but they sho' work good. Instead of keyframing a little bit of camera shake with the 'wiggler', I just bust out the wiggle expression. No keyframes. Which makes life a lot easier. Having to redo the keyframing wiggle-tool every time I want to adjust the overall camera movement is a pain. Now I can change the overall camera movement all I want, and the un-keyframed wiggle expression tool just goes along with it.


Two more shots from 1B. Only eight in total. Scary dudes. These screen grabs are exactly half the size of a final full frame.

The symbol on the banners is pretty weird. I was trying to come up with something in photoshop involving a pic of a helmet and a crow. And I made some kinda early-Modernist automatiste monster. So I slapped it in there.



First four shots from scene 1B. Still need a little work, but close to final. I didn't know til recently that if you import a .psd file into After Effects, it preserves layer masks. Which is handy. So I can do a quick temp job on the masking for the dudes. And somebody else can go back in later and improve them.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

video
Wish I could upload in higher res.

1B is happening pretty quick. Not much longer now.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Scene 1B wide shot comp test. Gonna need some photoshopping. I bought the horses. They're little plastic ones. They ain't gonna move, so why not. Might try to put dudes on them. Via photoshop.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

video
1B soldiers comp test. Dudes pictured may be final, assuming Dave doesn't hate my lighting too much.

This is a fun-ass scene. Gonna toss in a couple up-close wide-angle shots. Kind of a Eisenstein 'Alexander Nevsky' kinda thing. This thing should scare kids pretty good. In a good way.

Monday, November 08, 2010



Sho' is hard doing this stuff while making a living and having a career.

Tests for scene 1B. Gonna be real fun. Gonna shoot an assload of soldiers, matte em' out, and stick em in. Then gonna parallax the shit outta them.
 
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