Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Compositing Live Action & Green Screen

So now the fun part! Filming & Compositing!!!

I had to change my idea a bit for the Motion Design students to help me out ... which, in the end, never happened as they would not get back to me at all! ... but I won't get into that.

Instead of the Advert being made entirely of Live Action footage I added Green Screen elements so that the world would change to be CG to fit better with the Boy's imagination.

It's been very challenging to time the CG characters' animation to move with the Boy after keying out the Green Screen. The same with the camera. This was even more of a challenge as the camera movements had to match exactly with the live action footage taken in the Green Screen studio, otherwise the CG looked totally out of place and did not fit in or look good at all.

Here's an example of one of the shots, from Green Screen to Animation. This was probably the hardest shot to do, but I am very happy with how it turned out. All it needs now is a bit of masking tweaks, rendering and colour correction.

Green Screen Edit:

Green Screen Edit from Aled Matthews on Vimeo.

Keyed out with Animation and Camera movement:

Final Alley Test from Aled Matthews on Vimeo.

Compositing CG into the Live Action background plates was more of a frustrating experience than compositing from Green Screen. Any slight movement in the camera which hadn't tracked properly would mess up the CG characters' movement, resulting in it wobbling or sliding which didn't help with trying to convey the character being in the world with the Live Action Boy character. As I hadn't had experience using the software Boujou for tracking before, I couldn't manage to fix the problem from there, so instead I had to manually (and painfully) animate the sliding characters on almost every frame to have it stay in the right place. Luckily I think I managed to pull it off, at least as best I could. I still notice a little bit of sliding, but hopefully no one else will!

This shot isn't the one which had the sliding problem, but this is an example of the Boujou tracking work I've been working on.

Live Action Footage:

Boujou Live Action Plate from Aled Matthews on Vimeo.

I was playing around with lighting and HDRI, and here's a test Render of the Elephant character in with the Live Action plate. The metal texture isn't there on the wheels for this render, and the Ambient Occlusion and Floor Shadows hasn't been added so he doesn't look perfect in with the real world right now, so once it's added it should look a lot nicer; but this is just a sneak preview of how the final film will look:


Here's the final look for my Rocket character.
I guess it's the least impressive of the 3 characters, and definitely the least difficult one to make, but it is only a simple Rocket design after all, and I'm happy with the result. The reason for the many polys is for it to be able to bend and stretch without horrible deformation.

Mesh Turnaround:

Rocket Mesh Turnaround from Aled Matthews on Vimeo.

Textured Turnaround:

Rocket Textured Turnaround from Aled Matthews on Vimeo.

The textures are just made using textures in the Material Editor in 3Ds Max. I gave it a bit of gloss and voila! Very simple! I UV Unwrapped the head piece of the Rocket to give it the shape of the screen for around his eyes

UV Unwrap:


Elephant Textured

My Elephant character is a cuddly toy so the best way to show this is to add Hair & Fur.
After many attempts at making the hair I finally had one which looked cool.
As I hadn't used the Hair & Fur modifier before it was a bit of a challenge. I was given advice by others to up the hair count to make it look even. Turns out that wasn't what I wanted. I ended up with 5,000,000 hairs on my elephant which took an hour and a half to render 1 frame, and it didn't even look that nice!

Here's examples of the process of my first attempt at making hair ... as you can see they don't look very nice (the weird dark blue at the end of the trunk is due to lighting):

This is not what I was going for at all. The hair looks very short and harsh, not cuddly at all, so after talking to my friend Joe O'C, who had some experience with the Hair & Fur modifier, I managed to get something which looked 10 times better! Much more cuddly! :)

And here it is!:

Elephant Textured Turnaround from Aled Matthews on Vimeo.

I made a simple coloured texture for the Elephant's mesh so that the little gaps in the hair were not noticable, because without it there were different coloured bits scattered around the model which looked wrong and out of place.

UV Unwrap:


The tyres were a lot of fun to make. I didn't build in the grooves so I had to use Normal Maps instead which was a bit of a challenger to get to look right, but I'm happy with the results.

UV Unwrap:


Normal Map:


Ambient Occlusion:

Friday, 7 May 2010

Final Pre-Viz

At last there's a FINAL Pre-Viz!!!

After many, MANY iterations of the Pre-Viz with tweaks to the camera, shots, speed/duration, story etc. I finally have one I can work with ... and here it is!

Again, this has been done for a few weeks now, but I've been SUPER busy with work so unfortunately I've been a bit behind with blogging

(btw. yes the CAPS were necessary)

I won't bore you with all the different versions of my Pre-Viz so here's just the Final one

Main changes:
  • Better transition from Bedroom scene to Dream scene
  • Dream sequence is now more of a Braveheart 'Stand Off' type scene between the Boy and his Friends and the Monsters
  • Boy now introduces his Friend characters by imagining them to appear one by one in his dream
  • Boy goes outside of his house to go to school ... 4 Bullies who represent the 4 Monsters are outside on the other side of the street watching the Boy
  • Boy imagines his friends to appear and as he does the world starts changing into a cg world of his drawings
  • Rest of the story is pretty much the same except now the Monster at the end morphs into the 1 Bully from the beginning who walks off screen

Final Pre-Viz from Aled Matthews on Vimeo.