Back on Track!

Over the past year I had the opportunity to work on Star Wars, 10 Cloverfield Lane and more recently Star Trek Beyond (not titles this time).  Whew! Now that I am focusing on Video Copilot Full-Time (YAY!!) I’ve noticed something different.

It started with Saber. (Our free Energy Beam plug-in)
It was my first thing after getting out from underneath the visual effects tsunami of working on features. It started as a simple plug-in that would kick things off again. But while working on the promo video with my release date set, something seemed off.

The plug-in wasn’t good enough!

It was OK but not up the Video Copilot standards. After-all, it’s been so long since I had done something new, I wanted it to be REALLY COOL! But it needed more work.

Not really an ideal way to approach a hard deadline.

As I worked on promo video to show off what the plug-in could do,  I would say to myself: “We need better noise options”, “We need control over masking and glow order?”, “What if you could use Text Layers too!?”, “I need to create a specific look and we need to add distortion!”, “We need a preset managers!”

I love making software, so even thought we were running out of time, we needed...

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1 hour ago
RECENT POSTS
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Render Challenges!
I’ve been playing around in Element 3D a lot and I was thinking about starting some kind of animation challenge. It’s actually been a fun free-form exercise to create something without specific parameters or rules. To design this way feels very organic and mistakes help to drive new ideas. Plus it’s an excuse to practice new techniques. […]
New Plug-in TRAILER! Update: 3
Our new plug-in trailer is finally online! I hope you guys can see how much work went into this! The plug-in and Tutorial will be available today-ish! Watch on youtube in HD! UPDATE: Might be a long night but this plug-in is coming out! UPDATE 2: Dinner time. Long night ahead… Not going to bed until […]
VIDEO: NAB Presentation on Star Wars!
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Shafted!

Apparently this blog show wouldn’t be complete without a shot of my Elevator Shaft. I don’t want to say too much yet, but a silly idea came up and we wanted to include a shot of an Elevator! So the episode is taking a little longer to complete.  Why am I always waiting on Elevators!!!?

This scene was created inside of Element 3D and I found that using a world position pass helped to composite elements into the scene better. A Z-pass is great but with a camera movement the depth changes based on the camera distance. But a world position pass is almost like a texture that stays in place. So you can create depth information that stays parallel to a surface so you can composite smoke or other live action elements. Here is an older video with some information about the World Position feature inside Element 3D.

Notice how the world position pass highlights the back wall evenly behind the scaffolding. This could also be used as a mask for color correction or placing dust elements against the wall.

Doing a show in Japan this November! #VideoCopilot

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POSTED:
1 week ago
Render Challenges!

I’ve been playing around in Element 3D a lot and I was thinking about starting some kind of animation challenge. It’s actually been a fun free-form exercise to create something without specific parameters or rules. To design this way feels very organic and mistakes help to drive new ideas. Plus it’s an excuse to practice new techniques.

I love seeing others designers that do daily/weekly renders like Beeple and see how it evolves over time. Have you guys started a daily or weekly render challenge? What helps keep you consistent? What have you been able to learn from it?

I’m going to try and do a few designs every month and see where it goes! And I’m sure there could be a tutorial or two based on some of my favorites. I was actually thinking about this more, doing a few design tutorials that just get into my process and show how a design evolves and be a little less linear…

Orange Peel #Element3D #Take2

A video posted by Video Copilot (@andrewkramer) on

WhipSplash #Element3D Deform and twist.

A video posted by Video Copilot (@andrewkramer) on

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POSTED:
2 weeks ago
Video Copilot Show Returns!

The Video Copilot Show is back! What is the Video Copilot show? And where did it go? Well, we used to do this thing where we filmed stuff we made…

Starting next week we will be taking you behind the scenes as we try to pull another intense visual effects shot!  Our goal was to try and do something more challenging and show examples of what issues may come up when shooting for visual effects and how to solve them!  Or at least hide them enough so nobody notices.

Visual Effects are evolving and we want keep pushing the complexity of our tutorials. That is why we’ll be covering things like matte painting, 3D set extensions, and crazy stuff like compositing translucent surfaces… I’ll explain later!

The upcoming episode is one of the most complex ones we’ve done and I imagine in the future we will probably get lazy and just film some dust flying around

Right now, I’m splitting my time between finishing our short film Intercept (Circa 2015) and some killer software development and design projects. The new Video Copilot show will hopefully be a vehicle to focus on specific visual effects and creating them from start to finish!

NOTE: Plug-in Installers Updated for After Effects 15.3
Some of you may know that you can copy the “Video Copilot” Plug-in folder over to the new After Effects plug-in folder but we also updated the installers as well. You can log-in to get the latest installers for Element 3D V2, Optical Flares and Heat Distortion. Or download the new Saber installer here!

 

I’ve also been experimenting with Element 3D almost everyday… Looking forward to showing you what we’ve been working on after a few of these projects drop!

Reloading. #element3d & Motion Design 2 with Animation engine!

A video posted by Video Copilot (@andrewkramer) on

 

POSTED:
2 weeks ago
Intercept update and a Look Ahead!

As I started work today I was overcome with a feeling of positive energy that real progress was underway. I got a chance to see major updates on some new plug-ins we’re developing and one high-flying model pack. Plus this week I had a chance to shoot a new Blog Show and make some big progress on my short film Intercept!

I know there have been some bumps in the road this past year but I finally feel like I’m back into a solid balance with life and work and family! The spinning wheels are finally gaining tracking and we’re moving forward again!

The above video is a small taste of some of the  VFX we’re doing for Intercept and yes the car crashes are rendered in Element 3D!!  I don’t quite have a release date for the film but I have a target in mind and I’m working towards that goal.

With the new Saber plug-in and Star Pack I’m getting better at balancing the amount of work it realistically takes to create high quality stuff as my expectations have gone up (Especially after working on Star Wars!) and I know the community wants to see more in depth and high quality tutorials and that is what we are going to focus on this year!

 

Working on a blog show!

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POSTED:
2 months ago
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148. The Grid
Create an intricate grid design using built-in tools
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Keynote Speech from the 2014 AE World conference!
Blog Show
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Check out the new blog show on creating real volumetric light!
Plugins
Stock Footage