So the Academy Awards for best visual effects is upon us and we momentarily focus on the impressive work created by the many thankless visual effects artists around the world!
Not that my opinion matters, (Although I was the first to combine an After Effects Tutorial with MS Paint) but I started to think about the idea of giving an award for best VFX. How do you choose? Luckily, I don’t have to.
Visual Effects is the art of problem solving. Every shot, every movie, every challenge is different. I look at the body of work in this years academy awards and think, “every one of these movies did their job exactly right”. The visual effects all expanded the story, the world and created an impressive experience. Not to mention the films that were not nominated like Pacific Rim.
Was one movie more or less innovative than another? I don’t know. I do know that the end result does not always tell the story of what it takes to get there.
The film Gravity created some stunning work that has never been done before on that scale and pulled it off flawlessly. The set extensions in Lone Ranger were some of the best I’ve EVER seen. And did you see the Star Trek into Darkness End Titles? AMAZING! I mean… Well…
The point is this: I think every person on the post side of visual effects will probably be lost in the the controversy over wether or not Leonardo DiCaprio wins or loses. But maybe we can all take a moment to talk about the great visual effects shots you remember from this past year! Leave a comment, maybe the artist who created it is reading!
PS: Go LEO!
Strap in! The team at Funny or Die has put together a new video & a contest that is perfect for VFX and they even let me do a little cameo! Oh and it’s starring this one guy named JEAN-CLAUDE VAN DAMME!
How it works:
Watch the video. Then you shoot a video and add in some pre-keyed shots of Van Damme taking names, then whoever makes the best films wins some gear! Short deadline though, only 2-weeks, good thing they are pre-keyed!
FreddieW also created a new short using footage from the contest!
I’ve been finding some extra time to dig deeper into some built-in After Effects plug-ins to create some interesting and unique effects. Here is my new experiment using a very interesting combination of effects (as always) to build a networked title or logo.
We are really making a big effort to create new projects to keep you inspired and thinking in new ways!
I’ll be recording the tutorial this week so expect it soon and be ready for a few unexpected surprises!
Happy Valentines’ Day from Video Copilot!
Sorry for the last minute gift, now you know how my wife feels! Ha! Just kidding honey, I love you.
Our Free Model Pack contains several great 3D models ready to use with Element 3D or your favorite 3D program!
No nonsense, just download now!
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In this new tutorial I’ll show you a cool technique to generate 3D Light Rays inside of After Effects without 3rd party plug-ins. I’ll also show you how to add volumetric light to a live action shot using 3D tracking. I’ll be posting project files and tutorial to the main site later today!
We also created a blog show to demonstrate how to create light rays in real life!
Watch on Youtube in HD!
In our recent blog show on volumetric light, I created a short animation with the puppet tool because I wondered what would the twitter logo be like if it was alive… In this short video I explain how I setup the project file to animate the logo.
Download the project file too! (CS6)
UPDATE: According to twitter guidelines it is not permitted to “add special effects” to the logo. Sorry.
If you are not on twitter, be sure to follow us @videocopilot
Check out the new blog show on creating real volumetric light!
Other than being holiday sick, I had a chance to shoot some greenscreen plates in the ol’ Video Copilot studio to test some hologram FX I’ve been experimenting with. So far the only thing missing is the hologram…
At least we have a cool futuristic table and now it just needs some 3D graphics or something! Actually what’s more interesting is a new technique I’m developing to create 3D volumetric light for the hologram projector.
For those interested we shot with a Canon C100 and a 24-100mm lens. The small light Dustin is holding is actually a color controlled LED light that is quite handy for VFX shoots. We are going to be doing more on set VFX this year and try to bring you tons of behind the scenes action so stay tuned!
Hey what’s up! Another year of doing what we love and pushing the limits of our imagination. It’s been great to be part of this community every single year and share experiences and ideas with so many of you. I’m forever thankful for this opportunity and look forward to an even more intense year in 2014!
My oldest daughter and I have been spending a little time in After Effects and I talk her through her own ideas. The other day, she wanted to make a candy cane (in 3D of course) and it was not as easy as it sounds! She really likes the “Sun” plug-in too! Oh, she really is my daughter As soon as the other kids get older, I’ll be putting them to work but until then!
But for now, let’s all try to find some time to be with family and friends and of course you guys are no exception.
Happy Holidays from the Kramer’s and everyone at Video Copilot!
Sorry it took longer than expected, we had a lot of files to sort through and optimize to work in Element and organize into one place but here it is!
The pack contains a variety of 30 buildings to create stunning futuristic city sky-lines inside Element 3D. Some models feature high resolution textures and others have lower resolution and work better for distant buildings. Experiment for best results! Remember be thankful to all those who worked on these!
There is a lot of variety and you can even user the Element 3D replicator, you can create some fun combinations like above.
Be sure you are running the latest version of Element 3D V1.6
I just stumbled upon this spectacular reel of visual effects work for the film Stalingrad. The simulations of smoke and fire take it to another level.
What’s even more impressive is the amount of work that went into this video just to show all of the layers and work that went into. C’mon! Look at those camera swings!
While not quite as impressive, you ca check out our Advanced Training Series you might be able to see how some of this is possible combining Fume FX with 3Ds Max and compositing in After Effects.
I decided after all to put together a tutorial about the Lionsgate Studio Design and here it is!
In this tutorial we’ll take an in-depth look at building complex bevels with Element 3D and give your titles a shiny finish. We’ll also looking at Lens Flares, Render Settings and adding some nice Light Rays.
Original Design Credit:
The actual Lionsgate studio design was created by the talented folks at DevaStudios!
Check out their work!
After seeing the impressive Lionsgate title treatment I thought I would try to recreate the intricate bevel in Element 3D. While it is not exactly the same, I was able to use a single extrude object with 5 bevels layers. Here is the previous text tutorial that examines the extrude tool in Element 3D.
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So…. I’ve been busy lately finishing up some intense work on the main title for the new FOX show Almost Human and tonight is the second episode of the series!
Working on this sequence was both fun and challenging but as always, it was great to part of another cool project! We used After Effects along with 3DS Max and even some Element 3D to create many of the shots. Originally the title sequence was going to be shorter but it evolved into a longer montage about the show. We ended up working on about 10 shots that were edited together with footage from the show to help tell the story.
I’ll try to create a more detailed video breakdown soon, but here are some still frames of some of my favorites.
This digital Iris was created by filming a real eye with a Canon 5DM3. Then I used several 3D layers to add depth to the vein network as the camera passes through into the Main Title.
This room was created in 3DS max with help from the Video Copilot modelling team via Stefan & Alex. I compositied in After Effects with the Z-pass to add depth of field. The shot included some really cool high-tech screens as well as detailed medical equipment from the future! Luckily we had a render farm because this shot took about 8 minutes per frame to render.
This gun model was created in 3Ds Max and imported into After Effects with Element 3D for precise animation & lighting.
This hand shot was rendered in entirely in Element 3D from a high quality hand model. The digital circuits were created in After Effects and mapped to the hand using a second copy of Element 3D on top of the original to give it a glowing effect.
Another E3D shot of the camera flying over the police badge.
Be sure to check out the show tonight!
Have you ever needed to add a glow to a specific color? Like an explosion, or signal light without affecting the rest of the image.
In this short tutorial I’ll show you a fast technique that will allow you add a glow to a specific color only and avoid the color mixing that occurs when using traditional luminance based glows.
- Ability to Refine and Color Correct Glow
- Procedural Effect, auto-updates
- Use Keying tools to refine color selection
- Works on a single adjustment layer, no pre-composing!
- Not just for JetStrike! Great technique for all projects!
Don’t forget I’m doing an After Effects presentation in Los Angeles tonight for DMALA! (Monday night) If you are around, please register and come by!