The Video Copilot Show is Online!


Check out the new show! Tutorials and projects up next!

In this show we go behind the scenes to show you how we created an insane SuperHero Landing!

Episode Highlights:

  • Greenscreen Filming
  • 3D Compositing
  • Matte Painting & Set Extensions
  • Forced Perspective Shooting
  • Visual Effects Breakdowns

After & Before!

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Video Copilot Returns!

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POSTED:
4 weeks ago
A Hero Will Rise on the Video Copilot Show!

UPDATE: Just want to let you know we are exporting and doing some final quality control and hope to upload soon!

I waited all day to make this graphic so that I would be sure the episode is ready! So far I’ve only slept about 5 hours in the last 3 days trying to get the show out earlier but we really want to make the show to be unique and detailed! Now, I better not write too much, the words are starting to melt!

To be honest, this episode started as a small idea to do while I finish my short, Intercept, but in the words of George Lucas: “I may have gone too far in a few places.”

The Video Copilot show is premiering tomorrow and we have some exciting new tips and tricks in this action packed episode. I Hope you guys enjoy it!

POSTED:
4 weeks ago
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 to 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 the 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 manager!”

I love making software, so even though we were running out of time, we needed these features! This was the ultimate stress test because we were adding and testing features under a lot of pressure and I must admit, it can be helpful.

In the end our plug-in was 2 weeks late. Every missed day was excruciating. Knowing how much work needed to get done and hoping it will be worth it.

After-all some of the BEST FEATURES were added in, days before we released it.  And while I’m personally very proud of our Saber plug-in, I knew we needed to do better, but I didn’t fully understand what I was up against.

Afterwards, I figured out what had changed.

When you work on a movie, there are supervisors  and Directors and everything you do is projected on a big screen! The bar is set high! Every pixel is analyzed and scrutinized. You learn quickly, that EVERY DETAIL MATTERS!

Once you develop an eye for certain details, it is very hard to settle or to ignore them. So somehow the better you get at something, the longer it takes. What?!

Now I’ve got to do a better job at accounting for the extra work needed to reach these high standards and even hire some additional compositors to help with projects so I can keep the ideas rolling out and back to reliable release schedules. I have too many crazy ideas!

So yeah… in regards to the upcoming Video Copilot show… it may have got a little too ambitious… But with some better planning in the future, I know we can get back to our A-game!

I’m very excited about the show, we worked really hard on it and we are putting the finishing touches on it this weekend! Until then!

NOTE:
Just for contrast: Element 3D V2 doesn’t have a promo video and Saber has a promo with 35 fx shots. And it’s a free plug-in. I’d say it might actually be a curse!

 

POSTED:
1 month ago
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 month 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

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WhipSplash #Element3D Deform and twist.

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POSTED:
1 month ago