Atmospheric Re-Entry!

Here is a preview of an animation i’m working on. Playing around with Element 3D and Saber to create the fiery streaks!

This past week has been super productive, finishing VFX for Intercept, doing daily renders and preparing for another DMALA meeting in Los Angeles on October 18th. Going to be a blast!

Circuit City #Element3D #MotionDesign2

A photo posted by Video Copilot (@andrewkramer) on

POSTED:
4 years ago
RECENT POSTS
SHOWTIME: Slime VFX! FREE Slime PACK: 3GB of Stock FX!
A new Video Copilot show has splash-landed! We showed an early version of the SHOW at VC LIVE in January so we are excited to show it to the world! We made a mess so you don’t have to! Just download the FREE stock footage collection and use in your own projects! Watch on Youtube […]
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:
4 years ago
PLUG-INS
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:
4 years 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!

A video posted by Video Copilot (@andrewkramer) on

POSTED:
4 years ago
Free Star Wars Model Pack!

Happy Star Wars day! To celebrate our love for Star Wars we are giving away a sweet collection of 3D models that we built so you can learn to create your own visual effects! Our goal is to show you tips for Lighting, Rigging and animating so you can learn to create exciting visual FX too!

These are not just some piece of junk models, these models are HD quality with detailed 4K textures! Plus they render fast inside Element 3D! How fast? Fast enough for you!

We had a blast creating this collection and we hope you will have fun playing with these models too!

Just to be clear, we do not mean to imply any Star Wars endorsement or sponsorship, Star Wars was a huge inspiration to my visual FX education and we know it has inspired many others to learn about visual FX.

Note: All scenes rendered inside Element 3D V2!

Need Light Sabers or laser blasts? Use our Free Saber plug-in!


Included Models: OBJ with DDS Textures and optional JPG files!

  • Tie Fighter
  • Imperial Corridor Pieces
  • Luke Saber
  • Obi-Wan Saber
  • Darth Vader Saber
  • R2-Unit
  • BB-Unit
  • X-Wing
  • Tatooine Moisture Vaporator

*Some of the names included on this page are registered trademarks of Lucasfilm.

DOWNLOAD STAR WARS MODEL PACK! (Place in Video Copilot model folder)

DOWNLOAD
model pack

Alternate Textures Files: Download JPG Map files


Need some LightSabers or Laser blasts? Use our Free Saber plug-in!


POSTED:
4 years ago