Update #7: blender to element3d for smoothing and matslots

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Update #7: blender to element3d for smoothing and matslots

Postby Life Effects on 07/3/2016, 11:39 am

Hello fellow vfx enthusiasts,

The first episode of my Let's VFX series. I use After Effects and Element 3D to create a building model for a military base.

A Disclaimer! This is not a tutorial series. So on the one hand i will make mistakes or have not a optimal workflow for what i try to do - so i am grateful for every comment with advice and critical feedback on every element in these episodes;

on the other hand i might rush through some steps you might want to replicate. If there are questions don't hesitate to place them - I am happy to answer them all.
The idea behind this series is to get input from experienced people while in the same time creating content that new users might enjoy.

The base will be the first scene in a new short i am working on. It will be called "Subject 74".

In this episode i mainly setup a basic approach for the idea i have. It is a foundation to work with in the future episodes.

You will notice that i am still experimenting with the way how to setup this series and i am looking forward to improve them over time. Your input is highly appreciated.

Last edited by Life Effects on 08/31/2016, 1:18 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Let's VFX Series - Making of a VFX Short - Critics needed

Postby Life Effects on 07/10/2016, 11:27 pm

And here is the 2nd episode for my let's VFX series.

Between working on my short i give a short explanation about the series itself and what i want to achieve by it.

And i have one of those moments where i hope to get help from experienced artists. At about the 12 minute mark i stumble on a problem with element 3d and the auxiliary channels.
The back propeller has an unusaul anchor point for it's rotation.

I couldn't figure out how to solve it and i am hoping on your support to find a solution.

I mention it in this episode but i am very happy about every input you can give me on how i can improve this format. So let me know.

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Re: Need help in Making of series - 2nd Episode

Postby star+circle on 07/11/2016, 12:51 am

It is much easier to animate parts in E3D if you put them into a group folder and use the aux animation on the group folder rather than directly on the object itself. It has to do with the way Element handles sub-object coordinates in relation to the main object. Using group folders the parent transformations don't affect the aux channel rotation coordinates and axis (in the same way).
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Re: Need help in Making of series - 2nd Episode

Postby Life Effects on 07/11/2016, 1:45 am

This explanation is so obvious and simpel that i have to go now banging my head into the next wall for not trying that. >-||

Thank you very much. :)
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Re: Need help in Making of series - 2nd Episode

Postby plae57 on 07/11/2016, 6:11 am

Thanks for sharing, but the music in the background makes it unwatchable. Not because I don't like the music (I don't but that is not important) but because it masks your voice and makes it harder to understand.
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Re: Need help in Making of series - 2nd Episode

Postby Life Effects on 07/11/2016, 6:16 am

I keep an eye on that in the next one. Youtube does a bit of mixing with the audio. In premiere pro it's not that harsh.
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Re: Need help in Making of series - 2nd Episode

Postby Life Effects on 07/11/2016, 11:15 pm

star+circle wrote:It is much easier to animate parts in E3D if you put them into a group folder and use the aux animation on the group folder rather than directly on the object itself. It has to do with the way Element handles sub-object coordinates in relation to the main object. Using group folders the parent transformations don't affect the aux channel rotation coordinates and axis (in the same way).


I recorded the next episode yesterday - the group itself did not help but i could eyeball it by rotating the group channel and adjusting the model orientation independantly.

So thanks for the tip - it definetly helped
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Re: Need help in Making of series - 2nd Episode

Postby star+circle on 07/12/2016, 10:39 am

Looking at your video again, I see that the back propeller isn't vertical, but slanted inward at the top, so rotating around the Z axis doesn't rotate it around it's own center axis, but at about 5 degrees off-axis angle. That's why it is looking crooked and turning weirdly.

The handling, for future reference, would be to rotate the part upright, put it in a folder, rotate it back in position using the folder's rotation. (It is easier to create a folder with the object moved so that the desired anchor/rotation point is at the world center as then you don't have to use the anchor point offsets to try and align the anchor point.) And then use Aux animation on the folder to rotate the propeller.
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Re: Need help in Making of series - 2nd Episode

Postby Life Effects on 07/12/2016, 11:43 pm

Appreciate the tip. I remember that in future sessions with element.
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Re: Need help in Making of series - 2nd Episode

Postby Life Effects on 07/18/2016, 12:05 am

I reuse my old Thread so I don't create so much Spam. :)

Let's VFX ep. 3 is online.

In this episode I use group folders in element to solve the problem of the last episode. Then I use a suggestion from the comments to add more realism to the helicopter by moving it in the y-axis. For that i get creative with expressions.

There might be a better solution but this was the first thing i came up with and it worked. :)

As always i am happy for every feedback. This series is meant to create interactive design from my side influenced by every good idea you might give me.

So this only works if you guys are interested in this and come by :)

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Re: Need help in Making of series - 2nd Episode

Postby Life Effects on 07/18/2016, 12:09 am

plae57 wrote:Thanks for sharing, but the music in the background makes it unwatchable. Not because I don't like the music (I don't but that is not important) but because it masks your voice and makes it harder to understand.


I tried to use a much smoother music background this time. Did it improve the watchablility? (Not even sure if this is a real word :) )
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Re: Need help in Making of series - 2nd Episode

Postby plae57 on 07/18/2016, 4:27 am

Life Effects wrote:I reuse my old Thread so I don't create so much Spam.


Spam? Not even a little. I like these videos because they are not tutorials but rather conversations about your workflow and design thought process.

Very interesting. And Thanks for changing the audio levels.
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Re: Update:Looking for interactive input for yt series - 3rd Ep.

Postby Life Effects on 07/18/2016, 5:47 am

plae57 wrote:Spam? Not even a little. I like these videos because they are not tutorials but rather conversations about your workflow and design thought process.

Very interesting. And Thanks for changing the audio levels.


That was exactly what I tried to do - very happy to hear that somebody besides me finds it interesting :)
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4th episode

Postby Life Effects on 07/24/2016, 2:04 am

The 4th episode is ready.

This time the helicopter get's a more natural look by using image based lighting. To realize I use 3 different layers of element each with it's own purpose and material setting. I watched the tutorial by A. Kramer a while ago and I wanted to try if i could remember every step.

I hope I did but I need you guys to check. :)
And if there are other ways or even better ways to get a better COMPOSITE (joke for farmfield if he reads this ^^) of the helicopter and the footage every hint is highly appreciated!

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Update:5th ep. : camera pan movement - which camera?

Postby Life Effects on 08/1/2016, 12:54 am

The 5th episode of my Let's VFX series is finished.

I created a camera pan at the side of the helicopter to be able to take a look inside. But I did this without moving the model itself but with animating the background and the camera.

My plan is to put green screen footage inside. That will be part of episode 6.

I played around with two camera settings and I could use your help figuring out which on looks best.

(Also I play around with the idea of using facecam at appropiate times)

Regards
Dave

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Re: Update:6th ep. : element 3d as rotoscope alternative - zdept

Postby Life Effects on 08/11/2016, 1:26 pm

In this episode I put my greenscreen footage inside of the element 3d model.
That means I would have to use rotoscoping to obscure the footage behind the frame of the helicopter.

Unless of course I can use the model itself to define the parts where the footage cannot be seen.

Element 3d has an option to output as an z-pass. That enables me to hide the greenscreen footage behind the model but switch it visible where the windows are.

During that process I encounter a problem that I couldn't figure out at the time. I have a pretty good idea what the problem might be but you guys are welcome to give your opinion about this.



As always i appreciate every kind of feedback :)

Regards
Dave
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Update:7th ep. : blender to element3d for smoothing and mats

Postby Life Effects on 08/31/2016, 1:17 am

Just finally released a new episode. It's a little excursus from After Effects because I use Blender as help.

I found a 3d helmet that I want to try to equip to the guards in my short. Most definetly a stupid descision because tracking will be painful BUT I want to try it. :)

But I noticed 2 problems with the model someone did in 3ds max. The surface seems very bulky and I only had one material slot.

I solved those problems with blender. Hope you find it interesting! :)

Regards
Dave

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