Integrating 3d and VFX with Video/Film?

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Integrating 3d and VFX with Video/Film?

Postby FrankyKnuckles on 04/26/2015, 1:39 pm

I'm currently in preproduction and going to be shooting my next short film in 4k that will use 3d and vfx. This will be my first time using 3D models (robots, spaceships, etc) created from 3ds max, cinema 4d, etc...and I have a few questions for anyone who can answer:

1) I have a 3d Modeler and a couple of animation guys who can rig as well as animate. Once I finish the locked edit of the film, what is an effective workflow to make sure the 3d elements are seamless with my footage?

2) Can anyone explain how colorspace plays an important part in this when dealing with several people? How can I make sure everything is consistent?

3) What is the most effective way for me to communicate any changes with animation and modeling to save on rendering time?

4) Can anyone explain the rendering process? Is the animation/modeling rendered using 3rd party software other than the program its created in?

5) Does anyone know what an "Asis workflow" is? Not sure I spelled it right, but someone I know who just got back from NAB mentioned the VFX house that did post work for the movie Elisium directed by Neil Bloomkamp suggested using that workflow. i can't find anything online about it and never heard of it.
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Re: Integrating 3d and VFX with Video/Film?

Postby star+circle on 04/30/2015, 4:34 am

5) Academy Color Encoding System (ACES)
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Re: Integrating 3d and VFX with Video/Film?

Postby Farmfield on 04/30/2015, 5:15 am

1. What you need is a "VFX supervisor" and for a smaller project like this, the easiest solution is for a competent compositor to handle that as a competent comper knows what assets he needs to make each shot work.

In regard to workflow and such, that will depend on if the VFX are to be produced concurrently with shooting and/or editing or after. If your VFX work will be done before you have a rough cut (or footage) for the VFX people, you will need to have concept art, a good storyboard and/or previz for the VFX shots. If the VFX are to be done after you finish shooting, it might be enough for the VFX people to discuss and plan how to do the VFX between themselves without a supervisor, but that really depends on how experienced and "easy going" they are... ;)

2. That depends on a couple of factors but for the VFX people, if they just keep to rendering in linear color, you'll do the LUT conversion in comp, matching the camera LUT or whatever that was converted to in edit.

3. Rendering isn't an issue as you just won't do any until you/director/producer sign off on animation, texturing, lighting, though rendering in passes, there's still a lot of tweaking and such you can do in comp, final look isn't really set in stone just because it's been rendered out.

4. Rendering is the process of calculating the light in a 3D scene, producing a 2D image from the 3D scene by simulating a camera. All 3D apps has an internal renderer, many 3D applications also support external renderers like Vray, Arnold, 3delight etc... There are also standalone renderers where you export your 3D scene from whatever application was used and the scene is imported into the rendering application for rendering, in some cases also doing texturing and lighting inside the rendering app.

In the end it's a question about what is the best renderer for this particular project and that depends on a lot of factors. Some renderers are very good (or fast) for a single task, but not another, so in a scene with fire, water in a room with marble walls and pillars, it might be reasonable to render all three elements with different renderers for best quality and speed - though that might need some planning to get shadows and reflections correct, but it's not a huge issue if you know what you are doing. :)
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Re: Integrating 3d and VFX with Video/Film?

Postby FrankyKnuckles on 05/4/2015, 11:05 pm

Thanks Farmfield that was very helpful.

I haven't really come across any experienced VFX Supervisors in my area that'd probably work on my budget, but I've been in contact with several strong compositors after putting an ad out.

Can you elaborate on #2 where you mentioned "you'll do the LUT conversion in comp"? What does LUT stand for?

VFX will be added after we shoot the short film. I will be doing the initial edit of the entire short in Premiere. I will then send the modeler and animation guys the scenes they need in order to add to the VFX. On their end what exactly do they need to do in oder to make sure we are working in the same color space? I've never had or used 3ds max, Maya or Cinema 4d which is what they use.

Also when the footage comes back to me I will need to send it to another person that will do all of the compositing (I believe the girl I'm considering hiring uses Nuke as well as After Effects). Are there any specific settings I should make sure she is using based on the footage we provide her?

We are shooting on a Sony F5 in 4k.
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Re: Integrating 3d and VFX with Video/Film?

Postby plae57 on 05/5/2015, 8:53 am

There is a VFX book called "Digital Visual Effects and Compositing" by Jon Gress. It should be a must read for anyone wanting to get into Visual Effects. I believe it is about $30 for a kindle version. If I had 5 thumbs, I would give it 5 thumbs up. It it not application specific, but it covers virtually everything you need to know from the basic stuff to really advanced concepts. There are plenty of examples for you. I am on my second time through reading it because he covers so much about VFX in great detail that it is hard to grab it all with a single reading.

Oh, and everything on your list of questions is answered by him.
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Re: Integrating 3d and VFX with Video/Film?

Postby Farmfield on 05/5/2015, 12:19 pm

LUT = Lookup table, it's the color curve from black to white through a spectra of colors. You need to keep the footage in editing and compositing consistent, in terms of color, else it's going to be a mess to complete. You need to get this right from the beginning so it's not going to be an issue.
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