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How can I do this Medusa effect?

PostPosted: 07/14/2016, 9:27 pm
by FrankyKnuckles
I'm looking to create an effect where someone touches something and we immediately see their arm turn infected.

Something along the lines of this https://youtu.be/A0OJ32ifVvA?t=37s

Any idea on best workflow or approach to make this happen?

Re: How can I do this Medusa effect?

PostPosted: 07/15/2016, 2:51 am
by Farmfield
It's really tricky to do an effect like that in 2D and make it look good. For a face, you might perhaps get away with using a displacement map together with a bulge, but it's hard to make it look good. I did this setup a couple of years back and I had this issue doing the particles under his skin travel towards the wound, it looked like crap in 2D so I built a displacement map and used that to displace a card (just a flat 3D grid) which I then projected the face/ground + particles on top of. (similar setup to the Trump and White Walker clips on my Vimeo page)


Re: How can I do this Medusa effect?

PostPosted: 07/15/2016, 4:53 pm
by gregalan

Re: How can I do this Medusa effect?

PostPosted: 07/15/2016, 10:30 pm
by FrankyKnuckles
Thanks Farmfield that's what I was thinking in terms of 2d not looking as good. When you mention you created a displacement map was that something you did in Zbrush or Maya or was it done in AE? I have a general idea of what displacement maps are but not clear on how or when its used.

Gregalan thanks man those were the first tutorials I thought of when looking on how to do this effect, I guess I'm having more of an issue trying to make it look photorealistic or organic enough if that makes sense.

Re: How can I do this Medusa effect?

PostPosted: 07/16/2016, 5:10 am
by Farmfield
You can do it in Photoshop though I usually do it in comp using rotopaint, that way I can then have a viewer open with the deformed mesh and tweak the separate masks and get the displacement as I want it. Here's how it looks in the Nuke viewport.



Not something you can do in AE, though, in AE we're talking pixel displacement - and it will of course not look as good as an actual 3D displacement, but it might get you in that direction at least.

Re: How can I do this Medusa effect?

PostPosted: 07/16/2016, 6:07 am
by plae57
I have been playing with similar effects in Fusion using RGB displacement. I have stuck mostly with buildings and such to set extensions, but your example has opened up a whole new way of thinking about this.

Have you played with an animated displacement matte?

Re: How can I do this Medusa effect?

PostPosted: 07/16/2016, 6:19 am
by Farmfield
Hehe, is it animated. :D

But animating the separate masks just isn't an option, that would be way to slow, so what I did was using a gridwarp for the animation - and it worked pretty well. I was going to use a splinewarp for the eyes blinking too, but then I had to get back to doing actual work, so I let it go as it stood at the time. :)



And this would likely have been even easier/faster to do in Fusion - Nuke's scanline renderer is amazingly slow and then I used their raytracer for the eye reflections - that's even slower. Fusion would have been way more efficient for a setup like this. I'll do the next one in Fusion for sure. :D

Edit: And I gotta note that, yeah, doing displacements like that on projections setups for buildings and alike is a really efficient way of creating additional "micro parallax" - and it's small details like that which make all the difference in the end.

Re: How can I do this Medusa effect?

PostPosted: 07/16/2016, 11:56 am
by FrankyKnuckles
Farmfield why do you have a loud siren noise on the Trump video? LOL....just curious

Re: How can I do this Medusa effect?

PostPosted: 07/16/2016, 12:11 pm
by Farmfield
That is Trump, that sound, it's his message. Like a siren, it really doesn't say anything, it was created with the purpose of making people wary, scared.

And the above is only to explain the idea of the video, it's not permitted to talk politics and religion at VCP, so we'll leave it at that. ;)

Re: How can I do this Medusa effect?

PostPosted: 07/16/2016, 12:13 pm
by FrankyKnuckles
Ah, ok metaphorical I like it :)

Re: How can I do this Medusa effect?

PostPosted: 07/16/2016, 12:31 pm
by Farmfield
When I decided to do this RnD I choose between doing the Canadian White Walker and this Trump clip - and I did the White Walker. But I couldn't resist doing the Trump clip too, as I got time over a couple of days later. But I think those two choices says something about me. Not sure what, but something, I'm sure of it. :D

But good I did do the last one as I discovered some new workflows for animating displacement maps, as describes a couple of posts up. But yeah, fun stuff, doing setups like these - especially as I do less and less compositing, most of my focus nowadays is on the FX work in Houdini. :)