Topic: VFX Hacks

Conversation starter: what is something you've done once where you say, "There's no way in hell this should work," but then it does? Alternatively, what do you do on a regular basis that has no right to work but does well enough that you keep coming back to it?

While color correction isn't exactly "visual effects", prior to good masking tools being available in Premiere I'd use the Circle effect for color correction. Is the center of the frame (people at the head table giving a toast) well exposed but the rest (the assembled guests cheering at something funny/embarrassing) really dark? Circle, color to white, invert circle, feather the edge and keep playing with transfer modes and opacity until the outside of the frame has the same exposure as the inside.

Recently I also got fire wall stock footage, with more elements for falling embers, for the end of a video for a client; when the client nixed the fire and wanted snow instead I just monochromed the embers and added a few more layers of it.

Boter, formerly of TF.N as Boter and DarthArjuna. I like making movies and playing games, in one order or another.

Re: VFX Hacks

1) I love this thread.

2) Oh man. I might have to do a seven-hour video series.

3) I love this thread.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: VFX Hacks

Makes me think of the red-channel offset Mike mentions a couple times on DiF. I really like hearing about little tricks like that, even if I have almost no idea what is being said and I'll never need it because I'm not in VFX

Witness me!

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Re: VFX Hacks

Here's 45 minutes worth of about 15 hacks and some theory stuff.

I was kind of in a hurry, so hopefully you'll forgive me rushing in a few places.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: VFX Hacks

Watching now. Glad I'm not the only one who gets excited about Circle's versatility tongue I'll have to try to keep some of this stuff in mind.

That use of Basic Text is incredible.

"I'm not gonna yell at clouds, but also - GOD DAMN KIDS, shit." Teague I gotta make my way out that way sometime to hang out with you, having not done so in person before is, I consider, a great failing of mine.

You blew my damn mind with Minimax.

DROPS IN A PREVIOUSLY MENTIONED CIRCLE HACK WHILE TALKING LUMINANCE.

"So, you know Colorama, which you've never played with? Because WHAT THE FUCK!" Teague swearing amuses me, I'm sorry, he does it so well. (Yay, fire colors! I can take a picture out my window and make it look like it's out your window <.<)

I'll have to keep in mind that AE has Vibrance, did not know that but I see it when I'm messing in Lightroom.

Boter, formerly of TF.N as Boter and DarthArjuna. I like making movies and playing games, in one order or another.

Re: VFX Hacks

*thumbs*

The all-over-the-placeness made this a very fun post for me to read, for what it's worth. The way I talk makes people's replies to me sound like me. Fun.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: VFX Hacks

Sorry, last time on me posting about Circle for now. Just hit this one today.

https://i.imgur.com/WMA6mPv.png

https://i.imgur.com/DIyBZq1.png

Last edited by Boter (2017-12-07 19:29:23)

Boter, formerly of TF.N as Boter and DarthArjuna. I like making movies and playing games, in one order or another.

Re: VFX Hacks

Wait. Teague... vfx... circle... The Circle... Teague... VFX FINKLE IS EINHORN!

(this doesn't make sense but kinda had that moment watching the Hacks vid)

*sad trombone*

Last edited by Regan (2017-12-07 19:46:08)

Hurroo

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Re: VFX Hacks

Teague; just because you're driving me crazy, right-clicking and looking for effects, here's something you should probably install and use.

Video CoPilot's "FX Console".

It's made my day easier, as I can use a hotkey to open a search for effects, type a bit, and hit enter to apply.

More keystrokes=more fun!

Tomahawk Ellingsen

www.extendededition.net

Re: VFX Hacks

Oh yeah, we use it at work. It's become essential to me. A few days ago when I opened AE on my PC and nothing happened when I hit Ctrl + Space, I paused for a solid five seconds to ask myself: Wait, how the hell do I create effects then? Nuke having Tab as the key to create nodes doesn't help either. It's really intuitive.

Sébastien Fraud
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"We're gonna build a great green screen, and make the traditional matte painters pay for it"
Saniss for President 2016 - "Make VFX great again"

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Re: VFX Hacks

Thirded for FX Console. Pretty much one of the most invaluable assets to my workflow these days.

My movies: ZangrethorDigital.ca
Let's plays: youtube.com/bigdamnartist
Other movie thing I do: youtube.com/BullskitComedy

Re: VFX Hacks

Okay Teague, question. You mentioned a trick off hand in the chat like 3 years ago, and I'll remember that I wanted to ask you what it was every 8 months or so... so now's the time.

It was something in the same vein as the Luminance/Lightness trick to try and get a comp that isn't quite working to work. It was something along the lines of inverting or messing with the channels of your comp, and then blending it back on top. That ring any bells?

My movies: ZangrethorDigital.ca
Let's plays: youtube.com/bigdamnartist
Other movie thing I do: youtube.com/BullskitComedy

Re: VFX Hacks

It may have been my thing about inverting a duplicate (or adjustment) layer and setting it to Soft Light.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: VFX Hacks

That sounds familiar, how do you make that one work? Cause I just tried it on this one comp I'm working on, and everything's just washed out now.

My movies: ZangrethorDigital.ca
Let's plays: youtube.com/bigdamnartist
Other movie thing I do: youtube.com/BullskitComedy

Re: VFX Hacks

It's mostly for throwing a hail mary on 3D renders; it generally makes things either too washed out or too crunchy, so an additional adjustment layer over everything else is required, sliding the gamma one way or the other.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: VFX Hacks

BDA, wanna show us the before/after of it if you get it to work? I'm interested. I already use the Duplicate, Blur, Set to Overlay and Adjust with Curve one, so I'd like to see the difference in the aspect.

[I'm 3000km/1875mi away from home at the moment, I'm not simply lazy to test it myself]

Last edited by Saniss (2018-01-06 15:43:07)

Sébastien Fraud
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"We're gonna build a great green screen, and make the traditional matte painters pay for it"
Saniss for President 2016 - "Make VFX great again"

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Re: VFX Hacks

I'll give it a shot, the one shot I'm working on is mostly a matte painting so I'm not sure what if any effect it would have on it, the other one is more of a holographic display burn in, so it might be more noticeable there. Give me a bit.

My movies: ZangrethorDigital.ca
Let's plays: youtube.com/bigdamnartist
Other movie thing I do: youtube.com/BullskitComedy

Re: VFX Hacks

So yeah, okay, these are probably definitely not where this is supposed to be used, but here's what happened, original frame on top, Invert/Soft Light on the bottom. (These are both super WIP shots, so ignore the overall horribleness of a lot of it.... apparently when you don't do any real VFX for 4 years, you forget a lot of shit)

https://i.imgur.com/jQKvwp9.png

The cellphone one definitely feels more natural but it also sucked most of the saturation out of it so...... *shrug*.

My movies: ZangrethorDigital.ca
Let's plays: youtube.com/bigdamnartist
Other movie thing I do: youtube.com/BullskitComedy

Re: VFX Hacks

Oh okay, so basically it's a Cinestyle effect. Handy!

Sébastien Fraud
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"We're gonna build a great green screen, and make the traditional matte painters pay for it"
Saniss for President 2016 - "Make VFX great again"

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Re: VFX Hacks

I expected it to suck in both cases, but to be honest, I think the bottom of the two alleyway shots sells better.

(I'd comp the highlights of the lightbulbs back over it, though.)

(And 'Last Light' doesn't work in either case.  neutral )

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: VFX Hacks

Hmm, my issue is the alley one just completely obliterated all of the detail in the foreground fog, so it's just this giant ugly block of pixels that blends right up into the gate area.

And what is it about the Last Light sign that isn't working for you?

My movies: ZangrethorDigital.ca
Let's plays: youtube.com/bigdamnartist
Other movie thing I do: youtube.com/BullskitComedy

Re: VFX Hacks

"Detail in foreground fog" sounds like something an artist expects, but the real world doesn't generally deliver.

As for the Last Light sign... I mean, "all of it," unfortunately. I'm not even sure what you're going for; neon sign? Back-lit channel lettering? In either case, the lighting is dim and flat, and doesn't appear to be truly interacting with the surface it's on, nor do the brighter lights up by the roof seem to be interacting with it — I mean, start with the premise "this should look like a photograph," and give it a yes or no. Obviously I have no idea what I'm talking about, but to me, that composite has a "my VFX element isn't sitting right, and nothing seems to help; let's just keep dimming and desaturating it until it's no longer noticeable"-vibe. Which I have oodles of sympathy for, because I end up in that corner all the time myself — that's how I came to recognize it — but it's a diminishing-returns, never-quite-works kind of corner, worth fighting your way back out of.

A couple thoughts:

- Even if you don't think the sign should be as bright as the arclights up top, I think it'd need to be like three times brighter to meet the baseline criteria for realness. (And remember, there's a difference between the light being as bright as the arclights, and it being pointed at the camera like the arclights are; it can be equally bright, just facing the wall, thus a bigger and brighter wash. If your sign was real, we'd need to replace the transformer.)

- Still assuming it's meant to be back-lit channel lettering, we're not feeling any of the 3D-ness you'd expect from those, because we'd expect to be seeing the edges of the letters catching light from the arclights.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: VFX Hacks

EDIT: Looks like you deleted a reply, but s'all good.

Here's the direction I'd go with it:

http://www.friendsinyourhead.com/teague/last-light.gif

Aaaaaaand here's a screencap of that process:

(This is some early-morning-ass shit, so — apologies for my early-morning-ass tone. big_smile )

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: VFX Hacks

Well that definitely looks a fuck of a lot better, considering the version I posted. I'll check it out. Thanks dude.

I think I might keep psyching myself you with trying to blend the post-apoc everything is running down listless sort of unclear vibe in my brain with the reality of things. Also working with log, and not doing final colour at the same time it's just a whole lot of new shit all at once.

Edit: Yeah, I deleted it, just not in a great headspace atm. I've been fighting this shot for over a month now between /everything/ else, and just wasn't exactly responding well to the whole..."Just fix this." "Teague, you just pointed to everything."...thing.

My movies: ZangrethorDigital.ca
Let's plays: youtube.com/bigdamnartist
Other movie thing I do: youtube.com/BullskitComedy

Re: VFX Hacks

https://media.giphy.com/media/xT0xeKiJTdqhCf3Mg8/giphy.gif

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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