Re: VFX Hacks

I know you don't believe us when we say this, but I'm gonna say it again, I learn more from an hour of you rambling at a mic than I did in the entirety most of classes in film school.

Also, for shits and/or giggles, cause you were talking about our shooting location... this is the raw plate.

https://i.imgur.com/iHgJyur.jpg

So I'm gonna call it a win that nothing about the painting itself was odd enough to at least verbally call out.

ZangrethorDigital.ca
youtube.com/bigdamnartist

Re: VFX Hacks

Yeah, Teague just showed us why he IS a VFX artist. It's the insane attention to detail, and experience that tells him how the shot should look like.
I wasn't planning on watching the walkthrough all the way through, but I did, and I'm glad I did. Kinda makes me want to go back into VFX, because it's calming and fun to change a shot so dramatically, without anyone ever noticing you did.

Hat's off.

EDIT:

BDA, I'll say this much. I didn't notice anything off about the plate, apart from the colouring and the things Teague pointed out, but at no point did I think it was tampered with at all, so good job.

Last edited by Tomahawk (2018-01-08 18:18:54)

Tomahawk Ellingsen

www.extendededition.net

Re: VFX Hacks

Thanks for the kind words, guys.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: VFX Hacks

Watching this evening, I can see why there were some spiteful words for Adobe earlier today.

Edit: BDA, when Teague found the concrete parking thing, I went back to the plate shot you posted. I just glanced before and saw the background replacement of it, but now I see how much you added to the buildings, wow. Nice job on the matte, sir.

Last edited by Boter (2018-01-09 04:54:47)

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

Re: VFX Hacks

Great stuff Teague, it always boils down to what the lights doing with these shots, if you can figure that out, you are laughing smile

Extended Edition - 140 Solo: A Star Wars Story!
VFX Reel | Twitter | IMDB | Blog

Re: VFX Hacks

Thanks guys big_smile I was actually really not sure it was gonna sell, so thats really good to hear.

ZangrethorDigital.ca
youtube.com/bigdamnartist

Re: VFX Hacks

Boter wrote:

the concrete parking thing

Turtarrier!

Esoteric words are fun.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: VFX Hacks

If anyone's curious, this is where the shot eventually wound up. Not the final grading, but roughly what it'll be.

There's still a million details I'd love to add, but I have the rest of the short to make so y'know, gotta move on.

https://i.imgur.com/X1w9E0P.png
https://i.imgur.com/X1w9E0P.png

ZangrethorDigital.ca
youtube.com/bigdamnartist

Re: VFX Hacks

https://i.imgur.com/PtBZcu3.jpg

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: VFX Hacks

Cool thread. This is less of a hack and more standard practice, and it's embarrassing how long it took me to adopt it as part of my standard workflow, but regarding CG and other element integration in a plate - make sure to frequently check the image in both extremely overexposed and underexposed values to see where the brights and darks are landing in comparison to your plate. Nuke makes this easy with the exposure knob above your viewer, but any capable app should have a shortcut key for it. What's great about it is that not only can it tell you if something is obviously off, but it can key you in to brightness differences that might not be really visible at normal exposure but are night and day when you push it + or - 5 stops (that can eventually mess up the integration down the pipe). I had a supervisor once do this on the regular in dailies, and after taking a while to remind myself and make it a habit, I now do this multiple times over the course of a given day as part of my lighting workflow (but it's applicable to any integration, really).

Last edited by couture (2018-08-25 23:14:19)

kevincouture.com

Re: VFX Hacks

This point.

It is good.

Reminds me of one of the tricks for fixing unrealistic light fall-off in CG packages that have particularly stupid defaults — *cough* Lightwave — which is, "you're probably rendering in linear, and your lights are probably a thousand times too dim." Turns out a great deal of the crappiness in default-ish renders (out of Lightwave; might be common elsewhere, dunno) is simply that 'rendering in linear' is very "forgiving" of light that's way too dark. I put "forgiving" in scare quotes because the Mephistophelean recipe for unrealistic light fall-off exists almost entirely within the very same 'wiggle room' that your linear renders "forgive" you with. When you switch to log, you realize your lights are simply turned off, pretty much, and linear was just 'zooming way in' on the brightness values that were available. When you crank their values up until the lighting-balance in your scene finally looks right in log, you'll find that the fall-off — which never looked right in the first place — suddenly looks right, too.

By the way, I'm not trying to freak everyone out, but y'all should check out couture's website and IMDb. Dude knows whereof he speaks as regards lighting. Knows way more than me. (So if he says I'm wrong, he's right.)

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: VFX Hacks

I'm just a simple man trying to make my way in the universe.

And yeah, linear workflow business is a wholeeee other thing in lighting. Maybe things are better nowadays, or maybe it was just my education in particular, but back when I was learning this stuff in college (circa 2007) color space theory just wasn't taught, which is crazy. If you aren't using a linear lighting/comp CG workflow you're literally doing it wrong and won't get expected results. Which is frustrating, because not only is the whole thing generally confusing, but for a long time the process felt like sort of a tribal knowledge. I've never tried Teague's specific trick, but if anyone is looking to get into lighting then I can't endorse enough the need to learn and understand the how's and why's of correct color management (which thankfully in actual practice, is much more streamlined and easy to do than learning the theory behind it - but I recommend that too). I think most of the modern CG apps and render engines pretty much default you to it now, and Nuke certainly defaults to a linear workflow. But yeah, check it out if CG is your thing and if all of what I just said sounded like gooboolygoop.

Another cheap trick: When you've been looking at a shot for way too long, try flipping it in X or playing it in reverse and looking at it on loop. It sounds stupid, but it's amazing what things pop out to you when you change the context of how you're looking at it.

Last edited by couture (2018-08-26 03:05:43)

kevincouture.com

Re: VFX Hacks

I kept saying "linear" when I meant "sRGB." And I kept saying "log" when I meant "linear."

I am ashamed.

Also: yep on the flip-it-in-X trick, too. Yep yep yep.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: VFX Hacks

That makes a whole lot more sense to me now tongue

kevincouture.com

Re: VFX Hacks

couture wrote:

Another cheap trick: When you've been looking at a shot for way too long, try flipping it in X or playing it in reverse and looking at it on loop. It sounds stupid, but it's amazing what things pop out to you when you change the context of how you're looking at it.

That's what I was taught in matte painting classes, and I would do it on my comp shots, but for some reason, it's something I haven't really been thinking about in my current production. This is definitely something I'll tell my team to do, especially since the visual style of the show we're working has pretty much stripped everything down to the basics: composition, lighting, color.

Thanks for reminding me about stuff I'm supposed to know. Also nice goddamn reel. I miss realistic VFX work.

Sébastien Fraud - Compositing Artist / Currently VFX Supervisor at TRIARII Prod, France.
Facebook Page  500px Gallery

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Re: VFX Hacks

Another tip: Match your grain/noise for comp elements on a per-channel basis. That means, individually look through each of your color channels (red, green, and blue - yes, in greyscale), and match the grain pattern and intensity in each channel for the best match. Your blue channel will typically be the noisiest. Same theory works for color matching.

And thank you very much. I'm honestly due for an update on it since I've had 6 shows release since I cut it, but I keep wanting to wait for the thing I'm currently working on to release. #vfxproblems

kevincouture.com

Re: VFX Hacks

Has a complete dunderhead in the VFX world how can I create a basic metal effect on a logo?

God loves you!

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Re: VFX Hacks

Need more info. 2D? 3D? What software are you using? Do you have any kind of reference images for what you're going for?

kevincouture.com

Re: VFX Hacks

couture wrote:

Need more info. 2D? 3D? What software are you using? Do you have any kind of reference images for what you're going for?

It will be 3D. I basically want to take one of the below logos and make them look like they are made of metal:
https://i.imgur.com/5lfHBH3.png

God loves you!

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Re: VFX Hacks

Metal is all about what it's reflecting, so make sure you have a good HDRI to light it with. High contrast studio type setups work well for generic metal reflections. Good bright pings help sell it too, so make sure you have good bevels in your model and proper smoothing to catch them. Your material should have a high reflective IOR (think like, at least 20), and some amount of anisotropic settings. Not sure what software you're using, but there should be plenty of more in depth tutorials for this kind of stuff for the nuts and bolts of setting it up.

kevincouture.com