YEAR2-Post production and visual effects [JOURNAL]

Today we received the brief for our post production and visual effects project, to be honest when first hearing about the project i thought it would be very boring and drawling however today in class we got shown the potential of what we can do when mixing visual effects and live action together, its also something to seriously consider as a career, as today we got told how much industry are always wanting visual effects artists!
I thought first id look at some videos on youtube to get inspired and to get a good idea of what to look at:

 below is the making of the video, showing you how they did all the effects

Okay its been a while since my last post but i had what many people call a "creative drought" nothing was coming to me at all, however me and the team finally managed to come up with a good enough idea   which we think will look effective and also fun, since my last post the team had also recruited a new member Niko Sierra we think he will be a great asset to the team and help give us the motivation we  evidently lacked in the first few weeks of the project.
So we went through a lot of ideas throughout the past few weeks but didn't think anything was really that solid, there had to be a storyline and it had to look effective but still we wanted to keep it as simple as possible so that we don't fall behind (IRONY).  So the first idea we had was to shoot in a park and have animated creatures come out, this was pretty obvious and could easily look awful, so the second idea was a development of that idea and that was that we shot in front of a green screen and animated the WHOLE background, this sounded like it had some potential  although there would be A LOT of messing around it also just didn;t even really sound that fun. Nikko had come up with an idea that we have to action figures fighting on a table which sounded like fun but the idea was a tad weak at first, so the team and i started coming up with ideas on how we could develop it, we then came up with an idea of chess with moving figures (similar too harry potter and the philosophers stone) but then we thought about maybe two teams of these figures fighting like a war game, we also knew that because of the lack of time we would have to use pre-modelled and rigged free characters so the obvious choices were the two most stable rigs that we are all familiar with, "The Goon", and "Moom" so thats our final idea, a war game of the battle of the rigs that is "Moom" and "The Goon", its going to have a lot of special effects such as gun shots, explosions and brick explosions (for when the character gets shot) were also going to have little touches such as a very annoying rig known as "Barry" with a flag through his head, for more a personal vendetta we've all had in the past with that rig! Because we felt that we needed to incorporate green screen and ourselves (as it is a live action thing) were going to film ourselves seperately on a green screen and have ourselves looking at the board game and interacting with it, we are all very motivated for this project now and expect good results towards the end :)

Okay so another change in ideas:
We have decided to do some effects on storytelling, the concept is pretty basic, all it is, is someone reading a book and his/her imagination spilling off the page but onto the table, the effects are gonna pop up like a pop-up book, maybe textured to be like card/paper! is a simple idea but we could have a lot of fun with it.

This is the video we are using to composite special effects etc, i personally think it could do better, hopefully i can persuade the rest of the team to do the shoot again, i think it maybe needs to be closer to the book or table but so that the effects are really up close!  so i think the next logical thing to do would be to research pop up books, to really get a feel of how it should be animated.


I think pop up books are generally a good place to start because of the relevance that its a book and things are coming to life, that to me was the concept of the pop up book, and actually some look rather effective below is a few video's i found on youtube

I think the thing i find interesting about this pop up book is the idea behind it, its a book on phobias and the general fact that its a pop up book to me really makes things all the more intimidating, i think the right format was used for the right reasons, but would it really work in a special effects scene coming from the table?

i think it would work effectively as a style, but if we were to use this style there could be the risk of feeling rather limited in textures and animation etc, on the plus side it could be very easily done,especially in terms of animating, there will be some interesting tools we can use in after effects that i myself would be interested in looking into.

I also stumbled across this very interesting pop up book "the wonderful wizard of oz" obviously a well known story but the reason this video caught my attention the most is the style, i think everything is done in such a cartoony way and the colours are beautifully put together, i think this video shows more of the potential of doing a pop up style effect in our short film compared to the other one which is why i posted it.

I thought maybe the next obvious step is to look at textures (if we were to do a pop up style) i think to keep it looking like paper would be a great style i found these pictures on the site linked below:

i think something like these would look great, i'm more convinced that this would all look a lot better in after effects completely, i think that after effects has a massive range of plug-inns and tools that could be beneficial to our project, however, having had a word with the guys it seems gareth has started modelling in maya, this isn't really a problem as we can just use both, we are definitely going to be using after effects for the composition of our project!

Here is a rough texture i created for the potential dinosaur rig, i wanted to create a cardboard effect so using photoshop, i painted over a cardboard image i found on google, i chose to paint it a traditional green and add a few spots, i wanted it to look simple so that it looked like a child had made it!

yeah apparently were using pop up looking effect but were not gonna have it textured like a pop up book like paper,cardboard etc but i don't mind, its just part of the idea process, things change all the time but i am promised that this is the final decision so im not complaining :)

So just a standard toy dinosaur it is then :)

I thought because we were looking at  rather juvenile style for a dinosaur id look at a few images of some iconic dinosaurs that children love, the main one is obviously rex from toy story but all of them more or less have quite soft features and don't look intimidating at all, and i think thats what i should incorporate into my dinosaur!

Gareth gave me a model that he'd been working on for the dinosaur to texture but i felt that i hadn't contributed much to the group so i decided to model the dinosaur in more detail as Gareth hadn't spent much time on it!

These are screenshots of the model that Gareth created, i think i want to create something equally as simple looking but more that fits with the rest of the projects style, Callum's city scape is pretty intense and Gareth's octopus looks respectable enough, this dinosaur still looks pretty out of place, i wonder if i can create a simple model but a very good texture and get away with it! The guys reckon it should be a toy or a cardboard model that looks like a child created it!

animatic by sarah piedot

Okay a change of plans:
Through the majority of projects before i have always gone on what looks good and unfortunately never really stuck to the brief, i feel that modelling and rigging a dinosaur will only slow me down, and weather or not the dinosaur fits in with the rest of the scene, its more about composition than about anything else! So i found this skeletal dinosaur rig on creative crash linked  here

Here are some screenshots of the rig i will be using so far i've found no problems with it but fingers crossed!

So i think the next step for me in this project is to start animating!!!

This is the beginning of the  jump so far! as you can see he looks very lifeless but i'm hoping to edit all of that in the graph editor later, at the moment its just a matter of getting all the characteristics down!

Okay so the step back is looking a bit more fluid now and we now have the first jump,also i put in a few more subtle head and neck movements, as i feel that if they are both still at one point then they stop looking natural

Okay i feel as though the video is coming along now, its still very robotic though, i'm impressed with the jurassic park growl though, looks like it came straight from the movie! ;)

this is the final, i'm pretty happy with it, i added a few more tweaks to it such as hip movements and a tail, which i thought added quite a nice touch!

This is my first attempt at tracking so i literally have no idea how its gonna go, but i should probably learn so here goes!

So for tracking this is the set up we've got and initially what i have to do is ensure that there are no jumps or anything with the camera and line up the city to the film.

This video i have been given is actually pretty straight forward except there is a little jump at 10 secs which i will have to sought out, im also gonna have to export the dinosaur so lets see how that goes!

This is the footage with dinosaur imported, however there are two problems, one is that the city is the wrong way round and the 2nd is that i moved the city to make way for the dinosaur which will muck up the rest of the footage as everyone has moved the city central to the table!

Okay so this is the final, i've moved the city back to its central position, but decided that the dinosaur needed to be more in camera view, so it felt right to put him on a building like some godzilla/king kong type feel!


In my opinion i think things could have gone a lot better than they did, i think we spent far to long on picking an idea, and i myself feel as though i lacked motivation for this project, as well as some other members, its taught me that when it comes to developing an idea, i have to be really keen and stick to it! but its also opened up my eyes in the sense that soon i will be working on projects i might not necessarily enjoy but will have to do at the best of my ability, and thats something i definitely need to think about! i don't feel as though this project was used to its full potential but i still feel as though i've learnt quite a bit about motion tracking,compositing and it was refreshing to be involved with more after effects!