End of another project, which again was big eye opener to certain areas of Digital effects and Animation. I found this project to be all new to me, mainly because I had always known about composting and match moving but had never dived in and done any of it.
Here Is both a shot breakdown and final render of the clip we came up with:
And if your interested a Production Report to how it went
Post Production and VFX
Week 1 February 1-7
The first week consisted of coming up with the initial idea and storyboard. Several shots and concepts were going to be used to create a clip, involving two characters, interacting with an old and ancient book that would open and transport them to an unknown location. But for obvious reasons this was cut down due it being simply too ambitious.
It was agreed that doing a 22 second clip with several effects shots would be more attainable and looking back, I know it was a good idea.
Week 2 February 8-14
In the second week, the idea was agreed upon and live action filming took place. We decided to take the live action footage to a local area called Kennel Vale; an old ruin that used to be a gun powder mill, the location provided several stone building over grown with plants, which seemed appropriate for the project.
Initially the above idea, of a single clip being used, was not fully realised until the 3rd week. So when filming during this week, we initially thought of the sequence to be a mixture of different camera angles, building the scene to the shot with the character/s with the book. I personally enjoyed this particular part of the project, simply because I enjoy the concept of combining live action and computer graphics together, furthermore It was good to get to grips more with the camera gear at our disposal.
Week 3 February 15-21
Week 3 consisted of editing the footage together and the early stages of camera tracking. Once we had the camera footage it became obvious that the footage wasn’t useable for what the project had laid out for us and so realised that we had to cut it down substantially to achieve a decent effects scene. Due to the lack of experience in motion tracking, we found that most of the week involved us going through research and tuition information to get to grips with the softwares. It might also be said that we started with the matte painting during this week that would eventually go into the backdrop of the final scene
Week 4 February 22-28
Week 4 saw us using the tracking data with early cg tests and compositing the matte painting in the background of the shot. To start with we had allot of problems with the tracking data, in the way that it tended to jump about and are tracking points where always off, it came down to the situation where’s that we had to place the tracking points in manually for us to get reliable motion track.
Week 5 March 1-7
In week 5, we continued compositing the footage with developed cg models and a backdrop matte painting. The main issues we faced in this week was really bringing everything together as a whole into Autodesk Toxik and composting it into a final render.
While this was going on, final rendering was under way in Autodesk Maya with the foreground cg elements, namely the foreground wall at the end of the clip. This was done using a basic mesh tracked on to the match mover footage in Maya, then brought into a sculpting package, namely Autodesk Mudbox, to generate the rock surface and all of the texture maps. To add better lighting, a HDR image was also used to make it fit the scene better.
Week 6 March 8-14
Towards the end of this project we came across several problems in the compositing stage, especially when it came to Toxiks ability to handle large amounts of data. It became slow and crashed regularly, however we got it done in the end
In conclusion I found the project to be a huge learning experience, firstly because I had never tried any of the principles relating to most of post production, but also from the perspective of what one must do with a team when coming across new challenges. As far as post production, or in particular compositing is concerned, I would probably draw my attention to other areas in the industry, but it was still valuable information to know for later down the line and would give me greater confidence when working with compositors in the future.
Thats it for now, cheers