Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Creating the spells for wizard battles

As you may know already, the wizard battle will be published this week, and of course, it contains a lot of wizard spells and all that stuff, it has been done before, but i'm doing it any way, WIZARD SPELLS TUTORIALS!! It's actually really easy, so let's look at some footage. If you have seen my blog before you might recognize the picture above, this is before the spell was added in, also a simple cloning effect was added by filming nick in those two places, splitting the layer, timing it and masking nick out, easy for this clip. Now to the spells, we made a new solid and applied the advanced lightning generator to it. Then we set the lightning type to strike and changes the glow color to green. Now keyframe the origin and direction of the lightning bolt and animate it with the little crosshairs in circles give on the screen. you should get a smooth animation throughout a few frames, then trim the layer to the end of the animation, for anything extra add another solid, add the advanced lightning filter and go through the steps again, except this time change the lightning type to bouncy and composite is on the persons body.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, experiment to get even better, send me a link to the video and i'll watch it!!

Cinematography Tips: The basics

Here's a list of my cinematography tips to make your mini movie AWESOME!

1. Establishing shot, establish the scene so that the audience doesn't become confused.

2. Build up/suspense, create a sequence of shots along with suspensful music to build up to a certain point, then, boom!! it happens.

3. Composition, imagine a 3x3 grid, make sure that the focal point is on one of the inner 3 hashmarks.

4. Angles, You can either have a high, low, or level angle, experiment with these for best effect.

5. do at least 3 takes, do at least three takes to give the editor a better variety to choose what looks best.

So that's my basic guide, keep going!!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

New Mini movie in place of the Jedi One (lost footage) And good news, it's done!!

Hello, i'm sorry i've been very unreliable but that all changes now!! We have just finished our first video and we will post it on youtube as soon as possible! There is also another vid coming and we're already working on it, but, let's get to it, the new mini movie is a wizard clone fight. My good friend, Nick, plays both clones, and i did the compositing for clones and spells and explosions, in after effects. You'll see it when i post it, so it should be up in the next week, oh, and of course we had to blow up my dads car, to.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Panasonic HD Video camera Model HDC-SD40, 1080p questions

Hello!! I recently got a Panasonic HD camcorder for my birthday (today) and I have some questions about it and was hoping that some of you guys could answer! First question, does it degrade over time and if so how long? Number two is the video quality true HD (Full 1080p)? Number Three, what size and speed SD card should I get, and also what type? Overall I like it but i've got to give it some time to truely evaluate its performance.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Updates every week, either tutorials or other cool vfx stuff!!

Today we are announcing that we are doing a weekly update from now on, and if i feel like updating more that once a week, so be it!! a few extras in there, so you can look forward to a new, well written post or even more, every week, about vfx!! Waahoo!! Check back in later and you'll see a bonus post! Happy VFX!!

How to make a UAV in after effects (a.k.a predator drone, a.k.a c-130 UAV)

So, if you play, or have ever seen someone play call of duty or modern warfare, you've most likely seen a UAV or  a predator drone, and when the game comes up with a predator drone, it usually shows an inverted black and white land scape (kind of like a negative for a black and white picture) and it has lots of random numbers (some not) and things like RPG THREAT CONFIRMED in flashing red letters, the other elements are the movement of the drone (or the ground) and the stratus clouds, which can be simulated from careful animation and modifying settings in fractal noise. So, to the tutorial.

1. Import a picture from google earth of a wide city scape ( from the top)

2. Drag it to the new comp button and name the layer BG (background)

3. Add a tint effect and make sure the a and b colors are set to default ( black and white) and make sure that the tinting amount is a 100

4. Now add an invert effect to the BG layer, set the channel to RGB and the blending with background to 0.

5. Open up the transform properties and click the stopwatch for keyframes on position and rotation. Now do a good, slow rotation animation and a good slow position animation to have it rotate and move upward, you may have to scale the BG layer up or the comp down.

6. if you want you can add red enemy intels and scale them down, now parent them to the BG layer.

7. Create a new solid and apply the effect fractal noise to it.

8. Make sure you have these exact settings on fractal noise (you can modify them to get what you want),
Fractal Type: Basic
Noise Type: Soft Linear
No inverting
Contrast: 380
Brightness: 0
OverFlow: Allow HDR Results
Rotation: 0x +0.0
Check Uniform Scaling
Scale: 92
keyframe the offset turbulence and animate it slowly throughout the clip (it doesn't matter in which direction)
complexity 17.5
Keyframe the evolution and animate it slowly through the clip (you go up or down in values, it depends on which direction the clouds are going in)
opacity: 55
blending mode normal

just to make things clear, that last step was MY settings, you can modify depending on what you want.

9. Set the blending mode on the cloud layer to screen and parent it to the BG layer, play it back, you should now see a moving negative landscape with clouds and little red intels on it, (depending if you added intels)

10. Now it's time to add text and random numbers, add whatever type of text you want, for example, i added c-130 military UAV drone in white text along with some random numbers and in flashing red text RPG THREAT CONFIRMED, so, at this point, it's your creativity that comes in, you have to play around with it, one thing, if you want randomly animating numbers, type them out and position them, open up the text drop down that's in the layer drop down, and click on the animate button and select character offset, now animate the value with a keyframe up or down depending on what you want

So, if you followed my instructions, you should have a video that somewhat resembles this photo, also, vfx coach on youtube has a tutorial that covers the same principle.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

lightsaber tutorial

Hello!! I know that there are many tuts out there for creating lightsabers, but there is such a variety of methods for creating lightsabers, but I think the best, and the easiest way is to make a white solid and rotoscope it over the actual prop saber, here's a screen shot i took while working to demonstrate the process. Watch this video by freddiew to get the full tutorial. Also, video copilot makes a great plugin for creating lightsabers, but i don't think it's really needed as the process can be done with all of the tools in AE. Here's the vid.

New mini-movie, lightsaber based

Hello, as you know, i'm just starting a visual effects blog, i will update every week, and will provide news, tutorials, and other cool thing that i find on the internet, so, let's get to the new, this week we have begun work on a new mini-movie, epic fails of the jedi weirdos, I don't have an exact date or time on when it will be done, but, you can still expect news. As you can see from the picture above it will be a fight scene, but it will also be a comedy movie, full of, you said it, jedi weirdos epicly failing. We will update on the progress of the movie normally, so, check back in!! Happy VFX!

~ Evan C. ~