VFX Project: Part 3

VFX work 2.gif

This post will just be a general overview of what I have done so far instead of more of a in depth analysis of every step I did to make each scene. As you can see since the last post I have made several edits to the original footage, I have added rain on the window to the first scene with a more cloudy sky and several particle effects to make it look like it is raining in the distance, I then edited the footage to change the scene to Desert, then snowy mountain and rain forest matte paintings each originally being still images with their own effects. Finally layering some window effects on top of that to look like it’s behind glass, this I still think needs a bit of improvement but next up is to make a beach scene that I actually approve of and then to track the footage so that the paintings move with the window frame.

VFX Project: Part 2

VFX work 3.gif

Beginning my work on the footage I showed in my first blog about our VFX project, I took the starting scene where I sat in a light room, pretending to work on a green computer screen that was on the board, I started this by masking out the green on the screen in this footage and inserted a screenshot of my blog page there instead, I then duplicated the original layer on top of that and changed the colour of the green to black and upped the contrast to really bring out the reflection, then keyed out the black on the footage to leave only the white reflection on top of screenshot of my blog to really make it look like it was an actual screen.

Final touches were to key the position of the screenshot to follow the slight movement of the camera and to do a little colour correction to the scene to make it darker and fit the mood of what I wanted in the scene.

VFX Project: Part 1


For our final VFX project of the year, we were left to our own devices to make a final piece, the video has to be around 10 seconds long and needs to display a number of skills that we have learnt throughout the year.

The idea that I ended up coming up with for mine is inspired quite a bit by the movie “Click”, the idea that I can use a remote to change things easily in the world.  For the pre-production of the clip, since I was already set on the idea, I began story boarding the shots and how the scene would go about. Since I don’t have the storyboard with me however and I know for a fact that the drawings were quite poor I will just type up the general idea.

To begin with, it begins with me sitting at a desk with in a pretty gloomy room with the interactive whiteboard still in view, to demonstrate skill there I will do some replacement on the whiteboard screen to show some work being done, whilst doing work I seem bothered by something, I turn around to look at something off camera to where light is coming from (a window), I turn and pick up a remote from the desk and then proceed to walk over to the window.

It then cuts to me walking to the window with remote in hand, I stop and start pressing a button, one at a time it changes the scene outside which I will make matte paintings for each, with colour correction in the room for all, unhappy with the result about three times I then switch to the result I am happy with. I then walk and sit back down getting on with work in a better mood still with the colour correction in the room.

Here is the recorded footage, sadly I made the GIF at a slow fps but it gets the point across.


VFX work 1.gif

After Effects – All Stars Credits: Part 2

Genie Gif

Today in Pete’s lesson we were finishing our All Stars credits sequence, personally, in the lesson I made the rest of my assets and then spent the rest of my Friday night to put it all together in After Effects.

Since I explained the concept mostly in the last one, I’ll just talk about what I have done today, so, I began by making the tail and the hands of genie, two things I’m personally very proud of. Everything made has been done in Animate as well so that it is vector art and stays great quality.

Next I made some very quick Genie smoke and exported everything as separate images for use in After Effects.

I then made my composition and got to work in After Effects, I mostly only keyframed Size, Opacity, Position and Rotation to create this but I also used the Simple Waves effect to get a more organic feel to the smoke.

Personally, I am very happy with the end result and thought it was a very unique idea to do, I look forward to doing more like this in the future.

After Effects – All Stars Credits: Part 1

Recently with Pete’s lessons we have been asked to use the skills used when animating the robot to make our own credit roll for an actor of our choice, this needs to be between 3 and 9 seconds long. The inspiration came from a one that Peter has created for a former job, he then wants to edit all of these together into a class credits roll.


Throughout the first lesson, as you can see in that Gif there’s a boulder rolling over Harrison Ford, obviously themed after Indiana Jones. Pete made a short animation where that happens on a larger scale and a tutorial on how to achieve it which everybody followed in the lesson, however, feeling pretty confident with the task and having an idea instantly, I decided to go straight into making my own.

My idea was generated around the great, late actor Robin Williams and one of his great roles, Genie in Aladin, my idea was that the name Robin Williams would come out of a lamp as smoke and then form as a Genie themed name also.

I also decided to make my own assets for this, using Animate to do so, so for the first two lessons, I have made a lamp and some text. Here is the lamp and I will insert a picture of the text when I am in next lesson as they are fonts I can not access at home. next lesson I will begin to animate all of this in After Effects.


VFX: Force Push

Yoda gif

In Gary’s lesson on Monday we were given the choice to work on one of three things, what I chose to work on was a force push to go with the footage of Yoda that we were given in the lesson, however we also had the choice of eye replacement and some Dr Strange inspired VFX.

I really enjoyed this lesson as it was good to get more skills learnt before we start our solo project and I am also really pleased with the result, although at the end it looks a bit odd because the footage stops as the wave I put in continues but that was just where the footage was extended to be able to put a full effect in.

At the top of the blog is the gif of my finished product made in the lesson and I look forward to making more movie inspired effects like this to be able to learn more industry skills.

VFX: Matte painting


In Gary’s lesson a few weeks ago we were learning the fundamentals of Matte Painting, this is the process of adding still images or other video footage into another bit of footage, this is used in the industry constantly and is a great skill to begin to learn.

I made this by having two layers of the original footage and sandwiching the added city between them, for the layer that was on top, I key framed the footage around the hills to be cut out so that there was nothing else above that and you could see the city I put in between.

I then softened the edges of the city and also added fog to the scene, whilst animating a few to go over the water, I didn’t have enough time to add more colour correction to the city which I hoped to do but overall I am very happy with the skills I learnt this lesson.

VFX – 3D Tracking – Lesson 2


Warp Stabilisation:

This week in Pete’s lesson we worked on fixing footage for the first part, being in the industry himself he explained that sometimes the footage passed to you isn’t the greatest and needs to be fixed every now and again, he then gave us some footage he recorded of the front of our college and showed us a few techniques to get rid of the fish lens effect and smooth the footage out. Here’s what we started with:


Pretty shocking right?? We worked on this by using the effect “optic compensation” and changing the FOV ro around 35, this gave it a weird blur that can’t be fixed but is much better than the first product.

One Point Tracking:

Now for the meat and potatoes, that fish you saw in the first gif? Yeah, that wasn’t actually there, here’s how I did it:

First, I inserted the footage, the fish and a null, I set the scene to the same amount of frames as the footage. I then selected the footage and went to “tracker” on the side and selected track motion and placed the tracking point on a point of high contrast where i wanted it (making the boxes bigger as I did it), I analysed the footage and assigned the null to it’s target, Finally I parented the null to the fish and it was done! All I needed to do was re position the fish to the right place! here it is again.


Two Point Tracking:

Fishy on college (1).gif


Believe it or not, this was almost as simple to do as the first one, apart from before you click track motion click all three of the boxes below to track rotation and scale as well as position, this will also add another point to track with, I did the same and put them on places of high contrast, then after it renders and you follow the rest of the steps of the last one, you’ll have the fish looking kind of odd on the building, to add the finiushing touch and have it adopt the lighting of the scene and use the colours of the building you will need to add “Linear Burn”in the Blend modes.


VFX – 3D Tracking


So, Last week in Pete’s lesson we took a look at 3D tracking for the first time! I loved every bit of this lesson personally as the end result was so simple but great considering what little it actually did to the footage.

After setting up the scene with the usual settings, 25 FPS , 1080p and 8 seconds long, the same length as the footage, I inserted my text with a readable font and a large size to see it. I set up the footage to be raytraced 3D, next we added 3D depth to the text and lighting to make it visible in the scene.

After this we inserted the footage and an effect called “3D Camera Tracker”and enabled Detailed analysis in it’s options and let it render out, after that we had a scene with several multi-coloured dots on it, Pete told us to find a ground plane and it’s best to use the middle of the footage, in this case it was 4 seconds in, I selected 3 of the dots in a triangle shape on the ground, this’ll make a sort of “Bullseye” on the floor, I right clicked it and selected “make ground plane”, I turned on text layer and that was the result. Tracked to stay on the bullseye the whole way through the scene!