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View Full Version : Failed attempt to animated viscous fluid on "Jane the Virgin" - vaseline lens



DonJMyers
03-17-2018, 05:28 PM
This week I've been working on an episode of "Jane the Virgin" here in Hollywood and we struggled with a strange effect the writers asked for. The first problem is imagining a weird wipe is one thing, actually doing it is another. AKA the client didn't know what they wanted (been there before?) but it was a clever idea I could not execute.

The episode involves some kind of back rub material that the women smear on each other and the joke is that one wacky character claims it makes everything better. Well, at the end of an episode a bad guy appears and the writers wanted to "rub on" the back rub material OVER the bad guy so that it causes a wipe/dissolve to white. As if trying to make the villain not a threat.

Imagine a pane of glass between the camera lens and the bad guy. An invisible something (like a hand/finger) rubs vaseline on the lens and then we dissolve to white in an abstract wipe effect. Then the episode ends (teasing the intro of the bad guy for next time.)

It was very hard to get a handle on so their digital fusion compositor asked me to come in and try a 3d thing as 2d did not work out. I could not really do it with hypervoxels in LW 2018 (why can't hypervoxels be fluid anymore? Is the new HV smoke only?) or LW 2015. All I could do was a spray paint effect. Also, they did NOT want a soft focus effect like the black and white photo attached. They wanted it more like Yeoman Rand from Star Trek photo attached, but with smears wiping her out and fading/dissolving to all white.

Perhaps a plugin would help? Eventually we turned to practical elements but, guess what? Vaseline is oil based, thick and goopy and does not like being rubbed on glass. It's too tacky. Once pantyhose was placed on the lens in pre-digital days. It is what gives C3PO on Tattoine his magic "star glow" highlights and make all those beauty shots of Yeoman Rand in Star Trek look extra hazy. But you can't "wipe on" panties.

As the lone Gay employee I suggested KY jelly and everyone mocked me :( Hey, light it from below and it is nice and smeary and water based! Condom safe!

Does anyone have any ideas how LW particles and any plugins could be used to do something like this? In order to keep it simple, just imagine animating paint on a pallet and smearing it around. It would be the same thing except on glass in a translucent setting.

It's too late to fix this shot but it is an interesting technical challenge.

Whelkn
03-17-2018, 11:56 PM
If I am reading this right fusion may have worked perfect for this. Call me next time ;-) He may have not have thought of some of the things I would have tried. Again I have my 4k camera always down to shoot elements. We do it all the time on this movie I am on at the moment. Its fun and I have a back yard now with my Duvatyne and green screen setup.

prometheus
03-18-2018, 07:15 AM
This week I've been working on an episode of "Jane the Virgin" here in Hollywood and we struggled with a strange effect the writers asked for. The first problem is imagining a weird wipe is one thing, actually doing it is another. AKA the client didn't know what they wanted (been there before?) but it was a clever idea I could not execute.

The episode involves some kind of back rub material that the women smear on each other and the joke is that one wacky character claims it makes everything better. Well, at the end of an episode a bad guy appears and the writers wanted to "rub on" the back rub material OVER the bad guy so that it causes a wipe/dissolve to white. As if trying to make the villain not a threat.

Imagine a pane of glass between the camera lens and the bad guy. An invisible something (like a hand/finger) rubs vaseline on the lens and then we dissolve to white in an abstract wipe effect. Then the episode ends (teasing the intro of the bad guy for next time.)

It was very hard to get a handle on so their digital fusion compositor asked me to come in and try a 3d thing as 2d did not work out. I could not really do it with hypervoxels in LW 2018 (why can't hypervoxels be fluid anymore? Is the new HV smoke only?) or LW 2015. All I could do was a spray paint effect. Also, they did NOT want a soft focus effect like the black and white photo attached. They wanted it more like Yeoman Rand from Star Trek photo attached, but with smears wiping her out and fading/dissolving to all white.

Perhaps a plugin would help? Eventually we turned to practical elements but, guess what? Vaseline is oil based, thick and goopy and does not like being rubbed on glass. It's too tacky. Once pantyhose was placed on the lens in pre-digital days. It is what gives C3PO on Tattoine his magic "star glow" highlights and make all those beauty shots of Yeoman Rand in Star Trek look extra hazy. But you can't "wipe on" panties.

As the lone Gay employee I suggested KY jelly and everyone mocked me :( Hey, light it from below and it is nice and smeary and water based! Condom safe!

Does anyone have any ideas how LW particles and any plugins could be used to do something like this? In order to keep it simple, just imagine animating paint on a pallet and smearing it around. It would be the same thing except on glass in a translucent setting.

It's too late to fix this shot but it is an interesting technical challenge.

Doubt particles and hypervoxels should be used for this, probably better of with some compositing effect, but I just wanted to mention, what do you mean by hypervoxels not being fluid anymore? since when was it Ever?
Forget the new 2018 volumetrics, it doesnīt have any surface mode nor any such blending mode which the old hypervoxels has, and for the record, you can use the old hypervoxels with surface mode in 2018, just add the old legacy hypervoxels through the image processing tab, and check use old legacy volumetrics in the volumetric tab.

MonroePoteet
03-18-2018, 08:32 AM
I might have tried simulating a glass matte in front of the camera and reducing the transparency in steps. Attached is a very quick sample scene just using a still as the backplate. The "smears" are (yet again, for me!) a moving Turbulence procedural on the Transparency and Luminosity channels, with the Y Location moving and the Layer Opacity dropping from 100% to 0.0% in "steps".

140735

140736 140737 140738

By dinking with the parameters of the Turbulence, you could get sharper "smears", or use a different procedural. In addition to reducing the Transparency and increasing Luminosity, you could try using the same Scalar procedural to influence the Refraction Index, etc.

mTp

MonroePoteet
03-18-2018, 03:25 PM
I must have been distract this morning (a couple of phone calls to make), since I didn't upload the scene, object and images as described. Here it is.

mTp

DonJMyers
03-19-2018, 10:38 AM
what do you mean by hypervoxels not being fluid anymore? since when was it Ever?
Forget the new 2018 volumetrics, it doesnīt have any surface mode nor any such blending mode which the old hypervoxels has.

Yes you are quite right I should have said "surface mode" not "fluid."

DonJMyers
03-19-2018, 10:44 AM
I might have tried simulating a glass matte in front of the camera and reducing the transparency in steps. Attached is a very quick sample scene just using a still as the backplate. The "smears" are (yet again, for me!) a moving Turbulence procedural on the Transparency and Luminosity channels, with the Y Location moving and the Layer Opacity dropping from 100% to 0.0% in "steps".

140735

140736 140737 140738

By dinking with the parameters of the Turbulence, you could get sharper "smears", or use a different procedural. In addition to reducing the Transparency and increasing Luminosity, you could try using the same Scalar procedural to influence the Refraction Index, etc.

mTp

Thanks so much for uploading. Yes this would work as a type of dissolve but, unfortunately, the client was adamant about it looking like it was "rubbed on with an invisible hand" and that was the part that has stymied us.

- - - Updated - - -


If I am reading this right fusion may have worked perfect for this. Call me next time ;-) He may have not have thought of some of the things I would have tried. Again I have my 4k camera always down to shoot elements. We do it all the time on this movie I am on at the moment. Its fun and I have a back yard now with my Duvatyne and green screen setup.

Yes we actually did end up shooting practical elements on glass but the vaseline just does not rub well and the hands were hard to remove even when wearing all black.

prometheus
03-19-2018, 11:04 AM
Yes you are quite right I should have said "surface mode" not "fluid."
No worries, I knew that somehow in the back of my head :)..just felt like accentuate that fluid is a shortcoming when it comes to hypervoxels.

As mentioned previously, the old hypervoxels is still accessable to work in surface mode, I am a little annoyed though that the legacy system isnīt easier to access, if it isnīt as fully developed, they should make the old hypervoxels easier to access.
As I see it regarding the new volumetrics, itīs not a replacement so far for the old hypervoxels, itīs an addition, it needs a lot of work in the nearest future for it to completly replace hypervoxels and that includes, adding a surface mode, sprite mode, make it work on points, make it being able to extract vertex color as we could in hypervoxels..and it needs to be easier to work with when setting up a hypertexture, I also miss the build in hypertexture effect speed of velocity, displacement and turbulence effects ..for similar stuff you now have to reference a null and move or scale it, make it work easier for random scale etc.

Otherwise I can not complain of itīs look when you do clouds at low scale, at larger scale it becomes too darn slow(raising step size will become too noisy..or justtoo slow if you want good enough quality), and you could just as well use old legacy in 2018 which is faster.
And the black body radiator is nice for smoke trails with some heat in it, and edge softness is much better than old hvīs.

jbrookes
03-19-2018, 11:50 AM
Imagine a pane of glass between the camera lens and the bad guy. An invisible something (like a hand/finger) rubs vaseline on the lens and then we dissolve to white in an abstract wipe effect. Then the episode ends (teasing the intro of the bad guy for next time.)


** I have no idea if the following would work -- however, it might be worth a try **

Kind of an old-skool approach might be to try making a plane and giving it a ton of segments.

Then use Vortex, Dragnet, or any of the other 'point-smearing' tools to create a series of morph targets in the pattern of the wipe. A bit of jitter to the points would likely be needed as well in order to disturb the plane's surface.

Next, combine the morph series with enveloped transparency that quickly changes from 100% transparent to something less than 100%. Two double-sided planes (one in front of the other would increase this effect).
The first object would be the one that's 100% transparent, index of refraction of 1.0, and 'flat' so that it doesn't show up in the render. Reflections and shadows disabled throughout the animation.

Enveloping the surface's index of refraction from 1.0 to around 1.8 should add to the blur/light-distortion effect.

If enabling smoothing doesn't hide the polygons, I suppose you could try the same idea but with smoothed sub-d objects for the morph chain. Kind of like a flat 'plane' of putty that's in front of the camera being gradually warped with changes to surface attributes over time).

The whole thing would happen as quick as a wipe (so around 10 to 15 frames?)

MonroePoteet
03-19-2018, 04:47 PM
Ah, OK. I think this might be a use for the DP RMan collection MarkerPen procedural texture. Joyfully, it works in LW2018 (although is crash prone, so save your work often!)! YAY! The DP RMan texture collection is available here:

http://dpont.pagesperso-orange.fr/plugins/Textures.htm

Attached is a sample scene, which has a simple plate of glass with a 2.2 refractive index. The exaggerated Bump on it (1000% bump) is a two-layer bump procedural. The first is (once again!) a slowly moving Turbulence procedural to look like it's seeping down the glass, and the second layer is Marker Pen as an Alpha channel on the Turbulence layer.

Marker Pen works by attaching it to a Null, setting up the value, shape, size and parameters to be applied, and then moving the Null around. The Marker Pen procedural leaves a trail, which in this case exposes the Turbulence procedural via the Alpha channel, which is then rendered with the 2.2 refractive index. I created the Motion Path for the Null (i.e. the finger(s) applying the vaseline / jelly / gunk) by using the Sketch tool in Modeler with the glass matte plate in the background (F7) and wandering. Then, use Export=>Motion File in Modeler, which is then Loaded onto the Null in Layout.

140778

This MOV movie only renders the first 110 frames of the attached scene:

140779

Obviously fine-tuning the procedural Turbulence to look like what you want, the speed and path of the MarkerPenNull, and perhaps using the same MarkerPen layer to add the jelly color to the glass where it passes might work for you.

BE CAREFUL using MarkerPen - it is prone to crashing Layout. Specifically, it doesn't do well in Copy-n-Paste, so to set up the Color layer Marker Pen, do it from scratch!

And, don't forget to support Denis financially if you can!

Good luck (on the next episode you need it!),
mTp

RPSchmidt
03-20-2018, 07:55 AM
I just wanted to say that this effect sounds like it would be very easy to achieve with After Effects.

Take a single still through glass that actually has Vaseline rubbed on it, make sure you include gobs. The background should be black.

Take the shot of the hand wiping the Vaseline on (without the Vaseline) on green screen.

2d camera track the hand, specifically the points you want to follow. Then composite the hand and the Vaseline still, use Screen for the mode on the Vaseline still, put your "villian" in as the bottom layer and use an object (a solid with mask, or a freeform shape object) parented to the camera track null to reveal the Vaseline layer by setting the Vaseline layer matte to Alpha matte.

You may need to add some minor effects to the revealing object to get a reasonable result; perhaps a box blur to soften the edges, some roughen to make the edges uneven, etc. but the overall effect should be pretty realistic. Some CC lens blur would probably also help sell the effect.

Anyhoo.