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monovich
07-27-2005, 12:27 PM
Howdy All,

we just finished a show open for the show "So You Think You Can Dance", which airs Wednesday nights on Fox.

All of the environments and many of the camera moves are created in :lwicon: , so I wanted to post it here. All the 3d was rendered in Fprime.

the Quicktime can be found here:

http://www.aerodrome.com/movies/DANCE.mov

and quite a bit of info about the process can be found in this CG Talk thread:

http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=250012&page=1&pp=15

We had a lot of fun with this piece, and got to try to mix and match a lot of different apps and techniques, so I'm pretty proud of it.

cheerio!

Steve

Mebek
07-27-2005, 02:33 PM
That is absolutely amazing! This is the kind of stuff I'm being asked to do now, because it's the hot new graphics look, and I don't really know AE that well (I own version 4.1, no 3D in that at all). I enjoyed the forum discussion in the link you provided.

How much would you say was done in AE versus LW? They're really starting to blur the lines with this kind of thing nowadays.

Lude
07-28-2005, 05:47 AM
HOLY C.R.A.P that blows me away - :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

Lude
07-28-2005, 06:03 AM
5 Stars for sure

monovich
07-28-2005, 11:02 AM
How much would you say was done in AE versus LW? They're really starting to blur the lines with this kind of thing nowadays.

here's a break down of how a shot came together.

1. Base shot out of the camera.

http://www.aerodrome.com/display/DANCE_ASSEMBLY/1.jpg

2. We tracked the shot with Synth Eyes and got the data into LW, then threw in random props to see if all the motions matched.

http://www.aerodrome.com/display/DANCE_ASSEMBLY/2.jpg

3. When we had a good match, we populated the shot with final models. We positioned the "light" props to backlight the dancers. The props didn't emit any light, we usually used a point light or area light to simulate the lighting of each prop, sometimes we used different lights for specular and diffuse to better control the look.

http://www.aerodrome.com/display/DANCE_ASSEMBLY/3.jpg

4. Fprime base plate render. We used fprime because the feedback was instant, and it was easier to get good motion blur in less time.

http://www.aerodrome.com/display/DANCE_ASSEMBLY/4.jpg

5. We used Knoll Light Factory to add glows and flares in AE, as well as Trapcode Shine and a few other cheats. Sometimes we went overboard, but the look is supposed to be glam. It's time to bring back lense flares anyway. ;)

http://www.aerodrome.com/display/DANCE_ASSEMBLY/5.jpg

6. This is our basic keyed girl. we tweaked her color to match the lighting and faked ground shadows with 3d layers in After Effects. It wasn't perfect, but it worked pretty well.

http://www.aerodrome.com/display/DANCE_ASSEMBLY/6.jpg

7. Particles were their own layer(s). They were all done with After Effects, Trapcode Particular, and the 3d camera data exported from Lightwave with Transmotion. Particles that followed hands and feet were hand tracked with a null in After Effects, which was very simple, and then the emitter was pickwhipped to the null via expressions.

http://www.aerodrome.com/display/DANCE_ASSEMBLY/7.jpg

8. Finished shot.

http://www.aerodrome.com/display/DANCE_ASSEMBLY/8.jpg

cheers.

-s

ravantra
07-28-2005, 12:33 PM
Wow! Thanks for showing us your workflow. When I saw the video I thought all that was done was add the "balloon confetti", instead you took just the dancers and created a whole environment....well done! :thumbsup:

TheDynamo
07-28-2005, 12:35 PM
Fantastic use of Particular. That has got to be one of the most useful plugins for AE we've bought from trapcode. I hope Adobe is planning on overhauling their default particle generator. Excellent composite!

-Dyn

Exper
07-29-2005, 09:11 AM
Absolute masterpiece! :agree:

Lude
07-29-2005, 09:57 AM
Hi monovich thanks for the insite. I work in a small new media company just taking it’s first tentative steps into video production with 3D and chroma key / green screen and this is really inspiring.

Just a couple of questions for you:

Knoll Light Factory – This is a PS plug-in, dose it also work with After Effects or is there another version.

Are there any really good website / forums about After Effects and 3D composition etc you would recommend visiting.

Thanks
Lude.

IgnusFast
07-29-2005, 12:33 PM
here's a break down of how a shot came together.

1. Base shot out of the camera.

2. We tracked the shot with Synth Eyes and got the data into LW, then threw in random props to see if all the motions matched.

3. When we had a good match, we populated the shot with final models. We positioned the "light" props to backlight the dancers. The props didn't emit any light, we usually used a point light or area light to simulate the lighting of each prop, sometimes we used different lights for specular and diffuse to better control the look.

4. Fprime base plate render. We used fprime because the feedback was instant, and it was easier to get good motion blur in less time.

5. We used Knoll Light Factory to add glows and flares in AE, as well as Trapcode Shine and a few other cheats. Sometimes we went overboard, but the look is supposed to be glam. It's time to bring back lense flares anyway. ;)

6. This is our basic keyed girl. we tweaked her color to match the lighting and faked ground shadows with 3d layers in After Effects. It wasn't perfect, but it worked pretty well.

7. Particles were their own layer(s). They were all done with After Effects, Trapcode Particular, and the 3d camera data exported from Lightwave with Transmotion. Particles that followed hands and feet were hand tracked with a null in After Effects, which was very simple, and then the emitter was pickwhipped to the null via expressions.

8. Finished shot.

cheers.

-s


Absolutely AMAZING. I realize at times I'm not very observant, but I can generally pick out CG. I thought that only the particles and some lighting were faked; I had no idea that basically everything but the dancers were done in Lightwave/AE.

Again, simply fantastic!!!

fboulene
07-29-2005, 11:47 PM
Oustanding work !!!
One question :
How do you get rid of the markers on the background ?
Thanks

adrian
07-30-2005, 12:51 AM
Are there any really good website / forums about After Effects and 3D composition etc you would recommend visiting.
Thanks
Lude.

I am a member of Wrigley Video Forum (http://www.wrigleyvideo.com/forum/) which has it's own After Effects section. This place has proved invaluable to me over the year I've been a member.

Check it out, you may find it useful :D

Adrian.

Viktim of Life
07-31-2005, 04:18 AM
i have some possibly stupid questions...

1) The crosses on the green backdrop used for motion tracking, how do you keep them from appearing in the final composite, like how do you key them? Frame-by-frame or what?

2) What format do you render the lightwave stuff in so that the alpha is included? Or do you render the alpha seperately?

I think that's all, I watched the video, its amazing! :thumbsup:

-Brock

Lude
07-31-2005, 10:13 AM
Hey monovich,

Im going to be getting 2 new cameras in soon and i was wondering what you though of the Sony ZU1 1080i HDV you where using. I take it this camera's not out yet. How'd you get to use it are you guys part of a testing group or somthing.

Cheers for any advice you have. :D
Lude.

Lude
07-31-2005, 10:21 AM
Also was the final show opening in 1080p or 1080i?

Was the extra resolution key to faking camera moves for the locked off shots?

Sorry if these are silly questions just getting up to speed on this area. And i'm trying to decide if we should bring in high def cams or regular 480p type cameras.

Don't have a big budget so it will be one of the cost effective camcorders.

monovich
08-01-2005, 10:57 AM
whoa, thanks for all the comments, guys!

I'll see if I can answer the questions:

Lude - Knoll Light Factory can be bought as an AE plugin. It comes with a suite of plugins, actually. It's VERY flexible for creating and even designing all manner of flares and light effects, not just clichéd lense flares. We couldn't have gotten our look without it.
As a tip, we used the Transmotion Corner Pin plugin to export the final X,Y rendered locations of lights from Lightwave to AE so that the flares were perfectly tacked to their lights. It was fast and worked perfectly.

I don't know of any AE forums, really. We just "kick the tires" when we need to figure out a new effect in AE, unlike LW where forums have been really helpful.

fboulene - We got rid of the markers the old fashioned way: roto. It wasn't that bad, though. We junk matted the dancers, then keyed them, then used the paint mode in AE to paint them out frame by frame. One of our freelancers also used commotion to pull keys, but she had her own methods. If you've never used the paint function in AE, try it, it's great!

Viktim of Life - no such thing as stupid questions! In the end we settled on rendering to the lowly pct. format because the Macs we were rendering with couldn't save to the SGI 64 format (from fprime), which would have had more color info.
In all the surfaces of all the objects in all the LW renders we set the alpha value to constant 0 in the surface properties EXCEPT for the bulbs of the lights which were set to 255. That way we could drop out the main geometry with the matte, leaving only the bulbs which we could then post-effect to make them glow nicely. It ended up being a good cheat that saved us from multipass rendering.

Lude - The Z1U (or is it the ZU1) is out. We rented it from Hollywood Studio Rentals for $300 per day. It's quality is NOT on par with a normal HD camera, which we also shot with. It shoots at the same data rate as Mini DV, but it's cramming a lot more info in there, so you can imagine the compression is a lot more severe. In a normal unaffected picture it's not a problem, but if you have to push the color too much, it doesn't respond as well. I would advise a test shoot before using it. It's a cool camera, just do your homework to see if it is right for you. We shot 1080i, which was all that it could do. Maybe newer models will have more options.

The extra resoltion was very nice to have for sure in faking the camera moves. What is even more important than resolution, thought is, that your talent doesn't "brake frame". Keep them centered with some safe area around them so you don't lose a hand or foot!

thanks for all the comments again, guys! It's fun sharing LW work with the LW community.

-steve

fboulene
08-01-2005, 11:27 AM
Thanks for your answers.

Francois Boulene

Lude
08-01-2005, 11:55 AM
Cool thanks for getting back to us, I have found the Z1U.

It's called the Z1E here in Europe and I think it should do me just fine, as I have found out the BBC are updating there current Sony models to it.