View Full Version : Lightwave Visual FX shot, crack, tornado, building crash.

08-08-2005, 02:51 PM
Hi there.
We recently got our panasonic 24P (dvx100) camera modified to get raw High Definition image sequence files out of it. One of only a couple such cameras on the planet.

Here is a FX shot I did to try working with the footage.

-2d and 3d Motion tracking.
-Sky replacement
-Object replacement
-Composited FX.

All 100% lightwave. Made extensive use of its hard bodies.

Here are some before and after shots and a link to the video clip. Note these are downsized from their native 720P resolution.

Leme know what ya think!


08-08-2005, 03:21 PM
Amazing clip!

Maybe the wall have to much gravity...it looks like it falling to fast.
But I know...it`s hard to get it perfect when dealing with dynamics.

The music is just perfect...I don`t miss the screaming guitars :rolleyes: .

08-08-2005, 08:10 PM
wow great tell me more please how u make the tornado, and how u make the dirty peaces after broken wall.

08-09-2005, 09:46 AM
Perhaps if the crumbling wall pieces moved just a tad slower in their fall, and fell outward instead of straight down. I don't know if that would improve it or not, but there's something that not quite right about the crumbling wall. (as if I could do better though).

I love this piece though, and the swirling mass of papers is a great touch. Very convincing.

08-09-2005, 10:33 AM
I think the section of bricks falling at the end is fine, but as already stated the ones at the beginning are just *slightly* too fast. The rest is awesome - I love that camera shake!! How did you do that?


08-09-2005, 10:49 AM
WOWZERS! - Pretty :censored: good!! :jam:

My only critique, as others have said, is the debris falling too fast but other than that a shot to be proud of! :thumbsup:

08-09-2005, 02:25 PM
Very nice.
Is that for demo purposes or a job?

08-09-2005, 09:02 PM
I don't know guys, looks pretty realistic to me. I watched it over and over for about 5 minutes, I've never seen a building break apart by a tornado or earthquake, but I bought it.

AWESOME WORK hairy llama!

Cheers Snos

08-10-2005, 02:29 AM
Hi there.
We recently got our panasonic 24P (dvx100) camera modified to get raw High Defenition image sequence files out of it. One of only a couple such cameras on the planet.

How is the camera modified? and who is making the modifications? I have yet to purchase a 3ccd chip camera, since i dont need it as of right now, I am still researching.


08-10-2005, 03:32 AM
I've played with hardfx a little bit and find calculation times can be quite slow when dealing with lots of parts. How many pieces did you calculate for this?

08-10-2005, 04:03 PM
This is a great piece of work. I'm envious.

I would LOVE more info on what you did to the camera, or who did it for you. We recently tried an HDV camera and were only mildly impressed... we'd love to know more about wether or not your solution might be a workable alternative.

I agree with the weight of the wall as it's breaking. The chunks could be a bit "heavier"

08-10-2005, 09:09 PM
Hey guys, thanks for the feeds.
This is only a demo and test to see how the HD camera solution worked out.
Also a possible shot to get a job.
I agree with you on the pieces not quite being right... Its VERY HARD to get lw's dynamics to do what you want.

The dynamic parts were calculated out in MANY passes and there is no inter-collision as it just takes to long to calculate.
Many smaller pieces were created using the FXlinker to link objects to particles.

The Tornado was created using a combination of point objects, particles and hyper voxels, it was originally created to be a Red dust devil in the desert... looked totally real then but it worked for this shot with a couple color convertions :) Its shape is controled by an IK chain, I can have it twist and twirl any way I want :).

The background papers where just a "particle clone" obj, many "paper" pieces cloned randomly in space... when you apply a deformation texture that uses world cords they appear to flap up and down. The close-up papers were created using cloth dynamics and the right wind controllers to get them to deform as I wanted.

The camera shake was just a 2d jitter in After Effects.

The camera is modified to spit out a HD 24FPS RAW file via USB2 onto a Mac Mini. This also gets you about 4 extra stops of dynamic range since it is not a processed 8bit image with large amounts of compression. We are Beta testing and helping the company that is creating it. Its not available to the general yet.

The 3d tracking info was also imported into After Effects for a couple of small details.. like the little bush that is being blown by the tornado.

Leme know if you have any more Q.s :)

Martin Adams
08-11-2005, 11:54 AM
This was absolutely superb :eek:

This is exactly the type of work I'd love to be able to create. I'd love for a shot breakdown on how everything was put together - but understandably you might not want to give away too many trade secrets ;)

Here's my set of questions (apologies if they've been covered already)...

What did you use to get the smooth motion for the original shot proper camera dolly?

The white trailer, was that taken out by simply place items over it or did you have to remove a part of it?

How did you generate the cloud background after the building has fallen?

Was the entire wall CG or a blend of them both?

What software did you use to track the shot into 3D space?

The ground in the foreground, is that entirely CG (hence the big hole in it)?

The papers flying are amazing - how were they done? Is it simply LW and dynamics?

The dust/smoke along the ground moving off frame to the left - was that done in LW?

I'd also love to know more about the camera you used. You mentioned you transferred it to a Mac Mini, how well does that perform?

Sorry for all the questions, but this is the most inspiring piece of work Ive seen.

Many thanks and well done!!!

08-13-2005, 09:07 PM
Yes, cine dolly.

Trailer, placed CG object on top.

Cloud was a sky sphere rendered in LW. MAsk out the original building sky
and also the part of the building that gets replaced with CGI.

End of wall was CG, only the part that was breaking. The rest had a shadow catcher object so shadows where cast on it.

I use syntheye to track. Forground is partly CG, where the crack is.

Flying paper was cloth dynamics for close up pieces, rest were
a cloud obj of papers.

Dust/Smoke on ground was multiple 2d layers in AE tracked in 3d space.

Camera is performing very well.
Here is a simple, non CGI commercial we shot with it.

http://www.dv3productions.com/blueox/blue ox.wmv

08-14-2005, 02:12 PM
Cool as :censored: !!! The music is superb too, quite the contrast. True, the building does fall quite quickly at first but it doesn't detract at all from the amount of work that must have gone into this piece. Great piece of work.

01-29-2006, 04:42 AM
Nice job! :D

01-30-2006, 02:42 AM
I'd expect the chunks to completely collapse into individual bricks. Currently it works well as say a concrete structure collapsing but is at odds with the brick construction. I've seen many brick structures brought down locally (industrial revolution mills, chimneys etc) and they all completely flatten into rubble as the mortar is quite brittle. A fun shot though :thumbsup:

Just to add...

watching it again it would be great to add the expected from such a collapse and thats the dust cloud and debris rolling towards you and enveloping the camera. That would give it that punch at the end of the shot.

Gregg "T.Rex"
02-01-2006, 04:02 PM
Tell me again why you shot that plate?

Actually, you could very much get away with a full cg shot for everything, without shooting, tracking, masking and compositing issues, as far as the live plate is concerned...

Very good work... :thumbsup:


02-01-2006, 10:43 PM
Good work. I especally like the torando. More smoke rising from the rubble of the bricks might add extra interest to that area.

Hey Gregg. I agree but, front projection mapping may have made integration easier. Of course, I guess that could have been done, none-the-less.

02-03-2006, 02:22 PM
Hey guys, thanks for the feeds.
I agree with you on the pieces not quite being right... Its VERY HARD to get lw's dynamics to do what you want.

The dynamic parts were calculated out in MANY passes and there is no inter-collision as it just takes to long to calculate.
Many smaller pieces were created using the FXlinker to link objects to particles.

hey hairy, if you feel up for it, you can easily take all those large chunks, and break them into smaller chunks using 1Piece>Parts! :D
I think it would really help the anim, also if the tornado is the cause, you would probably see the right side breaking first, and some anticipation before things just break or fall...and i dont really see the window glass breaking....

Just seperate all those large chunks and break them into smaller bits using crackit, leaving the group of small bits per chunk in a layer, then the only real pain is seting up the HardFX for all the layers...and thats not really so hard if you know your way around... ;)

if you use 1Piece>Parts for each layer, they will stay one whole piece then break and shatter into smaller chunks...theres alot of control to be had with this and events...

hehe or you could simply model every brick ;D

02-03-2006, 03:31 PM
hey hairy, if you feel up for it, you can easily take all those large chunks, and break them into smaller chunks using 1Piece>Parts!

:thumbsup: Hey Howard. I like the animated avitar. Cool dog.
Thanks for the info. I wasn't familiar with 1Piece>Parts. I'd like to using dynamics more. Hairy had mentioned that so many more pieces involved with the dynamics will exponentially slow down the calc. Would box frames as collision objects for the FX brick pieces be the speedy (relatively) alternative? Though since boxes are a crude approximation of the object, would the fact that the edges of the brick pieces at their rest positions share the same space be skewed or offset because of the box collision approximations?

Forgive me if I am not pharsing that right.

02-04-2006, 04:49 AM
yes calculations will slow down, but its all relative, right? how long would it take to hand animate? :D

yes you can use box node for collisions, but at the moment you cant simply click one button to throw in a bunch of bricks and turn on collisions and expect them to sit perfectly on top of each other without pushing or bouncing away...but with some minor workarounds you can get some decent results...using events, collisions, groups, etc...

you basically still have to do some choreography, its not just push of the button...but it can look great with not too much work... :D

02-04-2006, 11:55 AM
I think I see what you're saying Howard, if you use an event, then the boxes are not calculated until that event happens thus the bricks will sit properly prior to that moment (theoritically) right? Is there normally a jitter or pop on the first frame of the event or does that depend entirely on the situation ie; shapes and numbers of collision objects and their proxcimity?

Thanks Howard. :)

02-05-2006, 05:08 AM
from my view point its looks vey good, may eb because i am noob, still i like it.
Hey what song is that? who is it? can i have name? or the song? thanks

02-05-2006, 11:23 AM
yep, you can use events, collisions, winds, all sorts of mixed tricks to control how, where and when something breaks...

in my experience any time trying to just set down a ton of bricks and just sim them with plain HardFX will result in popping or shaking...if youre trying to get something realistic where they just topple from their own weight... but with events and collisions you can control and time it...

02-05-2006, 02:30 PM
hehe well, had to figure it out :D
check this out - http://www.spinquad.com/forums/showthread.php?p=117668#post117668

02-05-2006, 05:54 PM
I had tried all of the above mentioned methods, none worked reliably or fast enough. My chunks were broken up into many smaller chunks, but it was totally bogging down and freezing my system. As far as dust coming towards the camera, I would need a rolling dust element to composite in, as CGI rolling dust is not really there yet for that sort of thing.

I think if you want good dynamics then you need a stand-alone app
that is dedicated to dynamics. Lightwave dyanamics are a joke, even set
at NO inter-collision and bounding box mode, as I did for this scene.

02-05-2006, 09:21 PM
Thanks Howard!
Hairy, ther's syflex but, that app is quite expensive, at least the last time I saw it's ad. But, it is fast amd supposedly, very accurate.

BTW..Horray Steelers! Nice trick play. :thumbsup: