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Realimagesvideo
10-14-2006, 07:53 PM
How do the big boys make their animation look like film and not video. I watched Battlestar Galactica knowing I'm looking at Lightwave and it look soooo good. I'm using the same tools (lightwave) the big guy and my stuff looks like...well like video. I hate the video look.

C'mon....what the secret?

William

ScottSullivan
10-14-2006, 08:22 PM
Not sure what exactly your renders look like, but there are several things to do that will improve the overall "look" of the animations.

Animate at 24 frames per second. This will save you some time in the render time as well, as you'll not have to render an additional 6 frames per second of finished animation.

Use real world camera dimensions. By watching your camera settings (18-20mm for wide angle, 80-300mm for 'zoom' shots). This alone can affect the feel. Smaller (wider shot) increases the feeling of depth, higher settings (more zoom) flattens an image.

Speaking of depth, use depth of field. I like using iDof. With it I add depth in a compositing program like Shake. While on this point, you can render out different elements (background, foreground objects, etc.) separately to tweak settings in post.

Color correct. This is done in post, but goes a long way to matching the color grade of the other elements in your work.

The list goes on. The other guys on the forum know a lot more than I and will probably give you a much more in depth list.

Warm regards,
Scott

UnCommonGrafx
10-14-2006, 08:28 PM
You won't hire me, William. ;)

Nuff said. ;)

Edit: All that to say, it's about time and what else you add to 'the look'. There's lots one can do but every shot is different.

Realimagesvideo
10-14-2006, 09:07 PM
You won't hire me, William. ;)

Nuff said. ;)

Edit: All that to say, it's about time and what else you add to 'the look'. There's lots one can do but every shot is different.


Alright Robert....you know better than that! :)

I guess what gets me is that my last render has lines dancing all over the place. I kicked the anti-aliasing to PLD-17 (long render times) and edges still looks terrible. Here's an sample. It's hard to see in this compressed video stream but what I'm pointing to are the side handrails on the train's engine. Although difficult to see here, but you can see how the train's hand rail fickers from frame to frame.

www.realimagesvideo.com/uploads/t1.wmv

Comments are welcome...but not from Robert W. (Just kidding)

RedBull
10-15-2006, 01:51 AM
So many things make a difference, but it depends entirely on the scene.

I think in general, multipass rendering / compositing and post.
Allows for far more control to be maintained per shot.

But one thing you will find is matchmoving is something
that i personally noticed a huge boost to my own level of professionalism
in shots. No amount of hand keying can match an actual camera tracked into say a boujou track. For matching real plates it makes me giggle like a school girl how much better it makes each shot.

In terms of lighting multipass lighting, AO and GI passes can really
make a difference to photoreal shots.

Years of other tricks and tips that can go a long way to polishing the shot.

UnCommonGrafx
10-15-2006, 06:15 AM
Here's a freebie, William,
For THAT particular shot, rendering double sized would be the trick. Double sized and half the AA you used should be able to give you stronger lines in that area.
You also have some strong contrast in that area. Throwing some yellow light onto the black of the train would help it to blend into the white bkg a bit, as well. With video, you are fighting the rasters trying to go from black to white too fast. At least too fast for the human eye not to notice.

toby
10-15-2006, 04:35 PM
I guess what gets me is that my last render has lines dancing all over the place. I kicked the anti-aliasing to PLD-17 (long render times) and edges still looks terrible.
Hmm, not sure, but maybe that's because PLD is GARBAGE.

Try it with the same 17 passes in Classic. It will look BETTER and render FASTER. The only thing PLD is good for is rendering fewer passes than classic, like 3 instead of 5. That's the only time it's faster, and it's never good enough for a finished product. The recontrsuction filters are no good either, they either blur the image, or sharpen it to the point of leaving artifacts and flickering, all while adding time to the render.

In addition to chucking PLD, turn on Enhanced, turn Adaptive off, and you may need to use Extreme AA. These settings are commonly used for final quality.

Other things I notice - the saturation of the red will cause pixels to stand out and flicker. You can even see this on The Incredible's dvd, in their superhero outfits.

Sekhar
10-15-2006, 05:05 PM
In addition to things already mentioned, I've found motion blur to be especially good in creating a filmic look. I also like soft filter when AA is high (looks lousy if AA is low), though you can probably get a similar result with Gaussian blur in AE or something.

Exception
10-16-2006, 01:25 AM
Also use Bloom or Corona... really, that's something the Lw camera just doesn't do by itself, and it is such a vital part of our vision and the workings of real world cameras.


Give Virtual Darkroom a shot. Its an image processing plugin that needs to be accompanied by HDR expose or some other HDR exposer after it to boost up the light. It works wonders, adds film grain, vignetting, accurate color response...

My stack is usually, first an HDR expose to bright the image up to proper contrast, then a Better Bloom or Corona (BB = free plugin on flay), then Virtual darkroom, then andother HDR expose to tune the output of VD. Will look nice!

Red_Oddity
10-16-2006, 03:13 AM
Work in Linear color space and render out multi passes in float formats like EXR so you render in a more 'real world light' approach whilestill having maximum quality in compositing (Linear workspace and 8bit does not mix because a gamma correction eats away at your dark areas).

I know this is a very tough subject, but do try to find some of it online, Stu's blog might give you some info on this subject.
http://prolost.blogspot.com/

http://softimage.wiki.avid.com/index.php/Gamma,_Linear_Color_Space_and_HDR_Tutorial
http://www.fxguide.com/article336.html

And when working in Gamma 1.0 color space (Linear) i suggest using this tool : http://www.donationcoders.com/stars/index.php?show=gapa