View Full Version : FXWars: Big Freeze - Hybrid entry - WeatherBlenders

07 July 2005, 08:14 AM

We are a team of Blender users and this is our FXWars official production thread. We are going for the hybrid entry as a collaborative project everyone can participate. When the actual production starts, we start using this thread for the progress. Until that everything is happening at pre-production thread (
There has also been an initial starting thread (
Best of luck to all fellow participants!

07 July 2005, 08:28 AM
ah finnaly! :) but why would'nt you use this thread as pre production thread?

ps, my ice mask is nearly done
it still needs some stretching size tweaks ;)

now im gonna improve the ice, (and you can see some problems at the computer also)

07 July 2005, 10:56 AM
I think it is a good practice to divide the production in sections. And since we are still just forming the team and making first tests, to me it is better to keep it on another thread. Production phase will hopefully start next week, and when it does, we move the project here.
Storyboard and schedules need to be sorted before that.
Visitors, do check the pre-production thread though, there is already stuff to be seen.

Job: My quicktime refused to show the animation. It said it has not the plug-in needed and quicktime website doesn't have it either. Something I should do?

07 July 2005, 11:19 AM
ah, ok i'll post in the other thread than, and just got a cool idea to add some moving elements, like a clock that stops ticking :)

about the movie, i think it's for quicktime 7 do you have that?
[edit] here's an avi version, please only comment about the mask ;)

07 July 2005, 03:04 AM
This is going to be so COOL !!

07 July 2005, 06:03 PM
Cooool stuff Job! :eek: :thumbsup: Did you track-&-match the footage, block out the basic shapes in the scene, and render out a frost-version (to later combine?)? In every way it looks cool & promosing...!

I don't know if you were targeting for ice or frost...? Caus as far as I can see that specular look is cool to make convincing ice...! Only the frost should be a little less gray... :shrug:

Good luck on this show, man! :buttrock: & See ya! ;) , Greetz,

07 July 2005, 07:37 PM
thx Dutchman! :) yeah tracked it blocked it out basic shapes, and used that to make ice and an ice mask

here's shot number 2 :)
not the final one though, still needs bump animation and thickness anim ;)
the ice sound is done by me (crunshed a couple of iceblocks :p )

07 July 2005, 07:53 PM
I can warmly recommend all of you visitors to check out our pre-production thread ( There certainly is things to see already. Of course all relevant material will be here when the production starts, but if you are willing to see where we are going. As of this being written it is 132 replies and nine pages, and big part of it is something else than patting each other's backs.
Worth it, I'd say.
We expect to start the production phase officially by monday.

07 July 2005, 07:55 PM
Joat, srry could'nt resist posting some stuff... heh ;)

07 July 2005, 08:21 PM
Your stuff is well worth posting. =) And I think it will invite people to our pre-prod. thread as well (Judging by the numbers I'd say it definitely does). Just wanted to plug us too. =)

08 August 2005, 07:21 AM
Well, it took longer than initially meant, but WeatherBlenders start production phase as of now. I will edit this post to include most of the progress so far, but before that you can check it out by visiting our pre-production thread (links'a'plenty in messages above).

Our storyboard can be checked here. (

Currently we are getting ready for a video shoot. There is also a few effects and cg shots that are developed as separate projects at this point, but with the aim of combining them with the video footage.

One such project is the freezing of the room, of wich the man in charge is Job. You can check the breakdown of the technique used and the test footage here.

Some cg props to be used in the final production:

3D drinking class by Apollux: Developement of the technique and analytical approach in honing the methods and appearance towards perfection can be seen at our pre-production thread. Vapour screen method concept and testing shown in the next post also by Apollux

3D table fan by Hunkadoodledoo: A table fan that will be used in the final product, the developements can be checked at the pre-production thread. A digest version will be posted here when it's ready.

And the test video render for the fan here. (

2,5D Cameramapped matte painting: A freezing city scene that is seen through the window of the apartment. There is a preliminary test and a proof of concept animation with a purpose made test matte seen in here. (

3D ceiling fan by Blender-Freak: At our opening shot we have a ceiling fan, and that has been made by Blender-Freak. The composition of this will be seen here, but meanwhile you can check our pre-production thread.

There is also some very preliminary tests on the particle snow effects, and when there's more they will also be shown here.

I will update the information above to be more detailed, and add links to digest versions when they are ready.

We are in need of more Blender users to participate. If you feel you have something to offer in any of the areas above, don't hesitate to let us know. Also, if there is someone with previous professional experience in leading this kind of productions and an urge to contribute in something like this, we would be clad to hear from you.

08 August 2005, 06:08 AM
Here is the break-down of a AFAIK new technique for doing Bluescreening without the actual bluescreen.


Because on our storyboard the main character spend most of the time in front of a panoramic window looking out the city's landscape, that of course should be CG made.. That window is the main (and only) light source of the scene and if you cover it with a solid bluescreen the natural lighting is lost. we could use a backlighted bluescreen instead, but the actor would be standing so close to it that the "color spill" produced would be intense enough to ruin the shot.


** Note 1: These are test frames, not actual production frames.
** Note 2: All the compositting, besides take "F", was done with Blender's built in Video Editor.

First we filmed a couple of takes with the video camera:

And of course, the main reason we are making this:

Now we have (almost) all the needed takes to work. First thing to do is a pixel-by-pixel boolean operation between takes A and B in order to separate the Actor from the screen... this is what we got:

By turning the result of the boolean into a GrayScale image we end with a very convenient alpha mask for the actor

We also need an alpha mask for the screen itself.. I should have bluescreened that mask on the set, but for some reason I didn't, so I had to paint one by hand. This is what I got:

Now we are trully ready to begging the party :thumbsup:

First thing is to cut off the actor by eliminating everything that isn't the actor from the take by applying the actor's alpha mask ("E")... this step produce the right results on the areas previously covered by the vaporscreen, but leaves a lot of garbage on the non-convered areas, so we also ran the Vaporscreen alphamask ("F") to clean out the garbage.

This is the "cleaned" actor:

Now it is time to work with the bacground and the CG.

After adding the CG over the background (easy to do thanks to the CG Element's own alpha channel) and using the actor's alpha mask to make a "hole" in the background, this is what we got:

(to be continued in the next post... )

08 August 2005, 06:31 AM
As you can see, there are some problems with the actor's alpha mask not been opaque enought.. easly solved by multiplying by 2 the alpha mask layer pixel values.

And as the final touch for the background, we cut off the areas NOT covered by the vaporscreen.

We are almost there... Do you remember the original shot with the actor and the screen?, let's revisit it to get the areas of the shot that doesn't include the vapor screen, that is the last piece we need:

Let's put all the pieces together and see how they look:

Hmmm.. almost, but not quite.. the camera we used didn't have manual controls for frame exposure. It took what it seemed the best exposure for each shot, but now they don't mach together.. lucky, Blender allow us to fine tune the brighnetss of each layer.. after some manual tweaking this is the final image:

You can still see the "seams", but that is my fault when I hand painted the last alpha mask.. should I have done it the right way, and the seams would be really hard to notice and easily coceived by a final antiallias pass.

Do it seem like too much work for just a singe frame? well.. it is one of those "set once, use forever" things... after you got the first frame looking right, Blender will work it's magic on all the other frames while you take a well deserved break :thumbsup:.

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08 August 2005, 06:31 AM
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