View Full Version : Earthquake - V F/X Challenge - Knut

11 November 2002, 12:42 PM
Yep i'm in too. My first contest, this will be exiting. Never done any V F/X before but always wanted to, so this can get hairy. I'm hoping to get the filming done this weekend.

Link to Final (

11 November 2002, 01:19 PM
Awesome! Looking forward to it Knut!


11 November 2002, 04:56 PM
On my way to the bus today i shot some pictures of possible locations close to where i live. I think i'll go for the upper left one or the small alley with the garbage container (Upper right picture). What do you think?

Click on this link to get the bigger picture (

11 November 2002, 12:34 PM
Well i've managed to borrow a Canon XL-1 from my office, and today i'm all set for recording. And now it is snowing :hmm: . I'll have to wait to see if it stops soon, before it gets to dark. Else i'll have to do it tomorrow.

11 November 2002, 07:56 PM
The Storyboard:
Starting with silence in the first second then to slight rumbling and swaying of signpost, garbage containers etc, and crack opening. Massive and violent movement of earth with houses on. Right side goes up, left side goes down. Garbage containers falls over and the one in the foreground falls in to the crack. As the tremor dies out, the sign falls towards the camera and destroys it. The End.

And here is the location:

(Full frame) (

What do you think, is this doable for a first go at VFX's?

11 November 2002, 11:36 PM
can the sign reach the camera when it falls and destroy it? looks unlikely

11 November 2002, 11:46 PM
funnydoodle, yes i agree with you it looks unlikely. I might have to move it off the wall and closer to the street to work. A solution is to put something else in the scene that can crash on the camera.

11 November 2002, 10:18 AM
Have the signpost fall over the crack hitting something else on the otherside causing it to fly toward the camera. Just a suggestion!

Nice storyboards!!

11 November 2002, 02:45 PM
Vfx --> glad you liked the storyboards. Good idea to let the signpost hit something that makes it shoot towards the camera. Or, maybe something in the scene could hit the signpost. I will figure this out when i start to make things happen in the scene.

11 November 2002, 01:34 AM
Modeled the Grabagecan tonight. Took three images of the real one and loaded front/left images into max as ref, then made it out of polys. The maps are not perfect because i have a lot to learn on how to map objects properly. It's late and i go to bed now.

360 Rotation (

11 November 2002, 11:45 AM
I like also storyboard. It's clear.

Garbage can looks very real to me. I like it (as much as ypu can like garbage can ;))

Keep goin'

I'm curious how will you deal with house movement

11 November 2002, 11:49 AM
I'm curious how will you deal with house movement Me too!

Thanks for commenting the can, the minor imperfections i think will not be seen due to the size it will be shown in the final clip.

11 November 2002, 08:16 PM
Since i'm a total newbie in the VFX game, i can't be sure that i do thing in the right order, or even do things that are not essential to the result. But i'm learning a lot when doing all this stuff.

I have made more room around the video so it can be shaken around without any black borders. Then i've removed (magically) the signpost and the lamp (maybe i remove some more later) Theese items is going to be on separate planes in the camera matching. Then i can animate them wobbel without any trouble.

Ofcourse this removing are done with cloning (cloning- + healing brush in PS7 = Unbeatable). The extension was done by cloning and using photos i shot on location with a digital camera. As you can see it got a hole on the right side, but if i need that later, i will shot that (snowing very much right now, so i have to wait)
Right now i will star trying to rip the picture apart i 3dsmax5, by matching the video onto geometry. I was trying a bit yesterday and i find that the lens distorts the image quite a bit. So matching was not easy.

Enough talking, have to work.

11 November 2002, 08:24 PM
I like what I see. Nice to see some surroundings that feel familiar. So strange looking at all these exotic locations.

I presume that you are going to use this as a still plate. And just project the photo onto geometry? Would be fun if you could incorporate some video footage.

I hope the perspective changes of the house according to your storyboard wont break up things so that it will look unrealistic.

Are you going to do some animatic shakes to test things or will you do the final shot at once?


11 November 2002, 11:43 PM
I think i will do some tests late now. And i'm a bit worried on how the perspective change will look. Not too fake i hope.

About the image; I am trying to use the video as a projection map, only with the "dead" image as a safe frame to avoid any glitches in the projectionmap when the geometry moves.

If i took a picture of the location today it would be covered in 15 cm of snow. I think some on this board would find that exotic? Anyway, idid not get any further today. Tomorrow will be a day of trial and error.

See you!

11 November 2002, 01:37 AM
Loop of 3dsmax scene (877kb-Divx) (

Tonight i made a model out of the video that i shot. It's made by aligning the 3d cam to the background plate (the video that i shot), then starting with a box primitiv that i converted to an e-poly object. Then extruded it up/down and adjusted the vertices to match the backround. Not an exact method, but it worked. The videocameras barreldistorition made it a bit harder (no straight lines).

This model are the base for the earth movment i will start on tomorrow. By having the video mapped to this geometry i can move it up and down, and still have a real perspective.

One thing that i messed up was that i yesterday made an extension to the video (ca866x676) (see above post), and when i started modelling this today i used the raw video (720x576). This means if i move the geometry it will show as tiling or black edges (unless i do some clever movment ofcourse). I tried to cameramap the extended video on the current models, but it was impossible to match it onto them (not sure why). If anyone knows what i'm talking about, and have a solution, i would be extremly happy!

Anyway, i will make the street crack and open tomorrw.
If i get the time for it.

PS. If anyone thinks that i'm doing all the wrong stuff, please tell me.

11 November 2002, 01:51 AM
Waiting for crack :)

I noticed that almost everybody in this contest is doing vfx for first time so it will be hard to get help on details.

If I had camer I would also give try and I would br another newby hoping to lern something....

11 November 2002, 05:13 AM
Hey Knut, it's awesome, i love it dude :D

Keep it up :thumbsup:

Did you create a new camera by the way?
And how did you texture the models?

Very good looking :) can't wait to see it shake

11 November 2002, 01:15 PM
.overflowed--> Yeah, looks like we are a bunch of newbies in this together. Maybe we will do a few mistakes and maybe we will do something genious, since we have no conventions on how to do this.

CobraX--> To put the video onto the model in 3dsmax, you create the geometry so that it matches a background image (Your video). To do this you have to create a camera and some simple stand in for your models. Move your camera around so that the stand in geom. have the same perspective as the background image. Then you apply a cameramap modifier to the geometry witch uses the camera that you used to model the geometry as the UV coordinate projector (If you have max and apply the modifier, you will understand what i mean). Then you apply the video as a texture to the geometry. So if you now look through the camera that is used for the mapping you will see no difference between the background image and the geometry.

Hope this makes any sense.

Thanks for your comments guys!


11 November 2002, 06:45 PM
I never knew you could do that, thanks.:thumbsup:

11 November 2002, 09:56 PM
Was a bit lazy the last few days, but here is a test animation direct from Max. A few elements has to be added; Need to make a different crack for the sidewalk stones, as they are of stone not mud/asphalt. It's on the to do list. I'm still a bit worried on how to get a nice texture where there is none on the buildings (can't see it here thoug as i've turned them off now to see the animation clearer.). Thinking of making a composite map with different mapping coordinates where its needed. To mess this up a lot i have to make several passes with particles/rubble that i insert in aftereffects later. And i will ofcourse add camerashake in afx witch will distort the image further.

How this was done:

I linked the various elements to dummies/nodes that i named c_left_quake, c_right_quake etc. Using setkey with only pos/rot key filter, i animated the dummies as i felt it should be. The smaller elements reacts to the two bigger elements.

Free Crack! (69k) ( :cool:

11 November 2002, 07:38 AM
Loos good, but the movement is unnatural. It should be more smooth now it's to sharp. Maybe you add some trembeling.

I like it:thumbsup:

11 November 2002, 02:19 PM
Yes, i'm working on those issues right now in AFX. But i can't post anything until tomorrow, going to work very soon. Seems to be a lot to do to get the shaking look right. And the geometry for the crack is just a previz of how it's going to be (i.e. more organic later)


11 November 2002, 08:35 PM
Hi Knut,
Just had a look at your animatic; looks pretty good. You're really shaking that ground up pretty violently!
Looking forward to seeing more.

11 November 2002, 12:08 AM
Well, been a while since updating now. Have solved the problem i had earlier with the extended video. Now i have projected it on the geometry and it looks nice (Don't now why it did not work last time, did work like i thought it would. Must have been tired then ).

To sum what i have done so far (Not in the order i did it, but how i should have done it):
(Left to right on the picture below)

•Shot the videoplate
•Extended video and cloned away lamp and signpost in photoshop (Added animated grain to extension and conling in afx)
•Modeled geometry after backgroundplate (Original video)
•Projected the extended video onto geometry
•Animated and rendered in max (Colors are areas that are not finished)
•Imported into afx oover extended backround plate, ready for shake (Blue = background missing. Green = Crack missing. Red = Texture on geometry missing).

Video of mapped geom. (22kb quality not good ;-) (

What to do:

•Make a good looking crack (Green)
•Add signpost and lamp
•Add garbace can
•Make a bit of texture for geometry (Red)
•Make background "behind" geometry (Blue)
•Add a goodlooking shake in afx (Harder than i thought, maybe i'll film a spot on a wall shake the camera manually and then track it in afx and use as position track for the comp.)
•Add lots of particle effects and other eye candy
•Get finished on time
•Go to bed right now

11 November 2002, 01:12 AM
Looks good...but not that realistic to be honest. The animation is too fast. A force that strong and fast would plunge the buildings into the air. Make the movement a bit slower...and maybe add some cracks to the foundation of the buildings. Keep up the good work! :thumbsup:

11 November 2002, 10:13 AM
I have to agree, The movement is to fast.

11 November 2002, 11:39 AM
2dsmax5 and dawmar, i agree. The elements look too "light" when they move this fast. Need to slow it down so the feeling of big mass movment is there. And the crack that is there now is not the finished one. Going to add more bits and pieces that move, maybe i'll make some crack in the walls too. Soon i will also include moveing garbage cans, lamps, and signpost witch will add to the animation.

I start to believe that my earthquake is a bit ambitious for my first fx shot ever. But i learn very much each day i work on this.

Thanks for your comments guys!:thumbsup:

11 November 2002, 12:35 AM

Right now it looks good as it is a work in progres.

The finished piece will probably look realy real. :thumbsup:

12 December 2002, 04:35 PM
Hello folks..

Last week i was planning to give up because i had no idea how to continue, but after a week or so without touching it, inspiration came back to me. So today i speeded through most of the animation that was to be done in 3dsmax. Now i need to model some bits of flying wood, dirt and a lot of particles. Then retexture the ground (Transition from video to crack will be a combination of a wipe in comp and layers of particles). After that i'll have to render everything in layers and importing them in afx. Adding shake etc. (without the shake, some of the motions in tis preview looks a bit odd) Tell me if you have something you are curious about, i'll tell. The yellow "brick" that flies to the camera will be i highly realistical piece of wood when it's finished. And it will be accompanied by a small shower of pieces from the wooden lamp post. When it hits the camera, the show is over.

Video Update!! (ca 600kb) (

12 December 2002, 04:37 PM
...And if someone has a better idea on how to finish off, other thatn the flying wood bits, i'll be open for suggestions.

Keep them coming!

12 December 2002, 05:43 PM
My thread has left me. It's gone *sob* *sob*

Hope we get to know the deadline for this contest a few hours in advance.

12 December 2002, 11:23 AM
Hey Knut,
The site is finally open for submissions. Better get your entry in sharpish, still open at the moment but sounds like its closing soon...

submit (

12 December 2002, 11:29 AM
whooot...have to speed to work to get the final iteration of the contest. Wooot......panic...been asleep for the last 9 hours....jeses...holy....

12 December 2002, 11:32 AM
At the moment they still aren't taking the actual animations, only a still.

So if you've got a still then get it up there, and worry about the main rendering later...

I hope you make it!

12 December 2002, 12:36 PM
Earthquake by Knut Karlsen (

There is as always plenty of stuff that could be better. But i would say for a first try on vfx it's ok. Know a lot more today than when i started on this contest. Atleast that planning and praparation is the key to sucsess. Sadsly the animation looks a lot better in fullscreen PAL, beacuse of the debris that falls into the crack is a bit small for webanimation. (Putting out a full size divx soon). This was a great challenge. Thanks for support and comments during the project!

A bit tired, reporting live from Oslo, Norway.
Knut Karlsen

12 December 2002, 01:05 PM
The Source (

Full sized quake (A "bit" compressed) (

PS. Since most of the threads showing progress is gone, i'm planning to make a complete tutorial on how i made this on my homepage.

12 December 2002, 04:35 PM
Knut, you really nailed it in my opinion. The dirt debris falling into the crack looks just right, even on the smaller quicktime.

12 December 2002, 05:31 PM
Thanks Arioch, thats encouraging to hear!

I've inserted some audio with this one if anyone would like to hear. (Needs more audio spesific to what happens, but that will have to wait)

Earthquake with audio (ca 3mb) (

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