View Full Version : FXWars! "Dracula's Castle"!: Fred Burdy, hybrid entry

10 October 2005, 07:20 AM
Well, here I am.

My project is to use the esthetic of the Coppola's movie in some shots. There will be a quite long introduction, with different shots of exteriors of Transylvania, then we will approach the castle to finish in it at the end.

Sounds difficult to me, I'll do my best.

Update : Final short :

XviD/Mp3, 10Mo :

Wmv, 9Mo :

10 October 2005, 09:01 AM
A few compositing WIPs of the introduction sequence.

10 October 2005, 10:25 AM
That's awesome - those houses in shot #2, is that 3D or matte painted??

- Jonas

10 October 2005, 10:43 AM
Thanks Jussing.
In shot '2' there is a lot of 3D. Background (2D) and foreground (3D church roof) are composited in AfterFX. The graveyard is in 3D, and the houses in the bacground are 3D too, with simple geometry.

google monkey
10 October 2005, 12:04 PM
cant wait to see the final sequence :)

10 October 2005, 07:42 PM
Woooow Fred! :eek: That's réally promising... In fact I can't wait to see more! :bounce:

You seem to work really effective & optimalised! Very interesting! It's very cool to see mattepaintings in use, in a WIP-project, to be able to really follow how you use them! :) In every case the screenshots/stills you yet posted look just gorgous! Looks just like a still frome a feature-film! :love:

How did you get the lighting so amazing? Just tweaking, or by compositing independent passes in post? How did you get the footage: shot yourself? Are the base-plates pieces of moving footage, or only stills? And how did you get the tint/grading so great?! It looks really cinematographic! :) Lovely!

What are the ideas for the other shots...? And what will the 'story'/screenplay be like? :)

Wow... I'm just so excited by you stuff! :) Have lots of fun! I keep 2 eyes on it! :scream:

google monkey
10 October 2005, 11:09 AM
some truly stunning work, cant wait to see the final sequence !:)

10 October 2005, 12:48 PM
Thanks all for your comments, I don't have much time to answer correctly...
I must finish this project quickly because I'll not work on the weekend, so the final part will be somehow less finalized than the beginning.

Just for info, the castle is rather simple, but has a shape of a coffin (seen from the sky of course, I did it just for fun), the music will be an edited extract of the Coppola's Dracula CD. And in the end, we might see the back of the character played by Gary Oldman in the movie... :)

In fact this project is somehow more a citation/varation of the F.F. Coppola's movie than a total creation. I'm not an absolute lover of the movie, but its graphic aspect is really wonderful and inspiring.

See you soon for the end of this short film...

10 October 2005, 10:16 PM
Here is the FINAL ENTRY!!!

XviD/Mp3, 10Mo :

Wmv, 9Mo :

I really hope you'll like them.

Just a few shots frome the castle :

10 October 2005, 10:27 PM
Wow really really great work!

I like ti a lot... and the music fits perfectly!
The mood is very good too... very creepy...

It´s amazing how good this shot is for the little time you had!

That thing really rocks!:scream:

10 October 2005, 11:16 PM
Hot shit!! That's incredible!

- Jonas

11 November 2005, 12:42 AM
very, very, very nice !

11 November 2005, 03:22 AM
Very nice,

I really loved the camera move into the tower, and also the shot of the shadow falling over the church steeple. Beautifully done.


google monkey
11 November 2005, 11:17 AM
really well done !:)

11 November 2005, 07:40 PM

11 November 2005, 08:28 PM
Yes fred806 I have to agree with the others...that video is impressive! So much detail and realism!:D Well done!

11 November 2005, 11:48 AM
Thanks very much!

Just for info : I Hadn't the time for rendering a true motion blur for the final exterior of the castle, and I hadn't the time either to make multiple pass renderings (excepted for the background/foreground and a Z-depth pass). The most interesting work was to make the shots work together using color correction and a slight grain, remaining visible even in darkness of the night.

My first work was to recut the music to fit the duration I wanted. Then, I worked on the editing and the gradation towards the castle. The camera moves were conceived to be wider and wider, excepted the final one. Mental Ray GI was used for the exterior castle shots (most useful and fast!).

I hadn't time to finish the castle like I would have wanted to, on the detailing and the environment. Well, I did my best!

Another image, showing a few textures used mostly on the castle :

11 November 2005, 12:15 PM
OMG!:bowdown: :bowdown:
My only complaint is that it isn't big enough for my rear projection screen! This is top quality. Nothing game like about it. Glad I was to busy to embarrass myself on this one.

Good...Great work!

11 November 2005, 07:59 AM
POST YOUR ENTRY! FXWARS !Dracula's Castle Challenge:8 ( -R

11 November 2005, 05:22 PM
Very well done! you got "all" my votes ;)

11 November 2005, 07:26 PM
Wow.:argh: Pleeeeeeese tell me u used Vue on this one. You did use Vue, right?.... RIGHT?

11 November 2005, 07:01 PM
Fred you posted one hell of a good piece.

Could you please tell us a bit more about the composites you did for it?


11 November 2005, 08:42 PM
Thanks everybody for your enthusiasm!

Roberto : Here are some more information...

Shot1 (the map) : No compositing, straight 3D rendering, Mental Ray

Shot2 (the landcape) : different passes : 1. Sky+sun, 2. Clouds, 3. Background mountains, 4. Foreground. No time for more compositing, so the athmosphere is rendered in the global pass.

Shot3 (graveyard) : Different passes : 1. background valley, 2. graveyard, 3. church roof.

Shot4 (close mountain) : 1. Background, 2. clouds, 3. background mountains, 4. foreground mountain. No 3D here, mostly compositing in After Effects.

Shot5 (forest mist) : Created from a detoured photograph. 1. Bacground, 2. 3D mist (basically created using noise), 3. foreground trees

Shot6 (moon) : Here is was hurried, so I used the same mist than in Shot5, but scaled and animated differently. The moon is 2D, animated slightly in AfterFX. The glow effect on the clouds is created with 2 layers of the identical clouds, using the moon glow as opacity to mix the two versions. One version is darken clouds, while the other is brighten clouds. Easy :)

Shot7 (castle exterior 1) : 1.Sky (added in AfterFX), 2.Backgound mountains, 3. foregroung+castle+water, 4. mist (slight) added in AfterFX (the saaame mist as before). Again, no time for extra compositing. I used color correction to get the ambiance I wanted.

Shot8 (castle exterior 2) : Same as above, not easy to animate the mist so that it fits with the camera move (no tracking, manual).

Shot9 (castle exterior 3) : Same thing again, except for the mist : no mist here, I haden't the time to add a good one. My tests were not good enough.

Shot10 (castle interior) : 1. Background sky, 2. Moon& Glow, 3. Interior, 4. Flame. The flame is a basig fire effect.

Here it is! See you soon...

11 November 2005, 08:49 PM
Wow, thats impressive... specially when considering the three week deadline... I was just wondering, how much planning did you do, did you make a storyboard and conceptdrawings or did you stick to the shots in the actual dracula movie ( I havent seen it) ?
Anyway, good job!

11 November 2005, 03:43 PM (



11 November 2005, 03:50 PM
YESSSS!!! Thanks very much!

But... Don't I have the right to a CGTalk award? :cry::cry::cry: I worked so hard with the hope I could get one... Pleaaaaase?......

11 November 2005, 04:46 PM

I think you have to get a certain number of views and votes in the main site gallery to qualify for the award icon. Maybe Roberto could clarify how this works?

Go and post your stuff in the finished work gallery ASAP, man!

Congrats again,


11 November 2005, 05:25 PM
As I recall, rating votes of 4 or higher will nominate you for an award, and then mods will vote for whether or not to give it to you. :) It's explained in a FAQ somewhere.

Cheers all,
- Jonas

11 November 2005, 06:44 PM
As I recall, rating votes of 4 or higher will nominate you for an award, and then mods will vote for whether or not to give it to you. :) It's explained in a FAQ somewhere.

Cheers all,
- Jonas
What he said...

Remember I am one of many. I can recommend people, but I don't make the call.


11 November 2005, 07:59 AM
OK, thanks very much! I'll try then :)

See you soon...

Edit : Here is the thread

11 November 2005, 02:05 AM
fred806 nice shots, downloading the video right now...

11 November 2005, 02:48 AM
well i just watched it and it was really well done. i see you won the competition...congratsi love the work on the castle and surrounding environment...the texturing gives everything that nice rugged, gritty feel. thats an amazing shot from above with the town below and then comes the mood change when everything gets dark...nice comp work. i'm glad u didnt show the face of alucard, it adds some suspense. i love the music

11 November 2005, 09:01 AM
Unbelievable! You did all this for a challenge? Gorgeous! I liked you fog best. ;)

11 November 2005, 11:08 AM
It's really beautiful job! Cheer, I find your video very impressionnate. There's a real environment, render and the sights of the cameras, are very interesting. I like much the moment when the shade invades the village and its bell-tower. Textures are splendid too. Good continuation! :thumbsup:

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