View Full Version : The Gift - VFX Challenge - Knut

01 January 2003, 08:38 AM

Thread started!

Good luck!

01 January 2003, 10:41 AM
Yes, good luck indeed! I just read the guidelines, you've certainly got your work cut out for you!
Go get 'em!

01 January 2003, 11:26 AM
Thanks Fasty. Never seen the movie, so i have to find a place to rent it.

01 January 2003, 01:12 PM
Good luck to you too, I think we can pull this off and make a good result if we help each other out. I have lot's of ideas on how to the effect, but now my concern is the storry/scene/acting.

01 January 2003, 11:14 AM
Oops..i was on the bottom of the challenge thread. Had to move it up now.


I looked at the movie yesterday. So now i have to make a storyboard. Im planning to work fulltime on this from Friday to Sunday. Borrowing a Dv cam for that period so the shots need to be made in that time. Going to watch some locations, a dark and gritty basement, today. Also looking into the possibility to make an ouside shot in som kind of forest. I have absoluley not a clue on how the shortstory should go, but i guess ill get some ideas when im scouting for locations.

My initial thought for disintegrating effect, was to make something close to the blade II effects. Charring, sparks, flakes and bones. Ill see if i can make some tests later today.

01 January 2003, 01:43 AM
I think i have a story:


A poor guy, poor/drunk/drugger/homeless, some of that type, enters a dark cellar and struggels in the dark. He is a need for a home/liquer/loot. Then he accidentally remove some paper from a thight spot. The orb lights up and levitates. He gets greedy ("My precious.."), and whooosh his gone.

What do you think? Stupid/Good?

Have also thought about a outdoor scene, hilltop mysterous place in the woods...
Somekind of force attracting ppl into it and they are destroyed when they find THE ORB. I think, if i get my brother into act as "victim", i'll do some testfilming just to get ideas this weekend.

01 January 2003, 02:44 AM
Hey Knut,

Both of the plots sounds interesting. I didnt think of doing my shot it may be interesting as in the forest its all covered by the snow, but still for the lighting it my be too hard to manage.

I like your first idea better maybe. I am wondering what your location is going to look like.

And by the way, are you planning on doing a short film or just the 5 sec effect shot?

01 January 2003, 08:12 AM
I like the forest story much better, if there is a cool forest around, definately! Very good idea.

As for the bum, I don't think it grips me as much, wait, unless he stumbles falls in the rubble and swallws the orb unwilling, and it gets anoyed at him, and eats him from the inside out, now that would be fun!!! :D

01 January 2003, 01:43 AM
Well i went home to borrow a camera from my father, and while i was there i scouted the basement which i initially thought of as a good location. Most likely i will go for an outdoor set, but i have a deserted sewage treatment plant underneath our town castle/fort (from 1300) to lookup. I now also have the Canon-XL1 DV-Cam which my boss at has said i could use for educational purposes. Tomorrow i will get a ball prop as a basis for orb/human interaction in the shot.

Picture a norwgian basement:

01 January 2003, 03:13 AM
Just testing and depriving myself of sleep...a few doodles on the orb itself:


01 January 2003, 07:52 PM

heheh nice location i love the place with the reminds me a little of Blair witch with the lighting..when she scream "mikkeyyyy....Mikkeeyyyyyyyyy" :p

The last pic of your test of the Lok Nar is better than the first i love the flashy white inside the orb


01 January 2003, 09:29 PM
Very nice there knut:thumbsup:

You've captured some great atmosphere in these. I agree with cobra, the last shot has really captured the atmosphere.

01 January 2003, 10:26 PM
Thanks for the positive comments, CobraX and Chico!

I've been out in the woods today shooting video to see if it can be used as a location. I'll post some soon when i have played a little with the colours (and watched sopranos..).

01 January 2003, 01:13 AM
that last orb is looking very promising! keep it up!

02 February 2003, 12:56 AM
Well..tomorrow will be the day! If all pieces fall into place i'll be shooting in 10 hours. Found a cool location, but still i don't quite have a story to go with it. It won't be an exact replica of a heavy metal situation. If things go well you might see two russian officers disintegrate when attacked/attracted to the The Lok Nar.
I'm going to use emergency flares to ligth the trees with a flickering green light. Here are some images from the location.
Close to location
Near the death scene
Possible scene of disintegration, maybe ontop of the lion?
Shots around location

02 February 2003, 01:01 AM
What a beautiful location! Some really nice shots you've taken there, almost looks like a painting that first one! :D

02 February 2003, 12:47 PM
This sexy little thing woke me up this morning
Something tells me i would get a hard time doing vfx on shots filmed today
I'm just joking, it did not snow at all.

02 February 2003, 06:25 PM
what?? do you let a little snow stop you?? where is your spirit dude?? ;D

02 February 2003, 09:36 PM
I'm sure you joked a bit, but to those who would like to know why i did not film today:

Try to make any kind of key on DV footage with a snowstorm on top. And it would be extremly difficult to match the snow on the area where the CG replaces the video. I have to reduce my ambitions a bit to get through with the project. I will try to get some shots made in front of a bluescreen where the stations meteorologist records his stuff. Maybe i'll be able to use the ultimatte setup! We will see..

02 February 2003, 11:35 PM
Those images are so beautiful! You win!!! Awww I wish it snowed like that where I live!

02 February 2003, 11:11 PM
Are you still with us Knut?

02 February 2003, 07:19 PM
Well, as you can see i have not been very active in this challenge. Lots of other things to twist my brain on. I am in the middle of a process to apply for art&design schools in England and Norway. So my brainforce is funneled into that at the momen.

That said, i have not totally given up. Since sunday i have spent a few hours on the challenge. Going to post a render in 3,5 hrs. Have to cut a lot of corners this time. The story (if any) is; I test subject is called upon to test the force of LokNar. Upon being handed The orb, the subject violently shreds to pieces in a storm of fire and sparks.

You'll get the idea when i post later tonight. This challenge is challenging indeed. Whis i had mor time to spare. Lots of good work being done her, but it looks like it is going to be a sprint to get there before deadline.

02 February 2003, 10:40 PM
Godspeed Knut!! :thumbsup:

02 February 2003, 01:44 AM
My friend that is 2 frames from violent death!
The first key test.
The studio i used was the one where we record the weatherforecast. It's a sony studio camera of some sort. It's sweet but i forgot to finetune the focus so the images could have been even better. If i get to it i'll post more images from the studio.

Video with temporary background (ugly as hell) and a standin for The Orb. (ca 640kb) (

The final will probably be a nice mix of 2d and 3d. We'll see.
Good Night!

PS. As you can see i have left the highprofile onlocation stuff in the trash and gone for a simple setting.

03 March 2003, 01:14 AM
I'm testing some particle effects in max right some later. Aiming for the Blade II spark effect. I have started on the digital double. I hoped i could get away by modeling a body "front" from a still in the video and then apply that still as a map to the model. Then i could roto/animate that on top of the video. But it seems to generate more trouble than i anticipated. It's really hard to get it accurate enough. Maybe i'll have to make a full digital double to make it work. I'll post some pictures soon.


03 March 2003, 02:29 AM
I tested a setup for a particle system that looks like campfire sparks. Still a bit to fluid i think but it gets there. These sparks are going to be ripped of the body of my victim as he burns to death in an inferno of smoke, light and flames. The flame in the following video is one i got from Artbeats. (The compression makes it a bit blurry)
Sparks and Flames (Ca 400kb) (
This is the setup for the particles:
My first go at the digital double:
I'm not sure i can do it this way. Most likely i have to make a complete model.


03 March 2003, 03:32 AM
The combination of the flames and the particles looks great. It looks like the motor spacewarps are really helping you fine tune the twisting of the particles, I'll have to look into that sometime. For this project I'm just using BlurWind and RandomWalk and just letting the particles go wherever.

To me making good fire in 3D is really difficult but I'm sure a few years from now it will be almost as easy as rubbing two sticks together. ;)

03 March 2003, 02:54 PM
The motors really helped me get that whipsy swirly feel to the sparks. You can set the motor to make random swirls. To me motors looks like a really powerful tool to make secondary partickle motion. I'm going to xperiment even more with those when i have the digital double to play with.


03 March 2003, 11:14 PM
A comment to your fire effect: I know it's just a test, but think perhaps it's a bit to slow for a death effect, I would sugest you made it a bit more agresive.

But your footage is great, I got quite suprised and laughed a lot when the dangerus looking dude catched the ball, it's silly and fun. :thumbsup:

03 March 2003, 09:28 PM
johs...good point on the fire..i'll see to that.
This is what i'm working on right now. It is the fleshteksture for my digital double.

I think i have a solution to my problems making the DD.
I'm going to matchmove my DD, but it's not going to replace the actor, only be revealed when the live plate "burns away". Then my DD can be simpler and just consist of flesh and bones. Hope that will work.

Posting more later.

03 March 2003, 10:40 PM
Great work, Knut, glad to see you're still working on it! :thumbsup:

03 March 2003, 12:28 AM
Thanks Fasty, i have something new in a few hours. Finalizing my animation rig and textures..

03 March 2003, 03:03 AM
This is taking more time than i anticipated. But i have a treat for you. Skelly and Flesy preforming live for the first time. Not matchmoved but just a wip test to see if it sits to the rig.
The idea is that the Live footage reaveals Flesdy and then Fleshy reveals Skelly. Everything is going to be done in a cloud of fire and debris. And maybe some blood. If i have time for it....

Fleshy and Skelly(140Kb) (

And now im going to sleep. G'night

PS. Skeleton model is not mine. It's something i bought a long time ago.

03 March 2003, 01:29 AM
Well, i have some serious trouble matching my animation with my plate. Seems that i need to practice more with "advanced" character rigs. When i have animated through, the first frame wich should be good suddenly are way off. Strange. The sad thing is that i have not much more time to figure this out. So it looks like i'm not going to make it to the deadline. Maybe i'll manage to pull something together, but it would be on the side of the contest.

Wip Fleshy as he is right now (Almost matched to plate) (

03 March 2003, 01:55 AM
It isn't easyer to match animate somthing, than to animate freely, I discovered that too. I found out that I need more animation in the beginnig of my clip, so now I'm going to match animate backwards :annoyed:
If you have your clip almost matched, then your almost there. It would be sad to drop out now, so close to the finish line. Cheer up :beer:

03 March 2003, 06:05 AM
go go go!:bounce: It's go time!

keep it up!

03 March 2003, 07:13 PM
Yeah i know it's a bummer not to finish now. But i'm still at work (At my real job) so i don't think i will have enough time to try again when i get home in a few hours. I'm not too disappointed though, i still think i have learned a lot. During this competition i have also had to decide on what i will do with my life (i.e. what to study from next year), this was a major brain drain so i am not too disappointed with what i have accomplished.

Good luck to all of you on the final stretch to the finish line!


PS. Anyways, thanks for cheering me up!

03 March 2003, 02:31 AM
As you all can see i did not deliver this time. I have had to much things to do. Today i was making illustrations on the iraq crisis, and one animation that i had worked on for several hours i accidentaly overwrote so i had to start from scratch. So today i had no time to put anything together before the deadline. Maybe i'll finish the sequence later.

Fleshy is a bit disappointed, but he's a sport and goes down with a smile:

Good night!

03 March 2003, 01:42 PM
Yo knut, sad it ended this way. One thing taht was a problem this time, is that we all started verry late, and there was nothing going on for a long time in the vfx challenge part of the forum. So next time I'll try and keep working on the projekt for the entire period. Hope to se you there :wavey:

PS. And thanks again for the texture, it helped me a lot.

03 March 2003, 06:08 PM
Haha, that picture is great!

Finish Him! :twisted:

Deadline, Shmedline... deliver us your shot, if you have the time, :D

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