View Full Version : The Gift - VFX Challenge - CourtJester

01 January 2003, 03:59 PM
It's already on my to do list, so why not? I'm already in practice for the shot after "burning my roommate to a crisp" last month.

01 January 2003, 04:14 AM
OK, after doing a search for the DVD around town, I discovered that my roommate had the VHS here all along (doh!)

So, I'm thinking of going for some extra gore. I've alredy blown up my roommate and my own head, so I've got a bit of a jump on this one... should help compensate for the late start.

My idea will involve a kind of cross between the orb as seen in HM, and the first V'ger probe from Trek I. The orb will seize my victim with green bolts and experiment a bit before it disposes of him. I also had the idea of a Palantir-type layering for it, attempting to match the orb to room lighting instead of merely making it glow.

When he disintegrates, I plan to fling some bits around - - might as well go for the full monty....

01 January 2003, 08:48 AM
OK, here's the current version of the orb... it looks like a cross between the Palantir, the eye of Sauron (why not, this is the only non-LOTR challenge, might as well sneak in in somehow) and the coolest bowling ball.

That, by the way, is the basic idea -- my guy gets obliterated by the bowling ball from hell!

Scene 1 cut 1: Actor comes in the front door, and lays down a large bag with something evidently heavy in it.

cut2: med closeup of his face, bag in foreground. He unzips it, and a slight glow from within (hopefully using a practical) reflects in his eyes. He reaches in and begins to lift it out.

cut3: This one is open in terms of camera and framing, but I'm now leaning towards an OT shot from behind the actor as he straightens up with his prize... and OMG it's staring at him, flames of pure evil licking inside the impenetrable outer shell! Shocked, he releases it, but it remains hovering at face level. It begins to "power up"....

cut4: Before the actor can get away, energy bolts, which will be designed to resemble huge, bony fingers, take hold of him, shaking him before unleashing a violent fury which tears him apart from the inside. Gore splatters all over the wall.

Here's the current look of the orb. I'm assuming that it doesn't have to be green, but it can be with minimal changes... It is already animated, but I don't have space to put up qt's just now. Remaining to be added are electric bolts under the outer layer that show the latent energy that eventually is used against our hero.

01 January 2003, 10:26 AM
wow dude, that looks awesome!!

the eye feature gives it character (the most strongest visual to your mind of character is the eye)... sounds like u gonna have a field day with this...

if u have the footage already, why not show it on the board?
im sure we'd all be keen to see it :)


01 January 2003, 08:33 PM
The footage is to be shot this weekend, and I'll put together animatics from those first before I proceed. I hope to have all the CGI parts together before I depart on a road trip which will have me out of commission for a week.

Space is at a premium, due to QT's being much bigger than Divx (any help on making them smaller would be appreciated!)

01 January 2003, 08:53 PM
For small quicktimes...

Sorenson3 is a good codec, take down the framerate... 15, or 12fps, small rez, and stream it if you can... otherwise test and test and test for smaller file sizes...

anyone know any small file size tricks for quicktime?

01 January 2003, 05:38 AM
Cogliostros: thanks for the tip. This (updated) version is 663k for 90 frames (at 15fps).

This is the completed orb. The only thing I'm not sure of, is whether to add an "iris" to make it more eyelike, or resist doing so, since this isn't actually an eye, it's an eyelike orb.

The electric bolts will increase in brightness, intensity and will start coming off the surface when it begins its assault on the actor.

Tomorrow I shoot. Depending on conditions, I plan to shoot indoors and match the lighting in the CG, either by eye or testing LightGen.

01 January 2003, 02:16 AM
OK, here's a quicktime of the footage I shot today that will be the basis for the effect.

This was shot during a brief opportunity, and there are two issues born of the haste (and of discovering that my 8-hour Sony battery is near the end of its life -- damn).

The first, is that the practical blue glow isn't matched in the second shot. D'oh! I plan to get around that by having the orb start out with a blue glow that mutes itself to the more sinister form shown earlier.

The second is the frame composition of the death scene -- in my effort to leave space for the actor to fall into, I ended up with terrible frame composition.

I've got three possible solutions for that:

1. crossfade to pure CGI + clean plate fairly early in the death shot, so I can move things further right

2. Throw lots of body bits to the right, have them indent the counch and viscera sliding off of it to the floor

3. Have the orb drift right as it is doing its dirty work... then turn on and come after the camera to finish the composition on a suitably scary note.

There is a fourth solution, which exploits the 320x240 spec we are working with -- I can crop the image and pan around in it afterwards. I plan to check in the "issues" thread to see if camera motion in post violates the lockoff rule.

01 January 2003, 02:27 AM
I get a page not found error for the last movie you posted :(

The orb movie looks awesome!

01 January 2003, 02:41 AM
fixed. thanks for the headsup, Sheep!

thanx for the orb feedback too!

02 February 2003, 03:56 PM
Its almost a shame to put the orb in there, i laughed a lot, great acting!:thumbsup:

(im not being ironic, i really enjoyed it!)

02 February 2003, 04:54 PM
Brilliant acting. I am glad that I'm not rotoscoping that performance though - he really moves a lot!


02 February 2003, 10:44 PM
Well, About two weeks ago, a friend of mine tipped me off to an upcoming compositing/FX job opportunity, so I have had to switch over to augmenting my reel for that, and the challenge got shoved aside (that's why I have those two recent compositing shots posted over in the Gallery). That may come to fruition as early as tomorrow. Even if it doesn't, I doubt I'll be able to finish in time, so this thread will in all likelihood be stalled past the deadline. I do plan to finish the work nonetheless, but I can't say when, especially if that job comes through (fingers crossed tight enough to break!)

I am looking forward to everyone else's submissions!

02 February 2003, 11:07 PM
Sad that you won't finish on time, I'm afraid that there wont be so many submissions this time. But it is a big task to complete, and I'm also close to drop out because of time pressure (i'ts my own god d*** fault, we have had over a month), but I'll stil try and make somthing.

Anyway, best of luck with the job, hope it's a good one.

02 February 2003, 03:50 AM
I was looking forward to your submission but it's totally understandable that you've got to keep your eyes on the real goal here and prioritize that way. Good luck on the job, hope you can finalize your reel to your satisfaction and blow their socks off. Just remember that once you send the tape out it's time to relax for a bit so try not to spend all of your time waiting by the phone. :)

02 February 2003, 04:43 AM

man, I still cant view it CJ, damn linux. I will have to take a look later this week.


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