LC #42 Pipers Alley

View Full Version : What Lies Beneath - VFX Challenge - Andi

06-22-2003, 09:37 PM

This is the 2nd challenge for me, and I'm glad to have the time to do this.

And thats what I've considered so far about the..


The actor knows that something creepy lies beneath.
... is prepared.
... is not frightened to use a gun, because he is a Hero-Type.
... knows how to handle creepy things.
... has fast reflexes.


... turns on the light, and one of the light bulbs explodes. (Sprites are going down) The actor is a bit diverted by the Sprites. The real frightening is a big snake, that was moving towards the actor. The snake is suddenly head to head to the actor, and wants to slam shut. The actor takes a gun and strikes down the big snake.
.... The snake lies dead on the ground.

I think that action matches the final delivery time.
Next I'll draw a storyboard, hope to get it soon ready.


06-23-2003, 12:58 AM
Hey Andi!!! Sounds interesting! Good luck with the competition!!! :bounce:

06-24-2003, 09:59 AM
Nice to see how you make this all happen, good luck :) the snake going to be GIANT (basilisk in Harry Potter kind of thing) or just normal huge snake we normally have here on earth?

06-25-2003, 08:18 AM
Hi Pufferfish, :)

the snake is going to be very big. I don't know if there is such a big snake on earth, and I have not seen the Harry Potter kind of snake. I think that choking snakes are the biggest (Phython) on earth. Estimating a length, I would say its about 8-10m long, and I think thats a bit more than the avarage Phyton has.

The snake has a head to head position (~1.80m), and at this time it needs some weight on the ground. The Head is moving more like a cobras head does, and thats why I estimated that length.

But this is a first suggestion about the snake. :)


06-25-2003, 09:32 AM
here some ref pictures " Anaconda "

keep the good work...


06-27-2003, 11:28 AM
Thanks Nando3d, for the reference picture. :)


06-27-2003, 11:40 AM
.... Storyboard finished!

The low res. version...

I've created a onlinesite with higher res images/movies.

The link:

- VFX - (


06-27-2003, 11:46 AM
... the snake design finished.

Hope you like it!

- VFX - ( ... more about this challenge


06-27-2003, 12:08 PM
Hey Andi. It's looking super cool and very ambitious. :applause:
I really hope you make it in time for the deadline!


06-27-2003, 03:08 PM
Thaks SdFX! :)
Me too, I'll try to keep it in limits.


06-27-2003, 08:10 PM

looking really cool !

keep up !

06-28-2003, 11:43 AM
... I've got the footage now. I used a female actor. Additional I had to matchmove the footage, and I think it matches.

- VFX - ( ... more about

Additional design was neseccary.

- VFX - ( ... more about

- VFX - ( ... more about


06-30-2003, 05:22 PM
... I've finshed the first cg-element. :) I'm thinking about a design for a digital set. My footage has an elevator in the background, it doesn't seem to fit. I would like to disorder the set.

- VFX - ( ... more about


06-30-2003, 06:38 PM
Hey, Andi. It's looking very sweet - but the rules specifically say, that the camera must be locked down. I think it sucks too, but I'd hate to see you get disqualified, when you've put so much effort into it. Do you have time to re-shoot?

I don't think there's enough focus on the VFX-part of these challenges, so I really dig your enthusiasm! :thumbsup:


06-30-2003, 09:50 PM
Oh, thanks SdFX. I think you are right, I have not considered that. :hmm:
I'll try to re-shoot the hole thing, and finish in time. Hope to get the cam! This will cost time, and I have not budgeded for re-shoot. -> uups

Thanks on reminding me SdFX! :thumbsup:


07-01-2003, 06:41 AM
Nice nice!

This is looking good. Hope you get your footage and are able to finish.:thumbsup:

07-02-2003, 07:48 AM
what software did you use for track your shot ?

07-03-2003, 09:54 AM
Hi chrisz! :)

I used Maya Live to track the shot.
This time maya live was my first choice, because I knew that I can track this shot with Maya Live, and additional I don't need to use an other software. (no data import, plugin check...) :)


victor throe
07-03-2003, 11:10 AM
lookin good

cant wait to see some renders


are you doing the darkness as an effect?

07-03-2003, 11:33 AM
Hi Andi

It`s looking nice :beer:

good work :thumbsup:

Hope you have enough time to finish the work.



07-03-2003, 04:24 PM
Looks great. If anything I wish the girls hand came back with more force after the shot. I'll be stopping back by to see how this goes! Keep up the good work.:beer:

07-04-2003, 04:55 PM

victor throe:
Thanks, and yes I'll trie to do the darkness as an effect. :)

Nice to see you. :wavey: hehe

Wilson 3D:
Too bad, I've finished new footage yesterday and now I can't consider it. But thanks at all! :beer:
Hope to see you!


07-04-2003, 05:04 PM
I've updated cg-elements and footage.

I got the chance to make vacation, NOW! I really need to relax a bit,...

I'll finish this when I'm back, but I think that I can't do it in time. Sorry about that, but see you in ~8 days!


victor throe
07-04-2003, 07:00 PM

i hate waiting

07-16-2003, 12:18 AM
Hi, no longer waiting. :)

Today I've finished the snake model and the lantern animation.
snake image (

The lantern animation.

Movie: Quicktime (zipped) (

- VFX - (


07-16-2003, 09:20 AM
It's so cool you're gonna finish this! The snake and lantern both look really good. I'm very curious as to how you're gonna light the scene with the lantern?

KUTGW! :beer:

07-23-2003, 10:16 PM
Thanks SdFX!

The prefinal is ready... :)

Currently I did not get a good difference matte from keying. Maybe someone can help me with some hits, links... :shrug:

The movie:
Quicktime lq(zipped) (

Quicktime hq(zipped) (

- VFX - ( ... more about


07-25-2003, 10:02 AM
It's looking real good Andi! ...I have a few comments, though. I think the snake is a bit too "hose-like"...adding an underbelly texture would really look nice. The animation is kick-ass, though!
The only thing about the animation is the snake's final death-pose...its' neck looks really "straight"...

I like the environment, but it could be moore "moody" and it needs a bit more depth, if you ask me.

Very nice work, Andi! can we help with your keying-issues?

07-25-2003, 12:14 PM
Hi SdFX! :)

I've to agree with your comments, and first I'll change the background. I've even changed it, but I'll give more depth, and a different light situation. Texture and animation would be next, its a really straight pose.

Well, I'm not happy about my difference keying. I think that the edges are not clean enough for a compositing. I've cleaned the most unlikeable with matte painting. I'll post a new prefinal with actor today. Tell me what you think about the keying.


07-25-2003, 09:47 PM movie:

Quicktime lq(zipped) (

Quicktime hq(zipped) (

- VFX - ( ... more about


07-28-2003, 12:43 PM
First of all, I'm very impressed with the result so far.

As for the keying - I actually don't think that's the main issue. When you watch the clip, you don't tend to think she's not there because of bad keying. It's something else. Personally, I think it's way too clean. You really need to make the cg and live action blend together better. Maybe the right ammount of grain and color correction will do the trick, but I'm afraid it's gonna be hard. At first she is only lit by the lantern, but the light on her is obviously coming from behind her...that kills the suspension of disbelief. Furthermore - when the light is turned on her shadow is on the right, but the snake's on the left.

I think you need to add darker areas in the cg and come up with something that affects both live and cg. Flickering lights or maybe have the snake cast a shadow on the actor...I know it's difficult, and the result you've come up is really good. You just need another few inches to make it uber-cool! ;-)

07-28-2003, 04:39 PM
... thanks I'll try something. (grain, color, ....)

If keying is fine I'll use this matte. :)

I'll do another snake rendering, I've lost details on the snakes head too... I've putted the elements together to show the prefinal with my problems. There are still some cg-elements missing, making the shot visible, light switch, light sprites, some blood. When I have finished them, I'll concentrade more on compositing.

Well, I think your comments will help doing a better result. ;) => Very kind words.
Uff, casting shadows on the actor, would couse too much work for me. hehe
I think effecting live and cg elements is a good idea. I've already thought about it, but its currently hard to tell how to apply these effects.
... just few inches...

I have to concentrate more on other things => updates will take longer. I'll do them on the challenge site (


08-07-2003, 02:43 AM
Hey Andi, Congratulations on getting so far with your shot. God knows how much commitment it takes to get a shot done. Congrats also on the quality of your work. It's not clear to me how much experience you have but the talent is definately there.

Ok now let's talk lighting. I agree with SdFX guys in their remarks. I took the liberty of making some notes on your image (I hope you don't mind) to better illustrate my points. Note that all following notes are based on the live action plate:

A) Your main Key light (green) is coming from frame left. That is to be your main light and it should be present in you snake element in the same brightness/direction as in your talent. You sould also add a rim light (red) coming from frame right. This will be specially helpful in outlining the shape of the creature. Bounce Fills (blue and yellow) will help define the volume of your CG model as well as soften the overall contrast in your blacks. I would also suggest a fill light coming from behind the camera to help fill in any areas that may go too dark. The suggestions I made above would be best achieved if you handled one light at a time, that way you'll know exactly what the contribution from each individual light is and not get the effect of one light mistaken by the effect of a different one.

B) The white levels in your set extention are too hot. Try and use a color picker and sample the britghtest value in your live action plate and make sure that nothing in your CG elems goes above that value. Also, check your contrast levels. Some of the shading in the pipes in the back go from real dark to real bright very quickly. Try and soften the contrast by allowing more room for the midtones to show.

C) I agree with SdFX as far as the BG mood. A lot of work goes into making CGI but that doesn't mean you have to show it. Let the bg fall into darkness a little more. That will make the shot overall more dramatic and bring the focus to the FG where the action is.

D) The extention of the floor looks really good.:cool:

All the technical BS aside, your work shows a lot of promisse. Keep at it. I look forward to seeing how it turns out.



08-18-2003, 02:19 PM
Hey Filmmky, thanks for your notes, the lighting is much better now! :)

I was in Italy for two weeks... => couldn't reply there...

I've started june 2001 with CG at College, and currently I've no real production experience, and its no problem making some notes on these images.


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