FXWARS Challenge:36 -Seven Towers - JamesNZ

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  11 November 2012
Originally Posted by manja: i've got a question since the begining: what are the colored squares on the pictures?


That's Nuke's PLE watermark

Progress update:


Lighting still needs some tweaks. But those shadows just ruin it! That and the seam between the tower and the cliff, I've got to find some way to blend the two.

Maybe with the rotopaint node, but perhaps I could model/render an intermediate object to cover the seams?
Either way I've got to finish it quick

C&C welcome
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  11 November 2012
ok, never used nuke.

first of for the cliff, you should check the hue of the rock under the tower. it doesn't match the cliff. you should add some orange stains.
you could also put a mask all around the rock to erase the edge and the shadow around it.
and the lower side of the rock is to dark if you compare it with the rest of the cliff.
finaly, add a bit of blue in the shadows to match the atmosphere. the higher, the bluer i shall say. (very light though!)
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  11 November 2012
Originally Posted by manja: i've got a question since the begining: what are the colored squares on the pictures?

he is using the PLE version of nuke for compositing, and the colored squares are the watermark in it
 
  11 November 2012

looks like someone did see there was a 3rd page!
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  11 November 2012
Originally Posted by manja: ok, never used nuke.

first of for the cliff, you should check the hue of the rock under the tower. it doesn't match the cliff. you should add some orange stains.
you could also put a mask all around the rock to erase the edge and the shadow around it.
and the lower side of the rock is to dark if you compare it with the rest of the cliff.
finally, add a bit of blue in the shadows to match the atmosphere. the higher, the bluer i shall say. (very light though!)


Thanks very much for feedback! It's really useful I'll modify the base texture today and re-render it. I put in another lightwrap node to match the blues. Here's a test render showing my progress so far:


I was tearing my hair out yesterday as I animated the camera, suddenly realising that all the shadows were not moving with the camera So I put the shadows on cards in a separate 3D scene, then multiplied them over the tower render.

Issues:
1. Seam between the tower and the cliff is still perfectly obvious, will try edge erosion + color correction as manja suggested.
2. Camera anim SUCKS! Thankfully Nuke's animation system is beautifully simple for an idiot like me
3. I hate that perspective shifty look but haven't the foggiest idea how to fix it. I played with the focal length yesterday but that didn't seem to make much of a difference. Any ideas??
4. I appear to have accidentally animated my roto for the foliage to the right of the tower
5. Around 0:03 the lightwrap around the top of the tower goes a bit wild. Will check that.

C&C appreciated

P.S: sorry for the terrible video quality!
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  11 November 2012
that's not bad.
actually, i don't understand why you render the background. you don't need the shadows on the cliff.

i was talking of something like that:
http://i.imgur.com/UCzf8.jpg
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Last edited by manja : 11 November 2012 at 11:49 AM.
 
  11 November 2012
Originally Posted by manja: that's not bad.
actually, i don't understand why you render the background. you don't need the shadows on the cliff.

i was talking of something like that:
http://i.imgur.com/UCzf8.jpg


Mmmmm I'm not really going for that kind of shot, I want it to show that this tower is unnatural and not so connected to the landscape, if that makes sense. Good concept though, thanks for sharing it

Progress update:


Changelog since last video:
Corrected the roto for the foliage to the left of the tower
Fixed an animation issue with the roto for the shadows
Re-rendered the tower image with a modified texture for the base
Improved camera animation
Fixed animation issues with the lightwrap.

Still got a way to go though. Near the middle of the shot there are some visible flashes around the base of the tower which is caused by the lightwrap going wild, bit suprised I didn't notice that before rendering

Still not happy with the camera animation so I'll correct that today.
I'm also going to experiment with color correction/grading, I love doing that

On the bright side, the lens distortion caused by Nuke's 3D camera seems to be unnoticeable when shown in the video so I won't worry about that anymore.


C&C welcome!
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"For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world but loses his own soul?"

- Jesus
 
  11 November 2012
ah, i'm puzzled. do you want the big rock to be still part of the cliff or is it a flying tower? (which could be very cool too.)
anyway, the shadow on the cliff is wrong. looks like the light comes from the lower right when it actually comes from the higher left side of the screen on the cliff.
good improvement though.
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  11 November 2012
Originally Posted by manja: ah, i'm puzzled. do you want the big rock to be still part of the cliff or is it a flying tower? (which could be very cool too.)
anyway, the shadow on the cliff is wrong. looks like the light comes from the lower right when it actually comes from the higher left side of the screen on the cliff.
good improvement though.


LOL, a flying tower would be quite interesting I do want the base to be part of the cliff, but I want it to look like it's been carved out of the cliff instead of naturally occurring.

Good call on the shadows, I tried switching to an actual shadow pass instead of AO and I think it looks better:


Changelog since last video:
Replaced AO with shadow pass
Corrected roto for shadows
Added vector blur

For the shadow pass I'm using a separate render with the number of GI bounces turned down to 4, previously it was at 8. Though I'm not getting very good shadowing around the bottom of the base so I think I'll play around with the lighting and turn the GI bounces down even more to get sharper shadows.

I've also got an idea for the shot to give it more 'story'

Thanks very much for the feedback!
C&C welcome!
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"For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world but loses his own soul?"

- Jesus
 
  11 November 2012
Progress update (this time in 720p):


I finally got the shadows figured out, for some reason all the shadows were in the diffuse direct pass instead of the shadow pass Still got some work to do but it's a lot better!

Now using Nuke 7, which has got that lovely relight node Going to play around with that today and see what results I can get.
I also need to finalize the camera animation.

C&C welcome
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"For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world but loses his own soul?"

- Jesus
 
  11 November 2012
the shadows are still wrong man, they should be like this.



the shadows don't have the right color. i just added some blue over it on the upper right picture.
also, the shadows should be harder on the edges, reffer to the shadows already existing on the picture to tune it correctly.
if you correct that shadow problem, then i wont have anything more to say!

you're almost there.
cheers
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  12 December 2012
Getting close now, it's just those darned shadows! Thanks so much manja for those tips, can't believe I missed the shadow colors
Progress update:


Changelog:
Modified tower lighting using relight node
Tweaked the shadow roto (still sucks)
Changed to sampled motion blur instead of vector blur (which was causing weird artifacts)

On one of the frames near the beginning there's a large flash where one of the lightwrap nodes goes crazy, it's only for one frame though so I might either paint it or animate the lightwrap. Shouldn't be too hard

Still completely unsatisfied with the shadows though. The problem with Cycles (my render engine) is that it's a little difficult to get hard shadows since the GI messes with that. Will experiment with the number of GI bounces, and if that doesn't work I'll try and get a shadow pass out of Blender Internal. It's awfully slow with lots of geometry but should be worth it to get a good shadow

C&C welcome!
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"For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world but loses his own soul?"

- Jesus
 
  12 December 2012
have you considered painting a fake shadow on a mesh? no light, just compositing.
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  12 December 2012
Originally Posted by manja: have you considered painting a fake shadow on a mesh? no light, just compositing.


You mean like taking the tower image, converting it to grayscale, warping it, and then multiplying it over the footage as a shadow? I might try that...

Progress update:


No time for a video today, I've been really busy lately so haven't been able to put more than a few hours into this. This picture is using a shadow pass from BI (biased ray tracer), it's giving me some nice sharp shadows so I might use this. This was just a quick test comp, I still need to grade it obviously.

However, since the shadow's quite long it extends below the images bounding box, so will have to re-render the pass with new dimensions

Will also look into using the tower image itself as a shadow (as discussed above).

C&C appreciated
__________________
"For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world but loses his own soul?"

- Jesus
 
  12 December 2012
Progress update:


I just noticed one glaring issue after watching this, I forgot to add grain to the shadow pass Big 'Duh' moment

Shadows aren't looking too absolutely horrific, but still need more work. Also there are some weird edges around the base, probably need to premultiply it or something.

C&C welcome
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- Jesus
 
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