Need Advice on what to tell my CGI Artist

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Old 04 April 2013   #1
Need Advice on what to tell my CGI Artist

So I have a CGI artist doing work on one shot in my film, a character gets shot with an arrow through her neck. Unforuntetly, the arrow no matter how many times he tweaks it, it looks cartoony/fake. I'm not sure if this an issue with lighting/textures... the arrow just doesnt carry any weight to it. IF that's the right word?

Can someone here advise me on how to direct the CGI artist to give me something closer to what I want? A realistic arrow piercing her neck. Would greatly appreciate the feeback.
Old 04 April 2013   #2
If it doesn't appear to have any weight to it, then it sounds like an animation issue.
Old 04 April 2013   #3
A very effective way to communicate this kind of things is with a reference. Search a scene where you have an arrow hitting someone that looks like what you have in mind. That's a very good way to feed visual information to someone else, without language getting in the middle. I don't know how much experienced you're in animation, but it happens that sometimes you call weight to something different, and a lot of times goes by trying to understand what each other really mean.

Usually, the animation will search his/her own reference before animating something, specially when that something is an arrow that has to look realistic, there's no re inventing the wheel in actions like that.

Hope that helps!
Old 04 April 2013   #4
+1 for the above post. Without more information about your issue than what you just posted, references is a good all-arounder to clarifying each others views, in almost every type of department. Youtube is a really good start.
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Old 04 April 2013   #5
I definitely use YouTube for reference with my artists. Sometimes I'll even send them a link to a tutorial if I want a specific look or technique used. Occassionally I'll quickly demonstrate a concept myself if its something I can show in less than 10 minutes. When its something other than an arrow through the neck or any other dangerous or deadly activity, I make it a real life observation field or homework assignment.

Dangerous studies we conduct in a controlled environment. We have used live vehicles, weapons and have even purchased slaughtered pigs for some studies. Once we purchased 10 identical vehicles and sets of supplies that were in the vehicle and using the everyday supplies from a grocery store, had each vehicle's contents ignite themselves on fire under various circumstances and conditions. That day I called home and had my wife separate a whole bunch of items we had that were similar. Its amazing how much shit people lump together in a trunk that becomes a bomb under the right conditions. It's fairly easy consider you would need a chemical engineering degree to even realize the potential explosive combinations.

Does the artist have access to an archery set and or range/club?

Last edited by XLNT-3d : 04 April 2013 at 06:52 PM.
Old 04 April 2013   #6
You'd be really surprised what you find on the internet when you search:

As for your specific problem, I don't think anyone can help you here without more specific information. Those references I posted are a ah.... shot in the dark.... sorry. But ah... you get my point.... ooops.... sorry again. But I have no idea what the actual issue is.

As mentioned. Get a reference for exactly what you want, and use that. If you can't get that find something close.

And if he/she still can't do it. Find someone who can.
Richard Culver
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Old 04 April 2013   #7
Also dont expect top quality effects if you dont have the budget for it. If you are on here asking this kind of question I reckon we are looking at a lower budget project. The arrow hitting a figure is not just that, it is everything that surrounds the event like the sound, the character even the camera angles that has been chosen, If everything surrounding the arrow is lower quality then this could be the problem.
The terminal velocity of individual particles is directly related to pink rabbits on a bank holiday.
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Last edited by Kanga : 04 April 2013 at 11:29 AM.
Old 04 April 2013   #8
Use a nice thwack sound
Old 04 April 2013   #9
This is beginning to look like another of those hit and run threads, where the OP never shows up again.
Old 04 April 2013   #10
I don't see how anyone can even advise this person without seeing the shot. If it's a close-up of the person, seems that a good way to handle it is to attach a prosthetic arrow to the actor, then simply paint out and reveal. If the shot is wider and shows the arrow flying, then yeah, use good reference as stated above. As Kanga mentioned, there is so much more to making an effective shot than just adding in a digital arrow.

Old 04 April 2013   #11
Maybe the arrow is traveling too slow to begin with?
Old 04 April 2013   #12
Originally Posted by leigh: This is beginning to look like another of those hit and run threads, where the OP never shows up again.

I find this absolutely rude.
Old 04 April 2013   #13
Originally Posted by Kanga: even the camera angles that have been chosen

Good camera angles could hide mistakes on animation, or bad camera angles could ruin good animation.
Braveheart had some arrow shots (even in the ass.. lol ), that he can use as reference.

Originally Posted by leigh: This is beginning to look like another of those hit and run threads, where the OP never shows up again.

Kinda metaphoric with arrow thread.
Now it's the time to be extreme!
Old 04 April 2013   #14
Originally Posted by leigh: This is beginning to look like another of those hit and run threads, where the OP never shows up again.

I'm sure that wasn't their aim, they just lost sight of the target. Nonetheless this thread is filled with useful tips that don't miss the mark.

Old 04 April 2013   #15
Its not really an Arrow-animation issue unless its going too slow. Visually an arrow is so fast that over one frame the arrow suddenly appears in the target and if its a solid object, the impact and energy would produce a stiff wobble on the arrow shaft.
If its into flesh, there wont be much of a wobble as the flesh would absorb it. (and in reality there wouldnt be any blood as the arrow would seal the hole. However, the person would immediately react from the pain (and momentum) of the impact.
But as previously suggested, sound is probably the best way of making the audience feel it.
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