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The Endgame, does it really suck that badly?

Posted: Thu, 3rd Jan 2002, 11:23pm

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sidewinder

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2.5 stars. What did we do wrong?
Posted: Fri, 4th Jan 2002, 2:51am

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anonymous

Certainly not. I believe we have a collection of malcontent snobs who think themselves above "mere" amatuer movies and go around giving lousy scores out of alleged elitism.

This is Jealously Guarded Flesh, and my latest movie, SPELL MASTERS only has 3 stars, which is undeserved considering the sheer volume (and with all modesty, innovation) of FX in it. I havent complained, but I am wary of possible causes for the mere average score.

In addition to the snobs, I'm sure other movie makers have, from time to time, sucumbed to temptation and given every movie in the top ten, besides their own, 1 star or less to boost their own position.

For the record, I gave your movie 4 stars, as it does have a few FX superior to my own.

You did vote for mine right? smile

I only give scores of 1 star to movies that I feel have completely wasted my time by doing nothing innovative or particularly interesting. Even though I want to, I wont
name names, I would just plead with movie makers that if your movie is 30 seconds of boredom with 2 seconds of effect, then PLEASE compress it so it is not more than 2 Megs. 4,5,6 EIGHT megs? That is outrageous. I have sucked 50% of the quality out of all of my movies out of consideration for all of you guys, giving you a shorter download. My generousity has not been returned however, in quite a few cases. I hope for more compassion in the future.
Posted: Fri, 4th Jan 2002, 2:57am

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MechaForce

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NIKO YOU MORON!!!! THE ENDGAME?!?!

WHAT THE HECK IS THAT!!!!

i am so dissapointed in you.

PS: yes it's not constructive criticism, but hey i have rights to say that! i made that movie too!
Posted: Fri, 4th Jan 2002, 3:00am

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MechaForce

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i knew you were gonna use that some day . .. .
Posted: Fri, 4th Jan 2002, 3:04am

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Simon K Jones

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Hey sidewinder. First off, you got 3 stars at the moment. Plus you've only been online for a few hours - wait a bit and see how it settles down once some more people get to vote.

I actually really liked The Endgame. The effects use was very good. I particularly liked the firing of the missile and the explosion as one of you dived towards the camera - that kicked ass. The effect right at the start of somebody going through a door was pretty cool, too - how did you do that one (if you don't mind me asking)?

A couple of (hopefully constructive!) criticisms...

I think the editing could be a little bit tighter - there are a few shots that could be shortened, such as the shot just after the one of the missile exploding, of the guy rolling around on the ground. Tightening up these would increase the tension and excitement.

The other thing is that some of the transitions between effects and normal footage seem to cause the picture to enlarge or shrink by a few pixels - not much, but enough to be noticeable and spoil the effect a little bit. I'm sure this is a problem with your editing software rather than your own skills (I have the same problem sometimes with Premiere 6), and I don't know if you can do anything about it...but maybe worth looking into?

Also, the Matrix shot is nice. Haven't even attempted one of those myself yet - and it's nice that yours is short and to the point, rather than big and flashy and lasting half an hour.

Anyways, excellent effects use, editing and camerawork could perhaps be tightened. Good stuff otherwise.

But, hey, don't be too despondent if you get a lower score than you hoped for - it just means that the next thing you do can be even better and kick even more ass!

Cheers.....
Posted: Fri, 4th Jan 2002, 3:22am

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sidewinder

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Hey, Tarn, that's one of the most informative reviews of one of our movies that I've read. Thanks a lot for the compliments, and help in pointing out what needed work. smile

I've noticed the size change in the frames also. I know a way to work around it, but I haven't spent enough time to actually go in and see when it happens. It's the next thing on my list of movie things to do.

If you encounter the problem again, I might be able to help you out.

As for your movie, It didn't work when I tried it on one computer, but I'll watch it at school or at my friends house when I get the chance. wink

To do the walk through the door, I made two filmstrips, one of me, one of the door. I pasted the filmstrip of me on a layer that was on top of the door. Then, I went and erased my edges in the first couple of frames, gradually letting more of me appear.


Once again, thanks for the review.

To Sam (a.k.a. MechaForce): Hey, that's what happens when you don't let me use cool names for our other movies. I guess I'll just have to BEAT you in Halo again!

[ This Message was edited by: sidewinder on 2002-01-04 03:28 ]
Posted: Fri, 4th Jan 2002, 3:30am

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Simon K Jones

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Yeah, a coupla people have had problems with 'CGI Attack Test 1'. I think it's most probably due to me being a fool when it comes to codecs and not having a clue what I'm doing. razz

I think I've got it figured out now, and next time I'll upload stuff as quicktime sorenson, which I think just about everybody can handle.
Posted: Sat, 5th Jan 2002, 12:48pm

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The Great One

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In all honesty though, did any of you really think that the rating system was gonna be free from abuse... It was changed to a rating system from a simple 'number of downloads' chart after requests from our users to do so. It's only meant to be a bit of fun anyway.

How do you think I feel, when my films are rated low (partly due to their limited nature as most of the time I ONLY use Alam, so as to demonstrate the FX) and I bloody work here!

Don't let the ratings go to your head... Do you wanna sell out and get as many stars as you can, or do you wanna submit YOUR movie and expect some criticism, enabling you to make your next flick even better? Or do you want me to convince malone to allow me to fiddle the ratings system and you can give me money and sweets to boost your rating... wink
Posted: Sat, 5th Jan 2002, 2:28pm

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Craig

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I have a large box of chocolates for you TGO, you know what to do! razz

biggrin
Posted: Sat, 5th Jan 2002, 2:59pm

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Sollthar

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They're right sidewinder... These ratings don't tell much...

We have won an international shortfilm contest with Rose voted as best short feature and it gets 3 stars here...

And besides, I have seen that amateur movie makers mostly critizise any movies harder than professionals. smile))
Posted: Sat, 5th Jan 2002, 4:05pm

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Craig

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People seem to be getting confused with the whole rating system - Are they voting for a good film or are they looking for the most FX or is it the most use of AlamDV?

I personally have gone down the Good Film road even if every frame doesn't have an effect on it. Obviously, I've taken into account whether they're tests or made to show off the program (so don't worry TGO) razz

biggrin
Posted: Sat, 5th Jan 2002, 8:54pm

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malone

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Personally I think sidewinder and mechaforces movies have been getting better and better. I usually abstain from voting for movies, but if I had, it would have got something high from me.

Whilst I was making the voting system I assumed it would be a mark of how much you liked the movie as a whole, not just a single aspect like the effects or something.

The voting system isnt tamper proof and never will be. Ive had a quick look at the stats and I can see there has been some cheating. As more and more people vote for your movie the cheating becomes less significant, so everyone should encourage more people to visit the site smile

Anyway, it is all meant to be just for fun, but I do know who the cheaters are, so watch out unsure
Posted: Mon, 7th Jan 2002, 8:57am

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msgarcia0215

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Hey Mechaforce, what's up with you? Each is entitled to his/her opinion but there are ways saying things in a nice way. You should be more sensitive towards the feelings of others. The fact that you make great movies doesn't give you the right to bash people. Hell, even Steven Spielberg doesn't do that. Grow up.
Posted: Mon, 7th Jan 2002, 1:12pm

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sidewinder

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biggrin


And that's all I have to say about that...
Posted: Mon, 7th Jan 2002, 6:42pm

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MechaForce

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hey garcia dude . . .in case you didn't know i made that movie too . . . .
Posted: Mon, 7th Jan 2002, 10:07pm

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codec3

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Hi
I'm with malone on this one. I really don't vote for many movies, but I do love to watch them, because you never know what you'll see. I prefer a situation where we have a seperatre forum so when a movie is submitted, the author can go write a post on why, how, etc. the movie came to be. Then people can respond with whatever, hopefully it would be like a Q/A, tips and tricks thing.3

Here's a lesson: A long time ago I used to teach at a college...the admissions office did not care if the student had talent or not, they just wanted to fill the seats. As a teacher I was obligated to treat each student equally regardless of level of talent. When people sought an opinion from me I would level it out with what we call 'constructive criticism'...but always tempered that with offerings on how to improve whatever it was we were discussion. That's really important...giving criticism, but then smoothing it over with little tips or tricks that will make their next piece better. That advice was based on experience through actually working as a pro and as a teacher. Seemed to work well.

I was just reading through the posts on this thread and it seemed to get a bit pissy, I hope everyone is keeping it in context...most of us here are amatuers, students or wanna be's.

HEY, that's not a bad thing.

At least we are doing SOMETHING!

I guess the point is whith this system we have, the stars thing, we get what we got. Stars.

Maybe we need like a couple people who can do a REVIEW of the movies...kinda get the ball rolling. I think it's OK for people to speak their minds here (ga it is a forum) as long as we keep it on a level where everyone can benefit from what we are saying. Myself, I just wanna be of a benefit. If I submit a flic and nobody watches it, or it gets a star, so what? I do it for my enjoyment first, use it as a vehicle to LEARN something secondly and lastly hope people can use it as an example of whatever later, as well as enjoy watching it.

I've always been comfortable with what I do, but otoh it is always nice to get the credit you are due.

Believe me, in the real world it rarely happens but when it does it makes all the time and effort worth it...

codec3
Posted: Mon, 7th Jan 2002, 11:07pm

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hobbybob

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Sidewinder and Megaforce.

I like your movie and it didn't suck.
i especially like the "walk through the door shot and filmstrips are great for doing that.
Furthermore i liked the matrix shot, i looked smooth and i want to know how you did the background ?
Most people talk about the morphing of the ground, but i haven't paid enough attention so i will look again to see if i can see something in there. Can you explain how you shot it and composited it. Probably explained thousands of times before, i hear people say make 35 jumps but yours seems to be 'easier' but the effect looks cool.
sorry if i sounds confusing here. I hope you can explain to me how to make this shot (camera tripod needed?) morphing of background etc ? Morphing of groundplane...create a large background ?
What / how / with what ?

Any help is appreciated, i will vote for the movie tomorrow, definately a 4 star! For the nice effects, storyboarding. Keep up the good work...
I am trying to make some explosion plugins, looks like i have some people to testdrive them ? If you want to ofcourse wink

Dimitri
Posted: Tue, 8th Jan 2002, 3:52am

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sidewinder

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The fabled matrix shot...

Three main things- Practice, Time, and Patience.

You'll need those to produce a nice matrix effect.

But it also helps to have a computer, Gryphon morph, Photoshop, After Effects, a tripod, and a dv camera. smile

First things first- with your camera on a tripod, film your actor doing his/her dive from the starting angle. After the actor has finished his/her dive (gotta be politically correct wink ), DON'T MOVE THE CAMERA, and get a shot of the background with no one there. go around in a circle, doing this as many times as needed. We only used two shots- the beginning and end, for our matrix effect. No Control Cinemas used seven. The more you want to spin, the more shots you should take. You'll get a feel for this with practice. A shot for every 30 degrees is about the norm.

On your last shot, do the same as you've done with all the others. once again, MAKE SURE THE ACTOR HAS BEEN DOING THE SAME MOVEMENTS IN EACH SHOT. You'll get an odd looking morph otherwise. Continue with your last shot, as if the action had been going the whole time.

Now, after you've imported all this onto a computer, go through, and find all the shots you took of the actor's dive, as well as the shots of the background. Go to the first clip, where your actor starts the dive, and cut it while the actor is in the air. this is going to be where the camera starts spinning. Save this frame, and also save the frame of the actor not in the background.

For the rest of the shots in the air, all you'll need is the frame of your actor, in about the same spot of the dive in the first clip, as well as the background shots.

When you get to the final shot, where the camera stops spinning, cut the clip where the actor is in the air, in the same position as in the other shots. Don't forget the background, and don't forget to save the beginning frame of this clip, of the actor in the air.

Now you should have all these frames, as well as background shots saved. Open up photoshop, and combine the background shots into one large picture-basically a large strip. You will use this for the spinning effect by moving the strip to create the impression of spinning. Use the tools at your disposal to make the combined pictures seem seamless. Position the first and last frames at each end of the strip. DON'T CHANGE THESE IN ANY WAY. you will probably have to alter the ones in the middle, and it's okay to slightly change the edges of the first and last frames, but don't do anything noticeable. Since the real footage picks up and leaves off on these frames, they can't all of a sudden change.

Save the pan, and get the shots of the actor jumping. Paint out everything, except the actor, with a blue or green color (for keying). The idea is that you'll be able to color-key out the solid color, so you'll just be left with the actor, which then goes on top of the pan (I'm starting to get ahead of myself, just bear with me).

Take these shots of the actor into Gryphon morph, and morph them all together. This basically adds the extra frames needed to get the smooth rotation. (If you don't have gryphon morph, I can probably e-mail it to you, or post some links from another post where it might be located.).

Now, Open the large strip of the background, and the morph in After Effects. Move the pan across the background to create the spinning, and color key the morph, so all you see is the actor on top of the background. Mess around with the color key to make it as good as possible. If you have some artifacts, or holes, don't worry. You can take care of them later.

If you want to, you can also add a motion blur to the background to add to the sensation of spinning, but that's up to you. You'll also noticed that I haven't mentioned anything about morphing the ground. The effect it makes isn't very noticeable, so I never bother to do it. It just complicates things, in my opinion. If you are really concerned, just angle the cameras so you can't see the ground beneath the actor, like we did in "The Gunfight".

Anyways, export the project to a filmstrip, where you can go in with Photoshop, and use the stamp tool to fix any holes, or artifacts from the color key, or morph. Bring the filmstrip back into After Effects to compress it into a movie.

Take the morph+background pan, and place it between the beginning and ending clips. Voila!

If you would like to see some pictures, just visit the No Control Cinema's website. You can find a link by clicking on one of their movies.


smile

There. I did it. I wrote the difinitive matrix tutorial. As people try it more, and more, they may create different techniques that differ than what was said in this tutorial, but this is how I do it.

I should probably post a copy of this in the tutorials section. I'll do that tomorrow.

Always glad to help

-Sidewinder
Posted: Tue, 8th Jan 2002, 3:55am

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sidewinder

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Oh, and I'd be glad to try out your explosion plug-ins. my e-mail is okinp@swirve.com
Posted: Tue, 8th Jan 2002, 9:49am

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hobbybob

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Hi Sidewinder,

First off all thank you for your clear explanation. You think i would be able to use Adobe Premiere 6 for the composite as well in stead of After Effects ? Since i work mainly in Premiere.

Furtheron some things are a bit hard to visualize right here at work (the part with the long strip for the background with a full frame before and after is not completely clear), but i think i will just borrow a cam and when the weather is just getting a little better i will go outside and to my shot.
I think you mean to tell me that you need this complete frame because you need to cut from live footage to the matrixshot and from there back to live footage. To do this the first and last image of the really long image that is shifting in the back as a background needs to be the same as the one your cutting into. Else you see a shift at the start and the end of the effect.
Am i right ?

Well...just doing it seems to best the best teacher. Maybe you can post me a link for gryphon morph ? Would be very much appreciated.

I just emailed your mailadress to my home (i am at work right now) and when the plugins are ready i sent them out to you first to testdrive them. Will require some work.
I will try to fix'em over this week/weekend.

Thanks sofar and bye..

Dimitri
Posted: Tue, 8th Jan 2002, 4:40pm

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sidewinder

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You have the correct idea for the background pan. I meant that the ends of the strip would have to unaltered. Anyways, I'll post the links later on tonight, as I am at school right now.
Posted: Tue, 8th Jan 2002, 10:20pm

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hobbybob

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Ok great looking forward to it.
BTW Stillwater, MN (Minnesota or Michigan ?)
I am not into the state-abbreviations ?!?!?

Dimitri
Posted: Tue, 8th Jan 2002, 10:31pm

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kingpiin

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I really liked endgame. Did u use alamdv for the explosion as u jump out the way?Did u bluescreen, or shadowmap?

Nice work people..now..where is that "One Star" button?...(only jokin!)
Posted: Tue, 8th Jan 2002, 11:35pm

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sidewinder

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here


http://www.softwareoasis.net/213.htm?AID=5434419&PID=606239


http://www.mwcdrom.com/catalog/mm/2545.htm

http://www.domsys.com/bookshop/c/Computer_Graphics/ Cd_Morph_Explore_Gryphon_Software_s_Amazing_Special_Effects_and_Animation _Software_Book_and_Cd_Rom_0201409119.htm

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0201409119/computerbookzone/104-6980596-7550317


Oh, as for the explosion, we used the ground explosion from alamdv1. Plus we put a board over a couple of logs, and piled snpow on one end to create a crude catapult that threw the snow into the air when we jumped on one end. We masked out the explosion by putting two filmstrips on top of eachother, and erasing the one with the explosion where the bady was supposed to be seen.

How did you do the masks for stargate sandwich?

[ big ass url formatted smile ]

[ This Message was edited by: malone on 2002-01-09 16:10 ]
Posted: Wed, 9th Jan 2002, 2:18am

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Simon K Jones

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Yeah, I've been pondering over the Stargate Sandwich masks. They're very well done....

I'm guessing you've got the live action plate, then the back part of the rings, masked to fit around the person, then the front part of the rings rendered seperately and placed over the top, with some cool lighting to put it all together.
Posted: Wed, 9th Jan 2002, 4:05am

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av11d

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Great Matrix tutorial! Cna't wait to make my own. However, for some reason the cinema's secition link is not working, i can't view your movie!
Posted: Wed, 9th Jan 2002, 4:14am

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MechaForce

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i plan on learning how to use the morph program someday . . .then i'll be able to make morphs!
Posted: Wed, 9th Jan 2002, 1:08pm

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sidewinder

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Thanks.

Oh, and MN stands for Minnesota.
Posted: Wed, 9th Jan 2002, 11:52pm

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hobbybob

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Pardon my ignorance..Minnesota...ok...
Hmm...the links only point to bookstores (mostly) that sell books with a cd.
On the cd you will find a full version.
mmmm....but you need to buy the book also.

Dimitri
Posted: Thu, 10th Jan 2002, 1:34am

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sidewinder

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Alright...

Since that doesn't work, and since the company that made Gryphon morph doesn't exist anymore, I'd recommend that you download a peer-to-peer file sharing program, such as gnutella, and see if you can find anyone with gryphon morph. (that's what I did).

To get gnutella, just enter that word in yahoo, and do a websearch.

Does this help?

If not, I have one more suggestion...but you should try this first.
Posted: Thu, 10th Jan 2002, 2:01am

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av11d

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there is a free program called morpheus(not the peer-to-peer prorgram) that is pretty good for morphing
Posted: Thu, 10th Jan 2002, 10:08am

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hobbybob

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Thanks, i have WinMX at home and will try to look for gryphon on there first.
Else i get back to you on this.

Dimitri
Posted: Thu, 10th Jan 2002, 6:52pm

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kingpiin

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Actually for the Stargate sandwich thing, it was MAx and Alamdv all the way. The backplate was just me, and the masking and rings were all put on at the same time ie..in one render. Touched up by Alamdv to add a little more light to ropey bits (as it ws all done in 20 mins) and there u have it!
Posted: Thu, 10th Jan 2002, 8:20pm

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sidewinder

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how do you do masking in 3DMAX?
Posted: Mon, 21st Jan 2002, 6:27am

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MechaForce

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av11d . . .. i tried that morpheus program out brief ly and if it is what i think it is . . . ... doesn't it leave a bunch of artifacts n' messed up stuff?
Posted: Mon, 21st Jan 2002, 3:31pm

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av11d

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no, i don't believe so.
Posted: Tue, 22nd Jan 2002, 12:03am

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kingpiin

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the part that takes longest in max is creating an animated form to move when u move. There are shortcuts, but I tend to only use the shortcuts for the shorts I upload for fun. In realy projects like the one I'm doing just now, I have to track the scene using half tennis balls as markers, and also get the actor I want to mask, to make movements that look good, but are easily replicated to 3D. Gypsy 3 from http://www.metamotion.com/Gypsy_instructional_videos.htm , would come in handy here! lol
Posted: Mon, 18th Feb 2002, 5:26pm

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codec3

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2.5 stars for my Star Trek movie...what did I do wrong, too? boohoo
Posted: Fri, 22nd Feb 2002, 12:14am

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sidewinder

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Your one fault is that you put your faith in an imprefect system.

No one has realy seen it, since it is rather old. Come to think of it, I haven't even voted on it.

I think it would be cool to have a week where we concentrate on the cinema section, and have a blast with giving awards, having contests, creating sections, or just basically have a film festival.

It would get some attention to those earlier movies, and then we could be off to a fresh start.