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PRE-VIS: Four Deadly Brovas

Posted: Thu, 16th Dec 2004, 1:54pm

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RudyPicardo

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A pre-visual sequence for a low-budget action film I'm producing in the next few months. There will be THREE total submissions - each focused on a different scene. As with past submissions of mine you'll probably notice that many sections of the video will appear like they've been taken from other films. This is of course intentional and is meant to pay hommage to these respective films.

As it is a pre-vis, there are obvious issues (such as over-modulated voice-overs, out-of-focus shots, bad effect usage, etc.) I'm submitting these test sequences to get some ideas from fellow users when I shoot actual principal photography. A more formal list of my concerns is listed here:

http://www.rudypicardo.com/video/FourDeadlyBrovas/

As this project is part of a full semester of graduate work for me, I'd appreciate constructive criticism. My professor will be looking over the responses as part of my "feedback" element of this project. However, feel free to be fully critical; as long as you give me suggestions how to improve the problem, I won't take it personally.

FXHome users have never let me down before, so I look forward in hearing your suggestions.


More Info
Posted: Thu, 16th Dec 2004, 2:11pm

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Waser

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There was something very subtle about the way the actor moved that I liked allot. It's something that I can't put my finger on. Also, I really liked the smooth pans that would spin around the actor. The only things that are really wrong with this is when the actor puts his hand infront of his glowing eye, and when using a gun in a movie, it'd be best to take off/paint over the orange tip.
This are minor things though, and didn't detract the appeal of the film really.
Posted: Thu, 16th Dec 2004, 2:22pm

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RudyPicardo

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Waser wrote:

The only things that are really wrong with this is when the actor puts his hand infront of his glowing eye, and when using a gun in a movie, it'd be best to take off/paint over the orange tip.
I agree that they are two major drawbacks when I looked at my pre-vis too.

1) Glowing eye - This was probably the most difficult one for me since his hand goes across his face. I want the eye to be masked out when his hands go across his face. However, I wasn't sure how to handle the blue light effect (Alpha light Plug in) that the eye makes - I'd like to keep the lighting effect, but mask some of the acutal eye sfx itself. I know that when I use the mask it removes any sfx that you apply. Any suggesions on how to do this would be most welcomed.

2) Orange tip on gun - This definitely plans to be fixed. I'm not sure what is the best way to do this. One person has suggested black tape; another suggested black paint; yet another suggested paint thinner. However, none of them gave specifics (i.e. use "Testor's Flat Metallic Black paint"). Specific suggestions would also be great too.

Thanks Waser for your comments!
Posted: Thu, 16th Dec 2004, 7:50pm

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Xog2

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I would not use electical tape (black tape) to cover the orange. If you could take off the orange cap some how that would be the way to go. Because I know some guns you can take it off. If you can't do that just find the closest color to the black of the gun and paint it. I have done that before and it woks pretty good.
Posted: Thu, 16th Dec 2004, 11:43pm

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Serpent

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I think the effects looked amateury altogether, though the movie was great. The edit on the throwing scene was really weird, the cut was just out of place and the things urned into knives that looked bad. So fix the edit there, and the effects like the glows and knives etc. Other than that, I second Waser, cool way they moved.


Oh yeah, and the gun. It was a great gun, but that orange thingy was, aherm, there.
Posted: Fri, 17th Dec 2004, 3:52am

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filmmaker1

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In my view the alam dv effects were well placed and helped in the overall
appeal of the film.

The excellent movement fighting techniques gave a surreal feel to those sequences and helped to emphasise the superhuman quality of the fighter, which I think you may have acomplished by skillfully mixing normal speed-motion with slow-motion and fast- motion, the transition between each speed mode was smooth and seamless so that it seemed that the fighter was moving that way naturally. Its the first time I've seen these 3 motion speeds used together in such an original and effective way !

I wondered where exactly did you get the gun from please, we can't get anything as realistic as that in the UK, has the store got a website?
Posted: Fri, 17th Dec 2004, 4:26am

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RudyPicardo

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filmmaker1 wrote:


I wondered where exactly did you get the gun from please, we can't get anything as realistic as that in the UK, has the store got a website?
There are two places which I was referred to by fellow FXHome users:

1) http://www.airsoftatlanta.com/
2) http://www.jdwholesale.com/

I have made one purchase order of items from JDWholesale. I had no problems. I will be ordering from Airsoft Atlanta in the coming month. Unfortunately, as I am living in the United States, I cannot reccommend a UK web-page. I assume if you search for Airsoft Rifles you will find something in the UK. Obviously the drawback of the gun (as with any cheap realistic gun) is that they have that orange tip. As stated in a previous post, I will definitely remove the orange tip when I actually start filming the acutal production.

My thanks for your comments, especially on the timing. I usually edit the sequence with all the clips at normal speed first. I then think about when to slow things down or speed them up. If you watch enough martial arts action movies (both Eastern and Western), you'll notice that they do this a lot, which may be why the timing was good. I'm also experimenting with the shutterspeed option on my the camera I'm using in the lab.

Although I appreciate the placing and timing of effects, I'm sure many would agree that some of the effects did appear a bit on the novice side. However its the first time I've tried to do a lighted eye or hand effect. Can anyone suggest a way to make the sfx shot look more professional?

Keep those constructive suggestions coming! Everyones ideas have been great so far.
Posted: Fri, 17th Dec 2004, 4:44pm

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b4uask30male

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Hi rudy. smile

I must just say a few words about this.
the first thing that cought my eye was the camera movments ? did you have a dolly track ?
it moved the filming in to semi pro for me, far better than hand held wobbles. top marks.

the guy, wow, almost as good as me wink he should be pushed hard into voice and facial expressions, once he has that, he's good to go all the way, use him within the publicty of your film, posters etc and snippets, ( don't give too much away ) he has a good look about him.

The voice over seemed to near the mic sad
and the sound at the end, was you using a normal mic on the camera, if you was please get an external one ( i know, i had people moan at me for ages about the camera mic sad

I'll be honest I didn't really manage to listen properly to the voice over because I was too busy watching the guy and camera movements.

On the subject of the fx's. might i suggest, where you have the flames/smoke over his hand, that effect looks like smoke place over hand, if possible within another software product, use blur around the hand ( on;y a little ) then place the flames on top, this will give the impression the smoke is blurring the hand and would look better and more real.

Can't wait to see more.
your friend
ian
Posted: Fri, 17th Dec 2004, 6:26pm

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RudyPicardo

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b4uask30male wrote:

I must just say a few words about this. the first thing that cought my eye was the camera movments ? did you have a dolly track ?
-Sort of, Ian. We had a tripod with dolly attachement. I'm also planning to experiment with one of those "home-made stabilizers" which I made recently. In one my other two submissions, which I plan to submit in the coming month, I'd like to get comments on how I shoot with the stabilizer. I've never used the homemade ones before, so I will definitely need comments when those are submitted on this link.

b4uask30male wrote:


the guy, wow, almost as good as me wink he should be pushed hard into voice and facial expressions, once he has that, he's good to go all the way, use him within the publicty of your film, posters etc and snippets, ( don't give too much away ) he has a good look about him.
- I'll make sure my friend George gets this message Ian! When I shoot pricipal photography, George will be wearing a mask in the scene. So I may not have to worry about facial expressions. Obviously, when I do close-ups on my other talents, I'll be sure to remind myself to have them work on facial expressions.

b4uask30male wrote:

The voice over seemed to near the mic sad
and the sound at the end, was you using a normal mic on the camera, if you was please get an external one ( i know, i had people moan at me for ages about the camera mic sad
- Tell me about it, Ian! The voice-over is terrible! "Want to know more" wink? This project is part of a semester long project. I had to turn this "pre-visual" movie in quickly, as it was for a grade, in addition to allowing adequate time for feedback from other FXHomers. In my old lab we have a better audio bay set-up with better recording equipment. You can be sure that during my post-production, I'll be using that. biggrin

b4uask30male wrote:

On the subject of the fx's. might i suggest, where you have the flames/smoke over his hand, that effect looks like smoke place over hand, if possible within another software product, use blur around the hand ( on;y a little ) then place the flames on top, this will give the impression the smoke is blurring the hand and would look better and more real.

- Hmmm sounds like an interesting idea. Although I'm not experienced with Chromantor, when I purchase a copy for my home PC, I'll see if Chromator can do anything with that. I also have After Effects and FCP at my disposal at the office so I'll try those programs too. Do you think you can send me some sample jpgs of what you mean, Ian? I think I know what you want me to do, but a visual example always helps biggrin
Posted: Fri, 17th Dec 2004, 7:22pm

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b4uask30male

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hI

i'll tomorrow and re-create the hand thingy with blur.
Posted: Fri, 17th Dec 2004, 9:30pm

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homedogjedi

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It was good but I didn't understand why you used the glowing on the eyes and hands, second I didn't think the sfx were going at the same time as the guy doing the moves their were too many or something. I also agree with Serpent on the knife thingy.
Posted: Sat, 18th Dec 2004, 9:10pm

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CX3

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Lookin good looking good man. The camera movements were key, not to mention the actors techniques. Also to answer some of your questions. Do you have after effects? If so, then you could mask out the finger infront of the blue eye. If you dont you can send both files to me and I can mask it for you. Should take no more than a few minutes. Also, use black electrical tape to cover up the orange. If you see cops whenever you are filming from a distance, you can always take off the tape and reveal the orange under it. And people won't be able to tell the diff on screen.

Good Luck
-Chris
Posted: Mon, 20th Dec 2004, 4:54am

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RudyPicardo

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CX3 wrote:

If so, then you could mask out the finger infront of the blue eye. If you dont you can send both files to me and I can mask it for you. Should take no more than a few minutes.
Chris:

I have access to After Effects 5.5 at home and newer version on a Mac at a nearby computer lab. However, I'm not sure how I would specifically approch this mask, as his finger is moving. Obviously I could use a alpha/luma mask in AlamDV (if I change the shape of the oval mask). However, if I were to use AE, how would you do it?

As always, thanks for the input!
Posted: Mon, 20th Dec 2004, 8:07am

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CX3

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All you have to do is set key frames for the mask. This is done by clicking the stop watch. Then the mask can move with his finger. If you have trouble i can post a detailed explaination
Posted: Fri, 24th Dec 2004, 1:36pm

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RudyPicardo

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Fellow FXHomers

Just wanted to let everyone know that the second video (of 3 pre-vis videos) is up. This section has light saber effects, which I have never done before. As with the first, it is a pre-vis so I expect to make plenty of changes. For a more detailed list of concerns I already have you can go to:

http://www.rudypicardo.com/video/FourDeadlyBrovas/Previs2.htm

The comments so far have been relatively helpful. As such any additional help with this submission is highly appreciated.