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Lightersaber Fight 134

Posted: Mon, 31st Jan 2005, 11:22am

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Hamm Media

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First job done with AlamDV, it is a small lighsaber fight around 2min, some basic moves with some more advance. Yet still a nice movie.

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Posted: Mon, 31st Jan 2005, 11:41am

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Arktic

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Ok, I'll say it before anyone else - it's nothing that we've not seen before.

But in terms of a test (not judging this as a movie, just as an effects test), it's ok.

The effects, for the most part, look fine - nothing amazing, but solid work.

However, the fighting was, imho, sub par. The guys just look like they were touching their sticks together casually; there was no dynamic to the fight that made it look like a fight. You need to (or at least get your actors to) work on making the fighting look realistic and not as coreographed. There was no speed, and it often looked fake - it was apparent from some of the saber moves that neither fighter was acctually going for the other, but was just waiting for the other fighter to clash their sticks together. This can be improved upon greatly.

Also, it looks like you had a firewall alert pop up during rendering wink

However, roto'ing that much footage must have taken a while, so I guess that's worth one star for the effort. But next time, why not try and develop from an effects test into a movie with a plot, with time spent on characterisation, locations, props, costume etc etc smile

Cheers,
Arktic
Posted: Mon, 31st Jan 2005, 12:57pm

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Hamm Media

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Oh I might like to mention that the actor that I am fighting against is a little afraid of me, since when making fight scenes, I have broken his hand two times and knocked him out cold for 30min, so ever since then we have made safety a number one piority. Also when we do the lightsaber fights we try to make it look cannon, and one of the things that they do for the new style of lightsaber fights is to lightly tap the sword together, and this is maybe the second time we have tried it this style as a pair, although I have practice with this stuff for hours a day, and this is no where close to what I am capible of, all I need is some good actors that can do this, although I have none.
Posted: Mon, 31st Jan 2005, 4:05pm

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Steeb

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Hamm Media wrote:

Oh I might like to mention that the actor that I am fighting against is a little afraid of me, since when making fight scenes, I have broken his hand two times and knocked him out cold for 30min, so ever since then we have made safety a number one piority. Also when we do the lightsaber fights we try to make it look cannon, and one of the things that they do for the new style of lightsaber fights is to lightly tap the sword together, and this is maybe the second time we have tried it this style as a pair, although I have practice with this stuff for hours a day, and this is no where close to what I am capible of, all I need is some good actors that can do this, although I have none.
I think Arktic is mainly referring to the parts(including a 12-second run) where it appears that instead of trying to hit the opponent, the fighters are just tapping their sticks together. This is a common problem with saber duels. Like he said, the speed and realism need to be amped up a bit - lots of practice and planning are necessary for it to look its best.

Oh, and when you're rendering with Alam, disconnect yourself from your internet connection and disable your pop-up blocker/firewall. razz
Posted: Mon, 31st Jan 2005, 10:01pm

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Hamm Media

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Yeah I learned that the hard way about diconnecting the internet. Also we didn't plan this out very throughly, it was mainly do few moves and then plan the next few moves.
Posted: Tue, 1st Feb 2005, 1:55am

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Bryce007

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Steeb..."realism need to be amped up a bit"....? lightsabers are far from real...infact, its its figuratively impossible to make something impossible "look" realistic
Posted: Tue, 1st Feb 2005, 2:05am

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DigiSm89

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Okay, a few notes:

1.) Stop looking at the camera!
2.) Think before you make an attack in lightsaber duels. For example, don't necessarily spin and attack(even though it may look snazzy in the real movies). Think more realistically, if the opponent gives an opening and loses defense, go for the aggressive attack rather than just wait there spinning around for the sake of uber coolness and for clip lengthiness. The constant dramatic traps and sudden "OMG!!!?!?!!11one" occurrences make for a more interesting and overall cool movie.
3.) Don't use random music. The Halo soundtrack was the worst choice for this clip since it added nothing to the action. If you want a more general picture of what I'm talking about regarding "adding to the story", check out Pooky's Gunbound Movie

Other than that, nice job! razz

Last edited Tue, 1st Feb 2005, 2:06am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Tue, 1st Feb 2005, 2:06am

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PalmTreeLTD

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Not bad, but Your sabres were a little too thick and they fanned out too much. Also, in some shots the glow was way too big.

But the fight wasn't that bad. I look forward to seeing future work.
Posted: Tue, 1st Feb 2005, 2:24am

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Hamm Media

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This is part of test fights we do, and we always state that this movie has no story, these are test not stories. Also the reason light sabers start to look thick is because the sun dropped on us pretty quickly and they just stood out more.
Posted: Tue, 1st Feb 2005, 2:27am

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Serpent

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For music to the story, Pooky's was fantastic, but I would also seriously consider watching DXM on the full screen, buy their DVD now, or watch it on the web.
Posted: Tue, 1st Feb 2005, 10:22pm

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enlightened

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well at least it showed me how the framerate will look roughly when me and my mate do ours (waiting till alamdv3 comes out- spending about 2 weeks coreographing the whole thing so should b much funnage biggrin)
Posted: Tue, 1st Feb 2005, 10:40pm

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Pooky

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Hmm, well this wasn't really that good, I'm afraid. The effects were okay, most shots had far far too much glow on the sabers. Also the flashes did nothing to the environment, it was just a yellow blob. Maybe try and use a lightbulb next time. The music was also totally random and didn't fit at all.

The choreography wasn't bad, though it didn't look like they were trying to hit each other at all, rather just hitting their sabers together repeatedly for no reason. As mentioned before, it also greatly lacked speed and ended up looking kind of wimpy.

Same as Arktic, I'm gonna give this a 1 for the time it must have taken to rotoscope.

Overall this is decent.
Posted: Tue, 1st Feb 2005, 11:36pm

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Hamm Media

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pooky wrote:

Maybe try and use a lightbulb next time.
Please tell me your talking about effect in AlamDV, not an actual lightbulb. But as I said earlier about the choreography is that that guy is afraid of getting his hands broken again, when doing a simular stunt. I suggest you watch one of our earlier fights on the website when we broke one of the swords (it is really old, made when I was like 13yrs), and and see him get head butted, and actually knock him out and have him a concusion. So I think if I did this indoors and trained a new actor, then I could make a more decent one. Like I said this is test for our first use of AlamDV.
Posted: Wed, 2nd Feb 2005, 12:19am

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Serdar3500

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Try to hit your opponent as opposed to your opponent's lightsaber. That's what detracts from the authenticity of the fight.
Posted: Wed, 2nd Feb 2005, 12:22am

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Evman

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2/5 - 1 for the time taken to film and choreograph, and one for rotowork

Other than that, this is bad. I agree with what everyone one else says. Oh, and don't give excuses as to why something is so bad. The point is its still bad. My suggestion would be to not post any thing unless your absolutely confident with it. If you already know whats wrong with it, fix it. If you can't fix it, don't post it, unless you want bad reviews. That simple. unsure
Posted: Wed, 2nd Feb 2005, 7:43pm

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Jeffosoft

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although I havent watched this video yet Ive been seeing alot of negative comments on certain projects.

Lets try not to forget these forms were designed for AlamDV use and to help each other out.

More and more I see movies that are posted here that either use very little or no AlamDV special effects. We are not all professionals and I dont beleive that this is the place to come to look for proffessional quality productions if you are intrested in that try blockbuster or netflix.

Most people here dont have a 10,000 budget to throw toward making a movie and everyone has some sort of learning curve.

I dont work for FxHome and I dont know the person who made this video but after personally using alam along with several other programs video editing isn't the worlds easiest thing to do and there is a reason why movie studios pay millions to hire professionals.

As far as asking someone not to post because you think there project is bad.. I say thats what the forms are for and im sure the FxHome team would agree perfectly with me.


edit-----------

I just watched the movie and truthfully its not bad at all the camera angles alone probably took an hour to set up like I said above no one here is a professional and thats not the point of these postings.
Posted: Wed, 2nd Feb 2005, 8:16pm

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Evman

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I never said not to post something that is bad. I said to not post something that YOU think is bad. He knew the problems with it. A lot of projects are posted that the maker doesn't know are that bad... thats where the constructive criticism comes in. But I wouldn't want to submit something that isn't the best that I can make it. At least thats my opinion.
Posted: Thu, 3rd Feb 2005, 12:09am

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Arktic

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Yeah, I agree with evman here.

Though it's unrealistic to expect high standard films from every single member of the community, there's nothing wrong with offering constructive criticism on a piece. In the majority of postings in this thread, most people have expressed a similar sentiment to my own - basically ok work, but the fighting was lacklustre, and others have pointed out elements such as soundtrack that could have been improved upon. Surelt that is the point of forums such as these? To offer advice and point out where things can be improved.

And if the filmmaker allready KNOWS that there are major flaws with their work, and that those possibly outweigh the good, then why would they post it for critique; especially in a piece such as this, which is essentially just an effects test, that really only looks like a couple of days work? It's not a comment on the film-maker's ability, moreover their lack of motivation to re-shoot it, and fix the problems that they KNOW are there already.

Cheers,
Arktic.
Posted: Thu, 3rd Feb 2005, 1:51am

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Bryce007

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Rating: -1

"its not bad at all the camera angles alone probably took an hour to set up"

This statement makes me think you Don't know what your talking about.

Those camera angles would Never take that long. I mean, Lets be honest here, the movie wasnt good, as its already been said, but you have to remember encouragement generally make people make more films, not better ones. Telling someone that, because they dont have a budget or alot of time means that they can get away with making what they Already know is crap Really doesnt help anyone.

If it were up to me, i'd say lightsaber test and muzzeflash tests are WAY over done, and should no longer be allowed in the cinema. Pretty much all you have to do is watch a starwars movie or a Gunfight movie to see what gunshots and lightsabers Should look like.

Anyways, mods please dont delete this as offtopic or critical.
Posted: Thu, 3rd Feb 2005, 5:32am

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RudyPicardo

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Rating: +4

Andrew:

First and foremost, I want to say that I'm still learning how to rotoscope light sabers, so take my comments at face value. I'll do my best to be as constructive as possible. I should be doing homework right now, but I wanted to make some comments. I haven't read the other threads, so please forgive me if some of these comments are redundant.

1) Increasing the speed of your movie
If you increase the speed of your digitized film during editing you can make it appear that you guys are moving fast and thus create a better looking fight. I can't tell right now, but try a speed of 135 - 175% faster. Your soundtrack seems to promote a fast pace, so I think if you increased the speed, it would make it look better; I definitely think increasing the speed when you or your friend spins around before the first saber clash will look great.

2) Addition of some close-ups shots and other shots
I learned this from user Sollthar, who many agree is a great resource.

Try using some close-ups during your fight. I can't give specifics, but perhaps you can try framing the shot between the head and chest area during the fight. Think about how effective your opening shot was of your two combatants approaching before they fought. I think if you did the close-ups during the fight that would be cool.

At the time code of between 50-55 seconds, you have your characters on one side then suddenly switch 180 degrees from another. Sometimes that can be confusing to the viewer (and is often called a violation of the 180 degree rule). In action movies its often bent or broken however, so don't feel like you have to follow this rule all the time. But I thought you should be aware of it.

On a side note. I wasn't sure if you had a third person filming who was a novice or it was just a tripod and you fought. If this is the case, position the tripod as best you can to get that close-up and just do a few sequences. You'll get some shots that are out of frame, but you should also get some great close-ups.

You can also try putting the camera underneath you guys looking up; or at a extremely wide angle , using a rock or tree branch close to the camera to create a depth of field in your shot ; or at a high angle; or even putting a reaction shot when one of you falls to the ground.

I don't think the fight was too bad, but it did look slow and it appeared that your videographer was trying to keep the both of you completely in the shot. I personally have done this hundreds of times, so I can relate.

Someone mentioned in a previous post that it took a while to set up the shot. I'm sure that some would question why it would take a long time, but perhaps the person shooting doesn't have enough experience how to shoot. - because shooting correctly is hard to do and sometimes you just have to try things to improve; this is not a sign of stupidity, rather a lack of experience.

3) Use of light bulb in saber clash
I'm sure someone told you this, but if you use the photo light bulb (in addition to your current sfx during a long saber clash) think your shot will improve. I know that in the actual Star Wars movies, 1 frame that is completely white is inserted during the clash. You should be able to achieve something close to this with the use of the light bulb. Your duration will obviously depend on how long the sabers are clashing.

4) Glow of saber
I think that your glow is a bit much in some instances. Unfortunately I cannot be more accurate, but for some reason the glow seemed a bit much in some places in the film and should not be glowing that brightly. Consider putting the slider to 20 or less when using the glow.

5) Saber interaction with inanimate object
I've been told that if you can have your saber hit an inanimate object such as a tree, ground, or metal railing, that this vastly improves the sequence. For example, if its something as simple as the ground, you can add some sparks and smoke effects using FXHome plug-ins


6) Soundtrack
I did like the pace of the soundtrack because it establishes a good mood for the fight. In addition, I think you should consider dropping down the sound a bit and have the light sabers do most of the "audio work." In some cases, I couldn't hear the clashes so it made your clashes seem a bit off visually. I know that listening to various Star Wars films, the light saber is very dominant, and you don't hear the music too much. I am definitely not a sound designer so I could be totally wrong with this.


7) Final Thoughts
Personally, I think you have a lot of great opportunites for improvement. And I think many of these improvements are easy to impliment. The best thing I can reccommend is to keep at it. Don't be afraid to stick your neck out there and submit sequences. I personally don't mind looking at test sequences. I wish I had more time to look at more of them.

Sometimes people submit their best work and its poor to others - I've had plenty of poor submissions! But understand that many have had the luxury of figuring out what works and what doesn't. AND they are smart enough to know exactly how to make it work. The other guys, like myself, are stuck just trying to figure it out at our own pace and through experience which usually involves a modicum of failures. I've seen plenty of fights with gun muzzle flashes, light saber effects and the like, but it doesn't mean that I know how to do it effectively in AlamDV. You just have to do what you can and hope that someone will suggest something that you've never thought of.

I hope you'll continue to film, edit, and submit projects. Don't worry about the criticism too much. The users here are smart enough to know that just saying a movie is bad is NOT a criticizm - its merely a comment and does nothing but promote a bad image of the FXHome community. Who on this planet just wants to hear soley something negative on something you've spent hours working on?

Trust me Andrew. These users on this site are smart enough to know that if they can't take the time to give you suggestions, then there's no opportunity for you to improve. They are mature enough to know that if you're not given proper guideance or suggestions, then you'll then just keep submitting the exact same types of movies that these users don't like to see. And the are wise enough to know that they have no one to blame but themselves when they just merely criticize.

And I know the FXHome Users on this site are better than that - MUCH better.

I'm "relatively" well versed in non-liner editors such as Final Cut Pro, Premiere, AVID DV Xpress, Media 100 and iMovie. So should you have any questions or need clarification on anything Andrew, please don't hesistate to send me a PM. I'll do my best to answer diligently and correctly.

I only gave you a 2, but that's because I know you'll be submitting better films on FXHome soon. So I want to save my future 4 or 5 for you then. Good luck on your future projects and keep at it.

Respectfully yours:
Rudy Wilfred Picardo
Graduate Student - Instructional Technologies
Virginia Tech
Posted: Thu, 3rd Feb 2005, 1:12pm

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Hamm Media

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Thank You, I really like your review it was through and helpful, and positive. If there were more people like you, this would be a perfect world.
Posted: Sun, 6th Feb 2005, 3:02pm

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yellow pictures

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HI
I am planning to make a film whit licht saber .
I'm wonder what kind of sabers that i must use??
Is it self make or can I bey it in a shop?

thankx
Posted: Sun, 6th Feb 2005, 3:35pm

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RudyPicardo

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yellow pictures wrote:

HI
I am planning to make a film whit licht saber .
I'm wonder what kind of sabers that i must use??
Is it self make or can I bey it in a shop?
Welcome to FXHome! There are several options regarding light sabers

Probably the cheapest and most inexpensive is use a long wooden dowel rod (approximate dimensions are about 4 ft. long, and 1/2 to 3/4 inch diameter). You can create the hilt by wrapping the rod with black tape to represent the hilt. The rest of the rod can represent your saber blade which you'll rotoscope and add light saber effects. I would highly suggest wrapping the tip and the middle of the rod with a piece of green or orange tape. This will assist you during the rotoscoping process.

There are other places that you can look online to have them made.

Personally, I purchased my stunt blade at www.sabershop.com. However, I believe that Ryan, the owner, is swamped with orders right now.

There are plenty of other sites, but I cannot personally recommend one in particular. If you use your search engine and search for "purchase light saber" or "make your own lightsaber", I'm confident that you'll find plenty of options for you to make your saber.

I hope this helps and good luck with your project!
Posted: Sun, 6th Feb 2005, 5:57pm

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Steeb

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Bryce007 wrote:

Steeb..."realism need to be amped up a bit"....? lightsabers are far from real...infact, its its figuratively impossible to make something impossible "look" realistic
I was talking about the stick-tapping that others have referred to. I realize that light sabers aren't real - I also realize that it is very obvious, especially to those who are looking for it, when two people are tapping their sticks together as opposed to making it apppear they are blocking each other's strikes. I can explain further if needed...

In fact, here was a similar comment from Arktic that explains it much better than I ever could...

Arktic wrote:

However, the fighting was, imho, sub par. The guys just look like they were touching their sticks together casually; there was no dynamic to the fight that made it look like a fight. You need to (or at least get your actors to) work on making the fighting look realistic and not as coreographed. There was no speed, and it often looked fake - it was apparent from some of the saber moves that neither fighter was acctually going for the other, but was just waiting for the other fighter to clash their sticks together. This can be improved upon greatly.
Posted: Sun, 6th Feb 2005, 6:56pm

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NoClue

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Rating: +1

steeb69 wrote:

... I realize that light sabers aren't real...
WHAT!!?? eek

Mummy, dis man say a bad fing!

biggrin
Posted: Wed, 23rd Feb 2005, 3:53am

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Klinn OWarren

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Good attempt for your first run through. I like your sound effects editing as it was fairly sharp and on point with the movement. The fight scenes could have been spiced up a lot by shot variance (a few closeups and extreme wide shots) and a few rays of light to accent pieces of things. Experiment a little and see what you come up~

You're off and running - keep going!
Posted: Wed, 9th Mar 2005, 9:44pm

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shadowhawk

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Awsome music man! I do agree with Klinn OWarren and RudyPicardo with speeding up the fight a bit and adding some close shots.
And, believe me I didn't start perfect either (in fact I'm still not) with using close shots. I used to just place the camera in certain places and "roll film"
using just a couple angles. So, your not the only one being told to use close shots. I also noticed that toward the begining of the movie, the glow of the sabers was at a pretty good size. But, toward the end, the glow grew to a larger size. I would agree with others again in sizing the glow down a bit.
Otherwise I thought this battle was really cool. The song really added to the effect.
Lightsaber battles take a really long time to make. So, I can see that you put a lot of time into making this.