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AlamDV3 spotted in Naboo conflict

Posted: Thu, 10th Mar 2005, 12:57pm

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Simon K Jones

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Rating: +19

As some of you will be aware, over at theforce.net they have been holding a lightsaber rotoscoping contest and have just finished accepting entries. It was rather unfortunate timing, as a little longer would have meant that AlamDV3 would have been ready.

However, we don't give up that easily, and so decided to submit an entry using the AlamDV3 beta. As it's a private beta we decided it wouldn't be fair to enter the contest itself, but the nice chaps over at TFN thought it would still be a good idea to display an example of what the new program can do.

You can read all about the contest by clicking here to go to TFN.

If you're interested in a brief overview of lightsword creation in AlamDV3, then read on...


Click here to download the AlamDV3 clip!
(1,517KB divx)

The tricky thing about lightswords is that everyone has their own preferences. The even look completely different in each Star Wars film, so an authentic appearance can be elusive. That's why AlamDV3 is the ideal program for this kind of visual effect - every attribute can be changed at the flick of a switch, giving you precise control and cutting out unnecessary hassle.

Stage One - Rotoscoping the blades

Often considered the most laborious part of the process, this is relatively painless in AlamDV3. Using a 4-point drawing tool, you can place two points for the hilt and two points for the tip of the blade, then move quickly on to the next keyframe. The system also enables you to alter the curvature of the hilt and tip ends, which can prove very useful for making the blade look properly spherical, rather than flat and 2D.

It's an extremely fast process, which resulted in all four blades only taking about an hour. A useful feature in AlamDV3 is being able to group blades together, so that both sections of Darth Maul's weapon can be held within a single lightsword effect.

AlamDV3 can also handle multi-point shapes. While not necessary in this clip, it can be extremely useful when using lenses that introduce extreme curvature to the blade shape, or for creating non-lightsword effects such as neon signs or other energy weapons.

Stage Two - Masking

As you will have noticed, the most awkward thing about this clip is not the rotoscoping itself, but the masking required. The constantly-twirling Sith and Jedis result in the blades being repeatedly obscured by their bodies and clothing.

While an extensive and detailed process, it is nevertheless quite a simple procedure in AlamDV3 - all you need is a little patience. There are two methods of masking available for lightswords. One masks the entire effect, including the glow, while the other allows the glow to spill around the edges. For this clip, we want to retain the glow.

Masks can be drawn freehand with the mouse and animated over time, to match the movements of the objects on-screen. It inevitably takes a little while, depending upon the complexity of the shot in question, but it is still an easy process.

Stage Three - The glow

Glow controls are extensive in AlamDV3, meaning you can customise your glow to suit each individual shot and the specific appearance you want.

Glow size and intensity can be altered and an automatic flicker can be applied, if so desired. You can also change the colour of the core and the glow itself, and can even make the glow a gradient of several different colours.

Stage Four - Clashes

The final step is to add some clashes. For this clip we used Ryan-W's excellent 3-frame clash example, which can be downloaded from this page.

AlamDV3 recognises the flash as a piece of stock footage and automatically applies the correct compositing method, meaning you can quickly drag the clash onto the appropriate frames, tweak its position and that's all there is to it.

The full version of AlamDV3 will come with its own clash system, of course, enabling you to easily create all kinds of custom clashes or pick from standard presets, in addition to using stock footage as in this example.

Fastest blades on the planet

The AlamDV series has always been speedy to use, but AlamDV3 takes it even further with a vastly superior interface that really maximises creativity and doesn't have any of the 'quirks' of previous versions. Including rendering, the entire clip only took a few hours to complete - despite the extensive masking required.

Most exciting, however, is the end quality of the effects. With entirely professional output now available, there really is no alternative. For a mixture of speed, quality and price, AlamDV3 will be unrivalled.


Thanks to Ryan-W for the clash effect and to theforce.net for organising the contest in the first place. Keep an eye on FXhome.com, as there will be some more juicy news about AlamDV3 very soon...

The Gallery



Rotoscoping the blade


Multiple blades, single effect


Animated masks


Pinpoint precision


Stock clash footage

Posted: Thu, 10th Mar 2005, 1:19pm

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Evman

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nice, I'll watch that clip when I get home (damn school doesn't have divx). I had to use AE for this, but I wish I could have used ADV3... Oh well, it'll be good test footage once the program is released. Very cool. Hopefully you guys can fix the bias against ADV on TFN. Good luck.
Posted: Thu, 10th Mar 2005, 1:53pm

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Waser

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well, what's this? I've never heard of this...! clap
Posted: Thu, 10th Mar 2005, 1:57pm

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Andreas

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I hate this kinda replys, but it does look great. I wish you all of luck, honestly wink
Posted: Thu, 10th Mar 2005, 2:29pm

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vilhelm nielsen

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cool razz

it looks very nice, and i look forward to use alamdv3 for rotoscoping
and the clashing system sounds interesting
Posted: Thu, 10th Mar 2005, 2:53pm

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Redhawksrymmer

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As I have said before, wow.

(AlamDV3 - 95% completed cool )
Posted: Thu, 10th Mar 2005, 2:59pm

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Klut

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this looks great!

I think you should try to add some sound... Though that's not what the contest is about.
Posted: Thu, 10th Mar 2005, 5:12pm

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steelglass

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Wow. Amazing CSB Amazing.
Posted: Thu, 10th Mar 2005, 5:57pm

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Steeb

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Wow... I can't wait to try that out... When I saw that you can adjust the amount of curve at the hilt and tip of the blade.... wow. Just wow.




Did I mention wow?


clap clap slowclap slowclap clap clap
Posted: Thu, 10th Mar 2005, 6:07pm

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Mellifluous

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Looks great, am impressed by the level of masking you can do in AlamDV3. Sabers look flawless.
Posted: Thu, 10th Mar 2005, 9:02pm

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Pooky

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Whoa! That is AMAZING work!!!! Nice clashes too!

I'm just speechless.... eek

Last edited Thu, 10th Mar 2005, 9:06pm; edited 2 times in total.

Posted: Thu, 10th Mar 2005, 9:04pm

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Simon K Jones

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That particular clash effect is just a piece of (rather spiffy) stock footage. However, it was applied entirely within AlamDV3, very easily, so any AlamDV3 user could do it easily.
Posted: Thu, 10th Mar 2005, 9:07pm

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Pooky

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Aah, I see. Why didn't you use the AlamDV3 clash system instead?
Posted: Thu, 10th Mar 2005, 9:15pm

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Simon K Jones

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We're still tweaking the clash system, and don't want to show it off until it is fully ready. Once it is, you'll be the first to see. smile
Posted: Thu, 10th Mar 2005, 9:22pm

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Aculag

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What? Why does pooky get to be first? wink
Posted: Thu, 10th Mar 2005, 9:26pm

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Pooky

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Because I asked first. snooty
Posted: Thu, 10th Mar 2005, 9:32pm

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sthach83

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SWEET!
Posted: Thu, 10th Mar 2005, 10:09pm

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Obi Wan Kenobi

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Rating: +1

Creative! It actually looks better than I had expected. It looks real easy to use, once you get the hand of it. Looks like there's a lot of precision and options you have for any effect, and quickly! The masking seems to be easy and beatifully done too. I really just can't wait to try it out on my own films! It'll surely look the coolest way ever!

YOU DID A GRE-- wait... A MAGN-- no... THERE ARE SIMPLY NO WORDS FOR
Posted: Thu, 10th Mar 2005, 11:23pm

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Vertigo38

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The puddle of drool at my feet is slowly getting larger... and larger...
Posted: Fri, 11th Mar 2005, 12:14am

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Marek

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That saber clip gives me the willies.

*Marek willies about*

What I'm most looking forward to, however, is the muzzle flashes. Too bad TFN isn't hosting a gun duel contest. biggrin
Posted: Fri, 11th Mar 2005, 12:29am

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Brettsta

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Wowww! That looks incrediblee! Great job guys, really love that new interface also. In ADV3, what will be the best way to make the ignition of the saber? For example, in ADV 2 a lot of people put in lightbulbs at the starting frames of the saber going up. And this might be a little off topic... but how did you guys crop the black bars out from the original clip?
Posted: Fri, 11th Mar 2005, 1:02am

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pzgamer825

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Marek wrote:

That saber clip gives me the willies.

*Marek willies about*

What I'm most looking forward to, however, is the muzzle flashes. Too bad TFN isn't hosting a gun duel contest. biggrin
I have to agree. The muzzle flashes are what I'm looking forward too, although the sabers rock.
Posted: Fri, 11th Mar 2005, 1:13am

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Pooky

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Rating: +1

Don't click here
Posted: Fri, 11th Mar 2005, 2:17am

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JediMaster33

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Looking good guys, keep up the awsome work. I am really impressed! It looks much better than expected.

I can't wait for the final release. biggrin

Peace out,

JM33 cool


One Question: How wide and how difused can you make the glow?
Posted: Fri, 11th Mar 2005, 3:04am

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Vertigo38

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The puddle of drool at my feet is slowly getting larger... and larger...
Maybe i should get a bucket...
Posted: Fri, 11th Mar 2005, 9:22pm

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Redhawksrymmer

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pooky wrote:

Don't click here
Of course I'd automatically had to do it... biggrin
Posted: Fri, 11th Mar 2005, 9:36pm

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Serpent

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Very nice!!! It looks just as good as anything I have seen and is to par with ILM's sabers easily. (CSB's, not Pooky's) smile
Posted: Fri, 11th Mar 2005, 9:50pm

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fertesz

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[confusing post]
Looks great... as most things you ever put about Alam DV3 biggrin So as great/outstanding/etc. as it is, it isn't anything special, taking into consideration how special is everything else about Alam DV3 you put here. Of course, compared to most things outside Alam DV3 category, it bacames great/outstanding/etc. again. It seems that buying Alam DV2 was one of best decisions of software-buying aspect of my life.
[/confusing post]

I have a question: next promo trailer will be out along with Alam DV3, right?
Posted: Fri, 11th Mar 2005, 10:42pm

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Simon K Jones

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The big 5-minute promo trailer won't be out until the full release.
Posted: Sat, 12th Mar 2005, 8:38am

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Redhawksrymmer

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The full release of all programs (Chromanator, AlamDV3 and DigiGrade)?
Posted: Sat, 12th Mar 2005, 9:58pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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Redhawksrymmer wrote:

The full release of all programs (Chromanator, AlamDV3 and DigiGrade)?
Correct, As the promo is making use of all FXHome products. smile
Posted: Sun, 13th Mar 2005, 5:46am

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be56

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im in aw once again. Can't wait until it comes out.
Posted: Mon, 14th Mar 2005, 8:17am

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embi

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wow! The new mask-point-by-point-creating looks awesome!







rest too of course:P
Posted: Tue, 15th Mar 2005, 9:29pm

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Vertigo38

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is there going to be a pre- release demo version of alamdv3? or are you just going to release the full version up front?
Posted: Tue, 15th Mar 2005, 9:44pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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Rating: +1

Vertigo38 wrote:

is there going to be a pre- release demo version of alamdv3? or are you just going to release the full version up front?
There's going to be a public beta/first release of AlamDV3 before the final release which is when all systems are go smile

Just to comment on the clip as I haven't already, I've been watching Tarn's progress via his updates in the chat room and I must say that with very little tweaking the clip is looking very impressive indeed. As with every program there is a certain level of experimentation to get the best results, especially in this case where Tarn is working with beta Software.

However, in true csb style... the competition allowed Tarn to find settings for which to create lightsaber footage most similiar to the star wars films, and you'll all benefit from that as I imagine it will be set as the program default. smile
Posted: Wed, 16th Mar 2005, 12:33am

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LilCaesars

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I think the clip looks awesome. My only advice would be to make the lightsabers thinner they look a little to wide, but that has nothing to do with alamdv3 being good or not. This is going to be awesome when it is all done. Keep up the good work.
Posted: Wed, 16th Mar 2005, 12:34am

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Simon K Jones

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Rating: +1

I originally made the blades very thin, as it's easy to be as precise as you want in AlamDV3, but I had comments from various people that they should be 'fatters' - hence the width they are in the final version. As you say, it's all down to personal preference; AlamDV3 lets you achieve whatever you want. smile
Posted: Wed, 16th Mar 2005, 12:51am

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LilCaesars

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yeah that's what i am really liking about it. In alamdv2 when you would resize you lightsaber it would mess up the glow and all, but the draw feature looks amazing and doesn't seem to mess up the glow at all.
Posted: Wed, 16th Mar 2005, 2:06am

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sidewinder

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are they flickering, or is that just tracking movements?
Posted: Wed, 16th Mar 2005, 2:08am

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Simon K Jones

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You can adjust the glow size and intensity flickers using a couple of nifty sliders.

"Faster, more intense!"
Posted: Wed, 16th Mar 2005, 2:32am

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Evman

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I would have made obi-wan's blade a bit darker shade of blue, but other than that it looks really good and the masking is so precise. Can't wait.
Posted: Wed, 16th Mar 2005, 2:56pm

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Obi Wan Kenobi

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The option of, when masking, being able to do the glow over the edges seems to work really well, and it gives a bit more realistic feel, really.
But can you also choose to just alter only the glow behind the masks, or only alter the glow of the whole blade? Or maybe I'm too picky... razz

Anyways, the clip is a fantastic and promising demo!
Posted: Thu, 17th Mar 2005, 3:03am

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Master Yoda

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Tarn wrote:

"Faster, more intense!"
George would be proud..
Posted: Sun, 30th Jul 2006, 12:50am

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Black Ink Productions

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Tarn wrote:

You can read all about the contest by clicking here to go to TFN.
where did you get the footage and is it downloadable