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Saving Private Elbando

Posted: Fri, 3rd Nov 2006, 4:59pm

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StrikeEmStudios

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Elbando Productions modernised version of the d-day landings, insipered by saving private ryan.
just a bit of fun, i know this aint quite amazing or anything,
i bought effects lab lite once we filmed it because i knew it would have been imposibal with stock footage.
so that make this our first effects lab video
i hope you enjoy it, critisise at will, anything to improve.

filmed on a jvc gz-mg21ek 20gb camcorder

ohhh i managed to make the north sea look reasonably blue on a few clips....


More Info
Posted: Fri, 3rd Nov 2006, 5:48pm

Post 2 of 22

Xcession

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I consider this little more than an effects test really. You've used almost that exact phrase yourself in the description. As a test, i'm a bit confused way you've given it full title and credits etc. Anyway...

Much of the cinematography isn't bad actually, except for the aimlessly wondering camera. The sound is terrible - did you attach a large seashell to the mic?

As for the effects, they too range between okish and rather poor. You need to think more carefully about how the real-world effects that EffectsLab emulates, appear in actual life. For example: a muzzle flash is merely a burst of molten gas, metal, explosives and superheated air. Why, therefore, do most of your muzzle flashes have no opacity? Why, despite the bright sunlight, are they still clearly visible?

I'm hoping you've also learnt a lesson about locked shots too, given the number of times you've totally failed to rotascope a spark or small explosion of dirt onto your shakey footage. Poor rotascoping is this movie's biggest weakness. If the effects layers matched the directions and movement of the footage more, i'd be inclined to turn a blind eye to more of the issues.

The explosion behind the wall was however done quite well.

All in all, this movie is a case study in why films are not something you can just do one sunday with a bunch of mates. Adding credits before and after doesn't make what the viewer saw any better. Going to the beach with your mates still dressed in tracksuits and leather coats is just pointless.

My guess....my hope, is that you've learnt this already and your next production will have the same ambition, but this time have proper thought put into it.
Posted: Fri, 3rd Nov 2006, 5:48pm

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JT9

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Not to bad. Some of the effects could be alittle bit better like them dirt hits (One I noticed was one of my presets thanks for using it razz) But what I saw in this film was that it looked like you are your friends had fun making this film and sence this was your first film I say you did a good job smile.

Good luck on your next project.
Cheers!
Posted: Fri, 3rd Nov 2006, 8:39pm

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StrikeEmStudios

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Rating: +1

yeah i do agree with you xcession, to make this a good film i would have had to spend a lot more time on filming, the truth was that it wasn't a test, although it was my first time using effects lab...i had just bought it. as you can see towards the end the effects were a little better. this film was made on £4 but we had fun, and its our most expensive film yet ha. when i know how to use the programe properly ill be able to make good films, i dont own a tripod at the moment and the explosions were stock from detfilms.com and edited in premire, i didnt want to use it but i couldent work out how to add the stock footage to the video in fxlab and get rid of the black, if i did the expolsions would posibaly be better rotoscoped. thbaks for giving the time to make a proper review and watching it, its far better to get a review like this than a youtube 'oh that was kool' or 'your a bunch of f****ts'.and with critism i can work on where i went wrong.
Posted: Sat, 4th Nov 2006, 4:17am

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doppelganger

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is your camcorder the one with the hard drive if it is then i have the same one its the best camcorder ive had so far and its my forth. your movie was pretty entertaining considering i watched it all. as said before the effects need some work. i actualy thought the camera shots and angles were good. one thing i got to say is you got some great locations. use them to your advantage. you need to work on making the effects life like and work on the clothes. other wise great. 3/5
Posted: Sat, 4th Nov 2006, 5:00am

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SirVancealott

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A good first attempt with the fxhome software. On your next project, you should consider music and developing some kind of plot. Also, I agree with the others that some of the effects needed more work.
Posted: Sat, 4th Nov 2006, 11:13am

Post 7 of 22

StrikeEmStudios

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1 doollar budget, that camcorder is a good 1, its also my first.
most of the camerawork was done by me, i felt i would rather be behind the camera doing what i do best rather than infront, altho there are a few clips with me getting killed. and sirvance i decided not to put music into this video because i felt it gave the right feeling and if i used music it would have come out a little more corny or not fit.
i did attempt to get a plot but every time it came out sounding to confusing, imposibal or something so i decided to cut the crap out.
an yes the fx do need more work, i didn't learn how to mask the work til half way though, i was putting the mask on the actual video not the effect..and i am still learning. thanks for watching, hopfuly yourl all enjoy my stereiotypical 80's action movie trailer, that 1 is serposed to be a bit bad as its a parody.
Posted: Sat, 4th Nov 2006, 1:20pm

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Jazzmanian

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Not too shabby. Most of the areas for improvement have already been pointed out, but I did like some of the camera work and the way you gave it a rather intense, low shot, frenetic action feel with all of the prone gunfire in the dunes. Keep up the good work.
Posted: Tue, 7th Nov 2006, 9:00pm

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doppelganger

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hey how did you get the widescreen to work with your camcorder i cant figure out how to
Posted: Tue, 7th Nov 2006, 9:04pm

Post 10 of 22

StrikeEmStudios

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i added the widescreen on sony vegas, but i found out the next day that it doesnt put silly borders around the film with quicktime files.

but a 16:9 mode can be used by moving the joysticky/ nav stick left, but the bottom of the range doesnt suport the actual widescreen recording, you just gotta play around.
Posted: Fri, 10th Nov 2006, 3:27am

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Ceramite

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Your 16? Great job!!! You did a better job then some college students would do. My advice is just keep making it better every time, then your golden!
Posted: Mon, 13th Nov 2006, 5:07pm

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Andre Elbando

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amazing acting, direction and effects you guys are certain to be super stars razz
Posted: Mon, 13th Nov 2006, 9:17pm

Post 13 of 22

Sollthar

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Hm, well, this was a bit of a mixed bag.

Camerawork: The best part of this. Some of the framing was actually quite good with good image quality and some sort of basic attention to light. If that was deliberate or not is hard to tell. But the images themselves did look okay mostly.

Sound: Unfortunately, badly compressed, so it sounded quite terrible over my speakers. I had the impression though that the original quality wasn't as bad and you tried to get a war ambience, even though with litttle diversity in your samples.

Effects: The worst part of this. Actually, the effects looked pretty bad. Badly composited (again leaving ugly lines where your stock footage ended), using the wrong compositing methods and without much sense for scale. There's a lot of room for improvement there really. I recommend watching some of the tutorials.

Editing: The editing was alright, if even a bit random and unfocused. Difficult to say, since this was quite random in total.

Acting: Well, if there's one thing that's almost as bad as the effects, it's the acting. The actors laugh, giggle, make weird movements and generally don't look their parts.

Costumes/Props: Well, costumes... yeah... well... o stars on that. They just wear normal clothing...
Props were alright. Guns... Lots of guns... smile


I meant to give it three stars, but the fact you've voted 5 on your own film took the third star away.

If you improve all your aspects to the level some of your framing was, then you might end up with something pretty cool. Until then, don't stop trying!
Posted: Mon, 13th Nov 2006, 9:35pm

Post 14 of 22

StrikeEmStudios

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well i thank you on a mixed review, i think i got off easy on this 1,
normaly i pay attntion to camera work, probibly my best aspect, if i was given more freedom over the work i would use more shots and more angles, i agree with you on the effects, as previsly stated, there was no change in opacity, i hate using stock explosions, i can never get them right, it eather looks out of place or the gets cut off at the top. i would like to have spent more time on it, and now know more things effects lab is capable of i would have liked to used its full capabitys and not had a rediulusly improvised ending--not directed by me--the beach was---- there are things you should remember when filming, that is print off your script/shotlist, then you will not have to remember it, or improvise the script.

and id like to see you get army costumes on a budget of literaly nothing....and guns, well 2 toy rifles and a couple of toy pistols thats some people owned....its near imposibal to buy toy guns in england these days..and im not willing to spend rediculus amounts on a air soft gun that im never going to use.

and i can only appoigise for the acting of certain people, especily the helarity of one death appearing as if he hit a invisibal brick wall. that guy is THEE worst actor ive ever used...and i only use my friends.

i bought elab lite the night after filming.
thanks for leaving a lot of reading for me and going to teh effort of reviewing more than 1 aspect of the film.
future productions will be better directed/scripted and im now working on a new idea which i hopw to film in the summer, a decent one hopefuly.
Posted: Mon, 13th Nov 2006, 9:43pm

Post 15 of 22

Sollthar

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Yeah, your camerwork was really good. I imagine with putting thought and planning in your next project you should be able to create something really cool.

As with the no budget issue; there's always a way. And if there isn't, try to adapt your script. That is once you're doing a "proper" film. I'd recommend making it work on as many aspects as you can, as good as you possibly can for what you have to work with.
(You always have too little money, and you always have enough) wink

I've seen exciting things been done on a zero budget. There's always a way, you just need to find it. smile
Posted: Tue, 14th Nov 2006, 12:27pm

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Jazzmanian

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fat dave wrote:


and id like to see you get army costumes on a budget of literaly nothing.
The Salvation Army (or whatever equivalent charity type clothing and hard goods store / donation center you may have in your area) is your friend. I've started making a point of stopping by at least once a month just to browse. This fall we were in there and ran across a box with a fair number of green army cammo outfits... pants shirts and jackets... with the pants and shirts marked for a buck and the jackets for 4 dollars. Not in the best of shape, but perfect for an army film if I ever decide to try a war movie.

Go to places like that and keep your eyes open for bargains - not just for things you need for *this* film, but for really good deals on stuff you might need for a future project.
Posted: Tue, 14th Nov 2006, 2:06pm

Post 17 of 22

StrikeEmStudios

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ok when we next make a war film, probibly not for some time, maybe in a few years/ months never know what might pop into the head. we'll find out where it is and have a look. also i better add this, my rating of 5 on my own video= naieve, and i was prowd with my result, its not until others point out flaws and mistakes ill see them or change my opinion, never rating my films 5 maybe 3 if i put a lot of effort or not ratting them at all.
Posted: Sat, 18th Nov 2006, 3:50pm

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CTLW83

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I think one of the things that really would have added to the project would have been the use of tracer round presets. You heard all sorts of background gunfire but, did not see anything to go with it.

Some of the quads needed to be widened for some of the explosions and I think there needed to be more ground hits. Again, this would add the realism of shots missing all around you.

Most of the bigger explosions right on top of people and the blood hits were dead on. Although, the ground was not scroched by these explosions.

The acting wasn't bad at all and I liked a lot of the camera shots you used. The pace seemed right.

I'm gonna give it 3 stars.
Posted: Sun, 19th Nov 2006, 3:30pm

Post 19 of 22

StrikeEmStudios

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thanks for comenting CTLW83 , i didnt use tracers because i didnt know how to use the program properly and how to change the length and speed.
i didnt do many floor hits because i had to keep putting the vid into premiere then into fx home and then onto vegas, by that time the video quality would be low and dark like the shot where the guy fires the rocket launcher, i could have used more of the fxhome presets but often they dont look realistic, but still good. im not sure how to do scorch marks after explosions, and i really hate using stock explosions when they move out of frame. personaly i found certain peoples acting to be laughable, when i was trying to make it serious, mainly because we normaly dont do serious films.
i would like to re film it some time, with a better ending, this one sucked..it was improvised. and the beach needs more people, i now know how to clone so if i was to re-film it would like bigger and better,.
thanks for watching
Posted: Sun, 19th Nov 2006, 3:44pm

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CTLW83

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Yeah,

I had a similar experience to that once. I was doing a project for college and it was going pretty well. It was a story-based (no lip sync) music video for the song The Accolade 2 by Symphony X. I used AlamDV 2 to do some of the muzzle flashes.

Anyway, the acting wasn't too bad, except for my friend Justin. He just HAD to stand out in every scene. My buddy Tom and I would be just walking through the woods like we were supposed to and Justin would be waving his air-soft guns around like an idiot!

In other shots, we'd be doing hero/enemy profiles with a pan from the ground up and of course, Tom and I stood still and Justin twitched.

So, yeah, the bad acting thing, been there, done that. That being said, I did still get an A on the project. I still want to go back and re-do it so it better matches the vision I had in my head.

I am kind of away from my friends right now and so, it is very difficult to produce something with just my wife and I...

Just out of curiosity, why did you have to switch between 3 programs. I mean, I understand premiere and Effects Lab but, why Vegas??
Posted: Sun, 19th Nov 2006, 4:02pm

Post 21 of 22

StrikeEmStudios

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i used vegas for sound editing, compression to get it on quicktime format and to put att the clips together, i could have done the stock footage on vegas but i am not very good at placeing explosions and stuff on it, but im still getting to grips with all my programes, ive only been editing for around 2 months now, and we have only been making films since mid march this year.
Posted: Sun, 19th Nov 2006, 4:23pm

Post 22 of 22

CTLW83

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Ok,

You'll get the hang of the programs sooner or later. Personally, I use Premiere to do the sound and the finished video product. You can compress to quicktime with Preimiere as well.

I still don't have the hang of effects lab. I havn't had much time to play with it. I need to work on getting the presets, especially the particle ones, to move and act the way I want. Learning to make my own particle stuff, now that is going to be the real challenge.

I want to shoot for as realistic as possible so, it may be tricky getting the particle effects to look like I want them to.

My personal philosophy is this, a computer is great for doing effects, but only if it is almost seamless in the project. SO if you have a smoke effect that looks like it was made in a computer, it doesn't make me happy at all. I have very high standards I want to hold myself to.

Again, I havn't had much time to play around with it though. I am going to start producing again soon. I plan on going back to CT (in Louisiana right now) and doing some more stuff with my friends.