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Cloverfield Effects

Posted: Tue, 8th Apr 2008, 3:46am

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Filmaker92

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Can someone create some effects from the movie cloverfield? Because i'm doing a parody of the movie. And this is my first time doing forms. Something like broken tape style footage, some of the explosions, the flares, the effects from the statue libraty head scene, the creatures in the subway station scene, the filter to get that film look.

Last edited Tue, 8th Apr 2008, 10:52am; edited 2 times in total.

Posted: Tue, 8th Apr 2008, 4:03am

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Thrawn

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Uh, remember to have barf bags at the showing... ;D.
I havn't seen cloverfield, so I don't really know what effects you're talking about. Any details would help us be helpful...
Posted: Tue, 8th Apr 2008, 6:26am

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B3N

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If you want some tips on how to make the effects you need to actually explain what effects your talking about.

The Explosions? The creatures? The gunfire? The kittery jumping broken tape cassete style footage?
Posted: Tue, 8th Apr 2008, 4:17pm

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videofxuniverse

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I think the smoke and devastation is the main impressive effect
Posted: Tue, 8th Apr 2008, 8:35pm

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EvilDonut

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I think the massive amount of hardware requirements for Cloverfield-level FX work - would be overpowering and insanity; unless you had a dedicated rendering farm available. Or can outsource your rendering.

I wouldn't even dare attempt it.

d
Posted: Tue, 8th Apr 2008, 10:39pm

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pdrg

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You may be better off rethinking your project a bit - none of those effects are cheap, quick, easy ones, especially with a shaking POV camera! We're talking hundreds of thousands of dollars at best.

Instead, you want a parody, so write it funny and write around all the effects you can't do, or make a joke of the lameness of them.
Posted: Tue, 8th Apr 2008, 10:59pm

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EvilDonut

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Actually - it'd probably be cheaper to just destroy New York and film it. smile

d
Posted: Tue, 8th Apr 2008, 11:41pm

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pdrg

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EvilDonut wrote:

Actually - it'd probably be cheaper to just destroy New York and film it. smile
It's a plan, radical, but that's art for you. Any objections, anyone?
Posted: Wed, 9th Apr 2008, 12:56am

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Aculag

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EvilDonut wrote:

Actually - it'd probably be cheaper to just destroy New York and film it. smile

d
I'm pretty sure you've done some miscalculating here...
Posted: Wed, 9th Apr 2008, 1:50am

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pdrg

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Aculag wrote:

EvilDonut wrote:

Actually - it'd probably be cheaper to just destroy New York and film it. smile
I'm pretty sure you've done some miscalculating here...
Naaaaah, I reckon $1M's worth of dynamite and hijacked planes would pretty much do it. Rebuilding New York, now that'd be an expensive job, and I don't suggest we try it, but wanton destruction isn't that expensive if you plan it right... :-o
Posted: Wed, 9th Apr 2008, 7:39am

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videofxuniverse

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I still wonder how they actually managed to get the devastated new york with all the camera shake. im assuming it was done with some very advanced camera tracking in front of a greenscreen, or I dont know if its possible but could they have been filming in front of a big video screen that had the new york smoke and devastation scenes already composited, so when the camera shaked no traking would need to be done
Posted: Wed, 9th Apr 2008, 8:42am

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EvilDonut

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videofxuniverse wrote:

I still wonder how they actually managed to get the devastated new york with all the camera shake. im assuming it was done with some very advanced camera tracking in front of a greenscreen, or I dont know if its possible but could they have been filming in front of a big video screen that had the new york smoke and devastation scenes already composited, so when the camera shaked no traking would need to be done
Can't one just throw a camera into after effects, put a wiggle on it, and make it shake all around? I'd be surprised if they did any of the shaking during production.

Toronto is like New York. I would just destroy it. And the Canadians, ninja please!

d
Posted: Wed, 9th Apr 2008, 8:53am

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videofxuniverse

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oh yes i can simulate camera shake in after effects with tripod captured footage. Looking at the credits when the film finished the actor who had the camera through the duration of the film was not the real cameraman. because in the credits after the cast finished it went to the crew and there where 2 cameramen who filmed cloverfield and it was not the actor. so im guessing they dubbed his voice over the footage to make you think he had the camera
Posted: Wed, 9th Apr 2008, 10:36am

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pdrg

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videofxuniverse wrote:

there where 2 cameramen who filmed cloverfield and it was not the actor. so im guessing they dubbed his voice over the footage to make you think he had the camera
Yep, remember our industry is all about illusion! It came from the Victorian stage magicians, Pepper probably started it with his infamous ghost illusion, the Lumiere brothers developed it, and that was the birth of projected film. It's really worth reading up on, it's a fantastic heritage, and reminds you to believe nothing - it's all illusion.
Posted: Wed, 9th Apr 2008, 4:28pm

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pdrg

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Just read there were three types of camera used on Cloverfield - HVX200 for the flashback sequences (ie the simple camcorder-looking stuff, no compositing), then the F23 and Viper for the bulk of the film including the effects-based shots. F23 is 1080p, good with low-light, and is Sony's widescreen parallel to the Viper (2k)
Posted: Sat, 10th May 2008, 3:44am

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Z films

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Ok, (Wipes sweat off head) So i'm pretty sure the creatures in the subway are impossible in Elab but you could try using Blender though, its a free 3d graphics program and here's a link to the broken cassete style footage http://fxhome.com/alamdv2/plugins/view/1111/static, and umm... The explosions you could get them from Solthars stock footage or from www.detonationfilms.com and the muzzle flashes you could try the preset machine gun flashes here's the link http://fxhome.com/presets/view/263/machine-gun-flashes well hope that helps biggrin
Posted: Sat, 10th May 2008, 3:20pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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EvilDonut wrote:

I think the massive amount of hardware requirements for Cloverfield-level FX work - would be overpowering and insanity; unless you had a dedicated rendering farm available. Or can outsource your rendering.

I wouldn't even dare attempt it.

d
I part disagree.

There are two types of effect in Cloverfield that would require long render times - these are that of Clover (The monster) and the parasites that live on it. These are going to be difficult purely because they are complex 3d models that would take a long time to model, texture, rig and animate then render.

Every other effect in the film can be achieved on a home computer though will still require a high skill level regarding Camera tracking, Matte image painting and Parallax compositing.

It's a lot of work, which is why there was a big team of people working on it for the film - and some of those people are friends of mine. razz

A piece of vfx work that demonstrates what is possible on an ordinary computer is http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=I1AuvwfKhIk These same concepts alongside motion tracking make a large amount of things possible.

Something you have to remember is that films are made to a deadline and heavy hardware is brought in so that things can be rendered as fast as possible to meet those deadlines. Deadlines that an independent or amateur film maker does not have so whilst progress may be slow in places, it's still more than possible.

-Matt
Posted: Tue, 13th May 2008, 12:57pm

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Kie77

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I was just messing with some broken tape effects this morning.

I used Adobe Premiere to give the footage a blurry effect (using wind effect), plus I made it roll up (using roll effect) and added lots of noise to make it look grainy. I've also added some static noise to make it sound better too.
Posted: Tue, 13th May 2008, 5:27pm

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videofxuniverse

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the proble with trying to model the cloverfield creatures is the fact that you never get a clear enough shot of the big monster to see it in full, and the parasites move way to fast to see what they looklike. You do get a general idea but there is never 1 shot of them in full where they are perfectly still.
Posted: Sun, 18th May 2008, 2:48am

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VisualFXGuy

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You could always invent your own creature, but as has been said before, you are looking at things like design (a lot more to this step then you might think), modeling, texturing (Sub-Surface Scattering is a must for creatures with flesh), rigging, lighting, and countless render techniques to get it to look right. Not to say it can't be done, but I'd start out with something smaller, and more simple.
Posted: Sun, 18th May 2008, 4:08am

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Kid

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Hybrid-Halo wrote:

Something you have to remember is that films are made to a deadline and heavy hardware is brought in so that things can be rendered as fast as possible to meet those deadlines. Deadlines that an independent or amateur film maker does not have so whilst progress may be slow in places, it's still more than possible.
mmm pretty much anything that is in a film is possible with a home PC, what is probably going to slow it down more than hardware is the number of people animating every intricasy and drawing every texture. A guy at home simply can't replicate those skills or man hours, he'd be there his whole life finishing it.
Posted: Tue, 20th May 2008, 10:53am

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Filmaker92

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videofxuniverse wrote:

oh yes i can simulate camera shake in after effects with tripod captured footage. Looking at the credits when the film finished the actor who had the camera through the duration of the film was not the real cameraman. because in the credits after the cast finished it went to the crew and there where 2 cameramen who filmed cloverfield and it was not the actor. so im guessing they dubbed his voice over the footage to make you think he had the camera


They didn't just dubbed his voice, he was behind he camera man. The camera man was filming and Hud was was behind him while saying his lines.
Posted: Tue, 20th May 2008, 3:26pm

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VisualFXGuy

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Kid wrote:

mmm pretty much anything that is in a film is possible with a home PC, what is probably going to slow it down more than hardware is the number of people animating every intricasy and drawing every texture. A guy at home simply can't replicate those skills or man hours, he'd be there his whole life finishing it.
I'll agree and disagree on this. I'm a staunch believer in never saying "It can't be done." What once person can do another can replicate (despite what the FX supervisor of the Matrix films says). The problem is that once you get into complex scenes, many companies are using proprietary software to speed up the process or simplify things, such as ILM using SABRE to assist in all the lightsaber effects rather then the process that is common in this community for doing the same thing. These are the tools that we really don't have access with our home PC. Yes, we are not going to do any crowd simulations with the detail and exactness of a program like MASSIVE, but the soul of the work, 99.9% of what Hollywood can do, we can do. It's not about the hardware most of the time, but the knowledge of the artist doing the work.

You certainly aren't going to say "I want to do what Cloverfield did" and replicate it to anywhere close to the same quality, however you can say "I want to learn how to model in 3D". Then once that's down, you can go ahead with such things as "I want to learn how to make monsters in 3D" and then go from there.

After all, the crumbling of Barad-Dûr in Return of the King was achieved by one man over the Christmas holidays. biggrin
Posted: Tue, 20th May 2008, 5:37pm

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EvilDonut

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VisualFXGuy wrote:

99.9% of what Hollywood can do, we can do. It's not about the hardware most of the time, but the knowledge of the artist doing the work.
It's not easy. That's the thing. And it takes a LOT of time. A LOT. I can't fathom one guy replacing 300 well trained visual fx, graphic artists, 3d modellers and animators.

But hey, if someone has the ability to recreate 5 seconds of an Ironman battle scene in HD - please please email me!

d
Posted: Tue, 20th May 2008, 8:03pm

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Serpent

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EvilDonut, I don't think VFXGuy was claiming one man could replace a 300 man crew for a feature. I think he's more getting at what can be achieved in hollywood can be achieved by one man, if he dedicates himself to it and has the knowledge necessary.

Note what he said here (I'm assuming this is a fact, a pretty badass fact as well):

VisualFXGuy wrote:

After all, the crumbling of Barad-Dûr in Return of the King was achieved by one man over the Christmas holidays. biggrin
Then if he wanted to, he could work visual effects on a shorter film (20 minutes) and spend a couple years doing it as a realistic full-time job and achieve "hollywood quality" stuff.

NOTE: Our hypothetical person falls under the extremely talented and knowledgeable category.
Posted: Tue, 20th May 2008, 8:18pm

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VisualFXGuy

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EvilDonut wrote:

But hey, if someone has the ability to recreate 5 seconds of an Ironman battle scene in HD - please please email me!
Where's that email d? wink

There is no fantastic magic when it comes to an VFX facility. Its populated by people like you and me and there is nothing different between them and you except for training as a 2D or 3D artist. When you talk about 300, you are forgetting that a single shot doesn't utilize all 300. Those 300 are responsible for the 1,000+ shots in an entire movie. If you really break it down, each artist is only responsible for a small fraction of those shots, and of that small fraction, only a handful of people (if even that) are responsible.

It sounds like your thinking along the lines of ILM and other major players. Keep in mind that smaller VFX houses usually have one artist taking the equivalent role of 4 or 5 people at the larger companies.

Take a look around the net. There are people pulling off hollywood style shots and effects all the time. All it takes is a little talent, a drive to learn and lots and lots of patience...
Posted: Tue, 20th May 2008, 10:23pm

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Bryan M Block

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I think many beginners make things MUCH more difficult than they need to be- I remember a recent post asking "how do I make alot of wind on my characters?" or something like that- and the answer of course is "a big fan." There is no magic software solution for everything wink Also, PRACTICAL effects look better and are easier to do and less expensive in many instances. If you are doing a parody of Cloverfield, why not get someone to dress up in some stupid costume and thrash about, you could greenscreen them into a photo of your city and add explosions and such with FX lab or free detonation films footage and ANY NLE- imagine how funny it would be to have handheld shaky camera footage of some guy in some stupid costume and then cutting to people running etc... Oh, wait, that worked for YEARS in Godzilla movies...
Posted: Tue, 20th May 2008, 11:04pm

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EvilDonut

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[quote="VisualFXGuy"]

EvilDonut wrote:

But hey, if someone has the ability to recreate 5 seconds of an Ironman battle scene in HD - please please email me!

Where's that email d? wink
pm me for the email. I'm serious btw.

d
Posted: Wed, 21st May 2008, 6:19pm

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Snook360

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Avoid using 3D as much as possible. Try using a pupet for the monster (this is a parody, right?). Also, in the movie, the monster isn't shown much. Comically play on that by not showing the monster much.
Posted: Thu, 22nd May 2008, 3:10am

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VisualFXGuy

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EvilDonut wrote:

pm me for the email. I'm serious btw.
Any one of us will do for the email. Every single one of us is capable of fantastic work given patience, knowledge, and a drive to succeed. biggrin In the mean time, Bryan M Block's got the idea.