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Review: Beach Landing & Superheroes

Posted: Thu, 18th Dec 2008, 4:30pm

Post 1 of 3

Katsu

Force: 1757 | Joined: 5th Sep 2003 | Posts: 119

VisionLab User VideoWrap User Windows User FXpreset Maker

Gold Member

Yesterday I received and watched the Tutorial DVD. I thought it would be nice to share my thoughts, so whoever reads this, makes up his mind whether or not he can use it or not.
Keep in mind that it is my opinion and that you might have a totally different one.

Beach Landing & Superheroes:

If you are familiar with the tutorials on this side, you basically know the quality of the tutorials on this DVD as well.

The tutorials itself are recorded in the FXHome software environment, while other points of the menu (the actual shooting for example) are "making of" clips. Voice over explains at any time what you see and what you have to do, so you basically can look away for a few second and still keep track on the process.
Even though it is on the DVD in a lower resolution you always can see whats going on. Areas of interest are getting panned and zoomed into frame. The things you don't see at this moment are the things you don't need to care about at this moment. Simple as that.
Unlike "live recorded" tutorials you won't have breaks in here. But that can easily fixed with the "Pause" button if you really can't follow whats going on.

Each movie (Beach Landing and Superheroes) has its own menu with several points of the production. So instead of having a very long tutorial, where you start off with nothing, you have a few slices on different subjects like Keying, Cloning, Grading, Muzzle Flashes and so on. The commentary on each movie is a "nice to have", since it contains information or thoughts that didn't make it into an own tutorial.

Now what could be better in my opinion?
Even though I like the idea of simply having a DVD which can be played everywhere, I'd rather like to have something like a flash based menu on a Data-DVD. I would think it would take up less space, which then can be filled up with other stuff, for example demos of your products or even the raw footage of the movies.
That brings me to my 2nd point. I hoped that the DVD would contain some raw footage you used in order to be able to follow the tutorial and maybe experimenting around a bit. While I know the DVD is about learning the stuff so you can use it for your OWN projects, I was a little bit disappointed to not get any of the raw footage used in the movies.

All in all I really like the DVD.
But I think people should be warned. If you do like tutorials which give you an EXACT 1:1 description of how to end up EXACTLY like the demo video (pixel perfectly) then you might be disappointed with this DVD for it is is NOT one of those instructions. They rather explain the important keypoints in detail and let you and your brain figure out the important work of converting it, so it'll fit YOUR project. If you can live with that, this DVD is for you.

Oh... and yes. Some things in the Demo movies completely fooled me. Which was a pleasant surprise once I saw how it was done.
Posted: Fri, 19th Dec 2008, 9:12am

Post 2 of 3

Simon K Jones

Force: 27955 | Joined: 1st Jan 2002 | Posts: 11683

VisionLab User VideoWrap User PhotoKey 5 Pro User MuzzlePlug User PowerPlug User PhotoKey 3 Plug-in User FXhome Movie Maker FXpreset Maker Windows User

FXhome Team Member

Thanks for the review! It's great to get some detailed feedback, especially as this was the first tutorial DVD we've produced.

Katsu wrote:

That brings me to my 2nd point. I hoped that the DVD would contain some raw footage you used in order to be able to follow the tutorial and maybe experimenting around a bit. While I know the DVD is about learning the stuff so you can use it for your OWN projects, I was a little bit disappointed to not get any of the raw footage used in the movies.
I would have loved to include some of the raw footage, and that's something we might look into for future tutorial DVDs.

Oh... and yes. Some things in the Demo movies completely fooled me. Which was a pleasant surprise once I saw how it was done.
I'd love to know what bits those were. smile
Posted: Fri, 19th Dec 2008, 11:03am

Post 3 of 3

Katsu

Force: 1757 | Joined: 5th Sep 2003 | Posts: 119

VisionLab User VideoWrap User Windows User FXpreset Maker

Gold Member

Since I'm a FX geek/nerd (kind of) I usually try to get my brain into working mode, whenever I see an FX shot. How can it be done, how was this certain scene done etc. etc.
While the most impressive FX work is the one which is invisible, I'm always impressed if I am sure about a certain method but getting suprised by another twist at the end.

Some of the multiple scoldier scenes really convinced me. Even worse, they convinced me twice or even more. Its hard to explain, but I never had this feeling of "Ah alright THATS how they did it" when watching for example the scene of the soldier dropping down to fire, while there are more running forward in the background. And that was basically the very first scene in the beach assault movie.
Now that I skip through the movie again, I noticed that the most convincing scenes are the ones that features clones being "over" each other without using a greenscreen. Subconsciously you wouldn't think of rotoscoping.
Also I really like the explosion bit. While watching it for the first time I was thinking something along those lines "Ahhh ok greenscreen. Very cool." But then the soldier stand up and suprised me with a missing leg biggrin

In the Superheroes movie I liked 2 scenes the most. The first one was when Banfman "melted" his way into the office. The greenscreen was (at least for me) totaly out of the question because of the convincing lighting/grading and last but not least the artificial (I think it is...?) depth of field.
The second scene was the banfing out of the car. The first two times I was completely floored by this effect. At one point (when I almost watched it frame by frame and noticed how it really was done) it was a "duh... of course" kind of experience. In a very positiv way biggrin