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Beach Landing

Posted: Fri, 16th Jan 2009, 8:39am

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Simon K Jones

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The Beach Landing sequence from the Learn: Beach Landing & Superheroes tutorial DVD, available from FXhome.

If anybody would like to know how this was made or would like a high quality version, check out the DVD:

http://fxhome.com/learn/beach-landing-and-superheroes

I'd love to hear any feedback you guys have about this sequence.

Directed by Simon Jones

Soldier: Chris Puttock

Line producer: Lucy Harvey
Art assistant: Myroslava Puttock
Matte paintings: Joshua Davies
Sound design: Bennet Maples


More Info
Posted: Sat, 17th Jan 2009, 12:08am

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JasonX1024

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is it possible to get a picture or matte painting of a battleship and put it into Vlab and would that create the effect of the battleships in the background.
Posted: Sat, 17th Jan 2009, 1:05am

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TSHADproductions

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I really liked this Tarn! It was very interesting how you did it, and i actually went and checked out the beach landings and super hero guide right after (thinking that's what you probably wanted I'd say that's a good thing smile ). Anyways, great job, some parts i almost thought were stolen from a real movie with a guy pasted on top until i realized it was the same guy behind him running (noticed on 2nd viewing). Thanks for showing us what we are able to do!

TSHAD

P.S. If i have effectslab pro, would it limit some of the things i could do in comparison to this?
Posted: Sat, 17th Jan 2009, 4:19pm

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Simon K Jones

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JasonX1024 wrote:

is it possible to get a picture or matte painting of a battleship and put it into Vlab and would that create the effect of the battleships in the background.
Yes, because that's exactly what we did. smile

TSHAD wrote:

P.S. If i have effectslab pro, would it limit some of the things i could do in comparison to this?
Yeah definitely. The beach landing sequence in particular is more of a showcase for CompositeLab and VisionLab, as it uses a lot of compositing techniques that EffectsLab isn't really designed for.
Posted: Sat, 17th Jan 2009, 5:59pm

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Rockfilmers

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Tarn, great job! I'm just trying to figure out how you got all the layers to move with the camera with out sliding around. Vision lab doesn't have a tracker so you must have done it by hand. You put a lot of time in this, I can tell smile
Posted: Mon, 19th Jan 2009, 3:05am

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JasonX1024

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...so did you take a picture of the landing craft and battleships and then just put them in or?
Posted: Mon, 19th Jan 2009, 9:13am

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Simon K Jones

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Basically, yeah. Same with the bunker on the clifftop. It's then just a matter of making sure it composites convincingly.
Posted: Tue, 20th Jan 2009, 1:46pm

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Sollthar

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Now this I really really like!

The choice of colors and cinematography really really match the piece and the effects done on it, with one exception imo, are excellent!

The whole mattes with the metal scrapes and the ships in the background works 100% for me. Amazing work. Looks very convincing an properly composited. The fact that you move the camera (which I notice is done in post, but still works well!) helps sell the shots absolutely and gives it all this very intense dramatic feel.

The cloning also works fantastically and even the visible shadows match. Very, very good job on that!

I love the shot with the soldier getting a headshot. The blood stock footage is put to perfect use there and works 100% convincing. I would believe this to be a practical effect absolutely!

I have some reservations about the dust explosions being too bright "white" really. I think they would work much nice if they had been toned down in post to have a more contrasty, darker look. Somehow, light grey sand giving pretty much white dust explosion debris doesn't 100% work for me. It wasn't too distracting though, just something I noticed. A postkey grade to grade it all down or even some areas in which the dust as much darker then the background would work better for me. (For examply by inverting one of the clips and compositing that in). All white isn't all too convincing.

The shot which doesn't work for me is the MG one, perspetive:
The muzzle flash is a light emission. Somehow, the compositing of the big machine gun shot with the huge muzzle looks fake to me. There's not enough light from the muzzle on the gun or on the bits of trench you can see on top and bottom of the image. They remain black. However, in real life, the muzzle would actually light them up and reveal structure of metal and rock.
The gun also doesn't move a bit and the muzzle appears to be just pasted on. I don't know. There appears to be a lot wrong with this shot. smile

The second shot I don't particularly like is the last one with the large explosion behind the soldier. It just looks fake for the same reason as explained above: It's way too bright and misses structure. Also, a camera in bright daylight would have certain exposure settings. Fire, compared to totally bright daylight, would appear in why more detail and way darker with these exposure settings. You would actually see yellow, orange and red flames with dark, black smoke rising. Not so here. All we see is white, which doesn't match at all.
The second part of the shot with the leg however is brilliant. Love that. I'd like to see that in higher quality. it appears as though the matte is visible following the soldiers leg - but that could be due to the front smoke layer and the crappy youtubeism.

All in all, this is very, very, very good work and shows a high attention to detail and proper tension and drama. The effects are put to best use and this is a truly great example of how visual effects should be and can be used!
Posted: Tue, 20th Jan 2009, 3:50pm

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Simon K Jones

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Sollthar wrote:

Now this I really really like!
Woohoo! That makes me happy. smile

The choice of colors and cinematography really really match the piece and the effects done on it, with one exception imo, are excellent!
We got pretty lucky with the location on this one. The similarity to the beach in Saving Private Ryan was remarkable. Really helped with the whole style and tone of the piece.

The cloning also works fantastically and even the visible shadows match. Very, very good job on that!
Yeah, there's some ridiculously intense compositing work on some of the clones. Having done this project I've learned that clone work on sand is a major pain in the arse! Not just from footprints, but from random plumes of sand spraying up as the actor runs along.

The time required to get the cloning this good really ate into the schedule of the Superheroes sequence, unfortunately, which is possibly why this one is a little more polished.

I love the shot with the soldier getting a headshot. The blood stock footage is put to perfect use there and works 100% convincing. I would believe this to be a practical effect absolutely!
Yeah, I've had a few people say that, which is a great compliment. Also a superb testament to how good the No Control Cinema stock footage is!

I have some reservations about the dust explosions being too bright "white" really.
Agreed. You should have seen an earlier version, it was even brighter. razz

It's actually mostly due to the grading rather than the compositing - the ungraded footage retains a lot more detail, especially on the final explosion shot.

The shot which doesn't work for me is the MG one, perspetive:
The muzzle flash is a light emission. Somehow, the compositing of the big machine gun shot with the huge muzzle looks fake to me. There's not enough light from the muzzle on the gun or on the bits of trench you can see on top and bottom of the image. They remain black. However, in real life, the muzzle would actually light them up and reveal structure of metal and rock.
It's interesting this, as the full res version does have noticeable brightening of the gun and emplacement with each muzzle flash. I think a lot of that detail has become smudged in the YouTube conversion. However, even with that in mind I agree there should have been more.

What I really wanted was to have a real gun emplacement mini-set on a greenscreen, but time and budget simply didn't allow for that. As a result I had to use a still image of the gun, which clearly doesn't work as well.

I think the shot conceptually is ok, but the beach is too empty and the gun is too static. In retrospect a closer framing to have a narrower view of the beach and a more blurry, indistinct foreground gun would have worked better.

The second shot I don't particularly like is the last one with the large explosion behind the soldier. It just looks fake for the same reason as explained above: It's way too bright and misses structure.
Againk, originally there was a lot more detail in the explosion flames, but the grading washed it out. I actually quite like the washed out look, almost as if the footage has been left out in the sun for too long, but I agree it could have done with a finer application, in order to retain key details like the flames.

All in all, this is very, very, very good work and shows a high attention to detail and proper tension and drama. The effects are put to best use and this is a truly great example of how visual effects should be and can be used!
Thanks! The best thing about this is that a lot of people don't realise how many effects are in there, other than the obvious explosion ones.
Posted: Tue, 20th Jan 2009, 11:28pm

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Mumblefilms

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WOW! the Chroma Key that Compositelab allows you to create is STUNNING! Although, for some of the shaky cam. effects I would much rather do that in FInal cut. It's just a tad easier. But really solid work. Very cool!
Posted: Wed, 21st Jan 2009, 7:50pm

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Tgdrake

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I have to say: you did an excellent job RECREATING the battle from Saving Private Ryan.... No offense, but you really ripped it off. None the less, I believe you went for "Hey, I can do this" instead of "Hey, look at my wonderful idea" Great effects overall. Lighting was a bit too much on my computer and the machine gun was a bit too unrealistic. I really liked how it turned out though! 5/5
Posted: Wed, 21st Jan 2009, 7:53pm

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Tgdrake

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By the way, I noticed how you cut away from the explosion before it fully died down. Smart choice. In the particle system for somereason they have really unrealistic die-downs.
Posted: Wed, 21st Jan 2009, 8:02pm

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Jabooza

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Tgdrake wrote:

I believe you went for "Hey, I can do this" instead of "Hey, look at my wonderful idea"
That's kind of the point. wink
Posted: Thu, 22nd Jan 2009, 9:24am

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Simon K Jones

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Tgdrake wrote:

I have to say: you did an excellent job RECREATING the battle from Saving Private Ryan.... No offense, but you really ripped it off. None the less, I believe you went for "Hey, I can do this" instead of "Hey, look at my wonderful idea" Great effects overall. Lighting was a bit too much on my computer and the machine gun was a bit too unrealistic. I really liked how it turned out though! 5/5
Yeah, definitely! But, then again, Saving Private Ryan kinda ripped off the D-Day Landings. wink It's the most perfect recreation I've seen of those fateful days, so going for any other style would have been an exercise in futility, I think.

Edit: 2 stars, eh, Atom? I'd love to get some useful feedback on that rating.
Posted: Thu, 22nd Jan 2009, 11:04am

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Sollthar

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The video is intended as a tutorial video for visual effects Tgdrake. That's what it's been intended to do. So, to recreate a scene which is so intense and inside the minds of so many aspiring filmmakers (have a look at the number or war-themed movies on the site) for a learning tutorial video is a good move I'd say.
This is all about the effects and not about storytelling or a wonderful idea.

Though a "how to have a wonderful and original idea" Tutorial DVD would be very nice. Maybe your next assignment, Tarn? smile


Atoms 2 stars will be because it's just a test I presume.
(and Barbie Girl is simply and objectively much better)razz
Posted: Thu, 22nd Jan 2009, 12:04pm

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Joshua Davies

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Although I'm biased I would like to know why Atom gave this 2 stars as well...

I love this vid and think its the best stuff we've ever done with the software internally.
Posted: Thu, 22nd Jan 2009, 4:49pm

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Garrison

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I really enjoyed this because it shows what the software can really do. With the addition of Sollthar's blood effects, it sells the effects very well.

Not having seen the behind-the-scenes on this, I don't know if the bunker or any of those things are real or composited in, but it works on all levels.

Great, solid job!!
Posted: Thu, 22nd Jan 2009, 5:01pm

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Simon K Jones

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Thanks Garrison! The only real things are the beach, the sea, the cliff and Chris the soldier (multiple times).

The boats, bunker, barbed wire, smokey sky and tank traps are all composited.

I think I'm most pleased with the barbed wire on the clifftop. While the bunker looks good, it is still fairly simple to identify as a composite. The barbed wire, on the hand, I think looks entirely convincing.
Posted: Fri, 23rd Jan 2009, 7:36am

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Garrison

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Tarn wrote:

I think I'm most pleased with the barbed wire on the clifftop. While the bunker looks good, it is still fairly simple to identify as a composite. The barbed wire, on the hand, I think looks entirely convincing.
Shows what I know... I can barely see the barbed wire tard
Posted: Fri, 23rd Jan 2009, 7:53am

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ben3308

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Sollthar wrote:

Atoms 2 stars will be because it's just a test I presume.
(and Barbie Girl is simply and objectively much better)razz
I think it's by virtue of the fact that, given the creators are also the creators of the software itself, the video should be not just a good, hell, not even a great, but the absolute best example of the software's capabilities.

While I think we're all aware it can be difficult to add effects well and make them look not just realistic, but convincing and cool in a movie, it is inevitable that the FXHome internal videos will be compared against similarly effects-laden films on this very site. The fact that this, as a whole, is a less enjoyable test than a few other videos on this site (mmmprod, Sollthar, and er-no all come to mind), makes it essentially fail, in part, in its intention: to provide the best possible example of what people can really do.

If this isn't the intention, then I've been misled! biggrin Granted, I'm just defending my bro here, and have given my accolades to this in the Superheroes thread (ironic?) but I think, with certainty, that if you judge this one subjectively, it's obvious where you can pick out flaws - even if to some they seem menial. I think the attitude, then, with a lower-scaled vote is less of an 'I hate you' and more of an 'I think we all know you could do better!'.

For what it's worth, I personally would never give anything of this caliber below a 3, even on a personally subjective ratings. And, indeed, I liked this. But............I liked it better in the more concise trailer which included the Superheroes bits as well. In longer form, I find it less impressive.

Just food for thought!
Posted: Fri, 23rd Jan 2009, 8:15am

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Atom

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Well, Tarn, to be brutally honest the reason I've refrained from commenting has been that I frankly didn't find anything terribly nice to say about. Which I found....inconvenient given my vote and those who worked on it. However, if you'd like me to shortly justify my vote to an extent, I'd be happy to oblige as I would expect the same from a low rating that was asked about on one of my own movies.

Here it goes, it ain't pretty mind you, and I'm typing from my iPhone so forgive my relative brevity in comparison to some of my other posts:

-It's just a test, and as such can't be judged on any plot level. This is fine for some things, sure, but to me those either fit into the realm of music video or astounding technical value for the sake of technical value, which leads me to my next point.

- The technicals are rather underwhelming. Not terrible, but not terribly noteworthy either; most-especially for something that is so highly-voted for what would appear only on a 'visual/cinematic quality' basis due to the nature of it being, well, a visual effects test.. And if this isn't the case, or even if it is, I'm brought to my last primary point.

- The effects, I felt, were only so-so. Some were amazing, but some just seemed obvious or cringe-worthy even. Perhaps this is due to my expectation of perfect visual effects artistry from those who work on the program, or the worth/professional quality I put Visionlab in regard as (both pluses for you guys from me, I guess). But what this left me with was, well, pretty much just disappointment.

Like I said, it's not a very nice review or very pretty reasons; I was just really surprised no one said them first and - given my past, bias, and the fact that my movie's making it's rounds in the cinema right now as well, felt it best to hold my tongue.
Posted: Fri, 23rd Jan 2009, 9:31am

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Simon K Jones

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I have to say that I've never understood the "it's just a test, so can't be highly regarded" attitude. Sure, if you went to your local cinema and paid to see a film and it turned out to be 'just a test' it would be a bit jarring, but in a free-to-watch cinema on a visual effects-focused website, it seems like perfectly valid content to me.

How do you define 'a test'? Simply by an absence of plot? Because a 10 second crappy lightsaber test compared to, say, the Beach Landing sequence, seems to provide two quite different experiences.

Regardless, I don't think this is in any way 'a test'. It might not be a strong narrative short, edited out of sequence and full of portentous voiceover dialogue and containing a Deep(ly Obvious) Moral Answer at the end, but it still has a structure and drive to it: it's not just a series of unconnected test shots.

The specific purpose for the sequence was to accompany the tutorials on the DVD, of course. Maybe that counts as 'a test' by your definitions, but it doesn't for me.

But anyway, there was no need to have held back on commenting earlier. We're all fairly used to harsh criticism and it's hardly going to upset us. If we were going to get upset about negative comments then we wouldn't have put it up for public viewing in the first place. smile
Posted: Fri, 23rd Jan 2009, 12:25pm

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fertesz

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With so many great coments so far, I'll only remark upon one thing:

Compositing of the soldiers, though not bad, was not perfect either. At the close-ups, I got the feeling that something was wrong, like "yup, this is greenscreen". Not sure what it was, but it was there clearly.

All in all it is a great piece of effects video of course. Hope to see even better videos from Fxhome in the future.
Posted: Fri, 23rd Jan 2009, 5:06pm

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cavickers

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Atom wrote:

Well, Tarn, to be brutally honest the reason I've refrained from commenting has been that I frankly didn't find anything terribly nice to say about. Which I found....inconvenient given my vote and those who worked on it. However, if you'd like me to shortly justify my vote to an extent, I'd be happy to oblige as I would expect the same from a low rating that was asked about on one of my own movies.

Here it goes, it ain't pretty mind you, and I'm typing from my iPhone so forgive my relative brevity in comparison to some of my other posts:

-It's just a test, and as such can't be judged on any plot level. This is fine for some things, sure, but to me those either fit into the realm of music video or astounding technical value for the sake of technical value, which leads me to my next point.

- The technicals are rather underwhelming. Not terrible, but not terribly noteworthy either; most-especially for something that is so highly-voted for what would appear only on a 'visual/cinematic quality' basis due to the nature of it being, well, a visual effects test.. And if this isn't the case, or even if it is, I'm brought to my last primary point.

- The effects, I felt, were only so-so. Some were amazing, but some just seemed obvious or cringe-worthy even. Perhaps this is due to my expectation of perfect visual effects artistry from those who work on the program, or the worth/professional quality I put Visionlab in regard as (both pluses for you guys from me, I guess). But what this left me with was, well, pretty much just disappointment.

Like I said, it's not a very nice review or very pretty reasons; I was just really surprised no one said them first and - given my past, bias, and the fact that my movie's making it's rounds in the cinema right now as well, felt it best to hold my tongue.
why did you rate it two star.

attitude probs
Posted: Fri, 23rd Jan 2009, 7:45pm

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Atom

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Tarn wrote:

I have to say that I've never understood the "it's just a test, so can't be highly regarded" attitude. Sure, if you went to your local cinema and paid to see a film and it turned out to be 'just a test' it would be a bit jarring, but in a free-to-watch cinema on a visual effects-focused website, it seems like perfectly valid content to me.
I think it's a rather obvious why people come to the conclusion that something that's 'just a test, so it can't be highly regarded'. It's because, well, it has no narrative. No plot, no value past technical/visual/audio. If these fail, there's nothing left. Hopefully that's clear. I'm really not trying to be a prick on this point, obviously I've highly-rated other seemingly comparable 'test', but I'll get into that point in a minute. smile

How do you define 'a test'? Simply by an absence of plot? Because a 10 second crappy lightsaber test compared to, say, the Beach Landing sequence, seems to provide two quite different experiences.
Yes, it absolutely does. And had I not typed on my iPhone late at night, I probably would've gone into further detail on this point. There's a rather unremarkable set of reasons that some tests, while equally executed, are much better and more entertaining than others. One extreme reason, for instance, 'Art of the Saber' works so phenomenally well is because it not only displays an effects 'test' (or scene/sequence/preferred nomenclature), but is able to do so with technical class and evoke emotions in a mini-narrative. The story isn't anything spectacular, but it's there. But, then again, a 'scene/sequence/test' doesn't necessarily have to have this element. Once again, I'll get to that in a minute.

Regardless, I don't think this is in any way 'a test'. It might not be a strong narrative short, edited out of sequence and full of portentous voiceover dialogue and containing a Deep(ly Obvious) Moral Answer at the end, but it still has a structure and drive to it: it's not just a series of unconnected test shots.
Geez, maybe I should've given you a 1, then I'd still have to deal with this same sh*t but see you video go down in rating. smile

My vote is completely justified. Most of the effects in this, to me, seem pretty cheap. It doesn't convey any emotion, narrative, or storytelling, and the editing and cinematography aren't anything special to me. I don't know how to make this clearer, and find it quite ironic that the very same, monumental reasons the likes of Sollthar, schwar, and others harshly criticize my reactions to others comments and ratings on my movies is the very same attitude you and those same individuals seem to be giving off. unsure

The specific purpose for the sequence was to accompany the tutorials on the DVD, of course. Maybe that counts as 'a test' by your definitions, but it doesn't for me.
Well, perhaps had you included the DVD footage on how to accomplish the effect, this would be the case. Then it would kind of become of 'how to' video. But I think it's rather obvious that taking an effects sequence (once again, one that didn't impress me) out of a tutorial DVD and putting it in the cinema leaves it in kind of an ambiguous genre. Clearly not short film, a feature, music video, trailer, or real tutorial- all this ends up being is, well, a test.

It's ridiculous to call it anything else or treat it like anything else. But hey, maybe I'm the minority with that opinion. Tests can warrant high ratings from me, as I said earlier. Being a 'test' video doesn't immediately slap a lower rating on a movie, it just means narrative points can't be found in deciding the rating and thus the rating (in my system/opinion) falls heavily on the visual quality of the overall work.

Now, as I stated before, being an effects-driven sequence the visual component splits into two things: technical value and special-effects value. And, because these two components underwhelmed me, the overall visual quality to me wasn't very high. Ergo, since this video relied on that visual quality, it ends up with a 2-star rating.

There is a reason the likes of MMMProd's test movie and Sollthar's Nightcast concept teasers and tests have been highly-rated by me in the past. They didn't suffer from being 'just a test' because they had exceptional visual quality. And, you know what, I'm pretty certain I've given all of them 4 or 5 stars.

But anyway, there was no need to have held back on commenting earlier. We're all fairly used to harsh criticism and it's hardly going to upset us. If we were going to get upset about negative comments then we wouldn't have put it up for public viewing in the first place. smile
Good to know.

Last edited Fri, 23rd Jan 2009, 8:06pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Fri, 23rd Jan 2009, 7:59pm

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ben3308

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Tarn wrote:

It might not be a strong narrative short, edited out of sequence and full of portentous voiceover dialogue and containing a Deep(ly Obvious) Moral Answer at the end
Ah, come on..........why?

You know, it's not cool to spite the efforts of others, man. Most especially when it's irrelevant and that 'other' gave you 5/5 stars.....
Posted: Fri, 23rd Jan 2009, 8:31pm

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Jabooza

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ben3308 wrote:

You know, it's not cool to spite the efforts of others, man. Most especially when it's irrelevant and that 'other' gave you 5/5 stars.....
I think the 'other' that Tarn's comment was directed at was Atom more so than you, and he certainly didn't give it 5/5 stars.


About 'spiting' your work, I think Tarn has, in the past, shown you enough respect to you to make up for any spitage that he might be doing now. smile

-Jabooza
Posted: Fri, 23rd Jan 2009, 8:32pm

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nfsbuff

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Atom wrote:

Geez, maybe I should've given you a 1, then I'd still have to deal with this same sh*t but see you video go down in rating.

My vote is completely justified. Most of the effects in this, to me, seem pretty cheap. It doesn't convey any emotion, narrative, or storytelling, and the editing and cinematography aren't anything special to me. I don't know how to make this clearer, and find it quite ironic that the very same, monumental reasons the likes of Sollthar, schwar, and others harshly criticize my reactions to others comments and ratings on my movies is the very same attitude you and those same individuals seem to be giving off.
This wouldn't be a case of revenge voting, would it?

I'd also like to add that a great number of works submitted to the cinema seem to hide behind the mantra of "Filmed in ONLY XX hours!!" for the sake of rebuffing any criticism they might receive. In my opinion, many of these submissions fall into the same category as "this was only a test". Why should I take seriously a piece of work whose main bragging rights are how little time was spent making it? This work, while not a SO-DEEP-AND-THOUGHT-PREVOKING piece obviously had a lot of thought, time and effort put into it. It therefore warrants criticism that has equal effort put into it.

Last edited Fri, 23rd Jan 2009, 8:45pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Fri, 23rd Jan 2009, 8:42pm

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ben3308

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I think the 'other' that Tarn's comment was directed at was Atom more so than you
Oh, I know. It's just strange that not only is the ad hominem completely out of left field, but it hurt someone who supports it's speaker. That being said, sorry to hijack the thread.

As for the beach landing, I think of could certainly benefit from just a bit more style: letterboxed widescreen, perhaps a deeper bleach bypass. These added would make it much more cinematic in my opinion.
Posted: Fri, 23rd Jan 2009, 8:44pm

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Atom

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Sigh....

nfsbuff wrote:

Atom wrote:

Geez, maybe I should've given you a 1, then I'd still have to deal with this same sh*t but see you video go down in rating.

My vote is completely justified. Most of the effects in this, to me, seem pretty cheap. It doesn't convey any emotion, narrative, or storytelling, and the editing and cinematography aren't anything special to me. I don't know how to make this clearer, and find it quite ironic that the very same, monumental reasons the likes of Sollthar, schwar, and others harshly criticize my reactions to others comments and ratings on my movies is the very same attitude you and those same individuals seem to be giving off.
This wouldn't be a case of revenge voting, would it?

I'd also like to add that a great number of works submitted to the cinema seem to hide behind the mantra of "Filmed in ONLY XX hours!!" for the sake of rebuffing any criticism they might receive. In my opinion, many of these submissions fall into the same category as "this was only a test". Why should I take seriously a piece of work whose main bragging rights are how little time was spent making them?
This is the reason I loathe rating/commenting on these things honestly. Even when I don't provoke it, the insults/comparative criticisms still come. I also couldn't help but notice that in quoting my posts you conveniently took the smilie 'smile' out after my 'revenge voting' line.

It's all depressing, really. unsure

EDIT: Oh, look, you edited your post!

nfsbuff wrote:

This work, while not a SO-DEEP-AND-THOUGHT-PREVOKING piece obviously had a lot of thought, time and effort put into it. It therefore warrants criticism that has equal effort put into it.
Nice jab at me. Perhaps, though, you missed the point- since you're so concerned about the 'effort' of my review, where I explained in several paragraphs and two posts my thoughts, buddy.

Last edited Fri, 23rd Jan 2009, 8:48pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Fri, 23rd Jan 2009, 8:47pm

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nfsbuff

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My apologies Atom on the quote lacking smilies. The images disappeared after a copy and paste.

--ADDENDUM--

Atom, I was in the process of adding to my previous post as you were quoting me. I had hit the submit button instead of preview.

Atom wrote:

Nice jab at me. Perhaps, though, you missed the point- since you're so concerned about the 'effort' of my review, where I explained in several paragraphs and two posts my thoughts, buddy.
I wasn't pointing you out. But if the shoe fits...
Posted: Fri, 23rd Jan 2009, 9:50pm

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Atom

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rolleyes
Posted: Sat, 24th Jan 2009, 2:13am

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Bolbi

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wall
Posted: Sun, 25th Jan 2009, 3:49pm

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Simon K Jones

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ben3308 wrote:

Tarn wrote:

It might not be a strong narrative short, edited out of sequence and full of portentous voiceover dialogue and containing a Deep(ly Obvious) Moral Answer at the end
Ah, come on..........why?

You know, it's not cool to spite the efforts of others, man. Most especially when it's irrelevant and that 'other' gave you 5/5 stars.....
I didn't mean to 'spite' your efforts, or Atom's. I was just pointing out that different people are drawn to different things, but that doesn't necessarily make them any less worthy.

That description seems to describe the content of your (serious) films fairly well, based on my memories of them; it wasn't really meant to be a comment on their actual quality. Sorry if you took it as a 'spite'. unsure

In the end, the success of a film is on its own merits: does it do what it set out to do? In that regard, I'm perfectly happy with the Beach Landing. It's a shame that Atom doesn't like it, but I'm not going to lose any sleep over it. smile
Posted: Sun, 25th Jan 2009, 11:44pm

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ben3308

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Tarn wrote:

In the end, the success of a film is on its own merits: does it do what it set out to do?
How right you are!

It was only a few months ago, (and it's currently in the cinema biggrin) when I released my Batman film which I'd done for fun; and some understood it to be more (or less) than that. As a test in the genre of 'fanfilms' with my renewed 'style' (as in, post-SC), I thought it did well. Some, however, took it to be a large endeavor (as such films often are) and were very, some malignantly so, disappointed with it.

I've always thought that films should be rated subjectively, bar none, but only after hitting objective criterion first. In the case of Beach Landing, it satisfies the objectives to be rated subjectively. It has clear merits, solid camerawork and editing, and nothing is glaringly 'wrong' per se. Therein, it satisfies the objectives I normally expect and I think it then moves onto subjective reasoning.

It could be a bold assertion, but I believe it is here, in this subjective reasoning, that some skew their views too high or too low; which is why I base 3 stars of my merits on the objective tasks and the 4th and 5th stars on a short's subjective ability to transcend these mere tenets of genre. Clearly, Beach Landing surpasses normal fare, which is why I gave it a 5.

Do I necessarily think it's as good as mmmprod's work that seeks to accomplish similar goals? No, but he's been through film school and is accomplished as a filmmaker, you guys are accomplished as software creators. I keep telling my brother (we've had a bit of a Socratic dialogue on voting lately) that just because someone makes brilliant software and supplementary documentation does not make them the best possible candidate to 'show off' that software; as there were almost always be someone 'better'. My key example was 3DStudioMax, who internally produces great stuff, but doesn't compare as well when stacked against other, more gifted users of the same software.

But I digress, I didn't intend for this reply to be this long! biggrin

Even so, I still believe that you guys could very closely match Richard Hammond's "Bloody Omaha" (if that is, indeed, what you were mirroring slightly) if you cropped to a more cinematic aspect and upped the bleach bypass. It's a bit dissonant, in my opinion, to watch an 'Omaha Beach' scene and not see high, high bleach bypassed contrast. wink This isn't a huge deal, though, because hell, I was impressed by the vertical lines of light around the moving subjects!

In the end, it's a great job and effort. I don't think it's perfect, but it's certainly a more complete example of the products. I think the Nightcast, BTL, and Project One clips were cool; but as you mention, Beach Landing (and, to some extents, Superheroes) prove more cohesive as collectively demonstrable videos.

Gosh, now I've really dissertationed myself ad nauseum.... smile
Posted: Mon, 26th Jan 2009, 9:13am

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Simon K Jones

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ben3308 wrote:

Tarn wrote:

In the end, the success of a film is on its own merits: does it do what it set out to do?
How right you are!

It was only a few months ago, (and it's currently in the cinema biggrin) when I released my Batman film which I'd done for fun; and some understood it to be more (or less) than that. As a test in the genre of 'fanfilms' with my renewed 'style' (as in, post-SC), I thought it did well. Some, however, took it to be a large endeavor (as such films often are) and were very, some malignantly so, disappointed with it.
Yeah, it's an interesting one, that. It's always tricky if you throw something together for fun, as you say, and then other people judge it as if your life depended on it. Then again, the counterpoint is that if you're putting it up for public consumption, then you can't always expect your audience to know your motivation for making something.

Do I necessarily think it's as good as mmmprod's work that seeks to accomplish similar goals? No, but he's been through film school and is accomplished as a filmmaker, you guys are accomplished as software creators. I keep telling my brother (we've had a bit of a Socratic dialogue on voting lately) that just because someone makes brilliant software and supplementary documentation does not make them the best possible candidate to 'show off' that software; as there were almost always be someone 'better'. My key example was 3DStudioMax, who internally produces great stuff, but doesn't compare as well when stacked against other, more gifted users of the same software.
I think this is a really interesting point. Most mainstream software has a whole range of 'power users' that show off how it works. Andrew Kramer with AE. ILM with Maya back in the episode 1 days. It's tough competition. razz

If you bear in mind that the last project I worked through to completion was Muffy & Jebediah 2, in 2002, there's really quite a leap from that to what's in Beach Landing.

It's not just the training, either. People that make films everyday will likely also have the equipment and resources to hand, at least to some degree. When you make software everyday, it's not quite the same. You wouldn't see many filmmakers thinking "hmm, I think I'll write a program today!" razz

Having said that, we did our damnedest to get good results with these. Certainly with regards to the tutorial DVD they've been a big success. On their own they're less powerful, but I think that's inevitable whenever you take something out of its designed environment.

Hopefully future stuff will take this as the basis and aim for even better results.

This isn't a huge deal, though, because hell, I was impressed by the vertical lines of light around the moving subjects!
Heh, glad you liked that. I was rather excited by that effect - it was meant to simulate some of the crazy lens effects in Saving Private Ryan.

Although one guy on YouTube did accuse me of using the same glowy grading I always use, which was a bit irritating! smile
Posted: Mon, 26th Jan 2009, 4:00pm

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Atom

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Tarn wrote:

Although one guy on YouTube did accuse me of using the same glowy grading I always use, which was a bit irritating! smile
Kind of like taking the time to make each of your videos have a unique but consistent color-graded look, only to have someone call it the 'same old green with high-contrast' grading as if it was simply slapped on like a filter? smile

I feel your pain.
Posted: Mon, 26th Jan 2009, 4:02pm

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Simon K Jones

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Hehe indeed. It was particularly odd because I though the Beach Landing had a really noticeably different look to, say, Get Lost or Coalition of Heroes.

Can't please everyone. razz
Posted: Tue, 27th Jan 2009, 3:33pm

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Atom

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Heh, I guess not. wink
Posted: Tue, 27th Jan 2009, 10:53pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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I'm always slightly surprised at the exaggerated expectations people develop of the fxhome team and the software's capabilities. FXhome is built up of enthusiasts, not industry award winning artists.

Which is perhaps understandably hard to believe, given that Tarn has once again really pushed the envelope. I am always pleasantly surprised at what Tarn proves possible within the software here. Few others reach the same levels with it.

There's really nothing more to say than that,
well done.

-Matt
Posted: Fri, 30th Jan 2009, 2:26pm

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Tgdrake

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Tarn wrote:

Tgdrake wrote:

I have to say: you did an excellent job RECREATING the battle from Saving Private Ryan.... No offense, but you really ripped it off. None the less, I believe you went for "Hey, I can do this" instead of "Hey, look at my wonderful idea" Great effects overall. Lighting was a bit too much on my computer and the machine gun was a bit too unrealistic. I really liked how it turned out though! 5/5
Yeah, definitely! But, then again, Saving Private Ryan kinda ripped off the D-Day Landings. wink It's the most perfect recreation I've seen of those fateful days, so going for any other style would have been an exercise in futility, I think.

Edit: 2 stars, eh, Atom? I'd love to get some useful feedback on that rating.
Ya, Im sorry for bein a jerk in this post, I was pissed off at skool...
Posted: Sun, 1st Feb 2009, 8:46pm

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Limey

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Nice job man. It was cool to watch.
Posted: Mon, 2nd Feb 2009, 12:14am

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Snook360

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Overall, a good job on the cloning and the landscape looked great. But in the shot at 00:06, the soldier in the foreground was composited poorly, and threw off the whole shot. The blood effects also - something about them just didn't look right. Past that I think you did a great job, but those shots really drew me out of the video.
Posted: Thu, 5th Feb 2009, 9:17am

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Jonnie

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I have to disagree i think that the solider wasn't composited badly at 00.06. The foreground soldier looked good. It has a really nice depth of field and thea overal shot works well. Good job tarn!
Posted: Tue, 10th Feb 2009, 12:15am

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JasonX1024

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I just used the knowledge gained from this video and used it on an english project http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoUCnZ0Croo
Check it out! thanks!
Posted: Mon, 16th Feb 2009, 10:59pm

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SpiderShot

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I really liked this, I think it did what it needed to. Although, I think some of the shots could use more work.

The one where the soldier rises into frame seems too sharply-focused for it to look real, perhaps edit the blur in the background to be a little less intense and a little more random in texture? I dunno.

Still, great job with everything. I, like others, would've liked bleach bypassing a little more but it's no big deal. oink

5/5

EDIT: Also, as stupid as this may sound, I think widescreen bars would make this look MUCH more cinematic to me. Even though it's just a stupid request, I think most of us are used to our brains thinking widescreen letterboxing = movie-like. smile
Posted: Tue, 17th Feb 2009, 9:01am

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Simon K Jones

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SpiderShot wrote:

EDIT: Also, as stupid as this may sound, I think widescreen bars would make this look MUCH more cinematic to me. Even though it's just a stupid request, I think most of us are used to our brains thinking widescreen letterboxing = movie-like. smile
The video is already in 16:9 widescreen. You don't see the bars here because the shape of the player is already widescreen.

I could slap extra letterboxing on to make the widescreen ratio even more extreme, but I don't think it would really serve much purpose. The shots weren't framed for that, and all it would really do is reduce the resolution and viewing area.

I think normal 16:9 widescreen is enough. smile
Posted: Wed, 4th Mar 2009, 12:34am

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BIMO

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When the soldier was shot in the head, did you use an actual liquid substance to make the blood, or did you use FX Lab Pro, or Vision Lab?
Posted: Wed, 4th Mar 2009, 9:43am

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Simon K Jones

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The headshot is carefully composited stock footage. The stock footage itself was of real liquid - you should ask Sollthar for the details, because he made it. smile
Posted: Mon, 23rd Mar 2009, 10:19am

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PLANB

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The video looks like it is not available anymore!
Posted: Mon, 23rd Mar 2009, 10:23am

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Simon K Jones

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PLANB wrote:

The video looks like it is not available anymore!
How so? Seems to still be there for me. Anybody else having problems?
Posted: Wed, 6th May 2009, 11:45pm

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Shanghai

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wow that was amazing
what sound effects did you use because they sounded great
Nice job
Posted: Thu, 7th May 2009, 7:59am

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Simon K Jones

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Thanks!

The sound work was done externally by a sound engineer we know called Bennet Maples. He's very good at what he does, and is also very, very fast.

Due to the schedules involved during production of this I think we gave him about half a day to put something together - bearing in mind that none of the audio was recorded on set at all. With longer I'm sure he'd have done an even better job. Bennet also did the sound work on the Superheroes video.
Posted: Mon, 24th Aug 2009, 1:34pm

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Simon K Jones

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Just uploaded a visual effects before/after comparison, check it out:

Posted: Mon, 24th Aug 2009, 2:36pm

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Sollthar

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Love this! smile

I'm especially fond of mr "tiny greenscreen".
Posted: Mon, 24th Aug 2009, 2:38pm

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Simon K Jones

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Sollthar wrote:

Love this! smile

I'm especially fond of mr "tiny greenscreen".
Well, you know what they say about a man with a tiny greenscreen.....


Yeah, this is one of the perils of on-location shooting. If you get out there and realise you don't have a particular piece of equipment - such as a bigger greenscreen - you just have to make do.

Thankfully it was only really a problem on the final shot of the guy falling towards the camera in front of the explosion. That required a lot of roto.

It didn't help that the two crew members were a little short (for a stormtrooper), while the actor is well over 6ft!
Posted: Wed, 9th Sep 2009, 6:54pm

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JOfxmuschst

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One little question: how you guys make these camera moving wehn you make
the grading?
Posted: Thu, 10th Sep 2009, 8:11am

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Simon K Jones

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The grading and digital camera movement are separate things.

We shot everything at 720p HD, but the destination for the project was standard DVD resolution (NTSC DVD being 720x480). This gave us a lot of freedom within the frame to move things around, as the 720p edit was much larger than the DVD frame. This made it easy to add additional zooms/pans/camera shake etc without actually reducing the quality of the image.
Posted: Thu, 10th Sep 2009, 10:45am

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JOfxmuschst

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thank you and nice jop!
Posted: Wed, 18th Aug 2010, 3:47am

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midtriplet

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How do you add shadows to characters? By the way, REALLY EXCELLENT JOB

Sam
Posted: Wed, 18th Aug 2010, 8:14am

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Simon K Jones

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No shadows were added, as the actor was shot for real on all the locations. All the character shadows are real.
Posted: Wed, 18th Aug 2010, 10:49pm

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midtriplet

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What about adding shadows to objects?
Posted: Thu, 19th Aug 2010, 7:10am

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Simon K Jones

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The obstructions on the beach had shadows painted in, as they were added as matte painting elements. Those particular shadows were done in Photoshop prior to compositing.
Posted: Thu, 19th Aug 2010, 1:52pm

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Toruk Macto

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I love the Beach Landing, I watched the DVD over and over again.

Well done!
Posted: Tue, 1st Mar 2011, 7:17pm

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fatpenguin

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I hope to be able to make a short film of even half this quality one day it is amazing keep producing these awesome movies