You are viewing an archive of the old fxhome.com forums. The community has since moved to hitfilm.com.

Short VFX Test - Muzzle Flash, Fire + Lens Flare

Posted: Fri, 23rd Apr 2010, 12:23am

Post 1 of 50

mattio

Force: 1334 | Joined: 8th Nov 2004 | Posts: 438

FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

Gold Member

Hi all, long time no post.

I've been pretty busy with personal projects and college work. Recently for college (I study a filmmaking course) we were required to shoot a video of our choice, so I booked out the studio for a couple days and we shot some bluescreen footage.

In total I've got about 30-40 shots to complete and I have to complete them in one month so the shots were kinda rushed.

Anyways heres one shot I finished earlier today, this was shot totally on a bluescreen with the background plates being raw footage I shot when I was in Watford, England.

To give you the down lo of the project, we basically had to make something seem a bit abnormal (hence the lens flare and cloning) and we also chose to keep the characaters face emotionless, which is why he's shooting the gun a bit casual wink

Took me about an hour+ to complete in After Effects, but in reality I would have liked to have spent more time on it. Also one thing I do need to update is the bullet casings coming from the gun.

Anyways let me know what you think,
http://vfxlobby.com/Video/shot_3_new1.mov

Cheers,
Matt
Posted: Sun, 25th Apr 2010, 8:56am

Post 2 of 50

ChromeHeart

Force: 1950 | Joined: 30th Jan 2006 | Posts: 117

VisionLab User VideoWrap User

Gold Member

That looked great Matt! I have a couple suggestions though. Despite being just a "test", It would have been nice for the actor to give a more intense performance considering the circumstances. For example, when someone fires a pistol, there is usually a kickback or recoil. Since you are just adding the effects in digitally, it's up to the actor to take this recoil and give it a more realistic effect. I realize that this may have been intentional, but I'm not sure why!? It's just kind of a shame to me since this looks so good!! A lotbetter than a lot of tests that I see around. I have to ask you though... What camera did you shoot this on? It looks absolutely gorgeous.

- Alex
Posted: Sun, 25th Apr 2010, 9:37am

Post 3 of 50

chbaum

Force: 250 | Joined: 28th Jun 2005 | Posts: 46

EffectsLab Lite User MacOS User

Gold Member

Looks extremely real! Very nice, what you can do these days! A question: If it's all bluescreen, how did you get the guy BEHIND the litter bin? Is this kind of a mask you put in there? Did you do a camera move in the bluescreen and mimick it in the plate? Or is it digital and done for the combination of the two?

Are those two pidgeons over your right shoulder? They seem to ignore the havoc quite well... Made me laugh... biggrin

Best regards,

Christian
Posted: Sun, 25th Apr 2010, 2:47pm

Post 4 of 50

swintonmaximilian

Force: 1970 | Joined: 23rd Jun 2007 | Posts: 527

VisionLab User VideoWrap User FXhome Movie Maker

Gold Member

It does look good, and it would look better if the acting was there to support the effects. I know that you chose to have him be emotionless, and in the context of a longer film where that was an obvious plot point, it might work. However, for this shot it would work better and sell the effect better if he looked like he was emotionally involved. And whether he's emotionally involved or not, he needs to at least physically react to the gun firing. Sound fx would also go a long way to making this more real, they are equally important to a film as the visuals. Also, maybe a bit heavy on the lens flares.
Posted: Sun, 25th Apr 2010, 3:59pm

Post 5 of 50

Sollthar

Force: 13360 | Joined: 30th Oct 2001 | Posts: 6094

VisionLab User VideoWrap User PhotoKey 2 Pro User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User MacOS User

SuperUser

I agree. The shot looks kind of "meh" simply because of the rather lame acting and randomness of it all.
While it might be technically well done, to make a shot WHOA everything needs to be right. A kid with an odd expression on his face firing a gun looks funny no matter how well he's composited to me.

The lens flares are indeed rather distracting and don't appear to actualy have any origin.
Posted: Sun, 25th Apr 2010, 4:27pm

Post 6 of 50

spydurhank

Force: 1956 | Joined: 24th Jun 2008 | Posts: 1357

VisionLab User VideoWrap User FXpreset Maker Windows User FXhome Movie Maker

Gold Member

Not bad, I like this a lot for the most part. biggrin

You don't really need that lense flare though. The color and opacity scream a very loud "no something's wrong here" to me.
I know you probably stuck it in there for style and what not but it doesn't really mesh with, much less enhance the scene which is way too dark to even require a lense flare. Perhaps if you color correct the lense flare to match the scene? Plus as already stated by Solthar, it needs an origin point. Awesome job though. biggrin You've got a good thing going here. Keep up the good work.
Posted: Sun, 25th Apr 2010, 5:33pm

Post 7 of 50

pdrg

Force: 5405 | Joined: 4th Dec 2006 | Posts: 4143

VisionLab User Windows User

Gold Member

That's a lot better than I was expecting smile Agreed on the smear/flares, they're the result of physics so have a real-world meaning, but the rest of the shot is consistently lit, the match moving is precise, compositing solid. Good work smile
Posted: Sun, 25th Apr 2010, 5:50pm

Post 8 of 50

Limey

Force: 547 | Joined: 11th Sep 2005 | Posts: 752

Gold Member

Looks pretty cool. I think some sound and better acting would make the clip stick out more.
Posted: Sun, 25th Apr 2010, 6:08pm

Post 9 of 50

AwesomeFist

Force: 288 | Joined: 6th Dec 2008 | Posts: 541

Windows User MacOS User

Member

You did a good job, but the lens flair seems a bit out of place, the actor does look a little silly with that face, and the fog looks a little fake, as if it were just overlayed on the video, and since you used a blue screen you can add more depth to the fog such as some of it behind the character. And it wouldn't hurt to add in some cc-toner into into it. (But no-one is perfect and it still looks good if you aren't looking that hard.) wink

But besides these minor flaws, you did a great job. and it was also hard to tell that it was shot on a bluescreen so that's a other plus. smile
Posted: Sun, 25th Apr 2010, 8:54pm

Post 10 of 50

RodyPolis

Force: 805 | Joined: 28th Apr 2007 | Posts: 1839

CompositeLab Lite User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

Gold Member

Looks really good. I really liked the lens flares! Who says it needs an origin it looks cool smile Things I would suggest it to make the fire brighter. Fire emits light, but your fire is as dull as the rest of the scene. Still really cool job considering it's all greenscreen. Are you going to post other shots you do?
Posted: Sun, 25th Apr 2010, 9:29pm

Post 11 of 50

spydurhank

Force: 1956 | Joined: 24th Jun 2008 | Posts: 1357

VisionLab User VideoWrap User FXpreset Maker Windows User FXhome Movie Maker

Gold Member

RodyPolis wrote:

I really liked the lens flares! Who says it needs an origin it looks cool smile
Physics and common sense. biggrin
Yes it looks cool but does it make sense? No sir it does not. You can't really sacrifice realism for cool and get away with it. smile

We're trying to help the guy out by letting him know that you can't have something hanging in the air like that without knowing where it came from.
If there was going to be a lense flare... it should be coming from the only possible light source... the fire in the background... but as you yourself pointed it out... it's not emitting any light.
Doesn't make any sense right? confused We're trying to help him avoid little mistakes like that... not continue to make them. biggrin
Posted: Sun, 25th Apr 2010, 10:39pm

Post 12 of 50

RodyPolis

Force: 805 | Joined: 28th Apr 2007 | Posts: 1839

CompositeLab Lite User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

Gold Member

So JJ Abrams do it and everyone is happy, but Mattio does it and he isn't being realistic? Not because he doesn't stand at the side of the camera with a flashlight pointing at the lens means he can't still have some flares if he wants to.

I guess it's just me, but I like lens flares and really don't care how they came to be on the screen as long as it's there and looks cool smile Not really, but it doesn't really bother me that much as I didn't even think of the light source issue when I first watched it.

I think the reason for the flare is that there is a bright light at the side of the camera. I bet if he turned the camera a bit we would see it biggrin
Posted: Mon, 26th Apr 2010, 5:54am

Post 13 of 50

Sollthar

Force: 13360 | Joined: 30th Oct 2001 | Posts: 6094

VisionLab User VideoWrap User PhotoKey 2 Pro User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User MacOS User

SuperUser

So JJ Abrams do it and everyone is happy
Actually, I hated the lens flares in Star Trek. But still, the lens flares had a point of origin in that movie. Namely, lots of bright neon lights placed all over the ship's design. (How ridicolous that is on it's own right doesn't really matter, since I could visiually see the origins of the light flares.)

Here, we are in a street corner. In bright daylight. The only light source remotely strong enough to create a lens flare in this environment is the sun. And the suns light flare looks A very different and B hardly originates from that angle judging by the shadow.
Your "he doesn't stand at the side of the camera with a flashlight pointing at the lens" argument makes little sense either since I wonder: Why would a MOVIE character stand next to the camera pointing a flashlight at it and secondly, that flashlight would show traces of light on the image as well which aren't there.

Physics dictacte where lensflares are and how they look. I can't help that some people don't have the necessary understanding of physics to notice wrong lens flares, but those who do, like myself, just notice it looks wrong. If you want lens flares because they look cool like Abrams, then pick your shots in a way that the lensflares have a point being there.
Posted: Mon, 26th Apr 2010, 6:09am

Post 14 of 50

rogolo

Force: 5436 | Joined: 29th May 2005 | Posts: 1513

VisionLab User VideoWrap User PhotoKey 4 User MacOS User

Gold Member

Rating: +2

Sollthar wrote:

Why would a MOVIE character stand next to the camera pointing a flashlight at it
Only 'cause you asked wink

Posted: Mon, 26th Apr 2010, 6:14am

Post 15 of 50

Sollthar

Force: 13360 | Joined: 30th Oct 2001 | Posts: 6094

VisionLab User VideoWrap User PhotoKey 2 Pro User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User MacOS User

SuperUser

Hahaha, brilliant.

Just to mention, that was accidental. smile
But yes, at least, it's a visible point of origin for a lens flare. (He was ordered to point it at her head though) biggrin
Posted: Mon, 26th Apr 2010, 11:01am

Post 16 of 50

RodyPolis

Force: 805 | Joined: 28th Apr 2007 | Posts: 1839

CompositeLab Lite User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

Gold Member

It wasn't a movie character that stood at the side of the camera with a flashlight, it was JJ Abrams himself or one of his DPs. Though the lens flares in that movie weren't digital, a lot of them weren't natural cause the only reason they were there was because of the bright flashlight someone was pointing at the lens during filming.

Don't remember where I read this though smile But where ever it was I remember it clearly showed the flashlight technique.
Posted: Mon, 26th Apr 2010, 11:18am

Post 17 of 50

Sollthar

Force: 13360 | Joined: 30th Oct 2001 | Posts: 6094

VisionLab User VideoWrap User PhotoKey 2 Pro User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User MacOS User

SuperUser

Yeah but I mean, this is nonsense. I get that the technique to create the lens flare can be a guy next to the camera. But there needs to be a reason for the leans flare being there other then "looks cool".

Just like you don't want to think "Oh look, there's a couple of pupeteers controlling that thing" when you see a movie monster, you want to think "Oh, a monster".

Those are two different things.


JJ Abrams Star Trek had neon lights IN scene everywhere, so the lens flares weren't completely out of place, if even so they had to create them artificually with a flashlight. Here, we have simple no reason for such a lensflare to be there other then "Yay! My copy of AE has lens flares and I like them"
Posted: Mon, 26th Apr 2010, 11:32am

Post 18 of 50

RodyPolis

Force: 805 | Joined: 28th Apr 2007 | Posts: 1839

CompositeLab Lite User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

Gold Member

I'm not really disagreeing with you here, everthing you're saying is completely logical (yes the lens flares are out of nowhere and have no origin). It's just that it doesn't really bother me all that much (if at all).

And ya, these do look like the new Andrew Kramer AE lens flare pack.
Posted: Mon, 26th Apr 2010, 11:46am

Post 19 of 50

Serpent

Force: 5426 | Joined: 26th Dec 2003 | Posts: 6515

CompositeLab Pro User EffectsLab Pro User FXhome Movie Maker FXpreset Maker MacOS User

Gold Member

While a movie lens flare doesn't have to be completely accurate, different light sources give off completely different looking lens flares. It also depends on your lens. I guess you could look into those things if you were going for accuracy. Leads me to think that Abram's flashlight technique portrayed inaccurate flares. wink Only people who would really be able to tell are like, lens geeks and light physics geeks or something.

Only reason I say this is, if you are going to fake it in post, take that into consideration so you don't clearly use a flashlight flare on the sun or something. That might be a bit noticeable as sun flares are fairly distinct.
Posted: Mon, 26th Apr 2010, 11:56am

Post 20 of 50

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

spydurhank wrote:

You can't really sacrifice realism for cool and get away with it. smile
Most Hollywood blockbusters do this every year, to massive success.

See: Transformers 2.
Posted: Mon, 26th Apr 2010, 12:37pm

Post 21 of 50

Aculag

Force: 8365 | Joined: 21st Jun 2002 | Posts: 8581

EffectsLab Lite User VideoWrap User FXhome Movie Maker MacOS User

Gold Member

Tarn wrote:

See: Transformers 2.
To be fair, a film about robots from space that can turn into cars isn't really expected to be realistic. smile
Posted: Mon, 26th Apr 2010, 12:45pm

Post 22 of 50

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

No, but all films should still have their own internal logic (unless their very point is to not have any, which is risky). The question isn't whether something is realistic with regard to our world (which some call 'the real world'), but whether it is realistic within the context of that movie's world.

Hence robots turning into cars in a Transformers movie is completely realistic. Robots randomly emulating minority ethnic stereotypes, having giant dangling balls, getting superpowers by superglueing dead parts of their comrades to their own bodies and a robot heaven which humans can randomly visit sometimes too......those things are less realistic, even within the context of Transformers.

None of this has much to do with the clip in question, of course, I just wanted to point out that spydurhank's intiial assertion that you can't "get away with it" is clearly inaccurate. smile

The specific problems people have with the acting and lens flares in this test clip are caused by the lack of context. The full film might well explain the acting style, and might even explain the lens flares. But in this sample that we've been given, they seem incongruous.

On the other hand, I thought the clip was pretty cool, for a random test clip of explodey gun stuff.
Posted: Mon, 26th Apr 2010, 3:28pm

Post 23 of 50

spydurhank

Force: 1956 | Joined: 24th Jun 2008 | Posts: 1357

VisionLab User VideoWrap User FXpreset Maker Windows User FXhome Movie Maker

Gold Member

Yeah but Tarn... dude... come on man... everyone know how bad T2 was, it sucked pretty bad. biggrin The only thing which that movie got away with was that it sucked donkey balls. biggrin

Anyway, a blue lens flare in broad daylight coming from no where makes absolutely no sense at all. If one were to say that it maybe came from an emergancy vehicle... that may hold water but even then... the flare is static which kills that notion. confused So even though it may look cool, it completly stands out and kills the shot. Different light sources creat different flares... so what's the light source?
Only the OP knows. biggrin

In Star Trek the flares all came from a light source so even though I found them annoying as hell, they had a purpose or reason for being there that made sense. biggrin
Posted: Mon, 26th Apr 2010, 11:13pm

Post 24 of 50

Struker

Force: 870 | Joined: 28th Dec 2009 | Posts: 178

CompositeLab Pro User EffectsLab Pro User

Gold Member

spydurhank wrote:

You can't really sacrifice realism for cool and get away with it.
clap That should be the first thing they teach in every filmmaking course.

Tarn, while you're right that films are allowed to follow their own internal reality, the OP's film didn't specify any such reality, in which the physics of the natural world don't apply. Yet every other natural law seems to have been obeyed.

I think it's important to make that particular criticism of his film, even though it's only a test, because otherwise he'll go right on thinking it's okay to do that sort of thing in all his films.

Then we'll just have another guy making arty films that make no sense to anyone but him. blink
.

Last edited Mon, 26th Apr 2010, 11:28pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Mon, 26th Apr 2010, 11:28pm

Post 25 of 50

RodyPolis

Force: 805 | Joined: 28th Apr 2007 | Posts: 1839

CompositeLab Lite User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

Gold Member

It should be more like:

spydurhank wrote:

You can't really sacrifice realism for cool and get away with it unless it is REALLY cool and/or the target audience won't mind the surrealism.
biggrin

Now start praying I'm never in a position to teach a film course!
Posted: Mon, 26th Apr 2010, 11:33pm

Post 26 of 50

Struker

Force: 870 | Joined: 28th Dec 2009 | Posts: 178

CompositeLab Pro User EffectsLab Pro User

Gold Member

RodyPolis wrote:

I'm not really disagreeing with you here, everthing you're saying is completely logical ... It's just that it doesn't really bother me all that much (if at all).
But you're making your films for audiences to watch and enjoy, aren't you, Rody?
Posted: Tue, 27th Apr 2010, 12:13am

Post 27 of 50

RodyPolis

Force: 805 | Joined: 28th Apr 2007 | Posts: 1839

CompositeLab Lite User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

Gold Member

Well ya, but what I'm saying is us filmmakers should have the right to change the laws of physics a bit without people losing sleep over it. I don't mean to go extreme like having a regular guy fall from miles in the sky and hit the ground without dying (like Crank), but if I feel like putting a pointless lens flare in one of my shots then I'll put it and be happy with it.

I don't think anyone is going to walk out of a movie saying, "It was good, but there was one lens flare in there that didn't have a light source and that just ruined the whole movie for me."

Now again, I'm not saying it's right to just add whatever you want on a video/movie. I'm saying the director should be able to do this kind of stuff if he wants to. Take Live Free or Die Hard for example. If you saw one trailer/tv spot of that movie then you would know that if was going to be over the top big time. I watched it expecting it to be over the top, and you know what I got from it? A whole lot of over the top action scenes and you know what, I really like that movie and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Which goes to my point about the different target audiences being able to enjoy different types of movies.

And also, story always comes first in any movie so if my style of directing made someone hate a movie I made then they would've hated the movie anyways. Everyone I've asked love the Bourne movies and almost all of them also hates the 'shaky cam' in these movies. What matters to me is the story, the characters, and the overall fun-ness of a movie, not the lens flares that don't have origin points. I'm just not that picky wink
Posted: Tue, 27th Apr 2010, 1:50am

Post 28 of 50

Struker

Force: 870 | Joined: 28th Dec 2009 | Posts: 178

CompositeLab Pro User EffectsLab Pro User

Gold Member

RodyPolis wrote:

Well ya, but what I'm saying is us filmmakers should have the right to change the laws of physics a bit without people losing sleep over it ... but if I feel like putting a pointless lens flare in one of my shots then I'll put it and be happy with it.
Yeah, but what for? What would be the point?

I don't think anyone is going to walk out of a movie saying, "It was good, but there was one lens flare in there that didn't have a light source and that just ruined the whole movie for me."
You might be surprised at what audiences will notice. Sure, they'll tolerate it if the story is good enough, but why do that to them?

Now again, I'm not saying it's right to just add whatever you want on a video/movie. I'm saying the director should be able to do this kind of stuff if he wants to.
I think you're kinda contradicting yourself, there, Rody.

Which goes to my point about the different target audiences being able to enjoy different types of movies.
Undoubtedly. But nobody likes illogical movies. Even the most tolerant audience will call a movie "dumb" if it's illogical.

What matters to me is the story, the characters, and the overall fun-ness of a movie, not the lens flares that don't have origin points. I'm just not that picky wink
Just hope that your audiences are as easy to please, Rody! biggrin

Anyway, it's your choice. I'm not arguing with you, just saying.
.
Posted: Tue, 27th Apr 2010, 2:18am

Post 29 of 50

RodyPolis

Force: 805 | Joined: 28th Apr 2007 | Posts: 1839

CompositeLab Lite User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

Gold Member

One question since we're on that subject. In The Dark Knight, did it bother you when Batman jumped from 2 stories high on top of a moving van and crushes it like he weighed a ton? What about the fact that he landed perfectly on his feet and cause the van to stop moving? If it did bother you then my point failed. If it didn't then there you go, not everything needs to be logical.
Posted: Tue, 27th Apr 2010, 2:31am

Post 30 of 50

Struker

Force: 870 | Joined: 28th Dec 2009 | Posts: 178

CompositeLab Pro User EffectsLab Pro User

Gold Member

RodyPolis wrote:

One question since we're on that subject. In The Dark Knight, did it bother you when Batman jumped from 2 stories high on top of a moving van and crushes it like he weighed a ton? What about the fact that he landed perfectly on his feet and cause the van to stop moving? If it did bother you then my point failed. If it didn't then there you go, not everything needs to be logical.
Yeah, but there was a point in putting that in the movie. They needed to show that Batman was this ultra-powerful guy who could do pretty much anything. Nothing like the original comic character of course, but then, just like in all such franchises, they have to keep making the hero "bigger and better", or risk losing their audience.

So, yeah, it was idiotic and illogical and ridiculous, but it served a purpose. Wasn't just a whim of the Director. That's what I'm talking about, Rody.

.
Posted: Tue, 27th Apr 2010, 12:04pm

Post 31 of 50

Fxhome Dude

Force: 996 | Joined: 1st Jun 2009 | Posts: 927

CompositeLab Pro User FXpreset Maker FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

Gold Member

Rating: -1

Struker wrote:

I'm not arguing with you, just saying.
.
It's certainly doesn't look like that to me.
However, on topic. The short was well just too short. By the time my media buffered it and played it I missed it the first time around. Anyone can create something two seconds long with no obvious flaws.
EDIT; he we are debating in a hit and run post (a topic where the original author doesn't bother to respond to any questions or feedback)...
Posted: Tue, 27th Apr 2010, 3:29pm

Post 32 of 50

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

On the topic of over-used lens flares, check out this short:

THE RAVEN - 720 HD from THE RAVEN FILM on Vimeo.



It's otherwise very nifty, but the lens flares I found really distracting. And I'm someone that really liked the lens flares in Star Trek!

Edit: I noticed the VFX supervisor was one Aaron Burns. I wonder if it's the same Aaron Burns that's also known as cantaclaro: http://fxhome.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=33473
Posted: Tue, 27th Apr 2010, 4:21pm

Post 33 of 50

spydurhank

Force: 1956 | Joined: 24th Jun 2008 | Posts: 1357

VisionLab User VideoWrap User FXpreset Maker Windows User FXhome Movie Maker

Gold Member

Wow, that dude went super saiyan! eek
Posted: Tue, 27th Apr 2010, 11:56pm

Post 34 of 50

Struker

Force: 870 | Joined: 28th Dec 2009 | Posts: 178

CompositeLab Pro User EffectsLab Pro User

Gold Member

Why so Serious? wrote:

Struker wrote:

I'm not arguing with you, just saying.
.
It's certainly doesn't look like that to me.
Yeah, well, I'm trying to get a point across, and he keeps arguing with me... err. Yeah, I guess I am arguing, aren't I. smile

However, on topic. The short was well just too short. By the time my media buffered it and played it I missed it the first time around. Anyone can create something two seconds long with no obvious flaws.
Except for an impossible lens flare.... wink

EDIT; he we are debating in a hit and run post (a topic where the original author doesn't bother to respond to any questions or feedback)...
You're right, you know. Curses, sucked in again! redface

.
Posted: Wed, 28th Apr 2010, 12:33am

Post 35 of 50

mattio

Force: 1334 | Joined: 8th Nov 2004 | Posts: 438

FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

Gold Member

Hey again,
Thought I'd answer a few questions.

I understand completely what you mean about the emotionless thing, our task was to create a short (about 5mins long) with a sureal genre and we chose to have the characters face emotionless, it makes a lot more sense when you see the final film as it actually has a purpose. At first glance your right, it does seem a bit silly, a guy shooting a gun in a battle who looks like he's just sitting at home watching tv wink

To get the guy behind the bin was simple, we had 3 layers: Background, Foreground, Background Duplicate. The background duplicate was a simple mask around the bin and pasted on top.

The camera move was tracked inside of After Effects and the camera movement you see is all genuine.

As for the whole lens flare arguement I agree and disagree with some comments. It does seem out of place and odd, but that was what we were going for. The task we were given was to create something random which doesn't make a lot of sense (Video Installation is the title of the project). So we wanted to make things sureal and "unrealistic" as it were.

I don't want the lens flare to seem like I just put it in there to look cool. Although in the real world it wouldn't physically look right, our aim was to create something sureal and odd which is why I chose to place it in there for an added effect to this strange world that this character has been placed in. Your right though there should be a light source, at the moment i'm deciding whether to remove the lens flare or to keep it.

This was a shot I did in about just over an hour, preferabely I would have liked to have worked on this shot for maybe 2-3 hours perfecting it. Unfortunately to finish the whole project for the deadline I had to cut back my hours on certain shots. Fully realistic visual effects take time and precision, I just didn't have enough time to concentrate on this clip.

In other news I will hopefully be posting another clip from it shortly and the final project when I've finished it. This clip and others will make a lot more sense in the final film as to why the acting seems strange and the added lens flare.

Cheers,
Matt
Posted: Wed, 28th Apr 2010, 12:50am

Post 36 of 50

Aculag

Force: 8365 | Joined: 21st Jun 2002 | Posts: 8581

EffectsLab Lite User VideoWrap User FXhome Movie Maker MacOS User

Gold Member

Tarn wrote:

Edit: I noticed the VFX supervisor was one Aaron Burns. I wonder if it's the same Aaron Burns that's also known as cantaclaro: http://fxhome.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=33473
It is indeed! smile
Posted: Wed, 28th Apr 2010, 9:39pm

Post 37 of 50

Hybrid-Halo

Force: 9315 | Joined: 7th Feb 2003 | Posts: 3367

VisionLab User VideoWrap User PhotoKey 3 Pro User MuzzlePlug User PowerPlug User FXpreset Maker Windows User MacOS User

SuperUser

The camera move was tracked inside of After Effects and the camera movement you see is all genuine.
To be nit picky, no it's not. After Effects only has 2D trackers - so all your tracking is limited to two dimensions. Genuine camera moves are 3D and are more award of parallax in Z space. I get what you're saying though.

And whilst I'm picking nits, The kickback on the gun isn't quite convincing, partly because for the first part of the shot the top of the pistol is transparent - you can clearly see the ground through it. Fix it!

Lens Flares, they can be cool when they're used correctly, but in daylight without any light source is a little bit dodgy. If using lens flares is a style choice, film the footage with that in mind rather than throwing them on later and you'll benefit from authenticity a little more.

Also;

-The background actor is also more out of focus than the objects behind him.
-The foreground characters edges are really soft/too blurred
-fire doesn't quite sit in.
-The bottom right foreground smoke is also doing weird things when it crosses the actor, Smoke doesn't do that in real life, so try using the smoke to stencil out a solid and lay the solid over without any blending modes and fiddle with its opacity to create a more realistic look.
-top of foreground characters head goes see through at the end of the shot.
-The River, pidgeons, traffic and girl in far right background are completely static.
-Feels like it's missing any film grain/noise.

This is still some of the more comprehensive pieces of VFX work these forums see so I hope you don't take my criticisms as a negative and give them some consideration in your future projects. If anything, the quality is what spurred my in-depth and perhaps slightly over the top critique.

-Matt
Posted: Wed, 28th Apr 2010, 11:00pm

Post 38 of 50

Atom

Force: 4300 | Joined: 9th May 2004 | Posts: 7014

EffectsLab Lite User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

Gold Member

Sollthar wrote:

So JJ Abrams do it and everyone is happy
Actually, I hated the lens flares in Star Trek. But still, the lens flares had a point of origin in that movie. Namely, lots of bright neon lights placed all over the ship's design. (How ridicolous that is on it's own right doesn't really matter, since I could visiually see the origins of the light flares.)
Shut it. Shut your mouth. Those flares we great. (And ALL real chromatic aberration/lens artifacting- even the bluescreen shots had a film background plate!)

You will hate hate hate our next movie, Solly. I mean, whoa: it's lens flare city. wink

I'm not even gonna touch the few T2 references, best stay outta those. Although I will say this for lens flares: Both parties have completely valid and truthful points, and I think people are discounting Rody's assertion that filmmakers do sometimes say 'hey, this would look cool!' and get away with it- as they should because, well, there's nothing wrong with things being in a film for the sake of looking cool. (See: Anything in The Matrix, countless other movies.)

Is it better if there's some justification and a 'cool-factor' element isn't completely out-of-place? Yes, of course. But it's hardly necessary- or even standard practice. In fact, a lot of 'cool' things are completely preposterous. But lens flares is an easier gamble for one reason:

They're based on real-life occurrences, and occurrences that almost always necessitate light moving a certain way and darkness in certain areas of frame. Hence we get the 'WTF?' moments when we see lens flares everywhere in full midnight blue color in broad sunlight red daylight in music videos (or in this case, this awkward-as-hell-looking fxtest/shot).

Now I won't knock the enthusiasm or use- I myself am quite partial to lens flares and as we've upgraded/continue to upgrade our equipment and shoot more at night and around appropriate locations (and genres) I find myself trying to incorporate more in-camera lens flares JJ Abrams' style; and I'm not opposed to buying Videocopilot's Optical Flare package either.

I'll overuse the hell out of it, probably. (The same way I do my Designer Sound FX. wink) But I'm still wary that it can't be used everywhere and that lens flares, like all things for the sake of style and finesse in filmmaking, have to be used properly and in moderation. The same reason you don't have a movie entirely done on dollies: It would be silly and ridiculous way past the point where it would be considered 'cool'. wink

And that's that.
Posted: Wed, 28th Apr 2010, 11:59pm

Post 39 of 50

Pooky

Force: 4834 | Joined: 8th Jul 2003 | Posts: 5913

EffectsLab Lite User Windows User MacOS User FXhome Movie Maker

Gold Member

*Insert Sollthar post about how this is a matter of opinion*
Posted: Thu, 29th Apr 2010, 1:21am

Post 40 of 50

spydurhank

Force: 1956 | Joined: 24th Jun 2008 | Posts: 1357

VisionLab User VideoWrap User FXpreset Maker Windows User FXhome Movie Maker

Gold Member

Well, he can use them if he wants since he explained what the shot was about, actually he can use them no matter what, it's his choice. biggrin
No one was really saying otherwise, rather that the flare really stands out to most of us... it's just common sense and I can see a ton of over use coming from a lot of people in the near future.

On that note I've started watching Fringe on Hulu and they do the same thing. They have very strange looking and colored flares in broad daylight and a bunch that don't make any sense, even in some darker scenes with low light. Flares just pop up from no where. confused

It is really destracting and annoying. Instead of having my head on the show I think... what the hell was that all about and I have to rewind to catch what I missed. Again... I think everyone and their grandmother will be doing this just because they think it looks cool. There's nothing wrong with that of course. biggrin Folks do follow trends after all.
Posted: Thu, 29th Apr 2010, 1:23am

Post 41 of 50

Aculag

Force: 8365 | Joined: 21st Jun 2002 | Posts: 8581

EffectsLab Lite User VideoWrap User FXhome Movie Maker MacOS User

Gold Member

What stands out most to me is the fact that the guy points his gun in different directions, but never moves his eyes.
Posted: Thu, 29th Apr 2010, 2:37am

Post 42 of 50

Struker

Force: 870 | Joined: 28th Dec 2009 | Posts: 178

CompositeLab Pro User EffectsLab Pro User

Gold Member

spydurhank wrote:

Well, he can use them if he wants since he explained what the shot was about, actually he can use them no matter what, it's his choice. biggrin
Yes, he's got a perfect right to make a bad choice.. wink

I think you're right about it being a trend, Spydurhank. Although I'd call it more a "fad" than anything else. It will no doubt go the way of the "freeze frame" at the end of the movie, or the "fast/slow" gimmick that was so popular not so long ago.

My feeling about "cool" effects is that you shouldn't overuse them if you want some day to be known as "So-and-so, the respected director".
Posted: Thu, 29th Apr 2010, 4:50am

Post 43 of 50

ben3308

Force: 5210 | Joined: 24th May 2004 | Posts: 6433

VideoWrap User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

Gold Member

Lens flares have been used, abundantly at that, for 50+ years. I don't think they're going anywhere - excessive flares may be a fad, but that doesn't mean they won't be used, even outside of moderation. I mean, how many years ago was Die Hard? And how many flares were in that.......oh, right, too many to count.
Posted: Thu, 29th Apr 2010, 7:33am

Post 44 of 50

spydurhank

Force: 1956 | Joined: 24th Jun 2008 | Posts: 1357

VisionLab User VideoWrap User FXpreset Maker Windows User FXhome Movie Maker

Gold Member

What!? Flares have been around longer than that buddy. You can't count that low? biggrin Lens Flares have been around since the first time that someone aimed a lens "piece of glass" towards a light source. wink

That doesn't make it "cool" for just anyone to make an excuse for someone else to make it... or seem "cool" to over use it.

Crap is still crap no matter who says otherwise! wink
We're talking about post visual effects right!?

Wether I take a dump now or later... it's still gonna smell like aaass! So wether I shoot an in camera flare or add it in post... if it doesn't make sense, it's still gonna look like a bunch of crap no matter what anyone says if there's no light source and it doesn't match the background.
So if you want to over use something... maybe you should recycle your own crap because that's what it seems like you're in to. biggrin
Posted: Thu, 29th Apr 2010, 9:38am

Post 45 of 50

rogolo

Force: 5436 | Joined: 29th May 2005 | Posts: 1513

VisionLab User VideoWrap User PhotoKey 4 User MacOS User

Gold Member

spydurhank wrote:

What!? Flares have been around longer than that buddy. You can't count that low? biggrin Lens Flares have been around since the first time that someone aimed a lens "piece of glass" towards a light source. wink
Sure, they've been around for a bit, but they were originally avoided at all costs. They were seen as a mistake in filmmaking, and a prominent lens flare would "ruin" a shot and force an additional take. The first popular films to use excessive lens flares purposefully and effectively were Cool Hand Luke in '67 and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in '69 (both shot by Conrad L Hall). Those two films are still prime examples of using lens flares to build atmosphere, rather than simply exploit them as offhand "sweeteners".

And while we're on the subject of lens flares, I happened upon this video. Take from that what you will.
Posted: Thu, 29th Apr 2010, 9:59am

Post 46 of 50

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

Heh, there's an amusing number of 'old Star Trek with lens flares addded' videos on YouTube.

Anyway - best use of lens flares in a movie? Apocalypse Now, by a looooong way.

Andrew Kramer does seem to be propellling a lens flare obsession at the moment, and I imagine it's no coincidence that he's involved with both Star Trek and Fringe. Even his latest tutorial has a couple of random lens flares:

http://www.videocopilotdata.net/videos/ledge.mov

This reminds me a little bit of computer games in the late-90s, when they figured out how to simulate lens flares in 3D engines, and suddenly ALL computer games had to have lens flares, even if it made no sense whatsoever.
Posted: Thu, 29th Apr 2010, 10:09am

Post 47 of 50

ben3308

Force: 5210 | Joined: 24th May 2004 | Posts: 6433

VideoWrap User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

Gold Member

I think, as I mentioned earlier, that while Conrad Hall's filmmaking used lens flares, it was still a result of anamorphic lenses - using a burden to become a positive. I think it was Die Hard (yes, I know, that's relatively recent) that solified, for me at least, using wide anamorphic lenses with multiple, exposed lights varying in intensity/temperature to create this look of omnipresent, natural flares.

Also, a movie recently to use them intentionally for the actual narrative is Punch Drunk Love - but a lot of those were added in post, whereas J.J. Abrams contends that his flares were a natural result of real light-on-film 35mm filmmaking.
Posted: Thu, 29th Apr 2010, 12:00pm

Post 48 of 50

Toruk Macto

Force: 55 | Joined: 21st Jan 2010 | Posts: 201

Member

THE RAVEN was okay I guess, but yeah, I think he added a whole lot of fake lens flare. (ok ok, i admit it, just trying out my new name biggrin )

Cheers,

SWATm16, FKA CompositeCloneOfMax
Posted: Thu, 29th Apr 2010, 2:23pm

Post 49 of 50

Fxhome Dude

Force: 996 | Joined: 1st Jun 2009 | Posts: 927

CompositeLab Pro User FXpreset Maker FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

Gold Member

About the short I thought the lens flare worked beautifully. It seemed to be coming from an emergency vehicle somewhere else and actually sold me on the environment quite nicely.
Posted: Thu, 29th Apr 2010, 4:58pm

Post 50 of 50

Hybrid-Halo

Force: 9315 | Joined: 7th Feb 2003 | Posts: 3367

VisionLab User VideoWrap User PhotoKey 3 Pro User MuzzlePlug User PowerPlug User FXpreset Maker Windows User MacOS User

SuperUser

ben3308 wrote:

I think, as I mentioned earlier, that while Conrad Hall's filmmaking used lens flares, it was still a result of anamorphic lenses - using a burden to become a positive.
Yes! Anamorphic lenses create the long horizontal streak lens flares which often look absolutely awesome. And now, non anamorphic footage gets ananmorphic flares thrown over it all the time. Noooo! No No No!.