Bat Flying Effect
Posted: Sat, 5th Jun 2010, 6:18pm
Post 1 of 38
I need a bat effect for a vampire movie I am starting, and was wondering how I could achieve this. I do not have any animation or 3d rendering software, and have thought about using the neon light engine to automatically draw it's wings flapping. I just need a bat flapping its wings. Scarier the better, but I will make due with mostly anything. I already know how my character morphs into it. A smoke explosion with happen, and then a bat will appear when the smoke goes away. All I need to know is how I can make a bat, and how this will be achieved. If you have made this effect please help. This is my first forum post and was wondering how I could make it. Please and thanks! If you have any other ideas on how to make the character morph as well would be cool, but a bat is in first priority here.
Posted: Sun, 6th Jun 2010, 9:20am
Post 2 of 38
It is not easy, but there is a solution
You can make an animation with a plush bat and a green screen.
Attach body and wings with fishing wire, it will make a puppet.
Get over your green screen and you move like a puppet pourrezainsi the bat before the camera.
Posted: Sun, 6th Jun 2010, 1:19pm
Post 3 of 38
I only have effectslab...is there a way to do this but cut the individual bat out digitally and make an alamdv2 plugin? How would I do this, how would I make an Alamdv2 plugin?
Posted: Sun, 6th Jun 2010, 2:27pm
Post 4 of 38
I'm working on your problem.
Posted: Sun, 6th Jun 2010, 5:26pm
Post 5 of 38
Thank you very much! You are very helpful, since this is my first time posting a question on the forums, even though I have had this program for a couple of months. Thanks for being of assistance.
Posted: Sun, 6th Jun 2010, 6:15pm
Post 6 of 38
How are you achieving this effect? What are you doing to make it? Thanks so much!
Posted: Sun, 6th Jun 2010, 7:00pm
Post 7 of 38
I pm'd you last night. Did you get the message?
Posted: Sun, 6th Jun 2010, 8:13pm
Post 8 of 38
Yes in fact I did get the message so it does work to pm me! So if you have any ideas let me know.
Posted: Sun, 6th Jun 2010, 9:42pm
Post 9 of 38
2xZProductions wrote:Yes in fact I did get the message so it does work to pm me! So if you have any ideas let me know.
Alright... I just tried to pm you again but got the same error so here are some questions for you.
I can do this but it would be in 2D. I just need some detailed info from you concerning the shot. I don't see any realistic way for you to do this in Effectslab, you're going to need someone to do it for you in post after you shoot your footage.
1. Camera angle and light source.
2. Is the camera moving or static?
3. Does the actors clothes rip when he morphs or does it morph with him?
4. Does the actor morph into a small or man sized bat?
5. Which direction does the bat fly after it's initial transformation?
6. Do you have a clean back plate?
7. Does the shot involve any sky replacement or matte paintings?
8. Does the shot utilize a green screen?
9. I would need to see the quality of your video, could you provide an
example clip with your actor in it and also a clean backplate?
Let me know what you think.
Posted: Thu, 10th Jun 2010, 8:33pm
Post 10 of 38
2. The camera will probably in most cases by static, as I am a tripod filmer all the way.
3. There will be a smoke poof when the actor transforms, and a bat will appear when the smoke clears (very simple).
4. Either one is fine with me. A man bat might be cooler, and a small bat may be easier to place, but whichever one is fine. I am very flexable.
5. It can fly wherever, it really doesn't matter to me. I will need to have it for multiple scenes, and the shot will usually be right in front of the transifguring actor or actress.
6. Yes I do, and will for the shot.
8. No it will not, I do not have any software available for green screen usage or minipulation.
9. Footage Quality is high: 1920 x 1080 20x zoom. High Quality.
Posted: Thu, 10th Jun 2010, 11:42pm
Post 11 of 38
Right on man.
Good answers. Can you post a clip once you're done shooting?
I have some ideas on how to do this already, just need the footage.
Posted: Fri, 11th Jun 2010, 8:22am
Post 12 of 38
Let us a video.
Then we can help you.
There are numerous possibilities, but we need clips to examine the scene.
There are a lot of important details.
Posted: Sat, 12th Jun 2010, 4:22am
Post 13 of 38
I have various and multiple scenes in which there will be vampires shifting into a bat flying formation. I would like this to turn out as good as possible, and haven't finished shooting. I can provide a clip though of what raw footage or what kind of footage will be used. This was filmed from my laptop camera, and I am away from my HD Samsung Camcorder at the moment, so I can't give you a full quality version of my footage quality in the real movie. I have no footage available for access, I would give you it if possible, and I am so sorry! Here is a clip that I will use on Youtube™ which you can download from http://www.keepvid.comhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxS_2v5Zzxw
This is my friend in the video.
Posted: Sun, 13th Jun 2010, 4:52pm
Post 14 of 38
1- You should equal adjust colors on your video to add some Atmospheric dismal.
2- I can try to make your bat on the video, I've been using 3D programs. So you can try to send me your video.
Posted: Sun, 13th Jun 2010, 9:40pm
Post 15 of 38
Oh yeah, I know. I shot that video straight from a camera, and didn't edit it. Once you make the 3d bat, could you export it to be a plugin? That way I could use it in multiple shots? So you want me to send you the video...?
Posted: Tue, 15th Jun 2010, 2:11am
Post 16 of 38
Could someone please help me with this post?!?!?!?!
Posted: Tue, 15th Jun 2010, 7:09pm
Post 17 of 38
I would honestly try to find a way to find a very realistic fake bat, or even a stuffed real bat (this would be better, not sure how much a real bat would cost). A stuffed bat with creative puppeteering could look AMAZING if done right. You could try it on your set, or composite it in later if you shot on greenscreen. This is the only practical way I can think of doing it. Anything digital will look silly, probably even at the Hollywood level.
Go for big sweeping flaps as the bat is brought quickly toward the camera. What other kind of shots are you going to need this for? For a transformation shot, a puppet is plausible, but if this bat becomes a prominent character or something you'll probably have to find a different approach or write it differently (unless you want it to be a comedy, then a puppet might serve you well).
I find that it's always best to use something that is real, even if it's stock of something real with some compositing. Most people can identify something that's purely digital at this budget range, and it only works for certain shots and it has to be done perfectly with a lot of skill, training, and work.
Again, "I need a bat for this one shot" and "I need a bat to show up in 50% of the shots in a 20 minute short" are VERY different, be specific.
Keep in mind, you can always puppet a bat in sections: cover his wings in green or cut them off or something, then separately shoot the wings flapping. This might give you more control. Like you could attach the end of his wing to a clamp on a vertical pole, and shake it really fast back and forth, doing the left wing first, then the right wing, then the body (maybe just have the mouth open and legs raise up or something). Think in layers and be creative. Build some knowledge of compositing and what's possible. http://videocopilot.net
has a ton of great tutorials and the concepts in every tutorial will help you to understand how to shoot for visual effects and what the low budget artist is capable of.
This is the best I could do for your PM request, I hope that helped, let me know if you have any other questions.
Posted: Tue, 15th Jun 2010, 7:50pm
Post 18 of 38
Well, I found this video.... would it be too cartoon like?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdbjlszazOk
What about this? Wouldn't this work fairly well, with correct compositing and some blur? I would like to know your opinions.
Yes I will need the bat in about 1/3 (33%) of the movie. It is based on vampires, and even though the bats don't do much, its very important that I do this correctly.
Posted: Tue, 15th Jun 2010, 8:34pm
Post 19 of 38
Whether it will be too cartoony is entirely up to you, as its your project. That particular effect will force a comical atmosphere into any scene it is used in, because the effect is so unrealistic. And even if you altered textures on that model and rendered it more realistically, the compositing would still be critical on whether the effect came off well. An excellent animated model can still be composited badly, or rendered with the wrong light, so it doesn't fit into the scene.
A physical model on set, as Serpent mentioned, will definitely be the easiest way to get the effect convincingly, especially if the effect has to be used that much. If you use a digital effect, you will need dozens of different rendered shots, you can't just find a good shot of a bat such as the one you liked, and use it over and over, or it will be obvious.
Posted: Tue, 15th Jun 2010, 10:37pm
Post 20 of 38
Well, OK, but I was wondering, if I use this effect, what can I do to make it more convincing (IF USING THE CLIP IN THE ARTICLE ABOVE).http://www.youtube.com/tmcthree#p/u/13/PdbjlszazOk
And how can I make it so the audience is really quite awed with it, since I will be showing it only to parents of kids from an age range of 5-13 year old kids. They thought impressive a meteor crashing into an open field with an explosion, which didn't even leave any residue or mark after the explosion cleared.
What I'm trying to say is that what can I do to make it blend into the background more, or how can I film the actual shot so it can be more convincing. Such as maybe camera shake or artificial camera shake, or maybe a fog, or even such as not having the bats in for so long.
Another thing I wanted to know is if you guys had an idea about the initial transformation. My plans that I have for them to transform is the actor jumps and puts their hands out as wings, and a smoke poof emits, and when it clears, there's a bat. This is pretty cool I thought, if it turns out correctly. Is their another idea on how it transforms, because I don't really have an idea how to make a smooth transition into a bat with the actor without actually covering him/her, and then having a clean plate, even though I will need that clean plate regardless.
Thanks for the help, and again, I NEED MORE! Haha, not trying to be a total idiot, but I am stressing out...I guess for no reason.
Posted: Wed, 16th Jun 2010, 8:51am
Post 21 of 38
If you use this effect, you can make it more convincing by reducing its size. But the simplest thing would really use a puppet or a stuffed animal on the scene of the shooting. With little light for the bat, the effect will be even more realistic.
Posted: Wed, 16th Jun 2010, 8:16pm
Post 22 of 38
Is there mere things that I can do to make shots look better, if not using this effect. The one from above.
Posted: Wed, 16th Jun 2010, 9:02pm
Post 23 of 38
One of the best ways to 'sell' an effect that is used repeatedly throughout a film is to use different techniques for different shots, depending on the needs of the scene. As an example, the size of the hobbits in Lord of the Rings was achieved using forced perspective, small stand-ins for the hobbits, large stand-ins for the normal sized humans, or greenscreen compositing, depending on the scene. Mixing up the techniques you use prevents the audience from catching on to how the effect is done, in theory anyway.
With no-budget productions, it is crucial to find the balance between what you want the effect to look like, and what is realistically possible for you. Which isn't to say that you shouldn't aim at creating great effects, but that sometimes altering the scene is the best way to get it to work. The imagination of your audience is far better than your special effects skills, so using subtle implications of what is going on, and leaving the rest to their imagination, is very often more effective than showing them exactly what is happening.
I'm getting the sense that you are opposed to the idea of using a puppet or prop bat for these scenes, which is definitely going to be the quickest, easiest, and most realistic way of achieving the effect. Is there any particular reason you want to stick with the CG method?
Posted: Wed, 16th Jun 2010, 9:21pm
Post 24 of 38
To Axemen, Serpent, and moranatol (Puppet ideas):
Because I do not have a greenscreen, I have never used a puppet, I have something in my mind telling me that a puppet won't look good. I understand a few points of this though. You can use it fron ANY angle, which is awesome. I don't know however how realistic it would look and how would I shoot it.
Another thing I wonder is how I would make it move, without seeing the wires or strings...
I want the audience to go, "Wow, those bats looked awesome."
After viewing the film.
I am more used to everything CG, so that probably why I am more leaning toward wanting to do a CG based bat, and I know, without a budget (or a small one), I am not going to get the Hollywood animation that I am looking for, and for some reason I think that the puppet you guys are referring to, is like a stuffed cuddly animal, which in my heart somewhere I know isn't true.
I check this post every hour on the hour (it seems) and am looking so hard for a good bat. The one I have looked at is decent, not incredible whatsoever, and the orange bat doesn't look realistic at all.
I know you guys are the ones who know what they are talking about, and I know I should listen, but part of me is saying that the CG will look better.
Spydurhank was working on one, but I don't want to be a burden on anyone to find out how to make this effect. I may try to find a puppet bat (if anyone could find one awesome) and maybe I'll try it.
If you have anything that you think may perhaps possibly persuade me, than please give me some form of evidence if you have any.
I bet part of the problem was seeing Avatar.
Haha, even may I say it. The animation there was so depth and real, (especially in 3d!) and I bet I probably think that I am going to get something like that.
Well, ah, I must have took up a long time writing this, but alas, I REALLY WANT this effect.
How would you use the strings or wires anywhoo?!?
Thanks for all who have commented, and please help me more (man do I sound demanding)...
Posted: Wed, 16th Jun 2010, 9:32pm
Post 25 of 38
I wouldn't greenscreen the bat, if you can avoid it. Film the actual bat on the actual set, then you know the lighting will be correct, and the compositing will be flawless, since there isn't any.
I googled "realistic bat" and immediately came up with a variety of options that were fairly inexpensive. Some of them had flapping wings, which would make that part of the puppeteering easier. A search for 'realistic at puppet' similarly brought up some good options.
If you want to go the CG route, then you need to get yourself a computer animation program and learn to use it. To get good results from CG, then every scene needs to be animated and rendered specifically to fit into the background plate it is intended for; just dropping in stock footage of a cg bat isn't going to work nearly as well.
Some stock footage of actual bats, on the other hand, might be a workable option. Have a look at istockphoto or some of the other stock sites out there and see what you can find.
Posted: Wed, 16th Jun 2010, 10:05pm
Post 26 of 38
THANKS, but...How would I use the wires, and stuff. I feel so stupid about this...Could you help me?
Posted: Wed, 16th Jun 2010, 10:15pm
Post 27 of 38
This looks cool, but I don't know how reliable the website looks.
And also, I was wondering if someone could make this a plugin...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAHUMaaYy9o&feature=related
Images between: 00:19-00:23
I mean just cut out the bat...
Is this even POSSIBLE?
Posted: Wed, 16th Jun 2010, 11:24pm
Post 28 of 38
Technically it is possible, yes, but definitely not the best way to go about it. Do you understand that plug-ins (I assume you are referring to the AlamDV plug-ins) are just a bit of stock footage in an outdated architecture that is no longer useable in any software? To use plug-ins in VisionLab, you have to extract the stock footage out of the plug-in anyway, so why not just go for the stock footage to begin with?
Also, cutting out just the bat involved a LOT of time, laboriously masking out the bat in each frame to create an alpha mask to separate it from the background. Its just as easy for you to do this yourself as it is for anyone else to do it, but wouldn't it make more sense to contact the guy who animated it in the first place? Since you have to get his permission to use it anyway, (I assume you weren't just going to steal his work) and see if he is interested in rendering out a few shots for you, to fit the scenes you have going on?
Posted: Wed, 16th Jun 2010, 11:27pm
Post 29 of 38
You make a valid point. When you stay stock footage, are the clips already keyed out and such...? Thanks Axemen, for being a great help.
Posted: Thu, 17th Jun 2010, 4:13am
Post 30 of 38
Posted: Thu, 17th Jun 2010, 4:40am
Post 31 of 38
Well, you can use fishing line, but there is a chance that it could give off a bit of shine, depending on the lighting. In most cases it can work ok though. The other option is invisible thread, which can be had at any magic/novelty shop, and is pretty darn hard to see. Then you need some sort of bar of framework above the scene, for the line to hang from, and you run the line op from the bat to the framework, and along the framework until it is off camera, and then down to where the operator can hang onto the other end. Depending on the specific scene, the camera angle, and what you need the bat to do, there may be more involved, but that's the basic setup.
If you need it to fly around more erratically, you could attach it to an actual fishing pole, or something similar, instead of a framework, and then just wave it about as its flying, keeping the pole out of frame of course.
Posted: Thu, 17th Jun 2010, 1:01pm
Post 32 of 38
Thank you very much! I am glad that you have helped me through this!
Posted: Thu, 17th Jun 2010, 5:08pm
Post 33 of 38
I do not know if I am going to use this bat though....
Posted: Thu, 17th Jun 2010, 11:56pm
Post 34 of 38
So it took forever but I finally uploaded 3 presets but it'll take at least a week for it to be approved or disapproved.
1 is a bat just hovering. 1 is a bat flying to it's left and 1 flying to it's right.
I used a picture I found and rendered a bunch of images of the same bat but I warped it's wings and legs a little in each image using the iwarp filter in gimp. Also added a bit of rotation to it's body to simulate movement. It's not perfect but it looks pretty good for the most part. You'll have to do some grading so it matches your scene, maybe even some motion blur.
Posted: Fri, 18th Jun 2010, 3:58am
Post 35 of 38
HAHAHAHAHH! Thanks so much! I am forever grateful spydur! Gosh this means the world! Oh I can't wait for these to be uploaded! Thanks!!!!!!
*takes a chill pill* *relaxes*
Oh, now I'm good!
Thanks again spydur!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted: Fri, 18th Jun 2010, 4:50am
Post 36 of 38
No problem but don't forget... they need to be approved first.
Posted: Fri, 18th Jun 2010, 10:08am
Post 37 of 38
Stock footage can have alpha channels, yes. The term "plugin" does not refer to stock footage to very many people, just the handful on here who were around 4+ years ago.
I doubt there is any alpha stock footage of a real bat, maybe a cg bat, but a free one is probably not very good looking. I would consider using something like this and masking/keying the bat out:http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-video-9016966-single-bat-tracked-shots-flying-fox.php
And for other scenes:http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-video-7286874-bat-in-white.phphttp://www.istockphoto.com/stock-video-7285455-bat-butt.php
But still consider doing a physical effect for the smoke vampire reveal, you could have a realistic bat come at the camera really fast, music rises up, cut to black. The audience wouldn't see details in the puppet or the animation, and you could use post effects to intensify it and hide any abnormalities (mess with the speed of the clip too). For other more distant shots use this kind of thing (tripod stock footage) for extreme realism, and you'll be mixing methods like Axeman suggested, which will help the illusion that the bats are consistent and always real looking and tangible:http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-video-8166261-bats-flying-foxes-at-dusk.php
(just search iStockPhoto for "bats" and more will come up. These are keyable, or at the very least maskable).
Spydur: what kind of preset is it? Have presets changed to cover something other than the generators, or is this a particle effect or something?
Posted: Fri, 18th Jun 2010, 10:30am
Post 38 of 38
It's a particle preset. I've never submitted a preset before so I hope I did it correctly. I placed the bat images in my V.L. texture folder, created the preset and then submitted it.
It's based on this tut.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pslMfTBFAEY
Not knocking anyone but, I've seen several posts with folks complaining about the Lab products particle engine, like it's not good enough or to limited. This really irks me because the guys that are complaining... they could stand to use their imagination a bit more and think of ways to use what they have on hand. It's not hard, it's what I do and what I try to teach to others. Any way, if it's accepted... check it out. I bet you've never seen anything like it come out of V.L's particle engine.