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Digital Compositing and Effects
After Effects, Shake and everything else.


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Old June 22nd, 2006, 10:32 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Smet
...With more and more indy producers trying out sci-fi it would be great to have a forum on effects from other indies point of view....
Another note is that the vast majority of effects we see (or better still DON'T see ;) ) are "invisible" effects added to non-scifi subjects.

Set extensions, day-for-night, cg props and animations, etc.
Seabiscuit, for example, had something like 240 effects shots.
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Old June 22nd, 2006, 10:34 AM   #32
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Right now, just Photoshop. I've got a Decklink HD pro card on the way, it might have something. I also have Premiere 2 on the way. Other than that, I do have an older Boris Graffitti that came with my DV Storm. I used to have a decent 3D program, but it really freaked out when I moved up from my AMD 1800+, and refuses to work. (When I upgraded again, I gave the 2800 out of my machine to my wife, and took the 1800 back from her's, so that I can build a low end PC, just for my 3D app ;)
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Old June 22nd, 2006, 10:36 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Forman
Right now, just Photoshop. I've got a Decklink HD pro card on the way, it might have something. I also have Premiere 2 on the way. Other than that, I do have an older Boris Graffitti that came with my DV Storm. I used to have a decent 3D program, but it really freaked out when I moved up from my AMD 1800+, and refuses to work. (When I upgraded again, I gave the 2800 out of my machine to my wife, and took the 1800 back from her's, so that I can build a low end PC, just for my 3D app ;)
And what kind of effects would you like to be able to create?

With Photoshop and Premiere you already have a fantastic setup capable of doing AMAZING digital matte work.
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Old June 22nd, 2006, 10:41 AM   #34
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Keying should be simple enough with Premiere. However, it has never been well known for titling, particle effects, or those really cool streaming lights effects, like in the movie titles and commercials.

If I can ever get Infini-D 3D to work for me, I'd like to work on 3D compositing.
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Old June 22nd, 2006, 10:53 AM   #35
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It's been a long time since I used Premiere, but what I remember (and still hear from users) the keying functionality was actually very .... mmmm ... sub-par.

The lowest priced keying and particle/lighting effects tools I know of are from a place in the UK called FXHome.

FWIW: I don't own or use these products, and am not affiliated with FXHome in any way other than reading their forums from time to time. They do seem to have an enthusiastic and happy (though generally young) user base.

They have a tools called Compositing Lab (for ... uh .... compositing ;) ) and Effects Lab for the particle/lighting effects.
"Lite" versions are around $100 depending on exchange rates, but even their "Pro" versions are around $160.

http://fxhome.com/products/products-the-family.html

Hope this helps.

PS: For 3D .... take a look at Blender from Blender.org
http://blender.org/cms/Home.2.0.html
It's a very powerful, full featured and FREE 3D modelling and animation tool, though the learning curve can be a challenge.
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Old June 22nd, 2006, 11:15 AM   #36
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I tried Blender at one time, and didn't find it very intuitive. I also tried Caligari which was free, but it was just pretty useless. That doesn't stop them from spamming me every 3 days though.

I also appreciate the links, but would rather have personal recommendations based on usability.
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Old June 22nd, 2006, 01:01 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Forman
I also appreciate the links, but would rather have personal recommendations based on usability.
Well, the FXHome stuff has free demo downloads, so you can try them out yourself .... doesn't get more personal than that. :D
I use Shake on the Mac and AE on PC, so just never bothered to look into these apps directly.

For Easy & 3D combined, I'd personally suggest Bryce from Daz3D.com
This was my first 3D app, and having since worked with XSI, Maya, C4D, Electric Image and a host of other tools, I still think Bryce is hands down the easiest to learn. Bryce 5 (the version I still have and use) is only about $60. The latest version is around $100.

http://bryce.daz3d.com
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Last edited by Nick Jushchyshyn; June 22nd, 2006 at 02:43 PM.
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Old June 22nd, 2006, 01:31 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Jushchyshyn
For Easy & 3D combined, I'd personally suggest Bryce from Daz3D.com
This was my first 3D app, and having since worked with XSI, Maya, C4D, Electric Image and a host of other tools, I still think Bryce is hands down the easiest to learn. Bryce 5 (the version I still have an use) is only about $60. The latest version is around $100.
I agree. I started with Bryce 5.5 and then moved on to Blender (hey, it's free) and Vue 5 Infinite. I've used Shake before but with the recent amazing price cut, I just bought my own copy of Shake 4.1, the Universal Binary version.

Blender is difficult to get used to but there is a very welcoming and supportive community of users that helped to ease the pain. DAZ recently bought Eovia which makes Hexagon and Carrara--both powerful, but relatively cheap, 3D modeling applications.

Vue 5 Infinite: http://www.e-onsoftware.com/products...ue_5_infinite/
Carrara: http://www.eovia.com/products/carrara5/carrara.asp
Hexagon: http://www.eovia.com/products/hexagon/hexagon2.asp
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Old June 22nd, 2006, 01:31 PM   #39
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I've also tried Blender and found it hard to use. Well, too lazy to play and figure out Blender, that is.

I don't use Ulead products at all and seem to be mentioning them too often, of late. But, they have a product called Cool3D which you can use for animation and VideoGraphicsLab for Vector Graphics and Rotoscoping.

Than there's the product called Animation Master. It's from Hash, Inc., located in Vancouver, WA. The product seems to get great reviews and the price is cheap. A guy who created a animition short of a coffee bean asassin, with the program worked on Matrix due to it. Link: www.hash.com

Me, I'd like to learn more on using After Effects.
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Old June 22nd, 2006, 03:59 PM   #40
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ill be teaching an after effects class in the near future
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Old June 22nd, 2006, 04:39 PM   #41
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Hey John- I think Riley just offered to teach you :)

I wouldn't mind learning After Effects, or even shake. But, I don't want to learn shake bad enough to go back to Mac. I sort of "found" a copy of AE4, and messed around a little. But it's curve was way higher than Premiere's, so I stuck with what I knew.
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Old June 22nd, 2006, 05:43 PM   #42
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Getting past the learning curve to get a lot of the basics isn't that hard. Use Total Training on the high end, or pick up a copy of the book I am currently editing.... More on that later. Just know that a step-by-step book is a very effective way to learn for most people. Use Lynda.com or VTC/com to get the basics for $25 or $30 per month. If you plan ahead, you can learn quite a few products in the same month all for that one fee.

Getting into the heavy details? Understanding Chris and Trish Meyer? Ah, well, that is a horse of a different color. But not too bad once the basics make sense to you.
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Old June 22nd, 2006, 08:58 PM   #43
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So Chris what'll it be?

"digital compositing and effects"
"digital post production"
"compositing and effects"
"anything post"
"tweakers and bleakers"

ahh...it's too early in the morn for this.
Any other names guys?
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Old June 23rd, 2006, 10:14 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Kang
I've also tried Blender and found it hard to use. Well, too lazy to play and figure out Blender, that is.

I don't use Ulead products at all and seem to be mentioning them too often, of late. But, they have a product called Cool3D which you can use for animation and VideoGraphicsLab for Vector Graphics and Rotoscoping.

Than there's the product called Animation Master. It's from Hash, Inc., located in Vancouver, WA. The product seems to get great reviews and the price is cheap. A guy who created a animition short of a coffee bean asassin, with the program worked on Matrix due to it. Link: www.hash.com

Me, I'd like to learn more on using After Effects.
I was really disappointed to see Ulead spin the VGL completely out of their Media Studio Pro suite. The idea of selling it seperate is OK, just not taking it OUT of the pre-existing suite. Before getting into AE and Shake, I'd done all my comp work in MSP, even writting additional plugins specific for bluescreen/greenscreen for it. The VideoPaint roto tool in the VGL is very nice. Somehow, Cool3D never seemed "finished" to me though. It has the ability to set up nice 3D logo effects ... but falls just a little short of having the features needed to create truely polished looking animations.


Are there any specific tasks that you would like to learn about with After Effects? Which version do you have?

----------

Hey Chris .... how are those turning wheels doing?
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Old June 24th, 2006, 03:20 PM   #45
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Well, there's a book out called "Digital Composition for Film and DV"...

I think that says it all. We should just go with Digital Composition.

As to After Effects, I have access to ver 6.5.

I'll bite. I saw a short indy clip where the guy put in a helicopter overhead and than pans down to soldiers (walking independently) among a field. The guy said the helicopter was an effect and the soldiers were cloned as well, all in Effects.

So question 1. Without going into a 3d program, is there a way to animate a helicopter hovering overhead? I'm assuming a toy model of a helicopter is used.

Question 2. I'm sure you're doing several retakes of yourself walking among the field, from different locations and that the camera does not move. Later, you would combine all the clips together to get the multiple movements, but is there a way to combine that with a camera moving?

Besides this, I'll be more interested in how you might create those interesting 3d title effects used on ads.
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