Recommendations for 3D and compositing? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Cross-Platform Post Production Solutions > Digital Compositing and Effects

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 1st, 2006, 02:05 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Cedar Park, Texas
Posts: 182
Recommendations for 3D and compositing?

I'm just curious what everyone/anyone is using for 3D, how do you like it, plusses, negatives, etc.

Would anyone else like to see Chris start a 3D/compositing thread as a second application for those who are primarily video producers?

BTW, I couldn't find what I thought was the appropriate place to start this thread so I put it in Taking Care of Business. I realize it may wind up somewhere else.

- Jesse

Last edited by Jesse Redman; May 1st, 2006 at 04:05 PM.
Jesse Redman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 2nd, 2006, 10:11 PM   #2
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Cedar Park, Texas
Posts: 182
OK, I give

OK, maybe there isn't a lot of interest in 3D from this group. So maybe a new thread on the subject isn't such a good idea? <:)

- Jesse
Jesse Redman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 2nd, 2006, 10:34 PM   #3
Trustee
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Brookline, MA
Posts: 1,447
I am interested in a forum, but I think the user base to answer difficult questions is not present here. You will be better off digesting Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects.
Emre Safak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 9th, 2006, 11:19 AM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 220
Maybe more responses by refining the question

I think there is talent here, as many studios are small one-person affairs, and the writer/director/producer/DP is also called on to do motion graphics for their clients. The problem with the topic is scope. This is a very broad topic.

I think a place to start is with a statement like "I want to do xxxx in 3D. What is a good program based on price/performance/ease of use?"

I taught Lightwave 3D back in the 5.0/5.5 days, and taught Animation:Master in the Ver 9.x days. The workflows and outputs are very different. I would use them for different things. You can also step up to 3DS Max and Maya, but I have little Max experience (used it back at ver 1.2), and no Maya experience, so I can't comment on workflow or learning curve.

You can also use 3D applications for basic multiplane or compositing work by creating several layers and applying your video and various effects and their alpha channels over the top of them. You can also do this (somewhat) using the .fli format to create a filmstrip. Basic tutorial here: http://www.darkskies.info/lasers.html.

For compositing, you're going to need to spend some money...I'm not sure of any free or cheap programs that really put out good results, but others may have different experience. After Effects is probably the baseline. My choice would be Digital Fusion or Shake.
Brandt Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 9th, 2006, 01:33 PM   #5
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Boise, Idaho
Posts: 1,997
Blender

Check out <a href="http://www.blender.org/cms/Home.2.0.html">Blender 3D</a>. I recently found myself in a situation where I wanted to create an opening studio Logo for my company. I used Vegas to layer some generated media and apply effects, but it all looked primative compared to what I wanted. I don't have After effects, nor the money to buy and then learn 3ds Max/Maya, so I looked into open source software versions of that software. Chances are that there is an OSS app for almost any need, but their quality and features vary from the proprietary apps.

I downloaded blender and have yet to use it, but from what I read, it contains what anyoen needs to start off with 3d animation. As a bonus, it is also available for Windows, Linux, and Mac.

As far as tutorials are concerned, Blender is likely to have awealth of information, HOWTOs, and tutorials available for free when comapred to other 3d modeling apps. It won't have as many, because it is not near as widely used. But considering that most of the users / developers do it for free, that is not a bad deal.

jason
Jason Robinson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 9th, 2006, 03:25 PM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Cedar Park, Texas
Posts: 182
Google SketchUp

Google is now pitching a 3D sketch program that has a free version and a "Pro" version (costing about $500). The free version is fairly powerful.

This is not a ray tracing program, it is a "sketching" program but is great for illustrations.

There are thousands of 3D models available from Google. Some of these are very sophisticated and they are "royalty free" as this is the stipulation Google places on models that are put into their catalog.

==========================================
Part of Google's participation statement:

Google claims no ownership or control over any Content submitted, posted or displayed by you on or through the 3D Warehouse. You or a third party licensor, as appropriate, retain all patent, trademark and copyright to any Content you submit, post or display on or through the 3D Warehouse and you are responsible for protecting those rights, as appropriate. By submitting, posting or displaying Content through the 3D Warehouse, you grant Google and its end users a worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive, perpetual license to exercise the rights in the Content, as stated below:

to reproduce the Content;
to create and reproduce derivative works of the Content;
to display publicly and distribute copies of the Content;
to display publicly and distribute copies of derivative works of the content.
========================================

You can download SketchUp here:
http://sketchup.google.com/download.html

It's easy to learn, comes with a basic tutorial that takes all of 20 minutes and gives you an intro to most of the graphics manipulation tools.

If you try it, download some of the available models. You can combine them, readjust camera angles, etc.

If you try it, let me know what you think.
__________________
- Jesse
XL2 - Vegas - DVDA - Sound Forge - Acid Pro - Cubase SX 3
Jesse Redman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 9th, 2006, 03:43 PM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Cedar Park, Texas
Posts: 182
Thanks for the info

I looked at the Blender page - It looks sophisticated enough. I will probably give it a try.

I have been using RayDream Studio (out of circulation for several years) and thought I should learn to use something that isn't dead. RayDream was a great package. Too bad a competitor bought it and deep sixed it. RD was also fairly sophisticated for its time.

I've also been using Xara 3D for some logo work and Bryce for some animated backgrounds and graphic arts projects.

Here is some of the work I've done in RayDream:

http://www.advancedmedialab.com/3DAnimation.html

You can green screen with it so it is fairly easy to use with live footage.

It's good to hear that some of the same people creating video are creating animated 3D. I was hoping there would be enough interest to get a 3D for video or 3D for cinema thread started here at DV Info. I think it would fit in nicely with what Chris is doing for video and cinema.
__________________
- Jesse
XL2 - Vegas - DVDA - Sound Forge - Acid Pro - Cubase SX 3
Jesse Redman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 15th, 2006, 11:14 AM   #8
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Cedar Park, Texas
Posts: 182
Any other 3D users?

Just wondering if there were any other 3D users on DVi?
__________________
- Jesse
XL2 - Vegas - DVDA - Sound Forge - Acid Pro - Cubase SX 3
Jesse Redman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 15th, 2006, 11:24 AM   #9
Trustee
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Suwanee, GA
Posts: 1,241
I use Animation:Master (now version 13 is in beta). I do some basic graphics and use it for character generation for titles.

I have two graphics in my Video section (card suites and the Christmas tree). Some of the stuff could be done in PS or PSP, but I like the control of the 3d space better.

www.versatilemediasolutions.com
George Ellis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 15th, 2006, 01:12 PM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 37
I use LightWave 3D v8.5 (http://www.newtek.com) for all my 3D work. It's got a steep learning curve and is pricey, but is worth every penny. I should note that I used LightWave well before getting into video production, so it's not a big deal for me now to whip up something when a scene calls for a special effect or something.

I composite in After Effects.
Matt DeJonge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 15th, 2006, 03:05 PM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 424
see my vfx post in dv for masses
Riley Harmon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 15th, 2006, 10:10 PM   #12
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Cedar Park, Texas
Posts: 182
They look great

Riley,

Your 3D looks great!

Thanks everyone for the comments.

I still think it would be nice to have 3D and compositing for video types here on DVi.
__________________
- Jesse
XL2 - Vegas - DVDA - Sound Forge - Acid Pro - Cubase SX 3
Jesse Redman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 30th, 2006, 04:36 PM   #13
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 97
i'm a Maya user myself. Love it to death. I started out in 3D back in '97 when i was introduced to 3D Studio MAX 2. I then switched to Animation: Master before switching to Maya for my personal use. At the office though, i used Lightwave in conjunction with pmG's Messiah:Animate for the animation.

Doing 3D work on its own is fine, but it gets immensely more complicated when you want to composite your work to live action footage, regardless of what software you use. In Maya's case, you'd have to purchase Maya Unlimited to get a feature called LIVE (along with Fur and Fluid Dynamics etc). I'm not sure about other software.

I can tell you from using all this software that for me, Maya is EASILY the best software in the bunch. I don't mean to start a software war (which is often what happens over at http://cgtalk.com; consider asking the same question over there), but honestly, having worked professionally in the field for several years, Maya is the only choice for me. MAX is another strong candidate but is pricier and they expect their consumers to spend on plugins to constantly "complete" their purchase. In other words, you're constantly buying new plugins to be able to do more things.

Animation: Master should never EVER be on your list. Like a horde of other beginners (when i was starting out in 3D), i lost a LOT of my sanity to that program. There is nothing good about it. The makers of the software mostly pride themselves in technology that isn't standard ANYWHERE in the industry, which means you can't outsource diddly squat to anyone but Animation:Master users, most of which are beginners. Even if you had the programming knowledge or could afford someone with that skill to change the program to what you want it to be, you can't. There's no way to alter the program to fit your needs. Then there's the crashes. Oh god, the crashes... The last time i used it was back in version 7.0. I upgraded to version 8 or 9 after all the claims of it being more stable. Untrue. They basically keep flooding their new releases with new gizmos, all of which more unstable than a taliban extremist on drugs. You want to try it anyway? Go right ahead, but at least i warned you.

Lightwave. Well i hate lightwave too, mostly because of how incredibly unintuitive it is. Nothing is where you'd think it should be. Stable program, sleek interface, but like someone said before, very steep learning curve, mostly because of its interface and terminology IMO. Messiah: Animate and Messiah: Studio, although standalone applications, originally started out as a plugin to Lightwave. Just as confusing in terms of interface and terminology, but still good. Lightwave also has a very good renderer. So does Messiah.

MAX has strong modeling and particle systems. So if you want to build objects and do cool sfx like explosions, trailing smoke, etc, MAX is a good choice. Again, a lot of plugin crap you get suckered into buying. You COULD write your own scripts using MAXscript, but that's very time consuming. Same with Maya to be fair. Overall, MAX is great.

Maya has a horrible software renderer. Mental Ray is now a standard plugin that comes when you buy the software. Great renderer, but still incredibly slow. Also, its interface looks like Math 101. It is based very heavily on its MEL scripting language so it looks very technical (and it gets very technical) but everything is organized very efficiently. It'll do great particle effects like MAX but again, it's more technical than MAX. It's more of an overall package than anything else is in my opinion, but not everyone likes it.

my suggestion would be to download as many demos as you can and see what clicks for you. You can now actually download PLE (Personal Learning Edition) versions of most software, including the big two, MAX and Maya, which is the software with all of its normal features except with a watermark on all your renders and on your screen as you work. But for god's sake, stay the hell away from Animation:Master!!!
Raji Barbir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 31st, 2006, 12:01 PM   #14
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Cedar Park, Texas
Posts: 182
Raji,

Thanks for the information. You seemed to have covered the gamut.

Just out of curosity, do you know which application is most often used by movie makers? Which one is most often used on high-end movies and which one is most often used by the rest of us?

It seems that the learning curve for all 3D graphics programs is fairly steep. I have learned 4 different ones over the years. That is why I wanted to get some opinions, because the learning curve is so steep. What others think might let me focus on the one(s) that matter rather than spending a couple of months learning an application only to decide it is not the one for me or not very compatible with what others in the industry are using, or may not be very long lived (I've been through that several times).

I guess what I am looking for is one that could render an object, so that when that object is placed in a video, it is fairly undistinguishable from real objects.

I also felt that if a program could render objects to look real, animated characters would probably be no problem.

Does Maya allow you to render objects (aircraft, spacecraft, everyday objects) with enough reality to be included in camera shot video?

Thanks,
__________________
- Jesse
XL2 - Vegas - DVDA - Sound Forge - Acid Pro - Cubase SX 3
Jesse Redman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 1st, 2006, 04:30 PM   #15
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Cedar Park, Texas
Posts: 182
What 3D program do you use?

Just checking to see if there was a consensus 3D program in use by DVi'ers.

What do you use and why?

What operating system can it be used on?

What do you think is most often used for high-end movies and what is most used by those of us who can't afford the truly high-end systems?

I'm looking to purchase a new 3D graphics program (have enjoyed using Ray Dream Studio in the past) but now need to get something that has realistic graphics, works well with chroma key, is reasonably priced, will be around for awhile, and is easy (lol) to use. <:D
__________________
- Jesse
XL2 - Vegas - DVDA - Sound Forge - Acid Pro - Cubase SX 3
Jesse Redman is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Cross-Platform Post Production Solutions > Digital Compositing and Effects

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:27 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network