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Old May 11th, 2003, 04:55 AM   #1
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Composing: Anim 3D into Video, how to get it right?

Hi - Hope you have as lovely weather as we have ( +15C light blue skies )

Having read a lot of threads here has helped me choose my software and have given me valuable hints and tips... so yet another time I try to get some hints ;-)

I have the follwing SW on my box

Vegas 4.0B
Cinema 4D v8.1 Studio bundle
After Effects 5.5
(premiere 6.5 - which I don't really use no more )

It was very easy to get started producing 3D animations in Cinema 4D ( nothing fancy, a talking head...a simple animated cartoon ), the problems started afterwards. How do I mix/compose my 3D AVI file with the real world video. Transperancy/matte is no problem since I did my 3d with a blue background( and cinema 4d can export an alpha-channel anim to use as mask as well ). The problems are:

1. Perspective - when I shoot my real video all surfaces are shot at an angle so when I do the 3D stuff it should have the same angle?
2. In front and behind - is the "sandwitch" soloution the one to go for? Layers like: Video-3D-Video and working with masks?

Which SW is best for the final composing? Should be After Effects ( sadly enough a program that I have difficulties learning ;-(

Is it possible to have the live AVI film as a backdrop in cinema 4d? that should help a lot.... can always use stills as backdrops... take a still at every "thought keyframe"....

Please, share your experiences!

Best regards,

Lars Siden

... today it is Hockey Final - Peter Forsberg and Mats Sundin will crusch Canada.... I hope ;-)
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Old May 11th, 2003, 06:24 AM   #2
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Hey Lars- Don't feel bad, After Effects is a tough program to master. I don't use it at all.

As far as your 3D problem... I would avoid using video as a background, it will just look cheap. Try matching the camera angles and positions instead. And to help you even further, I dug up some 3D compositing tips from my favorite show, The Screen Savers. Enjoy :)
http://www.techtv.com/screensavers/s...364786,00.html
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Old May 11th, 2003, 12:17 PM   #3
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Thanks Keith,

Excellent link! dvGarage is mentioned a alot in one of my AE books ( Enhancing digital video ). I will look through their online tutorials!


// Lazze
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Old May 12th, 2003, 12:42 PM   #4
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Tip for matching video with 3D

Hey there,

Am also interested in 3d with real world video. Have done a bunch. I think the topic route your looking for is "Camera Tracking". Since your looking to match camera movement in real world shooting to 3d environment camera movement.

Check out a program called "Boujou". It is awsome for exporting info that yo ucan import into 3d max and then it automatically set up a camera that moves as u did through a 3d scene.

Get back to me with your results. This stuff is excellent. I also use COmbustion 2.0 instead of after effects for 3d with video. Better control with COlor correction in my opinion. And it works hand in hand with there other software package 3d max.

Hope this sends yah in a good direction
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Old May 12th, 2003, 02:08 PM   #5
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Thanks for the input Jason,

I've tried 3d studio max earlier and found it very difficult to master... but maybe it is worth the time to try ( I just must buy me another life, so I can have 48 hours / day ;-)

Combustion, is that bundled with 3ds? Does is totally replace After effects or is it "another tool in the chain" ?

There are many good books on 3DS, maybe should get me one... looked at some models sites and the most of them are for use with 3DS or lightwave. Cinema 4d however can import those files...with some tweaking

Best regards,

Lazze Z
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Old May 12th, 2003, 02:34 PM   #6
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compositing software

Combustion is like AFX 5-5.5, totally independant program.

Have a peek:


http://www.discreet.com/products/combustion/


It rocks the compositing world. Alittle tricky to master, but well worth it for 3d incorporation with 3d max. It actually gives you control over 3d's alpha channels, material map id's and z-depth with regrads to lighting and shadows.
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Old May 12th, 2003, 02:42 PM   #7
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Don't render 3D with a blue background for chroma keying -- a far superior method is to render with an alpha channel. You can do this with an uncompressed RGB AVI file, or with still image (PNG)sequences. Or, render a separate mask channel if you can't render alpha.

///d@
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Old May 12th, 2003, 03:17 PM   #8
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Other PROBLEM that ive run into

Sometimes u export with a certain function turned on when your exporting with an alpha channel and it causes a slight black halo around the 3d objects. I'm not at my home station right now. But if u run into this problem i can get you the solution.

Write back if need be. I can get u the solution in the evening if yah need.
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Old May 16th, 2003, 02:24 PM   #9
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Hi Jason,

Bought the book "3D studio max Bible 5" - included is a 30 day trial of the complete studio. So I'll give it a try ...the included demos looks awesome!

// Lazze
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Old May 17th, 2003, 07:08 AM   #10
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Hi Lars,

Matching 3D with video is challenging at the best of times but there are a few simple rules that will help along the way.

1) Alpha channels - first of all Dennis is right - you don't need to chromakey out CG images. render your images on a black background and use a 32 bit TGA (targa) file. This renders your model and an alpha channel that determines the transparency of your 3D object when it is composited over your background in AFX.

2) Camera - you need to try and match the camera you shoot your plate with (Your DV camera) with your CG camera. That means the lens value, distance from object, height above the ground, focal distance, depth of field etc.etc. If you can re-create the characteristics of your dv camera with your cg camera - it goes a long way towards beleivability.

3) Lighting, lighting, lighting. This can't be stressed enough. Lighting of your cg models so that the render matches the lighting of your background plate is the single most important element in creating realism. You must not only match the direction of the light - but also the intensity, fall off, any bounce light affecting the scene, reflections, shadows, etc. if you light your animations well, you should be able to bring it and your dv into AFX and comp them almost directly - without too much tweaking of the image. It will look about 80% there. If your lighting is wrong on your cg objects it will never look right no matter how much you tweak it.

DV Garage has a few tutiorials on the site for creating realistic CG objects and there is an AFX book called 'After Effects in production' that shows you how to render and comp a spaceship or something into a dv scene.

Hope this helps,

Best,

D.
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Old May 17th, 2003, 07:45 AM   #11
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Hello David,

Thanks for you valuable input!

I have acquired some books to guide me, one of the the "After Effects in production" I also got me "After Effects Enhancing Video" and "3D Studio Max bible"...so it is time to STUDY ;-)

I've ordered a DELL M50 laptop with 512mb memory and a P4@2ghz cpu, so I can use my extended summer vaccation studying 3D graphics. I'll have 5 weeks vaccation + 3 weeks vaccation(parental leave) with my 8 months old daughter. Most of that time we'll spend in the Swedish archipelago ( on UTÍ ).

Anyone here using the "net" renders too speed up rendering?

// Lazze
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Old May 20th, 2003, 03:43 PM   #12
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A friend of mine has a 20 or 30 node LightWave render farm
here in Holland.... Works pretty fast!
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