29. August 2008

Step-by-Step Video of a Matte Painting by James McWilliams / Digital Animosity


Ancient Bathhouse von James McWilliams

A matte painting commonly refers to a painted or drawn piece of scenery used in movies or animations. They belong more or less to the standard repertoire of special effects.

James McWilliams created an interesting short video which shows the progress of such a painting. In several steps he first paints the scenery of an “ancient bathhouse” (read: mysterious ruins including a water fall). Then the painting is projected onto simple 3d geometries and a short tracking shot through the scenery is animated.

The video is a nice insight into how such effects are created. The download size is kinda hefty, though: 65MB.

» Digital Animosity / James McWilliams

(via The Reaction)

See also

(This article is also available in German)

Topics: compositingeffectsmattepaintingvideo

24. May 2008

Rain Effects with Plugins for After Effects and Automated Rotoscoping

Rain in movies is always a tricky thing. Natural rain is so subtle that it is hardly noticable in the picture. It is also usually not available on command and one has to worry about drowning the expensive equipment. Therefore, natural rain is usually substituted by large raining devices which create especially large streams of rain. Another alternative is computer generated rain.

The article “Making a CG Rainstorm with After Effects Plug-ins and Automated Rotoscoping” discusses the latter option. Based on a commercial for BMW, it shows how a scene shot in sunlight is transformed into a fierce rainstorm.

Several techniques are employed. Rain and falling stones are generated by the plugin Particular. One can use it to render 3D particle simulations directly in After Effects. To postprocess the filmed BMW the team used a rotoscoping software called Motor. Seemingly, it can automate the rotoscoping process quite a lot.

For illustration the article includes two videos comparing original shot and postprocessed result. Have fun. :)

» Making a CG Rainstorm with After Effects Plug-ins and Automated Rotoscoping

(via EXTReeeMe.Org)

(This article is also available in German)

Topics: effectspluginspostprocessingrainrotoscopingvideo

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