Inspired by one of my favourite TV Shows, I wanted to integrate a CG object and make a simple animation. M&Ms do the magic: this time the talented CG artist I Hsin is providing me the CG model and Elena Scala is going to animate the pieces.
I had a lot of different ideas, but in the end, we decided to go for the toy aeroplane: first, because it doesn't take too much time to model, texture and render it; second, because I found a footage, which looked good and had this area (floor) where I intended to integrate the CG element. Besides, I think with this shot it is possible to make changes or add other CG elements in a second moment.
02 CG PASSES
- DIFFUSE: Color & diffuse shading
- SPECULAR: Highlights
- REFLECTIONS: Reflections in object
- SHADOW: Cast shadows
- FRESNEL: For reflections
→ if you get some sort of darkening on the edges, it means that you probably have a double premult node, which is not needed.
Before you start, CHECK IF THE RENDERS ARE IN LINEAR COLOR SPACE OR NOT! (you can click on raw data to check it)
Than attach a LAYER CONTACT SHEET to see the different passess.
- UNPREMULT (→ to grade it)
- SPECULAR (Specular should be the last one because you want to see it over the other passes.)
CG elements are most of the time very sharp, so sometimes you need to smooth them out.
03 CG & ANIMATION
Before I - Hsin Hu could start with the modeling process, I tried to get an accurate camera track. Due to the camera movement, which is a simple zoom in, it didn't turn out as accurate as I hoped. After asking for the camera information and the lenses used for this shot, the camera track worked better. I also created some cubes to give her an idea about the sizes of the other toys and the depth of the room. Once she finished the 3D model, I worked with Elena Scala to get the animation right. We couldn't figure out why the airplane is going down, instead of going up. This is the part where we still have to work on it!
I decided to do the animation in two parts:
- In the first part, the airplane is just doing a simple movement and flying a little bit down. The reason why is because I wanted to have a finished first look of the shot.
- In the second part, the pieces are forming the toy airplane. This is the more complicated part.
Depending on how good or bad your green screen plate is, the right method can simplify your life and you can get a decent key. Every project has new challenges and problems, that's what's making compositing so exciting!
01 COLOR SPACE
The color space has to match. In the beginning, I forgot to make this clear when I got the 3D render, so it had to be rendered again because it was overexposed.
02 ID PASSES
When I got the ID pass, it was rendered out as one ID pass. To separate for example the wheels from the rest, I had to use a Gizmo called "Color Picker ID". This gizmo allows you to select the different colors in your ID pass and separate them.
At the first look, the animation was fine, but I recognized that the movement was not how I wanted it to be as the airplane first was moving down. I wanted the airplane moving up in a very subtle way, so also the animation needed some fixes.