Question for Dartanbeck

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  • PjotterPjotter Posts: 267
    edited October 2016
    I'll also be looking into grabbing some more books on writing stories, creative writing, perhaps a few others. I'll check my library for some good examples.

    You are obviously also infected with the book virus. I have over 20 books about music which I haven't been able to read yet. If I see a good book, I buy it. Always worried if I cannot find it again. So I give you one more book push. Little one, because you can do it yourself also. I search Amazon for script writing, animation movie, story telling, etc and see what comes up. Most of the time, I skip the ones with very few reviews. I never buy Kindle books, because most of the time they are small and no good. Everybody can sell an ebook on Amazon and those reviews I do not trust. A real book does cost a lot of money to publish, so they will never publish non fiction garbage. You cannot like the book, but it is never very bad. Only if an ebook is published next to a real book, I consider. But I prefer a real book in my hands.

    On the book page at Amazon, related books are mentioned. I keep an eye on them. I always look inside a book (not always possible) and first at the Table of content. If this appeals me somehow, I scroll down. I assume you know how to look inside a book. In case you don't, you click on the book image. Amazon remembers your visit. So a next day it recommends related books. I have found some good ones that way.

    Some of the books I would recommend (I think I have more upstairs in boxes, but not making it too easy for you):

    • As mentioned somewhere: Your screenplay sucks.
    • How to shoot video that doesn't suck. For a video cam, but a lot of good info.
    • How to make animated films
    • Cinematic storytelling
    • Master shots
    • CGI Filmmaking. (Not sure if you will like it).
    • Conflict, action & suspense. This is one of a serie. I have several of them (not all). Try this one. If you like this one, look for the others.

    If you look for these books at Amazon, also have a look at the related books.

    Not going to mention books again, because this will do as a start.

    Post edited by Pjotter on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,591
    Pjotter said:
    • CGI Filmmaking. (Not sure if you will like it).

    Why?

    Oh... I see (have it in another tab)... nah... not for now.

    Pjotter said:
    Not going to mention books again, because this will do as a start.

    Never say never, my friend! I hope we talk about books more. Even if, perhaps, in later pages as we continue on this journey. I mean... you really need to get more animated works out too, right? Or is that not one of your passions? It is though... I remember... you want to do something with this around your music.

    I love it when you share titles for me to explore! Now I'll go through and check them all out and wishlist those I want - and they also always seem to add wonderful optional suggestions either directly from Amazon or through reading the reviews! It's really fun to collect books in this way. I also love visiting book stores, both new and used type of stores.

    Madison (WI) - on the end of State Street has this great store: University Book Store. I love it! Whenever I'm in Madison (a lot less lately) one of the big "pulls" on me is toward that wonderful store!

    Thanks for the list!

  • PjotterPjotter Posts: 267

    I need 48 hours a day. I am writing, thinking, reading and creating. I have a self improvement site which I am building, music and animation. Most important is music, but my self improvement site comes first, because I have visitors and extending this is easier then starting something new (music). Struggling for several days now to get my "subscribe to my newsletter option" ready. It is script, but had to be modified to fit my layout. Not my kind of thing, but almost done.

    The last years been working on setting up my music thing. Had to study solfege, song writing, composing and arranging (books). I have these basics now and creating music. Because everything is created on a computer (midi and sound libraries) (I cannot sing or play an instrument) I have nothing to show, like a performance. So animation is my way. I have basic ideas for that.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,591

    Awesome!

    I have a fellow Carrara friend whom makes some Amazing work with DAW on his DVDs. He absolutely amazing! Maybe he'll chime in on this thread if he gets times. We're all so very busy, you know! ;)

    I have Magix Music Maker Premium, considering cross-grading to Samplitude Pro, but my Singer uses Pro Tools and has full automation. It's hard for me to get used to these digital ways since I do understand playing and singing - and find that much easier for me! ;)

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,591

    There's a really nice aspect to 'learning to format' our screenplays and - hence - using the formatting software that we find that we enjoy using:

    The formatting process requires that we use Courier 12pt or Courier New 12pt font - because each character takes the same space - unlike most other fonts, which scale their footprint to the size needed by the character, to conserve space on the page.

    With Courier or Courier New 12pt, 10 characters = 1" (imperial "Inch")

    Following the formatting rules - only deviating from the rules in 'accepted' ways, each pages ends up being roughly one minute of screen time. At least this goes for Spec Scripts.

    Spec Scripts are written under "Speculation" that they will be sold. Shooting Scripts are then created by the Production Secretary from the Spec Script, which includes all of the director's notes, camera actions and scene numbering (and perhaps other necessary nomenclature) to set the script ready for production.

    Anyways, this means that we never submit a project of more than 120 pages - more often 100 - 110 pages.

    ====================================================

    In all of this I do realize that I'm a one-man-show and that I may not need all of this extra detail.

    It may be worth the extra effort in going through the process, however, because it helps us to make sure that the pacing and structure are correct - at least according to our own vision.

    Book 2 of The Screenwriter's Bible is a wonderful Workbook, aiding us in every step of the process: Getting our creative juices flowing, writing from the appropriate side of our brain to capture our deep dreams of the story, taking our down-time to analyze and structure what we've written - making it easier to determine what is overwritten, what is missing, etc., it introduces many questions to ask oursleves along the way about our central characters, about the content of the story, about how the story is written, and many other very helpful methods to help us get our story to take the shape of something that someone 'else' might enjoy besides our own selves. 

    It even has steps which take place after using the instructions from Books 3 and 4, which (at this point) we haven't read yet. So why put Book 2 where it is? 

    You'll understand if you ever read the book. It's the perfect spot. Most of it is necessary during the processes of Book 1 - and we are often directed (from Book 1) to head to the first several steps within this part. So, yes... it's in its proper spot.

     

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,591

    While I do plan to continue on with this course - I also have an eight-week course starting this week,

    As I've mentioned in DuDu's thread, I need to put all of this learning to a point where it's not taking up quite as much time as it is currently - so that I can put these practices to the screen. Basically, I want to start spending more time animating.

    I am going to continue as planned and start this book from the start again - the beginning of Book 1. During this time I'll also be in my new eight-week course on "Writing Fiction", whose instructor seems really passionate about the subject and promises to take us on a huge trip from the beginning - and we'll end up starting to write - right from the start. And it seems to have its main focus on characters.

    So I'll be trying to apply this course and the Book 1 of the Bible to what I have finished - my first take on Episode 1.

    I've been having new dreams about the story - waking up... fixing some cocoa (to help put me back to sleep) as I write down my new material. Some of it is begging to be put within this first episode - which it just might. Others are clear inspirations towards extending the story beyond episode 1, which is awesome!

    In these new things, I've realized that my current work could really benefit from a bit more of a 'setup' at the beginning. Maybe I'll act on that feeling, maybe not. We don't always need to know what's happening at the beginning, after all. But it can sometimes help.

    That's part of what I love about how I've been putting this all together. It can easily be tweaked and/or rearranged, without erasing or otherwise losing my original thoughts. It's pretty cool!

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,591
    edited November 2016

    Having fun working on this! I took this post away from another thread where it was straying off topic:

    30 frames left... can't actually crash until I see the results! Dart's screeming in to the rescue in his Bug (by DZFire)! Thing's got working independent suspension! I love this thing!  I have a few of his vehicles (CR2 - I'm still too scared to get a DUF-Only one) and want to collect the rest of them - again... only if they have a CR2 version - or Carrara gets a new DUF update... either or ;)

    He's (DZFire) got the headlights on this thing modeled to spec, I think. The reflectors are perfect, so I made them reflective and lit 'em up (night scene) and they look freaking REAL!!! yes

    Wow! My animation turned out really sweet! I must say... I love working in Carrara - nothing else quite like it - on this planet anyway. Everything is so... Right There. Simple forms to fll out and that's it.

    I mostly learned how to build my own from mmoir, Indigone, 3DAGE, Ringo M, PhilW... well... a lot of my friends throughout the years.

    Once I got shaders down, I really didn't feel the need to focus on having a super-detailed working environment in the asseble room - so I often work in Garaud (sp?), which makes things pretty fast and smooth. Furthermore, I also like to disable working view of elements I don't need to see. Much more zippier - and I don't mind in the slightest. Turn the 3D view back on for a few minutes to get the animation stuff out of the way and turn it back off. Sometimes I'll even toss some target helper objects in there to mark where things are.

    So anyways, I love how easily I can set up the car's weight pushing the suspension downwards as it comes to a stop, with a dampened spring action lifting it most of the way back up before settling from its own weight - all just by using my eyes, my intuition, and most of all, my memory from watching this sort of thing for just these reasons. That's why I was so late to the game of playing with physics. I just enjoy doing these things by hand, with Carrara's killer selection of Tweeners - further enhanced via plugins from the wonderful folks that make them! 

    Though I think this will be their main costumes (below)

    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 4,874
    edited November 2016

    Not sure your Dart figure is quite dressed for driving a VW (great image though all the same)!  Also the second image is not showing for me.

    Post edited by PhilW on
  • TangoAlphaTangoAlpha Posts: 4,366

    That's how I drive my Mini . . . blush (I know, TMI)

     

    BTW, I don't see the 2nd image either.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,591
    PhilW said:

    Also the second image is not showing for me.

    Probably just still loading... it's saved as a png and seems to be slow. I should always just use jpg like I used to

  • Even if you were on dialup it should be loaded by now cheeky

  • chickenmanchickenman Posts: 1,122

    Second image wants you to log into google in order to veiw if you copy the address and paste in a new window.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,591

    Sorry... it was just a cropped version of the one I just replaced it with ;)

  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634

    Tell costume dept they are doing a good job. yes

  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 4,874

    OK, it's there now - much more contempory and a cool looking image!

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,591

    Thanks Guys! ;)

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,591
    edited November 2016

    I've put a link to my playlist which includes this feature in the Inspirational Videos thread, but focusing more on this, individual special - especially in this thread - I think that a lot can be learned from this small insight into ILM's (and Lucas Arts') Art department, even working as an individual on a much smaller concept.This team is HUGE in how talented they are at helping to sculpt the initial story, and then shaping what story has then been written into a visual reality.

    The actual organization of the presentation works well for me. Early on, Doug Chang talks about Rick's Blue Sky method, where the artists are instructed to just shut off the left side of the brain and create concepts of a story that doesn't yet exist. This reminds me of a lot of what I like to do in Carrara. I'll find some really cool content that I want to optimize, which will lead to more ideas for more scene elements and lighting, camera angles and which characters will be involved....

    The whole Blue Sky Idea is a technique of letting art help to create ideas for a story.

    So I have a whole browser section filled with Blue Sky style scenery sets built and lit in some particular way with multiple cameras helping to dictate what my initial ideas were when I created the file. Most of these (in my case) are completely empty of main characters and plot - but more a place where something important is happening.Then, when I'm trying to come up with ideas for settings for certain elements of a story, I peruse these scene files and can often grab one (or more) that works well with where I'm going.

    (Video below: The Art of Star Wars VII - The Force Awakens panel discussion from Celebration 2016 - Europe)

    Then, after my story starts to take shape, I can open these scenes and bring in the main characters and their adversaries or allies or whatever is going on, and shoot some storyboard images to help wrap my head around what the animated shot will end up like - often choosing the appropriate spot in time (along the timeline) to shape the image, to help the animation process along later.

    Sometimes I might even find it easier to actually create an animation as part of the conceptual process. One can never get too much experience in animating, and then there's a test render clip to see for judging pacing and other elements of the shot as well.

    Perhaps all of this preparation will also help in promotion and other fun material after the film is made too.

    One of the conceptual artists comments "Most of my work (speaking of art made for Star Wars VII - The Force Awakens) will just end up sitting in a folder for all of my days" or something similar, and then goes on to say how that's okay because it was all a part of helping to shape the whole... yeah... I feel the same way about all of the scenes I've made over the years that might never get used. 

    This scene runs a complete chase sequence through a rather elaborate sci-fi city scene. A Lot of time went in to adding specific lights and light effects on vehicles and characters along with the city itself. This is where I really enjoy how my work towards constantly optimizing everything separately and storing it to my browser. It makes the work much less time-consuming when it comes time to assemble a large setup like this.

    So many things moving, such a large amount of space. When I can drag in a converted mini-sub complete with lighting and lighting effects as well as a three-person work crew, each with their own lighting and effects, it makes the whole thing not only easier, but much more enjoyable.

    So even though I'm constantly optimizing content and saving it to my browser, it really helps to take some time off from that to go ahead and assemble a scene - just for fun... just for art. It's amazing how much story concept can come along with these practices - or not. But I never consider it a waste.

    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,591

    The Feature following the above video in the playlist is equally as beneficial and interesting, I think, which is "Within A Minute", which shows how much work: How many people and How many Hours, go into less than a single minute of film in a Star Wars movie!

    Fun!

  • Though I think this will be their main costumes (below)

    This is my favorite render of Rosie so far.  Our content tastes seem very similar.  This costume looks perfect.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,591
    edited November 2016
    Though I think this will be their main costumes (below)

    This is my favorite render of Rosie so far.  Our content tastes seem very similar.  This costume looks perfect.

    Cool! Thanks! The 'real' Rosie likes this one too! ;)

    Here's the setup:

    The J-Suit by kooknfat (this uses my own leather and custom metals shaders)

    Kazai by Val3dart (Skirt, belts and pouches) (using the same leather and metals shaders as above)

    Acasia (wow... no longer available? Why? This is an awesome set!) (this particular costume only uses the armwraps - but I often use other elements too)

    Swashbuckler Boots by Age of Armour (I also have M4's - these are my favorite boots ever!!!) (I made my own bump, spec, color maps without the fleur de lis)

    Her hair is made up of using three (sometimes four) separate, customized variations of Angelina Hair by Goldtassel - each with custom morphs I've made above and beyond the Many morphs that come with the hair. The closest hair I've found so far to 'Real' Rosie's hair. I have others that don't work or render as well.

    The skin textures are a combination of several, the main base texture set is also no longer sold here, but like Acasia was just here not long ago. I guess we better not procrastinate buying the Generation 4 items we really need! Yikes!

    I'm glad that I've already collected what I need for the most part... but I like Generation 4 figures (and their simplicity of use) so much that I'll continue shopping for them as much as I can.

    I've also (as metioned earlier in this thread) recently started using Arki's EYEdeas 3+ for Victoria 4 and Michael 4 (though they'll work for any figure - even animals and monsters, etc.,) and have made some really nice (I think, anyways) shaders for them.

    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,591

    I mentioned my own Leather shader above.

    This is a really simple setup, and I have several that I use, which all use the same three texture maps I've made.

    All three texture maps are the same tiling leather texture I found online somewhere years ago and tweaked.

    • One is the pure grayscale texture
    • One is darkened to dark gray for making Black Leather
    • One is darkened to dark brown for making Brown Leather

    I often just use the pure grayscale map with color gradients and the like. Sometimes I tile them, other times not. Depending upon the UV map of the model I'm texturing.

    I have a similar pure grayscale map I've made for a basic cloth, which I use for nearly all cloth shader needs.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,591

    My main reason for switching to Arki's EYEdeas 3+ is that the Daz3d figure's eyes' irises are not concave but instead follow the curverture of the eye whites. Concave irises make Eye Gleam (a commonly sought after natural effect) occur without adding special lighting considerations, and can really come to life if we do want to use special lighting.

    Eye Gleam is an occurrance which places the iris's highlights on the opposite side as the highlights on everything else, like skin. Concave irises do this automatically by putting a shadow on the side of the skin highlight, and catch the light, resulting in a highlight, on the side where everything else is in shadow. Wondeful effect! 

    This image, however, shows Eye Gleam occurring naturally by a quick and simple reshaping of the irises myself just before seeing that EYEdeas were available. Once I saw these... I just had to have them. In truth, Arki's EYEdeas are much better than I thought they would be, even though my expectations were already high.

    Special lighting considerations are used to help highlight the eyes (the above image uses overly exaggerated bright side accent light) for mood.

    This is where the above image makes for a decent example of what NOT to do (I was only interested in showing off Eye Gleam without adding extra lights).

    See the highlight in the center of the pupils? Don't do that.

    If we want tension, bring the highlight down below center

    If we want happiness or confidence, raise the highlight above center

    Side-to-side, we'd rather see the highlight along the edge between the pupil and the iris. 

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,591
    edited November 2016

    Besides the costumes, this image also shows what I was talking about as far as my browser setup is concerned.

    The Dark Star, by Stonemason, is all set up as a Base scene in my Browser in my own custom browser setup.

    Additionally, Rosie (in this and other costumes), Dart (in this and other costumes) ahve their own custom browser spots, since they are the two main characters.

    The Sci-Fi crew members are also saved into the browser just as they appear in this image, except for position and, perhaps, poses. They do each have an individual pose - different than all others when they're saved to the browser. Dart and Rosie both have hand made poses - made by rotating individual joints, not using morph dial posing features - the SciFi crew poses are loaded from Predatron's LoRez figures poses and then tweaked a bit by hand (by rotating joints - not using morph dials)

    The reason I do not use morph dial pose features for saved characters is so that Pose files work as expected when/if they're used. Morphforms or morph dial operated poses will alter poses loaded from the library, adding extra work - digging through the hierarchy to find the pose dials used, and remove their values.

    I do love using Morphforms in my work. They're great for tweaking aspects of animations. But I use these AFTER I animate, not in initail character file saves.

    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,591

    This image shows Eye Gleam in a more natural way - the lighting is not changed to illustrate the effect, the effect is just performing all on its own with the lighting that is already available in the scene. This is using the EYEdeas 3+, but not the latest set of shaders.

  • mindsongmindsong Posts: 1,040

    Cool breakdown, Dart. It's very useful to see the progression and differences.

    I just got the Eyedeas3+ set at your recommendation (PC+ final sale - maybe $3ish... how could I not...) and was wondering if you or anyone else has used them to replace the eye-balls on a genesis1 character?

    If not actually done it, does anyone know if it's likely that it *can* work?

    (I'm happy to have this resource for the Mil4 family, so no loss, but curiuous if the eyeball compatibility extends to 'replacement' eyes, etc.)

    Also, Dart, on the Mil4 'replacement' process - do you parent/adjust the EYEdeas3+ eyes to the existing Mil4 eyeballs, then make them invisible or something similar?

    cheers, and ++ on the progression you described - very cool.

    --ms

     

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,591
    edited November 2016
    mindsong said:

    Cool breakdown, Dart. It's very useful to see the progression and differences.

    I just got the Eyedeas3+ set at your recommendation (PC+ final sale - maybe $3ish... how could I not...) and was wondering if you or anyone else has used them to replace the eye-balls on a genesis1 character?

    If not actually done it, does anyone know if it's likely that it *can* work?

     

    Although I haven't (yet) done it, I am absolutely sure it can and will work (more below)

     

    mindsong said:

    Also, Dart, on the Mil4 'replacement' process - do you parent/adjust the EYEdeas3+ eyes to the existing Mil4 eyeballs, then make them invisible or something similar?

    For Mil4 figures (this is really, REALLY cool!) we just load in the appropriate set of EYEdeas (one set uses the original Mil4 eye maps, the other uses custom remapped UVs and maps that come with the kit - see the readme), which conform to the figure. We can either turn the eyes invisible manually (which is what I do) or use the included Pose file to do so.

    *Genesis

    I have a feeling that the conforming sets will work just fine. However, in the chance that they don't, we can load in individual eye models and parent them to the appropriate eye, then turn the original invisible It's a very complete, flexible kit!

    EDIT: Also, there are instructions in there about if they conform and you don't want them to, just use Fit To: None, and then parent them to the head and they work. I'm not sure why we'd want to do that - never tried it.

    Tips on Shaders:

    Be sure to Consolidate Duplicate Shaders and have a look at what shaders go to which domains - as the names of the domains are different. I'm still not entirely sure about the lens, which is deep inside the eye. We can discuss that later, when I have a chance to look at it.

    I like to use a refractive, transparent shader on all of the clear parts of the eye. By having refraction on all such surfaces we get a good refraction depth - whereas, if we only use it on one surface, refraction has infinite depth and can continue working - and we don't want that.

    I also like the outer clear surface to be shiny and slightly reflective. I actually prefer to use the Clear preset shader from the Glass shader browser. If I don't want reflection on all surfaces, I drag the shader preset onto the original for that domain, and remove reflection and/or shiny highlight. But I think I'm just using it on all of the clear surfaces.

    Since I'm using shiny reflectiveness on the outer surface, I don't use any reflectiveness on any of the clolored parts of the eye. 

    For the whites I don't use any highlights either - just let the outer surface shader take care of that.

    For the iris, I like to use either the color map or a different color map and crank the shininess channel all the way down to somewhere around 3 to 6 for a fairly broad shine, but with some (above 0.00) cutoff.

    For the original eye domains (now turned invisible) except the tear (which is still visible), I create an invisible shader and apply to all of them (except the tear, which I'll often use either the same Clear glass, or a variant of it - depending on how 'teary' I need the character at the time)

    To make this Invisible shader, I set all channels to "None" except Alpha, which I use Value 1-100 = 0

    Sorry for being somewhat vague right now... can't really get at Carrara right now :(

     

    mindsong said:

    Cool breakdown, Dart. It's very useful to see the progression and differences.

    cheers, and ++ on the progression you described - very cool.

    --ms

    Thanks ms!

    Also, be sure to look at the Parameters tab. I did some settings in there, but can't remember what they are.

    Note that even the Morphforms (Eyes side-side, Eyes Up-Down) work with these! ;) I think other morphs do too, like pupil size, iris size, eyes size, etc.,  

    I hope you like them! The last thing I want to do is to have someone buy something I'm all jazzed about - only to find that they don't like them! Ahhhh!!!!

    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
  • mindsongmindsong Posts: 1,040
    edited November 2016

    Won't be a problem. I can certainly find a good use. Besides, you're clearly walking your talk with those renders. It can't be your problem if this operator can't make that magic happen - though I may pester you in my (soon) efforts to do so. Working on teeth meshes this week.

    FWIW, the DS subsurface toon shaders for Gn1 come with a good set of eyes (for DS) including an anisotropic shader/setting that has a very cool effect. I'm hoping I can finesse that effect out of this new eye-ball! (let's see if I can attach the icon...)

    cool eye

     

     

     

     

     

    cheers,

    --ms

    Anisotropic On.duf.png
    91 x 91 - 12K
    Post edited by mindsong on
  • Cool! Thanks! The 'real' Rosie likes this one too! ;)

    Here's the setup:

    The J-Suit by kooknfat (this uses my own leather and custom metals shaders)

    Interesting, I've had that suit on a wishlist for about a month.

    Ridiculous amount of details you are offering here.  You are the most generous poster I've seen on any forum.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,591

    Cool! Thanks! The 'real' Rosie likes this one too! ;)

    Here's the setup:

    The J-Suit by kooknfat (this uses my own leather and custom metals shaders)

     

    Interesting, I've had that suit on a wishlist for about a month.

    Ridiculous amount of details you are offering here.  You are the most generous poster I've seen on any forum.

    Share and share alike, right? :)

     

    mindsong said:

    Won't be a problem. I can certainly find a good use. Besides, you're clearly walking your talk with those renders. It can't be your problem if this operator can't make that magic happen - though I may pester you in my (soon) efforts to do so. Working on teeth meshes this week.

    FWIW, the DS subsurface toon shaders for Gn1 come with a good set of eyes (for DS) including an anisotropic shader/setting that has a very cool effect. I'm hoping I can finesse that effect out of this new eye-ball! (let's see if I can attach the icon...)

    cool eye

     

     

     

     

     

    cheers,

    --ms

    Arki's giving away free Advanced Shaders for EYEdeas 3+ for DS, if that helps ;)

    But if those shaders you're talking about work on Genesis 1's eyes, they should work on these as well - if the set that uses M4/V4 maps are used ;)

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,591

    I'm still learning my way into the fine arts of Visual Effects (VFX) for filmmakers.

    I've started another YouTube playlist called "VFX Tutorials", which is mostly there to offer folks a list of various demonstrations for just that - trying to decide which tool(s) to invest time in, rather than full instructions on how to use them.

    So far it has a couple of nice demonstrations for Fusion, a quite a few for HitFilm, at least one for Natron (an Open Source node-base compositor trying to become the GNU Nuke, but is still missing many things like particles), a nice green screen tutorial for Blender (mostly just to highlight that Blender has some nice compositing features - I never knew that), as well as some promo stuff for Action VFX, a new stock footage company that does really fine work, and some others.

    I didn't put many Fusion tutorials in there since I already have a really nice playlist for it: Fusion Lessons by Eric Westphal of Eyeon Software, Eyeon software was the previous owner of Fusion. That playlist has their "Courseware" and "Tool-torials" videos as well as some cool demos he's done at NAB. I really wish that Blackmagic Design (current owner of Fusion) would hire Eric to continue making cool Fusion educational material. I also have an older playlist for version 5 of Fusion by Eyeon, Fusion 5 Tutorials, which has some nifty demonstrations that we can easily use in the latest versions.

    Hit film was different since so many of their really fun tutorials are more for their Pro version, which is still very affordable, especially for what we'd get, but it's still out of my reach.

    Personally I'm not even looking at Natron or others. I'm already sold on Fusion and HitFilm, so I'll pprobably just end up using both of them. I love the Node workflow of Fusion as well as all of the amazing power of it, and I also love the ease-of-use of HitFilm's free Express version. They sell some add-ons for it and I've gone ahead and bought a few of them, since they're really inexpensive yet add a lot to the software - but will be wasted if I ever get the Pro version since it includes all of it. Oh well. At least I can use these features now ;)

    HitFilm also being both a compositor AND editor is really cool in my opinion. I'm still not entirely sold on the Editor, but it does have some fine features. I'm so used to Vegas that it's kinda hard breaking away from it - and I also own Corel's VideoStudio Pro Ultimate, which is also really nice.

    As awesome as After Effects is, I just cannot see giving Adobe any of my money right now.

    Finally, I've also added a fun demo that Philip Staiger did of Howler 10. I just couldn't help myself! The more I get into Visual Effects, the more I realize how cool Howler (Project Dogwaffle Pro) is. Rotoscoping is a breeze and can then be used in so many ways. With Carrara's multipass, we can make animated passes for animated selections and other control situations. Since Howler 9, I think it was, we can store animations and select to use them as selections or swap (basically a blending layer which all manner of things can by done using it) and Howler 10 is ever pushing forward - I can hardly believe how quickly it's evolving with a single developer. He's very passionate and quite a genius!

    I also "Save" playlists that I like to keep handy, which then show up at the bottom of my playlist page

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