What’s up guys, Ash here, welcome to the first episode of Escape Studios Tips' and Tricks video series!
As part of a bucket load of new visual content we're planning to upload in the coming weeks, we posted a poll onto our Facebook page - asking you the viewer, what VFX related tips and tricks you'd find most useful! If some of the titles went over your head, not to worry - as here are the explanations for each!
Traditionally, we associate Hollywood with America, both from its location and also from the type of movies it produces; it's not uncommon to see the world saved by an all-American-hero on the big screen several times every summer.
Happy New Year folks, hope you all got the things you wanted for Christmas. I certainly did; that pony was a long time coming. Let's kick off the new year with another one of my trademark spotlight blogs, focusing on Battlestar Galactica; Blood and Chrome. (Shout out to user DHW who posted about this after my last blog)
Hello, it’s me again. Have you all been well? I hope you have. You may remember me from my recent stint of blogs about web series that have started to use VFX, and left you with a passionate plea to start watching Red vs Blue, the longest running web-series in the world, based on the Halo games. Well here I am again, because the internet just doesn't stop, and recently it’s been turning out some real gems in terms of visually invigorating moving pictures.
Continuing on from Part I of this blog... then, at the start of season 8, and totally out of the blue, RvB started using action sequences, made with fully scripted fight scenes that involve stunts not possible with the previous game engine. CG had crept its way into the show, and in a big way; multiple people beating the incredible hell out of each other, huge explosions, space fights, giant weapons, and jaw dropping set pieces littered season 8, including a hilarious 8-minute sequence of Tex destroying the Reds and Blues, and flashbacks to Project Freelancer.
And here we arrive at the end of our spotlight on webseries blogs that have cool visual effects. And fittingly, we will wrap up with one of my absolute favourite shows.
Mortal Kombat is a franchise everyone's familiar with. Along with Street Fighter and Tekken, it's one of the classic beat 'em ups of early arcades and game consoles, pitching several outrageous competitors against each other in an excessively violent fight to the death for...well who cares what the reason was, it was awesome! Spawning a huge list of games from 1992 all the way to the present day, MK has helped taint innocent childhoods for 20 years. It had two major films, one acceptable, one classically woeful, and last year, around the release of Mortal Kombat 9, came a pleasant surprise; Mortal Kombat: Rebirth.
When television orignally began, there was only a handful of black and white channels, horse and carriages wandered down our cobbled streets, and people didn't need the internet because they were too busy feeding their clothes through mangles in caves, or something! The first type of TV shows were comedies, and variety shows, and over time, they evolved into dramas, then slowly into the level of award-winning quality we see today. The internet is following a similar pattern; where as video sites originally appeared so we could swap videos of people falling over and kittens kittening, the medium is steadily evolving to produce high quality dramatic web shows.
A short time ago, our current students were treated to a presentation from some chaps from Lexhag Visual Effects. Lexhag are a small post production house with in house grading capabilities and benefit from years of on-set experience to create stunning effects for mid-level tv shows, such as Whitechapel and The Fades. We were visted by Effects Supervisor Alexis Haggar, founder of Lexhag and fellow escapee (from way back when), and Senior Producer Dan Marbrook. They took the time to come exhibit some shows they'd worked on, so the Escape Students could see the quality of work a small studio can produce.
Last week was an interesting week for movie fans. Our prayers were answered when Michael Bay's production of Ninja Turtles was shut down (he decided that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles should be neither mutants nor teenagers, apparently, and the world decided to hate him). The Amazing Spiderman had it's London Premiere, another 45 minutes worth of TV spots for The Dark Knight Rises were released and the world was given Abraham Lincoln; Vampire Hunter.
I was on holiday last week, enjoying the almost total lack of sun, and having a week long geekasm at the E3 coverage. Imagine my surprise, then, to come back to work at Escape to discover hardly a mention of all that awesomeness on the blog. This is not, I thought to myself, acceptable. So have a peek at this!
Welcome back everyone!! I hope you all had a cracking weekend. Right now we are going to pick up where we left off on Friday with FG Maps.
Ladies and gents, welcome to another Studios Assistant blog. Today's topic: Final Gather Maps.
So it’s almost bank holiday weekend and your old pal Ash is gonna give you another one of his awesome tips before you spend the next three days drinking your body weight in alcohol and watching The Avengers… seriously, how awesome is that film?!
Happy Tuesday, loyal readers. Here's a quick one relating to a problem that popped up a few times for the students last week. This is for anyone taking who has tracked footage into Maya and finds their tracking markers don't line up, because they've forgotten one simple step.
It's important to only isolate three separate elements per ID pass, or the technique becomes redundant. For example, if I had made both the windows and door red in the image for Part One of this blog, then any colour correction I applied to the red channel in NUKE would affect them both. You've already seen a broad example, but there's no reason you can’t use ID passes to focus on more specific areas of your render. The image above shows an example of an ID pass refined to specialise in the windows only. This kind of pass would be useful if the texture I added to the window transoms (red bits) had rendered far too dark, but everything else rendered correctly, as I would be able to adjust them without damaging the rest of my render.
Welcome to the Studio Assistant workshop, with Ashley Miles and Brad Collier-Brown, and here's our debut issue. As studio assistants, our main job is to make sure both students and escapees are getting the most out of the Escape Studios experience, which involves answering a lot of weird and wonderful questions. We thought it'd be a good idea if we blogged a few of the most common queries and solutions every week, so you guys at home could learn a little something from us too.
Around half an hour into the demonstration, after setting up the HUD and preferences, Jeff turned to the group and said, "Now, select your cube, and press the 'Fireball' button, then press play!"