3D2life Studio
Teesside 06/10/2010
 
Now is the moment, I will use my summer wisely and get prepared for my last year in England at Teesside. I got offered a spot on course Creative Digital Media on module Advanced Visual Effects. But I feel like I need to learn something else beside VFX. It will be definitely more drawing, digital drawings, and modeling part. I'm very happy with the result until now. So I hope everything goes well further.

There's still need some tweaks with the movie because some scenes with huge color gradient difference need to change, but I think it wouldn't be a problem to fix this this week and we're set for next Monday of deliver
 
 
First of all I want to create something unique. I want to show people more of the Eastern culture, including history, environment. That's my thoughts or my plans to do further. I'm inspired by the ancient china and calligraphy. I want to make something out of it for my later portfolio, that's something unique and mostly people don't have that kind of stuff in their show reels. It might be a failure and not acceptable, but even so I want to do it. I can imagine how my works going to be and have the inspiration already, but just lack of skill for now.

Why Eastern culture? Like China, I mean it's obviously that I'm into Chinese stuff because I'm Chinese. It's not like that even though I'm chinese there's still a lot I don't know. For example Avatar, why in the world would James Cameron be inspired by China? He even visited China and used  Huang Shan as reference in Avatar. Did you know that? 

Ok so back to VFX Artist. Firstly I have my passion within VFX. Because I enjoy the feeling to create something masterpiece of work in the end. We are the requirement and last step before a masterpiece of work comes to life.
I can't really explain why I'm choosing this, it could be something deep inside you're heart that shows you this is the direction and right choice for you. Just like they say you are born to stage you know.

I feel like that I still need to study more theory within the VFX theres still a lot I don't know of. Like color. Not that I don't have tacit agreement and understanding about color, but I feel if I know the theory behind it, it would bring me to the next phase.
 
Color Theory 2 06/10/2010
 
What is the primary color we see? Many think it RGB but it's not. It's actually RYB(Magenta, Yellow, Cyan)
These colors are caused by subtracting which means they are absorbing lights and reflection from others.
Subtractive colors start with light source, or white light. It's various what the "true" color is for us to see dependable on the light source to reflect surface subtracting wavelengths.
Additive color system start without light that leads to Black. The primary three colors or additive is RGB.
And combining them will get the result to subtractive color. The additive color reproduce using red, green and blue light to produce other colors. 
 
Inspiration.. 06/10/2010
 
My inspiration would be more like the overuse of the effect and filters. For instance Surrogates, Transformers, Lord of the Rings, Matrix and such. I really liked the Color mood they've used in the movie. The crop, vignette, color correcting and saturation, and matte painting of course.
From the start I wanted to create something similar to this. It worked out well, but somehow it's not acceptable in shortfilms. I don't know why and haven't got a real good explanation about this. I wanted to use some of the light flares and heavy color correcting, but haven't got any matching scenes to this. It looks good and it's commonly used it all films and it is acceptable.

 
Communication.. 06/08/2010
 
I think its rather decent that bad. To be honest we could done it better. But I mean we still lack a lot of communicating with each other. I only found myself common with Adrian, because we're on the same boat.
Not that I'm not initiative enough, because everyone is busy with their's own stuff and and want to be good.

I feel like I haven't learned something else technically wise, beside being busy with my job. But I learned a lot and experienced a lot how it would be like working with group and imagined like in industries.
I feel we're still student not in industry, not yet apparently. We still have to learn from each other and teach back, I mean that's how it works even if you are working for Industry.

My part I think I did a good job in the end. I admit I took off and slacked a bit in start and during progressing.
I know that my crew had issues with me even if they didn't spit it out, but I could feel it. I'm not negative but I still apologize for my bad phase. But overall I would say to me good job, because I completed it and it was good, I worked my ass till the end of line. 

I mean it's quite obviousl that everyone is doing their own part, if we all get into one thing it wouldn't make this happen not enough time. So I feel like we're more simulating the industry part, too much.
I find myself as very responsibility, patient, circumspection enough to be an VFX artist. I mean there should be more than that. But above what I mentioned, is a requirement for the basic to be an VFX.
 
 
As you all know our main tool will be Nuke provided by The Foundry. Extremely powerful Nuke. To be honest I don't know if we could have finished this project without, I mean there might be another solution for every part, but the Nuke takes you to the limit.  

Getting into Nuke was a hard part, but not there yet even worked with Nuke over months. The things we do with Nuke is rather than simple in post production and industry workflow. I mean they are the expert and know what to do and what they expect it would be like before all stuff melt in Nuke.

Lack of tutorials source on the internet is a really tough job for us to learn how to use Nuke properly. 
You have to experiment with Nuke how it works and combine with things, different passes and different workflows. I mean nobody tells you how to save a sequence in Nuke, absolutely no answer on the net. 
What I dislike about the industry is they never expose the "little" secret they use to create films. I don't believe that only a behind the scene or making of, simple interview with creator will tell you everything that's part one, and part two they don't expose it.

What is composing? Everyone think Compositing is post production, but it's not. It's two different things. Post production is editing the film, adding color, credits and clip. Compositing is combining visual elements from separated  sources into 1 footage or image. And create a illusion where all part is seen in one scene.
With LiveAction shooting and compositing is called Green screen or Blue screen masking and replacing the background with something else. This is exactly what we are doing, beside the using of Green screen part. 
Poor space, support and camera, wouldn't make the Green screen happening. We managed to create the illusion in 3d instead! Nearly all shots were composited and I think it saved us a lot of time.
 I mean we had 4 days to complete the film and its over 30 shots to composite, there was several heavy scenes which took 2 or more days to gain the result what we were after.
 
 
Our workflow works pretty good actually. Beside there's some issues with our modeling crew with saving texture saving source was a bit hard to find. We manged to create a directory with C:\ as default and name of our film name which is "Lights Out". Duo to work on different computers and different saves, but with this as our main path we don't need to update the source all the time when we open Nuke, and we can simply drag and drop from my computer and access to Adrian's network.
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The "Film Look" 06/08/2010
 
The cool film look or the cinema look is commonly used in movies, as well as ours. A film with and without color correcting will not be the same. I hardly find another word for the "film look" to be honest I don'w know what the word for "film look" would be. Because me personally think the film look don't sound quite good, or what Paul? =)
I randomly asked Adrian; "Do you have another word for the "Cool film look" He said; "There is another word for film look ?" Heh quite funny. Apparently  we found out it could be "Film Mood" or "Color Mood" rather than "Film look"  Basically the film look is all about color correcting and saturation, filters and crop.
I took advantage to start composite the sequence of death scene, and my crew liked it. Because it looks good and realistic. What I do is I always start with what the environment color is and reflection, so I try to match up those 2 and it already starts to look good. 
 
 
So just some quick notes about film, color and theory. Actually I know the basic of color using and what they pretend to be. But even if I knew, I also did spent some time on reading it again and see what other peoples thoughts about it. Even since I started to be a VFX artist, or I can say when I'm into all these lights color and super effects, I started to pay attention on every photo's, films and commercials.
 For me I like to watch it over and over again when I see something interesting. Actually I pay more attention to the stuff in background that's not in focus, because I'm trying to find what they did here and there, what's seems wrong and correct. You're attention, you're eyes on every details has to be sharpen over average people. That's what I see myself as an real VFX artist.

So heres an example of color theory use. I hope everyone watched "Black Hawk Down" movie? The color using is amazing there. I learned a lot after reading how they made it. They used 3 main colors in the whole film. Blue, brown-ish, green. The inverted the common use of  color which I think is something unique.
When in scenes where it's dangerous or bad feelings they use brown, yellow-ish color to match up with the environment and the grunge ground. Director want public's attention, lighten up the scene  and we see theres something going on here. Back at the green zone we see the color gradually changes into blue-ish and more relaxed color. It's now chill and we're at safe spot. And the night came we will use commonly green where we all find ourselves desaturated in night. Reflection from lights and fires, night vision camera effect will be perfect.

It looks kind of weird when you reading all that but people don't pay too much attention before they read all these, when they saw it first they think it's looks good and obvious. They made a gradient of color use in the movie which I think is good and you see how the movie sequence color fade in and out. Because you have to match up with the previous mood. So you don't jump from color to color apparently, but with "transition".

 
End of Line 06/08/2010
 
Phew.. good job to me and Adrian and of course to everyone else in my crew as well. We started on 2.06 and started to compositing from 11 to 23 sleepless days and nights. But I hope it was worth it and I can see the result is pretty good. So the hard phase is done, 


Me and Adrian can take a breath. Only sound and credit editing is now leftover. So I took my day off today and sitting right now writing my journal post. I'm amazed that we are the first group who actually delivered in time. I think me and Adrian made the right decision, pushed ourselves and struggled to deliver it before deadline. Because I think when deadline is set there is no more discussion or extension just like when you work in Industry.