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Character Transformation but not morph

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Nicholas Montgomery
Character Transformation but not morph
on Jun 11, 2010 at 5:23:13 am

Hi all

I'm looking for a way to perform this effect, either examples or tutorials. Children are to magically transform into adult heroes/warriors. The direction I've been given is they get encased in a glow and then either a) their body ripples into their adult hero alter-ego; b) the light overwhelms them and then when the light intensity subsides their adult alter-egos are revealed; or c) any other way to "magically" perform the transformation.

The one thing I am adamant about is not using the morph effect seen in so many bad TV movies and underbudgeted TV series (like Animorphs, for instance).

Are there any tutorials, examples, tips? Any would be much appreciated.

Cinematographer / Editor
Synn Studios Inc.


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Character Transformation but not morph
on Jun 11, 2010 at 1:35:35 pm

Light overwhelming them could work well. It would basically be a wipe coupled with a bit of a morph with it all hidden by shiny light. Could be good and a great use of Trapcode's Shine other than the cliche movie trailer title. (If you don't have Shine, CC Lightburst is similar.)

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Character Transformation but not morph
on Jun 11, 2010 at 1:56:40 pm

What assets do you already have -- clean plates of the before characters, the after characters, and the background? Or must you transition completely from one shot to another?

In addition to Michael's suggestion, you might try adding some swirly particle systems and glowing, smeary fractal noise. Using multiple layers and effects will help you build in some complexity that will make the effect feel more organic and real.

On the compositing side, don't forget that all this light you're creating should influence the environment around it, too.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Nicholas Montgomery
Re: Character Transformation but not morph
on Jun 11, 2010 at 8:03:58 pm

Wow, thanks for the suggestions, Mike and Walt.

It hasn't been shot yet, we go to camera in 3 weeks and I'm testing out different methods so we know how to shoot it properly. I was planning on having a portable green screen present so that I can get background plates and shoot each character in front of the green (or maybe I'll just need to get either the before or after character in front of green).

Will be conducting VFX tests over the next week. I'll try and post my results here for you to see.

Cinematographer / Editor
Synn Studios Inc.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Character Transformation but not morph
on Jun 11, 2010 at 8:23:46 pm

Cool - looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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