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Sand moving across Dancer

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Alex BrandtSand moving across Dancer
by on Jun 14, 2011 at 7:58:28 pm

Hi, this is my first post. I am sorry if it is posted in the wrong spot. I have dancer footage and a few sample videos of sand and I'd like to almost mimic what MK12 has done in the Quantum of Solace intro. The link below shows exactly what I would like to happen. Skip to 2:22min:

I have tried using track mattes but of course the sand will stay within the silhouette of the dancer and I am stumped on how to have the sand continue off of the dancer. I have thought of tracking the dancers movement much like how 3D tracking is done in boujou but...its not quite the same...bit confused.

Thank you very much for any help.

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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Sand moving across Dancer
by on Jun 14, 2011 at 8:54:11 pm

This was most likely done using a 3d app and some complex particle systems. If anything, Particular or Form my get close. The silhouette of the dancer comes from a real dancer shot on chroma and there may be some motion capture involved as well..

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist

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Kevin CampRe: Sand moving across Dancer
by on Jun 14, 2011 at 8:59:23 pm

if you have trapcode's particular, you can try using a layer (the dancer silhouette) as an emitter, then create a sand-like particle system (lots of rather small particles, maybe some wind and a turbulence field).

i've seen a few text-to-sand tutorials using particular that would probably help you get started...

if you don't have particular, then you might check out some of the other text-to-sand tutorials. good ol' particle playground may be able to get similar results (and there are some text-to-sand tuts that use particle playground), but you'll also need to try and incorporate a fractal noise gradient to use with the ephemeral property to get that ripply particle cloud look.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer

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Alex BrandtRe: Sand moving across Dancer
by on Jun 15, 2011 at 12:39:29 am

Thanks guys for the quick advice.

I'm actually working with trapcode form and particular in this project as well. The dancer footage I have is also footage of my own that I have keyed out. So I feel I am soo close. I definitely have run into many tutorials making sand to text or vice versa. I do have the equipment (green screen, and a canon hf21 camera) that can help in capturing actual sand. I was thinking real sand would be much better than particles even if it is trapcode particular.

If I use trapcode particular, you're right, wouldn't the particles have to be VERY small? I'd like to keep the silhouette a silhouette and not have the particles define the shape...

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Alex BrandtRe: Sand moving across Dancer
by on Jun 15, 2011 at 1:52:16 am

Ah, i see. Particular just might do the job. I'll try experimenting with real sand as well.


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Alex BrandtRe: Sand moving across Dancer
by on Jun 15, 2011 at 3:36:05 am

Okay, I've messed around with trapcode particular and its looking much better than I thought it was capable of. However, I am still going to use real sand keyed out from a green screen. Once I have the footage of sand, how do I "link" the footage to the footage of the dancer. Much like how trapcode particular emits particles from the dancer, I'd like to do the same with the sand footage. Any leads?

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