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Roger Burton
Any comments please
on Aug 16, 2012 at 12:17:39 pm

I've been making a virtual set and am pretty happy with it - and thanks to the generous help from John Cuevas have solved a problem but wondered if anyone felt they could make some suggestions for improvements (I'm sure there is plenty of room for some)! - I have Invigorator so now I have something workable (so at least the client gets something) I 'm going to try and introduce some real 3d models ... anyone any more thoughts please ?

Roger



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Tom Daigon
Re: Any comments please
on Aug 16, 2012 at 1:48:34 pm

Very nice. To my eye he seems just a bit to large when compared to the set. I would reduce his size just a bit.And since his key light seems to be on the left of the image, if you are generating his shadow, I would angle that toward the right.

Tom Daigon
PrP / After Effects Editor
http://www.hdshotsandcuts.com




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Roger Burton
Re: Any comments please
on Aug 16, 2012 at 2:05:42 pm

Thanks Tom ... yes he's just kind of bunged in there as a placeholder and will be 'refined' when I get the footage sorted ... and yep I must check the lighting when I do the shoot, good of you to take the time.

Roger


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Tom Daigon
Re: Any comments please
on Aug 16, 2012 at 3:38:49 pm

You're welcome!

Tom Daigon
PrP / After Effects Editor
http://www.hdshotsandcuts.com




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HP Z820 Dual 2687
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chris brett
Re: Any comments please
on Aug 16, 2012 at 2:30:03 pm

Hi Roger

Its always tricky offering advice but I'll have a go ...

.....starting to look pretty smart but now that the technical stuff is out of the way put your artistic hat on and maybe check over the general 'look' of the comp .....

For instance I'm assuming the talent is 'central' to what the job is about but he is a bit 'flat' when compared to the b/g piccies so I would try boosting the contrast and tweaking the chroma a bit -- maybe also flatten the b/g piccies a wee bit so that they compliment him and do not compete.

Similarly the spot light --- at the moment its straight down and 'mimicks' the talent so again I would try and adjusting things a bit so that it occupys a supporting role / maybe try and lose the hot spot at the narrow end / maybe try artisticly angling the beam / maybe try dropping the overall brightness / and maybe then try using 3 spots in a line to compliment the 3 photos on the r/h side ......

This could look rubbish of course --- you have to try it to see ....

Also maybe take a look at the sharp edge on the plinth and the front face -- its ok but not as convincing as the reflections on the top and the floor.


--- anyway my tuppence worth ............


Chris Brett /// uk


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Roger Burton
Re: Any comments please
on Aug 16, 2012 at 2:40:37 pm

Again, good of you Brett ... very fair comments and really just what I was looking for, it's so easy after living with a job like this for a couple of days, to miss those little tweaks that often make all the difference. I never expect this to be convincingly realistic but a nice tidy result will be good, I've made sure the client understands he's not employing "Pixar" (oh and the budget reflects that) !

Roger


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Walter Soyka
Re: Any comments please
on Aug 16, 2012 at 3:30:36 pm

I'm of the opinion that good art direction serves a purpose. Beyond just looking cool, design should support the idea behind the piece. Can you share a bit about the messaging and tone or feeling you're trying to convey?

Without that direction, one thing that jumps out at me is the low ceiling height in the virtual studio. Because studio ceilings usually support lighting grids, they are practically never seen, so showing one here is a bit unconventional. Also, it makes the space feel smaller, maybe even a little claustrophobic around the inserted talent. Taller walls that extend closer to or even beyond the top of the frame -- or perhaps a change in camera angle -- will give your talent a bit more air.

(Of course, back to the subject of art direction, if there's a reason in messaging or tone to make the talent seem a bit boxed in, then disregard my remarks and carry on!)

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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Roger Burton
Re: Any comments please
on Aug 16, 2012 at 3:51:38 pm

Hi Walter, many thanks, all comments are very welcome. I couldn't agree more re. art direction .. this is to be one of several 'off-the-shelf' VR sets for a training company, it's fairly speculative and I've been asked to come up with an idea so it can be tested ... they usually have a very simple static presenter (the scene is simple, not the presenter who is, of course, highly intelligent) doing a piece to camera with graphics appearing to the presenters left on a graphic 'panel' ... I think they want to push the concept a bit. They want it in AE because I can then deliver them a 'finished' project (small size) and they can add the hi res talent (keyed out) and complete the render and any simple changes, spelling etc, can be done at their end. (Also they are translated into dozens of languages ... and they do that not me) !

The ceiling is meant to be a 'suspended' ceiling ... not the studio ceiling but yes it's a bit low, in fact, the more I look at it all the 'proportions' need a good looking at !

My real concern is now they can see a set, they may want to wander around pointing in all directions at screens appearing from the floor and the roof and flying in from everywhere ... I must try and explain that I am not Pixar !


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Walter Soyka
Re: Any comments please
on Aug 16, 2012 at 4:32:42 pm

[Roger Burton] "The ceiling is meant to be a 'suspended' ceiling ... not the studio ceiling but yes it's a bit low, in fact, the more I look at it all the 'proportions' need a good looking at !"

Got it -- but I couldn't read the ceiling as suspended; it looks like it's sitting on top of the walls. Maybe making it a bit smaller than the room or breaking it up into a few very large tiles will help sell the suspended look?

The scenic design overall doesn't have a lot of depth to it -- you're relying on the camera position to create all the depth. Perhaps letting the displays jog out from the main wall, or building in some other scenic details (truss, columns, boxy structures) will provide a greater sense of depth.

If you are using the CS6 ray tracing renderer, you can bend flat surfaces to add some good-looking curves. If not, you can do it in CS5.5 and earlier with Mettle FreeForm AE (bundled).

A quick Google Images search on "virtual sets" will show you what I mean regarding using architectural elements to create depth.


[Roger Burton] "My real concern is now they can see a set, they may want to wander around pointing in all directions at screens appearing from the floor and the roof and flying in from everywhere ... I must try and explain that I am not Pixar !"

You might them provide a few preset cameras. Take a quick peek at a news broadcast or hosted entertainment show for some references.

I'd recommend you consider pre-rendering the camera angles or any camera moves (trucks, dollies, zoomes, etc.) and providing AE templates with the pre-rendered 2D assets (stills for static shots, movies for camera moves) plus the 3D camera and 3D placeholders for live, replaceable content and presenter positions.

Hope this helps!

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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Vishesh Arora
Re: Any comments please
on Aug 16, 2012 at 6:20:30 pm

Mr. Burton
Reflection of 3D elements are their but you should also add the reflection of the "Anchor". Flip the "Anchor Footage", reduce the opacity, apply "Wipe" or mask the reflection and blur it a little bit.

I am a keen learner and am very keen on pursuing a career in the animation industry. My artistic skills are mostly self-
taught. I have a deep knowledge base of Photoshop, Maya, Adobe Premiere, After Effects, Final Cut Pro and Sony Vegas.


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Roger Burton
Re: Any comments please
on Aug 17, 2012 at 6:02:17 am

Thanks Walter, such good advice ... yes I think making the ceiling a little smaller than the set is an excellent idea. I'm going to rebuild it any way and actually concentrate on 'real' sizes and proportions, at the moment I'm getting strange camera movements/angles because it's all out of proportion (I made it from scratch basically to see if I could build a box and put a camera in it and it grew like topsie so now I've experimented I'll get serious with it, in many ways in response to your and others advice. Yes also I think I'll try making the framed images and the monitor real 3d in Invigorator so they can have real shadows - also the 'pillars' or something will help give it 'depth, I've looked at loads on-line ... a matter of avoiding the 'cheesy' sci-fi look that so many have, OK in their place but this client is a bit cerebral.

The client's editor/producer is an excellent chap and we'll be able to work together and get the 'talent shoot' to work I hope, he'll give me camera lens height details etc so it should go well.

Good of you to contribute Vishesh.

Roger


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