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Adding reflections to surface of moving car

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Enno JacobsenAdding reflections to surface of moving car
by on Feb 11, 2014 at 11:33:23 pm
Last Edited By Enno Jacobsen on Feb 11, 2014 at 11:34:20 pm

I'm looking to add city reflections to the sheet metal and windows of a moving car.
The car is changing size and angle during the shot, so it's not just a static reflection in a door and a window I'm thinking of.

Maybe I can download a 3D model of the car? Or pin the corners of the doors, windows etc (rotoscope them) and then add a reflection to it?

The whole thing should look as if I basically increased the reflective quality of the sheet metal.

Any ideas?


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Chris EvansRe: Adding reflections to surface of moving car
by on Feb 12, 2014 at 8:17:18 pm

That sounds near impossible to do. *IF* I were going to consider doing it, I would need an exact 3d model of the car, detail depending on how big the car gets in the shot, then match the motion of my 3d model perfectly (note: if it isn't perfect, it will just fail) and then render just reflections over transparency and put that on top of the footage of the car. Assuming everything goes really well, I would be about half sure it would look good.

However, if you're going to do that, just do the whole thing in CG.


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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Adding reflections to surface of moving car
by on Feb 13, 2014 at 7:55:25 am

I agree that the best way would be to re-create the shot in 3D. Element 3D allows for great results with the right models and textures.
However I would try some planar tracking with Mocha and then animating and applying a reflection texture to match the speed of the car - do a test for one door or window to see how that works.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Enno JacobsenRe: Adding reflections to surface of moving car
by on Feb 13, 2014 at 7:15:24 pm

I can't recreate the shot in 3D, I don't have any plate, plus I have actors in the car.
Tracking w/ Mocha and then applying a reflection texture is something I will try, that sounds promising. Ted, are you talking about applying the reflection texture in Element 3D?


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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Adding reflections to surface of moving car
by on Feb 14, 2014 at 11:48:36 am

No- in the Mocha planar tracking version I suggest tracking masks that match the reflective parts of the car (separate the windows from the body to allow for different opacity). Create a comp with the images you want reflected on the car (buildings, other cars...)and animate that to give the impression of movement (you'll have to match the speed of the car as perceived relative to the objects in the shot) and then bring that in your main comp and position it in 3d space to match the orientation of the car. Precomp that again and use the tracked masks to comp it on top of the original footage.
There may be other ways of doing it- I can see how using FreeForm Pro to distort the reflection layer in 3D to match not only the orientation but the curvature of the body of the car could be beneficial, but without seeing the footage is hard to be more specific.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Enno JacobsenRe: Adding reflections to surface of moving car
by on Feb 15, 2014 at 3:36:35 am

Ted - Thanks for the ideas! I'll try my best and if it works I'll post my results.

Enno


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