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Compositing a 3D Aircraft Carrier - Doesn't Blend...Tips??

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Micah ConradCompositing a 3D Aircraft Carrier - Doesn't Blend...Tips??
by on Oct 7, 2015 at 5:01:09 am

Hey everyone. So for a film I'm working on, we are trying to put an aircraft carrier out into this bay. We bought a very high quality model from turbosquid (http://www.turbosquid.com/3d-models/uss-ronald-reagan-cvn-76-3d-model/491281), matched the lighting of the scene within after effects, color corrected it, and added layers of fog/atmosphere.

Unfortunately, there's still something off about it. Within Element 3D V2, I added a matte shadow so we would get that slight shadow interaction on the water, as well as a subtle reflection.

I'm fairly new to compositing full 3D elements in After Effects, so if any of you see something that I missed I would greatly appreciate it. Trying to figure out why it stands out like it does... Link provided below!

Much thanks in advance!







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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Compositing a 3D Aircraft Carrier - Doesn't Blend...Tips??
by on Oct 7, 2015 at 6:26:40 am

Overall it looks pretty good, however I had the same feeling that something is off. The more I looked at it the more it seemed that it looked like a toy in a pond - I think that the reflection in the water is too big for the size of the carrier and the distance it's supposed to be at. At that distance and size, the reflection should be blending in the shadow. Take a look at this video of the Nimitz for reference:







Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Kalle KannistoRe: Compositing a 3D Aircraft Carrier - Doesn't Blend...Tips??
by on Oct 7, 2015 at 2:24:45 pm

What stands out for me as unrealistic is that shadow. Water actually receives very little shadow on its surface, it should mostly show the reflection of the ship. The reflection can be darker than the ship, but shadow on water is unnatural, as would be shadow on a mirror or glass or any other highly reflective object.


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Chris WrightRe: Compositing a 3D Aircraft Carrier - Doesn't Blend...Tips??
by on Oct 7, 2015 at 3:16:59 pm

not to be nitpicky or anything, but since you're asking for a critique, I agree with Tudor, the huge, dark shadow does not match the angle or softness of the ambient light. Also, the whole thing is in focus. In cgi, when things are that big, there's 3 elemental falloffs.

1. Focus. Not all the ship is in focus at the same time. the farthest edge gets gradually blurrier
2. the dust, smoke, air, etc. gets gradually stronger at the farthest edge occluding details and softening edges
3. environmental ambiance - lighting, angle, intensity, contrast, color, interaction(ie water ripples, there was none. It's very, very subtle but our brain knows what's missing)


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Micah ConradRe: Compositing a 3D Aircraft Carrier - Doesn't Blend...Tips??
by on Oct 7, 2015 at 6:57:19 pm

Oh no, nitpicky is what I want!! So thank you!

Definitely see what you're saying...as well as everyone else, thank you very much all for responding! I am going to be lowering the shadow amount substantially and darken that reflection.

Also will add depth to the fog and blur layers so it has that falloff like you talked about, Chris. That really clicks...something as big as an aircraft carrier would definitely have varrying blur and fog.

If anyone else see's anything...lay it on me.

Thank you everyone so very much!

Will post back with next version


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