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Setting up 3D desert scene

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Moog Gravett
Setting up 3D desert scene
on Dec 8, 2011 at 3:43:08 pm

Hi folks,

I'm a reasonably ok AE user looking to create my first 3D set scene. Till now, most of my stuff has been 2D and naturally I've watched a number of tutorials and checked forums etc, but I have a few specific as well as general questions.

My goal is to try and create a realistic looking scene from still images and green screen actors, then layer in some particle effects and so on. I want to build out of planes rather than insert items into a single photo.

Perhaps you can answer my questions, or point me towards a tutorial I may have missed

Hope you can help.

1) I've set up my scene using a ground plane using a motion tile and a sky plane existing in 3D space. Using the camera I can get some reasonable depth of field blur, but is this the most efficient way to do it.

2) I want to have a natural atmosphere / colour / saturation fall off as the scene reaches the horizon. How can I achieve this?

3) I'd quite like to have a heat haze, but only affecting the rear of the scene. I'm going to try and set up a distortion on a plane and place it in the 3D scene, but the plane would probably need to be really large. Is there a more efficient way? Maybe using an adjustment layer?

That'll do for starters :) though I'm sure I'll be back with more problems as I go through..

Thanks for any help you can offer,

Moog


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Setting up 3D desert scene
on Dec 8, 2011 at 6:43:51 pm

Have you been to videocopilot.net, where Andrew Kramer deals with many of your concerns in his tutorials?

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Moog Gravett
Re: Setting up 3D desert scene
on Dec 8, 2011 at 6:48:53 pm

Hi, thanks for the reply.

I've been through a number of his excellent tutorials, but can't find the specifics I'm looking for. I don't suppose you'd know of a couple of specifics to look at?

thanks

Moog


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Setting up 3D desert scene
on Dec 8, 2011 at 6:55:23 pm

Nope, I can't point to any specific one. I don't look at them often enough to do so.

Since you mentioned "desert scene", I'm more interested in how green-screen actors will interact realistically with non-existent sand. On a dune, it's easy to step into that stuff up to your shoe tops, and even slide backward a little bit.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Moog Gravett
Re: Setting up 3D desert scene
on Dec 8, 2011 at 6:58:15 pm

ah - well, I thought that far ahead and have opted for a nice easy baked, cracked earth floor. :) A few particle dust around footfalls and i'm there ;)

m


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Darby Edelen
Re: Setting up 3D desert scene
on Dec 14, 2011 at 12:41:38 am

[Moog Gravett] "2) I want to have a natural atmosphere / colour / saturation fall off as the scene reaches the horizon. How can I achieve this?"

I've never used this suite of effects, but it claims to do what you're asking about:

http://digieffects.com/product/buena_depth_cue#features

The alternative is laborious, involves expressions, and doesn't always work depending on the scene.

[Moog Gravett] "3) I'd quite like to have a heat haze, but only affecting the rear of the scene. I'm going to try and set up a distortion on a plane and place it in the 3D scene, but the plane would probably need to be really large. Is there a more efficient way? Maybe using an adjustment layer?"

If the layer is going to remain distant from the camera then it does not need to be high resolution. Around the resolution of your composition should be fine. As you move this layer away from the camera you can scale it up and lose no detail in the image.

The best way I can recommend to do this is to use an adjustment layer with Distort > Displacement Map and Blur & Sharpen > Compound Blur. If you pre-compose the 3D "heat haze" displacement source and collapse transformations then you just have to point those effects to that pre-comp.

I can upload an example file if you're interested.

Darby Edelen


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Moog Gravett
Re: Setting up 3D desert scene
on Dec 14, 2011 at 11:13:11 am

Thanks Darby,

I'll give the heat haze a go :)

I think I need a rethink about how I'm going to do the depth. I don't really need a major camera move so I'll look into ways of faking it.

I think my biggest problem was the ground plane. Everything else I can easily CC and manually blur.
My ground is currently a pretty large texture with a repeat on it to fill in the edges.

If you (or anyone) has any ideas of ways I can create a better and more controllable ground plane, I'd love to hear them.

Cheers

Moog


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