Tag :: Filmmaking

Posermocap, Daz|Studio, and Octane Muzzle Flash Effects video

We decided to put together a short animated clip showing the workflow of animating in Daz|Studio and rendering through OTOY’s Octane Render plugin. We used our own mocap files and Daz3d’s Genesis figure to create the following animated clip. Octane produces some very attractive images at amazing speed. Bringing Octane into the workflow required a few small tweaks to how we did things, but things worked very well when we did the finishing in Adobe After Effects. Have a look below:

Here are some observations about the process:

1. Octane fits very easily into the production workflow, although as an unbiased renderer, it gives more of a temptation to do everything “in camera” as opposed to rendering in layers and bringing it all together in compositing software.

2. It does take some pre-planning, but rendering out illumination from each light source separately gives a lot more flexibility in applying effects. The primary illumination was done using an HDR image. Illumination for the muzzle flash was done by first creating a muzzle flash prop as an OBJ file and parenting that to the rifle’s muzzle. Then, this was turned into a light emitter and the frames where the shot happens were rendered out with the emitter opacity set to zero. This gave the illumination without the emitter being visible in the scene. By rendering out only those frames where a gunshot occurs and compositing those with the main footage in After Effects, I was able to create the “flash” without burning any more render time than needed.

3. Any motion blur was done in After Effects using the Re-Vision FX Reelsmart Motion Blur plugin. No suprises – it does play nicely with Octane footage.

Here’s the assets that were used in the shot:

Michael 5 – We used Genesis with the Michael 5 morph to create the figure. The face was custom generated in Facegen.

Cody Hair for M6 – This is a Fibermesh hair that worked very well with custom Octane hair shaders to give a very realistic look under Octane’s Pathtracing kernel. It took a little bit of adjustment to get it to fit with Genesis, but once in place, it was just fine.

Unshaven Beard for Genesis – Again, a Fibermesh hair product that adjusted well to the custom facial morph and took the octane hair shaders as well.

War Dog for Genesis – The War Dog outfit by Luthbel is a great set of clothing for military and paramilitary characters. The straps and other accessories were turned off, and the pants had a custom color map created.

ICE Pack Three – We grabbed the rifle and eyewear from this set of military accessories for M4. This is an outstanding set that can give your figures some great-looking modern military gear.

Car Ranger – The vehicle Genesis uses for cover in this shot is the Car Ranger. A great-looking modern SUV. Octane also comes with custom car paint shaders that you can drag and drop onto the prop to get that perfect new car look right out of the box.

Behind the Neighborhood – Daz Studio artist DzFire did an amazing job on this environment. The brick buildings combine to give a dirty and grungy feel of a decaying urban alleyway –  the perfect place for a shootout.


Tips for Poser Animators: The Best Free Film School

When we’re starting out with character animation, we tend to rejoice when we finish a single render. But for every animator, there is the desire to do more, to actually combine the individual renders into a single, cohesive story. The problem is that for many of us, it’s a whole new level of complexity when we start looking at going beyond an animated clip and into the realm of film. Film is a new language to learn, and while there are many very reputable film schools scattered around the world, there are several free film schools available to those who seek them out.

Now, we’re going to talk a lot about the craft of filmmaking in this article, and everywhere you read filmmaking just substitute it with Poser Animation. For our purposes, the two are indistinguishable. The techniques may be different, but the language of film is the same as the language of animating with Poser or Daz|Studio.

So, what are these film schools? They are the Public Library, Film Festivals, and the Internet.

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Art of the Title Sequence

Art of the Title was brought to our attention today. It contains opening sequences from several movies and television shows and is an excellent resource of ideas for filmmakers who want to figure out how to get the best start for their film.

Hat tip to Video Copilot.

Advice to a Young Artist

We recently had the opportunity to sit down with a starting multimedia student. You see, a short interview with a person in the industry was an admissions requirement for her multimedia program.

Yeah, it was flattering. But we didn’t let it go to our heads too much. 🙂

However, the closing interview question started a discussion that we felt should be shared with our readers here on Posermocap.com. It was an inocuous enough question–“do you have any closing advice or comments?” but it opened up two interesting threads.

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Can Poser really be used to make a Movie?

This is not an unusual question. Both Poser and Daz|Studio have long been known as methods for creating outstanding looking still images, but not so much for animation.

Now, if you go onto any CG Animation forum on the net, you’ll likely find that lower-cost programs like Poser and Daz|Studio are not held in the same esteem as more expensive programs like Maya, 3DS MAX, Lightwave and Softimage. The perception is certainly out there that “good” animation needs expensive software and that the more expensive the software, the better the animation.

While it is true that the more expensive programs tend to have extensive toolsets, the capabilities of lower-cost programs have been expanding tremendously over the past few years. And for programs like Poser and Daz|Studio, they can indeed be used to make movies.

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