NAB 2016 Rewind - David Ariew: One-Man VFX Workflow - Holistic & Harry Star Potter - Tips & Tricks

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David Ariew shows a number of Cinema 4D techniques in this double-feature presentation.

David Ariew shows a number of Cinema 4D techniques in this double-feature presentation. In the first half, David shows how he completed several VFX shots for the music video ‘A Bad Think,’ including helicopter shots around a cruise ship, people diving off a cruise ship and a massive sci-fi orb. Next David shows texturing and modeling techniques he used to create a fan film combining Harry Potter and Star Wars. David also shows a process for manually tracking arms to add 3D gauntlets, for creating a projection map from a mushroom timelapse using point-level-animation, and for creating a VFX shot that loops through a trophy case.

06:47A Bad Think Music Video
10:43Orb Design / GSG Transform
13:41Octane Emmisive Textures
15:33Divers - Motion Tracker
24:40Ocean Surface - HOT4D
26:14Long Lens Helicopter Shots / Camera Morph
32:23Baking Camera for AE Export
33:21Octane Lighting and Texturing
46:23Birds Animation
52:36Harry Star Potter / Octane Emission and Displacement
62:18Asteroid Modeling (Brush Tool)
68:15Asteroid Belt Cloner
73:06Stormtrooper Character Animation / Vibrate Tag
80:12Gauntlets (Manual Object Tracking)
92:41Mushrooms Projection Mapping
101:54Trophy Case

Recorded Live from NAB 2016 in Las Vegas.



- Hey, everybody. My name is David Ariew, and I'm a freelancer and generalist based in Charlottesville, Virginia. I do the whole range of post-production tasks from DIT, which often doubles as a VFX supervisor role, through to editing and color grading, and my bread and butter, which is VFX and Mograph. I got my start in Charlottesville's film scene doing the touring visuals for Dave Matthews Band, which was an awesome first gig, because they really let us direct the content ourselves. We just got to go crazy. They really didn't care what we were making. So that was when I first dove into Cinema 4D and got to experiment. It was a great first gig because of that experimentation. It was a creative playground. So I'm going to play for you my reel. And if you see anything super weird, it's probably from those DMB days. ♪ [music] ♪ All right. Thank you. So you can find more of my stuff at, and you can follow me on Twitter @DavidAriew. So as a solo artist, I am frequently looking for tools that allow me to generate complexity for cheap, and I think that's my theme here today. Oftentimes I want to skip like the most painstaking steps, which for me are modeling, which I totally still suck at, and to a lesser degree, texturing and rigging, and skip to the things that I feel like I can art direct quickly, which are more like camera animation, lighting, rendering, compositing. That stuff that I can just jam out quickly, because at the end of day, I just want to make pretty pictures. I want the computer to do a lot of the heavy lifting for me, and get out of my way. So that's, for me, where OctaneRender comes in. I'm sure many of you are familiar with Octane, at least that it's a third party renderer like VRay. But I think it's taking the Cinema 4D community by storm because it fits into the cinema mindset so well, which is, pick it up and play with it, and make something cool fast, kind of way. Cinema is just this great tool that brings all these different plugins together, and the ones that really stick and resonate with the community are the ones that are user friendly, and also really easy to learn. I feel like Octane fits into that mold perfectly. Gone are the days when I hit render, and I come back an hour later only to find that everything's broken, or there was just one little thing that I wish I could have tweaked. Because, with Octane you get this immediate real time feedback, and it's something I can't live without anymore. For instance, like lighting used to be something scary, and now I can just throw in an HDRI, throw in a daylight rig, or soft boxes, spin them around, and in real time, I can see everything update, and I can see where I want to put the lights, and I just stop when it looks good. So for me, that's a game changer. You know all those rules about, don't use blurry reflections, those are going take forever. Render out your depth passes for Frischluft in post so you can avoid baking that in, because that's going to take forever. You've got to render out your motion vector passes for something like real smart motion blur. And GI, well, don't even bother with that. That's like super flickery anyway. Get a render farm. Well, with Octane, these gaming GPUs become your personal render farm. They're just orders of magnitude faster than CPUs. So I just really feel like with the first Octane projects I did, I was really stunned to find that rather than being my usual crazy stuff in AfterEffects and compositing everything, I was reaching close to a final result coming directly out of Cinema 4D, right out of the renderer. I was baking in that shallow depth of the field, baking in the motion blur, baking in these crazy displacement textures. I could throw on blurry reflections, subsurface scattering, you name it. I could crank the settings to 11, and not have a big render hit. So for me, that's why I've got this mad crush on Octane, and why I'm geeking out so hard right now about it. But I'm going to jump into the meat of this presentation, which is this music video that I did about a year ago. I did my whole one-man band routine. I did the VFX supervision and DIT on set. I did the color grading, the editing, and the VFX. The director came with this pretty crazy vision. He was like, "Let's follow this collection of people onto this cruise ship. In the middle of the night, this alien orb descends from the sky and attracts people with this light. Everybody goes out to the deck and hurls themselves off the cruise ship and dies." So I'm like, "That's a cool concept dude." But first off, we didn't have a cruise ship. We didn't have any stunt people that could jump off of a rig or land on a pad, or anything like that. We didn't have an alien orb. So that stuff was up to me. So I'm just going to jump in and show you the end of this video that was more Octane and Cinema 4D based. ♪ [music] ♪ All right. So kind of creepy, kind of dark. So just to throw out that out there, here's my super sweet DIT rig. So right off the bat, I wanted to figure out how we're going to make this cruise ship. First off, there is no way in hell I can model a cruise ship myself. That would take me like three months. I'm just not that good at modeling. So right off the bat, I'm reaching for TurboSquid. Luckily the director was super cool about buying the mother of all cruise ship models. This thing cost $1,100, and already we're building in all this detail and complexity. And he was chill with doing this, because we're going to "shoot the crap out of this thing." It's our hero element. We're going to be using it throughout every shot. So already, I wouldn't call this "complexity for cheap," but it's certainly cheaper than me trying to do this myself when there are people that have already done this on TurboSquid. The thing I really love about this, and I find funny is that this ship is called the Costa Concordia, and that's actually a real ship that sunk. So it fits the theme perfectly. So we'd figured out the cruise ship, and the very next thing to figure out was, what does this orb looks like? So right out of the gate, I will show you what I rendered from Octane. So this is the pass that came out of Octane. And then here, I added some Video Copilot Color Vibrance. And you gotta throw in a lens flare. Here is where I feel like it really came together with this camera shake, and we've got these pre-baked particle sims. These are Video Copilot's Shockwave plugins. It's just this cool inner glow that's coming out of this orb, the shells unfurling, and we're seeing this glow come apart. We've got this turbulent ripple. This was really quick to put together, and to go back and forth with the director, but he was happy with it at this stage, so we just moved on. I'm going to quickly jump in and show you how I built that. All right. Here we go. So right out of the gate, because I didn't want to do all this complex animation, I reached for Greyscalegorilla's wonderful plugin, Transform. It's just got a bunch of super easy to use presets. And I'm just going to hide these couple layers here. So I'm sure you've seen Nick Campbell do this like a million times, right? If you've got a sphere, you've got these quads, and maybe you want a more interesting looking shape. So you can set it to icosahedron, and then we've got triangles. And for me, this just created more interesting geometric shapes to start with. This is incredibly simple stuff, but when you layer a bunch of simple things together, sometimes you can end up with something more complex. So I'm literally using the default Transform here, and I've got two instances; one that is blending in, and one that's blending out. Together, they form a cross dissolve of Transform. So if I zip through here, you can see, it's just creating these random movements. The other thing that's going on is we've got this mode set to chunk. With the chunk mode, it is grouping these polygons into randomized shapes. So we're getting more detail and complexity and randomness, which is something that we're after. So I thought that looked cool. That's the core, really simple, and then I just threw in a null and set it to rotate. So super simple. I'm going to back out here. My second shell here is set to this fade preset. If I come in here, it's just noise fade and all it is doing is scaling down the pieces, so nothing interesting. Then finally, I've got this zipper shape here. As it sounds, it's just unzipping this sphere into two halves. I've got some neat overlapping animations going on. But this really came together, I feel, when I fired it up into Octane. So I'm going to click on Octane here, and then fire this up, and I've got my interactive preview window. And I'm going to take it and dock it down here. And I'm going to pull this up. So already you can see, we've got this live update going on, which I find super awesome. If I can just grab this guy here. All right. With this core, Octane has something called an emission texture, and this is very similar to Cinema 4D's default luminance texture. It just says, "Emit light from these pieces of geometry." So if we just dive in here, we've got this emission texture here, and I've loaded in a Cinema 4D Octane blackbody emission tag. So you go, Cinema 4D Octane, blackbody emission. Now you can see, this inner core is lighting up the inner shell of this geo. We can kick this up another notch with Octane's camera tags. So if you just come in here, go to post processing, and turn this on, now we've got this sweet glow right inside of Octane. So for me, this prevents me from having to go back and forth to post. I love being able to see this directly inside of Octane, and it allows for these organic moments, where maybe we're over here, and we're making decisions that we wouldn't necessarily have made without being able to see all this stuff come together in Cinema 4D. So that's what I love, is being able to see my final result right here. For instance, here, this is kinda cool. This light is escaping these cracks. We're seeing all these geometric shapes happening, and it's like this inner glow that's being unleashed. So combining these two simple things together got me this pretty cool result, and I was able to move on. So I'm going to close out of that, and jump back over here. So we had our orb. We had our cruise ship. Now the kicker is, how are we going to get people to jump off of a cruise ship when we didn't have any stunt men? Props to the director on this one, because he was like, "Let's look up some stock footage of people..." Oops, that's the final. "Let's look up some stock footage of people having a great time cliff diving." So they're jumping in, having fun, and then it's just a matter of painstakingly roto-ing them out, and replacing the background with all that CG stuff, and camera tracking. I'm going to show you these final shots right here. So this is what it ended up as. You see, I've got all this CG in there. The cool thing is I decided to keep this waterline here. So we've got the real water, so we're not having to do any kind of fluid sims. So that's cool. Here, that's the fake water. But you get the idea, keeping the splash. So I'm saving myself a lot of work that way, and using this live action plus CG thing makes it look pretty cool. So I'm going to jump in and show you my process for 3D tracking. It is lightning fast to do this in Cinema. So I've got my sweet cruise ship here. I've baked down all the textures, or I've removed all the textures and baked it down, because soon as viewport is really, really zippy when you've baked everything down. If you've got a lot of generators, and cloners, and objects, it's going to really lag on you. So this allows me for my pre-vis process to just like... it's really flexible. You can just zoom around, everything is good. So right out of the gate, I'm going to drop in a motion tracker object, and I'm going to find my footage somewhere. All right. So I've got this target sequence, and Cinema 4D plays really, really well with target sequences. They cache up super fast, and I don't know why that is, but they are just the greatest for jamming out stuff fast. So there's my shot. It's playing back. Everything's good. I'm just going to go to 2D tracking here, and say, "Create auto tracks and auto track." It's going to track forward and backward. And maybe I want more than that, so I'm going decrease the minimum length, and everything is going to get way more error-y. But that's okay. We just want more and more trackers. So create auto tracks, auto tracks. I'm just sampling the different points in the timeline. All right. So there we go. We've got all these auto tracks. This is crazy fast. Now these last few frames, the water wipes the screen. So there's no way we can track this. It's all mushy and there's nothing there. So for that, I had to manually keyframe the camera for the last few frames. So I'm not going to worry about that. But what we can fix is we've got these things that are clearly jumping all over the place that we can get rid of. So we can just lasso select those, and kill them with delete. At some point, I'm just going to call this good. Not the greatest track ever, but for our purpose here, it's totally fine. The thing I love about Cinema's trackers, when I hit solve, it is done. Right now, my motion tracker's embedded in my cruise ship, so I'm going to bring back my axis with option D. I'm going to pull it out here. So if you imagine how this shot looked like, we were at the bottom of this really big object looking up at this person jumping. So let's try to recreate that here with our camera. So let's rotate our camera upwards. I can just grab this entire motion tracker object, and manipulate the whole scene that way. Say it's something like that, and it was also close to the bottom of the ship. So I'll pull this on down, and that should be good. I'm going to jump into my camera here, and I'm going to combine my footage, and I'm going untick show image so that we can just see what's going on. Maybe I'll throw my grid on there. So if I hit Shift V, I can go to my filter and turn on my grid. Oops. There we go. So now I can see how the track is working. So I'm just going to play it back, and there you go. It's working up until those last few frames I told you about, where it's just going to totally freak out on me. There you go, it freak out. So 34, let's just lop it off . I'm not going to worry about that. Worry about that later. All right. So this looks like it's working pretty well. The next thing I'm going to do is I'm going to show my image again, and instead of keep in foreground, I'm going to pop it into keep in background so we can... or if you untick keep in foreground, you can see it in the background. So now we can see a little bit closer that these two worlds are married together a little bit. So if I take my motion tracker object now, and rotate the coordinate, I can adjust this whole scene and maybe line it up differently. So something like that. I don't know. I'm just going to cheat this around. I can also to take my cruise ship, if I've got my axis selected. And I can't find my axis. Let's see, option D, let's try that. Nope. Maybe I can rotate the coordinate. Hey, there we go. Maybe I'm looking for something more like that. So there's some flexibility here with how you're designing a shot. All right. So next thing I'm going to do is go to my 2D tracking here. I'm going to say, footage actually, "Create background object." I don't actually want the background objects, and also I need to turn off my show image here, so we're not duplicating that. I want a foreground object. So this allows me to just see... what I've done is, I've gone ahead and basically cut out this person. So I've keyed them out and also done some roto. And I'm just going to take this texture here, and pop it onto the foreground. Kill the background. And then if I go here and load in a different piece of footage, where I've got my alpha channel baked in, go to my pre-renders. I've just got this TIFF sequence with alpha baked in. So there we go. Now we can see we've got a little cut out, but she's not moving. So if I just jump in here and go to animation, and hit calculate, it will figure out the frame rate and the stuff it needs. So now, we've got the shot that looks pretty sweet, looks like these things belong together. Maybe the last frame is a little bit weird. And this was my process for pre-vis. At this point, we can reframe and change things around if we want, to bring the cruise ship a little forward. Maybe she's not close enough to the point where she would jump off, and so there's some creative flexibility here, which I really like. So a sweet, little trick for you guys. If you hit option B, you get this hardware preview, make preview dialogue. In the make preview dialogue, there's an option called hardware preview. And what this is going to do is it's going to use your GPU to render out whatever it sees in the viewport. So it's also super fast, so I think GPU equals super awesome fast. You can't see it down here. There's a progress bar, but it's already done. So if I cache this back up, this little button here caches. You see now I've got a shot that I can actually cut into my edit, and I can go back and forth with the director and be like, "Do you like this? Do you like this?" And save myself from rendering things that I don't need. So now if I show in finder explorer, here's my movie, put it in Premiere, whatever you want to do. So that's kinda my process for pre-vis. I'm going to close this guy out and jump into the next. So I've got one more fun one here. I like this shot because...well, let me get my guy. This is disconnected. Jump back here to Running Jumper. I've got really clever naming conventions. Let's see if this is playing back. No. So same thing jump in here, calculate. He's jumping off the ship. So we didn't use this one, because he's having way too much fun for somebody that supposed to be dying, but I liked it because it felt cool together. So what I like is that this is like a digital set now, where I can cheat this over. Say I wanted to see where he's landing more. I could come back here, and now he's jumping off the ship, and we can really see where he's going to hit the water. This was another fun little accident that happened. I was playing around with this, and I got close to the balcony here, the railing, which is a little bit forward. Hopefully this will work. Yeah, there we go. So now our shot is like flying through the banister. That's cool. There are all these unique moments that you can generate with this process. I mean maybe this is a specific example. A lot of times you'll have to really marry live action with CG in a much more intense way, but in this case it's just someone that's like literally jumping off something and falling. So there is a little more flexibility here. All right. So once I had that stuff, I was able to... oh wait, one more thing. So I didn't have an ocean. I'm like, "How do I make an ocean?" Well, thankfully there's this amazing free plugin called HOT4D, and that stands for Houdini Ocean Tool Kit. It's literally a port of this really cool noise algorithm from Houdini that looks like waves. It's very art directable, you can just jump in here and change your choppiness, and all these values. So you can get choppy waves, or not choppy waves. You can get wind speed, so it's flatter, or change your resolution, all sorts of things. All you have to do is feed it a subdivided plane, and that's it. So that was the last piece of puzzle. Totally saved my butt. Had my ocean, had my cruise ship, had my people jumping, all these things. So I was able to assemble a pre-vis. So this was great. Like, "Hey, director, do want the guy to jump from up here, or do you want the guy to jump from here? Do you... ?" Let's see, we'll skip forward. "Do you want the ship to look like this, or do you want it be on its side? Or maybe do you want it big?" Then I baked out all these different camera moves. Just jammed out a bunch of cameras moves really fast to see how they cut together in edit. Just seeing how the motion played together. This again, saved me from having to render things that I didn't need. I really love these long lens shots here. I've got one down here. Makes the CG look really massive. The background's whizzing by, everything looks big, so it's like that helicopter shot. So I dig that look. I'm going to show you how to make that. So I've just got my clean scene yet again. This is like Andrew Kramer's dogma. So I'm going to turn off the grid because it looks annoying. There we go. Is, parent the camera to the null. So everybody's heard that, but that's exactly what we're going to do. We're going to take a null, drop it in, and move it to the front of the cruise ship. So this is actually what I want to pivot around. Then I can drop in a camera, and pop it in the null. So now the camera is parented to the null. So if you grab the null, we can just take the coordinate here. You want to be inside the camera. So now I'm looking through the camera. So you can see we're pivoting around this. Or if we move the null back, then we're pivoting around somewhere back there, but I want to pivot around the front. This is like an animation layers thing, where the camera is controlling... I'm going to control the in and out, like dollying in and out with a camera, and reframing. With the null, I'm going to control the rotation. Now a little known trick here, is everybody knows you can use the two key, and left click to zoom... I'm sorry, dolly in and out. But not a lot of people know that you can use the two key, and right click to zoom in and out. So I'm dynamically changing the focal length. So if I want a super wide angle lens, I can just jump out here. Now we've got like some crazy 8 mill distortion, or 11 mill distortion, whatever. Here I want like a really long lens. So I want like a 200 mill lens. Not enough people change the default focal length. So I'm going to keep backing out here, keep backing out. And so I want to be in the front of the ship, and maybe I want to have it take over more of the frame. Let's cheat it like that. I'm holding on the three key, and right clicking, this also lets us rotate like that. I don't know what you'd call that. All right. So say that's good. I'm also going to make sure my key interpolation is set to linear, so that I'm not doing any easing. With the camera, I want to just go to my coordinate, and set my position coordinates. You can go to null, and I'm going to set rotation coordinates. Then I'm going to jump to the end. I want to take my null, rotate around like so, and I want to reframe. Maybe that's a little far with the null. I don't want to go too crazy. Let's do that. I can back out. And I'm going to set all my keyframes. Boom, boom, boom. Okay. So it starts here, and actually want to be further in. And already we've got this epic-feeling shot. Once you have it in the background, and that's like zooming on by, it's going to look more like a helicopter. Then the last thing I would do, is just go in-- this is super simple-- and throw in a Cinema 4D vibrate tag. And what this does is it just add some camera shakes, and random rotations. I'm just going to type in 0.02, 0.04, 0.02 in this case. Now you can see we've got a little bit of that camera float. It feels like the wind's whipping boy, and we're in a real helicopter. So that's my initial process for camera animation. And then my even more super-favorite process for camera animation is using this camera morph object. There it is, it's grayed out. So say we wanted to fly down this ship, like it's the death star trench run. We're flying on down this thing. We can easily do that in a few seconds. So say we start out here. Dropping the camera, go into my camera and duplicate it, because that was camera one. I've jumped in the second one. Come here, let's position ourselves so we're somewhere in here. Duplicate again, fly on down. Maybe I want to see these lifeboats. These are cool lifeboats. So I'm just going to rotate down. Now we're looking at them. So I'm using this coordinate here. This allows us to pan around, whatever... HPV. I forget what that stand for. Position banking, heading, whatever. Why don't you just call it rotation? All right. I duplicated my last camera, and I'm going to look back up, and then I'm just going to go to the end, all the way out here, all the way. There we go. So our camera move currently goes one, two, three, four. So now I can just grab all these and throw them into a camera morph object. Come back here, and it's currently backwards. So I'm just going to go to 100%. It doesn't matter. Set the blend to a keyframe, go to the end and set it to zero. So already we've got this animation, and it's going to go through the wall. We don't want that, but we're getting somewhere. But this is a really good point that it's super simple to adjust. So I've got my cameras that build this camera morph, and if I grab this dude here and just pull him on out like that, already we are not going to hit the wall. We've got a sweet move that I built in like two minutes, or something. Pretty cool. This is my process for camera animation. I use the thing all the time. Now if you want to add your vibrate tag to this, you would think that if you pop it on there, turn on rotation, nothing happens. So in this case, you actually want to add it to the individual camera. So now I'm like freaking out, and then it blends out of that because this is blending between cameras. So that's pretty cool. You could actually use that for something. I'm just going to duplicate this to all of them, select them all. And I'm going to do 0.02, 0.04, 0.02 because it is the wider lens, so the values changed a little bit. Now we've got this organic camera float that's subtle, along with our move. We're good to go. We're going to render this out for pre-vis. But if you want to bring this to After Effects, it's not going to work. Just trust me on that, it's not going to work. I don't know why, but you have to bake your camera at this point. So really easy to do. Go to your morph camera, go to your coordinate. Here, I can either set a keyframe or just go to animation add track, then animation show track. Now my camera is inside the timeline. You can also just drag it in. Just click on the camera, go to functions, big objects and hit OK. Now we've got a copy that has a keyframe. You can see the keyframes on every frame and this will come into After Effects seamlessly. You'll have all your vibrate data, and you'll be able to do your 3D compositing. Like if you want to replace the sky, if you want to add in your volumetric stuff, whatever you want to do in After Effects, this is going to work now. So moving on to the next thing. All right. Sweet. We get to go into the fun part, which is this Octane demo. So real quick, this is one reason I love Octane, is I feel like it makes soulless CG, less soulless. So I've got all these little lights here, and all I've done is gone and selected a bunch of geometry, and done that trick earlier that I showed you, which is setting it to an emission texture. So this adds this big sense of scale, like when you've got all these little lights. It feels like people are actually inhabiting these windows here. Just select a bunch of geometry, and set one texture for the whole thing, and away you go . The other thing I loved is, here, the director was like, "That's a sweet sunset scene bro, but I want it to be night." So I'm like, "Oh, okay." Then I just switch out the HDRI. Immediately, we've got something that looks completely different. Totally different lighting setup, completely different mood, really easy. Then with these windows here, I added these textures. So we've got this streaky fogged glass look, and we've also got all of these grungy imperfections on the side of the ship. This is actually very easy to generate these imperfections in Octane, and I'm going to jump in and show you how to do that. All right. So I've just split out this balcony so that it loads really quickly. So it's just a piece of the balcony. Then I'm going to come into Octane, and again fire it off. So that's that green button, and then I'm going to take it and dock it in my interface down here. This is always tricky, so it's going to screw up. It's not where I want it. I want it right down there. There we go. Then I'm going to squish all this stuff, this is how I work. I like to just have it living in Cinema here. So right out of the gate, I've gone ahead and set selection on a bunch of these windows. By that I mean, I've just got this selection tag that has a few windows, and I've got this material sitting here. It's not currently doing anything. It's just white. But in my emission tab, I can add Cinema 4D Octane, blackbody emission. Everything is going to blow out because the power is way too high. So I jump in here, decrease the power, and already we've got this sweet window glow. If I want to change the temperature, I can just drag this to the left and now we've got this cool tungsten-y vibe going on. And that's it. Already, I'm done. I've got this really cool glowing window. All right. So things are starting to get a little bit weird. Okay, there we go. It looks like we're freezing again. There we go. You can see, everything is real-time updating. I can rotate around, and we're seeing all that happen in real-time. So, hell yeah. I don't know why it's being a little bit freezy. So I'm going to show you what I did with the windows right here. So I've got this glass material, and you can see the reflections here. And right now it's a clear glass. But in Octane, it's very easy to get blurry reflections, and it takes that for granted, because it's built from the ground up for that, for this accurate treatment of light, and for assuming certain things about these materials. One thing that it assumes is if a surface is rough, it scatters and diffuses the light, and will cause a blurry reflection. That does not take a whole lot more computing. So if I just go to this roughness channel here, and just bring it up a little bit. Immediately we've got this fogged glass look. So we've got both transparency, and we've got blurry reflections, which is pretty awesome. But we can do one better. We can go into this texture here, and load in something called a roughness map. What that means is it's basically using a texture to vary the level of roughness across the surface. So here I've got this texture, and I'm going to preview. You can get something like this on, wherever. It's just a black and white grunge texture that's tileable, and then add that in. All right. Double click that, hit no. And immediately you should be able to see we've got some of the streaky look going on. Now I am going to actually bring down the roughness all the way to zero, because what's doing this work now is more of the texture. So we'll actually see this more pronounced now. Okay, cool. That's pretty good. We can control this even more now, if we add in something called a Cinema 4D Octane mix texture. So what this will do is, it'll give us some more controls here. We actually want this texture to be in the amount. So we want this in the amount, driving to greyscale textures. It's almost like a range mapper, or a gradient, is what we're looking to build. So I'm going to hit this text button, and now we've got access to another texture slot. So we'll just take this in drag it here. There we go. And now I want my black and white colors, so I'm just going to come down to Cinema 4D Octane, and go to... Float texture, where are you? There we go. Then I can just literally take this one and drag it here, and I want one to be black and then I want the other one to be white, or approximately. So at this point, we're back to where we started, but we have this extra level of control where, say we don't want this to be quite so blurry. We can then just drag this down. You'll see it'll clear up to where maybe we want to see through the glass a little bit more, but we still want those streaky imperfections, or maybe we want the opposite. Maybe we want it to be really blurry, or just catch a hint of that texture. So we've now put both up closer to white. So this is cool. I really like this extra level of control that I can get. I'm going to move on to showing you a little bit about the daylight, and HDRI system. So we can rotate around here. If I come to my environment tag... I'm sorry, I'm totally making Cinema freak out here. So I came to this HDRI that's sitting here, clicked the environment tag. I can just rotate this around, and immediately we get these different lighting conditions that look really cool. I can see what I'm doing, I'm real-time lighting here. So that's great. If I just rotate around here, I can switch out, say, I turn this guy off. I've got another texture just sitting there. There's another HDRI, 10 minutes. All right, sweet. Fantastic. This is totally different lighting setup. I've got another HDRI sitting there, rotate that guy around and now we've got a completely different look. There's also this thing called... you go to objects, Octane Daylight. It's this completely different system called the Daylight Rig that overrides the HDRI. It acts as if how you would expect an atmosphere to. So if I drag my sun down, and just drag this on down, we get this immediate sunset-y look. I'm going to rotate this around, so if I go to my daylight tag, I can drag the north offset until hopefully we're going to see the sun around here somewhere. I'm just going to try to find that dude. There he is. Hey, sun. So you can see, as I drag this down, the shadows are going to get softer, and it's going to diffuse everything more, and we're going to get this orange-y nice sunset. If I drag it up, it's more like high noon. So it behaves how you'd expect an atmosphere to. The other cool thing is if I rotate this around to a point where I can actually see my shadows; I'm going to bring the coordinate down again. So somewhere around there, and I'm going to rotate this daylight tag until we actually catch some of those shadows. There we go, we're getting close. There we go. So now we can see these shadows. And the daylight tag, if I set my sun aize all the way down, you'll see the shadows are really hard. If you pull them up, they get much softer. So that's a cool control. Then you've got your power which is obvious. Blow everything out or decrease the power. But if I crank this up, turbidity will basically make the scene really high contrast, and clip everything. If you drag it to the right, then it'll make everything a lot more low-con. So a lot of really, really good controls here. Now you can get even more control over this if you click on the mix sky texture box here. So now I'm actually controlling both the Daylight Rig, if we rotate this guy around. You can see, there is my sun and all that's stuff happening, and I'm controlling my HDRI back there. You see that moving around. So we're doing both of these things at once, which is great. But one caveat is if you now go into your HDRI and you try to play with this power slider, ain't nothing gonna happen. So what we've got to do is... this button on the left is the HDRI control. This one on the right is the image texture control. We want to set this to an image texture. But if I do that, it's going to wipe this out. So I'm going to jump in here. I'm going to go to the shader, and I'm going to copy this path. I'm gonna jump back out. Click on this button, jump back in and then paste it. A little workaround there. Now we're kinda back to where we were, though you can see the sky is a lot flatter. So with the image textures, you want the gamma to be set to 2.2, versus 1 with the HDRIs. Now we're back to where we were with the exception of, if we crank this power, now we've got the ability to bring back our HDRI. So we can alter the balance of how these lighting elements are playing together. So the daylight, we could bring down the power of that if we don't want that to be so harsh. Then we can up the power of the HDRIs to something like 25, then rotate it around, etc. When you combine these two systems, you're potentially not going to get as much of a realistic result, but it's really good to be able to have that extra level of control if you need to hack things. All right. So the next thing I wanted to talk about is, when I was doing a lot of these long lens shots, I would zoom way in like I showed you, holding down two and right clicking, so I get a really long lens. I'm just to keep on going and going. And at some point, we are punching into our HDRI so far that we're losing resolution. This is not shallow depth of field. If I come to my camera tag and go to my thin lens, I can bring this all the way down to the point where we're at an infinite depth of field. At this point, we're just losing resolution, because we're so close to it, and maybe that's not what we want. In this case, what you can do is you can jump into your environment tag here. Because we set it is an image texture, we've now got this extra control where we can hit UV Transform. Inside UV Transform, we can basically scale it down. There's a scale control. If I lock the aspect to ratio, I've got control of the scale of this sky. So as I bring this down, you'll see we're gaining back all of this cool detail. So that's great. That was definitely a lifesaver on a few things. The final couple things I want to show you are the shallow depth of field system in this... I'm going to get away from this ugliness that we're currently looking at, and move more into this window setup. So first off, I really like... in the camera tag, there's this ability to jump in and affect your white balance. So it's how you would imagine white balance like a camera, where if you set it to like really orange, your scene is actually gonna go more blue. So if I set it to orange, we're going to get more neutral. And I really love being able to color grade, to a small degree, inside of Octane, because again, this informs the decisions I'm making, it informs the mood and how I'm art directing everything before I even get into post. So I'm basically like fixing it in render. So that's an interesting thing. And then I love the shallow depth of field features inside of Octane. So if I come into this railing, and again, we've got the same roughness map on the railing to where we're seeing these imperfections. Five minutes, all right. I can come to my camera tag here, and go to my thin lens. The second I start pulling this down, immediately I've got this shallow depth of field that I can bake into the image. And I can come to this button here that's called pick focus, and I can just click on any of these points in my scene. If I really make this extreme, you'll see even more what I'm talking about. So say we've got this crazy shallow depth of field. I can click over here, and now we're focused over here. And I can click over here, and now we're focused over here. So this is super cool. You can also control middle-click, is another way to do that. All right. So that is my Octane texturing demo. I'm going to jump into a couple shot breakdowns real quick. So I just want to share with you these really crappy birds that I animated. Birds, there you are. There we go. So we've got some birds, and they're flapping around. They're going flappity-flap. I'm going to jump into this camera here so we can see this one here. And so this was my beautiful bird animation. This is incredibly simple. I could have used bend deformers on the wings, but instead for some reason I reached for this wrap deformer, because it's symmetrical. These are playing in concert, where one is animating the wings half way, and the other one's animating the wings the rest of the way. So if I grab both of these right click, and show tracks, you can see what's going on where when one is up the other is down. Really, really simple animation. Nothing exciting going on here. So I'm going to cut this guy off, go back to this view. All right. So I've got my flapping birds. And the way that I'm doing this is, they're just thrown into a clone or object, but this random effector is... I'm keyframing the spread so that they're all moving at different rates. So this is something you want. You don't all want them to be moving at the same rate. Then beyond that, the entire cloner object is just animating forward. So they're all moving forward, but they're moving forward at different speeds, so that gives it a little bit of more of a natural look. Then they're also all flapping at different rates. This is also done with the random effector set to... You can't see it at the bottom, but if I just tear this off, you should be able to see it. Time offset; and if I set this time offset to zero, you should be able to see that they're all now flapping at the same rate. So that is driving the offset. So that's cool, but I run into this problem a lot where I'm like, "I want a lot of birds," or whatever it is. I've got an animation, and I want to have a lot of that thing. So I can come in here, and say I set my mode to grid array, and go, 11 by 11. Now I've got a lot of birds. Cinema is just going to start chugging, because this is too much. So what do you do? You go to render instances. This is going to speed it up, right? But now we've lost our out of sync birds, and they're all flapping at the same rate, which is not what we want. So I figured out this cool little trick. All I have to do is duplicate this bird a few times, and the cloner is going to look through and pick these out as maybe like six or seven different instances. Immediately we've got these guys all going at different rates, so that was a pretty useful little trick. So with this shot here, this is our hero orb reveal. This is a good example of where we've got this like 20K massive light. It's out on the balcony, and it's a rim light that's lighting her up. But the issue here that I saw with these first takes, is that it's really contaminating the plate a ton. So it's got all this bloom and cutting into her hair, and this would be a mess to deal with, and try to remove. It limits our options for where we can have that. So I saw this on the day, and I basically just asked them... I talked to the director and asked him to have her walk directly towards the light. So what that did was now she's covering the light, and she's covering the light. Then at this point, again, we've got this halo. Now I can use this as a lumi-key. So we've got this very bright hair, and very dark background. So I can extract her that way. So that's one great thing. The other thing is now we can put the orb anywhere in this black background, and art direct where we want it, put it off axis, whatever, and it will still work. So this is the final here , and it really feels like once this lights up, it's really causing this light. So you want to look for these moments if you're ever doing VFX supervision thing, where you can get that interaction between your CG and your live action. So that's what that looked like. It's not perfect, you can see some weird halo-yness around her hair here, where maybe it looks like it was off more to this side. But that's okay. When it's playing back in the edit, it's good enough. Then with this wide shot here, all I did was I was using these surface shockwaves, again from Video Copilots Pack. In this case, again, I didn't want to go to X-Particles and do all the simulation. I just wanted to finish this project in a way where it looks great, but in this case I think about these shock waves, and they're these pre-baked particle sims. Then these people in the water are just a bunch of little 3D bodies that I've put into a cloner with a random effector, and they're all floating towards the light. If you look closely, there's these little dudes jumping off. I just grabbed my roto from earlier of one of the guys, and used it a bunch here in different instances in After Effects. Because in that shot he didn't actually hit the water, so I just grabbed a Video Copilot. I cannot pronounce Video Copilot right now. Anyway, I grabbed one of the water blasts, and I just comped it over. Whenever he got close to the water, I would just add a little splash as if he hit. Cool. Moving on. Another good example of onset interaction, is we had this awesome water light. So this is a light that's casting caustics on this dude's head, and really aiding the composite. The other thing we did was we pumped the room full of smoke. Typically when people do this dry for wet approach, and by dry for wet I mean, you're shooting something dry to end up looking wet. So dry for wet. Like day for night, you're shooting something in the day to look like night. When you're doing this approach, you want that low look. So typically when you're shooting it, you'll pump the room full of smoke. So those things really aided the composite. Here, you can see, I've added in bubbles, I've got my light rays, and then I've got my floating falling, dead bodies. The way I did that was, again, just these little bodies, I just put in a cloner objects with a random effector in the spread, just like I showed you with the birds. I'm keyframing the spread of this random effector. In this case, I'm also key framing the rotation. So they're just floating and falling, and it's really morbid and awesome. So that wraps up my process for the cruise ship stuff. I'm going to jump into this thing, which I'm not even to tell you what it is. It's just... I'm just going to let it speak for itself. ♪ [music] ♪ So that's what I do in my fr
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