Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Green Screen

After a lot of wrangling of people and waiting for things to happen I was finally able to get a green screen shoot done in early February. It had been a long time coming because I could never seem to get all the required people that I thought needed to be involved together. Once it started getting down to it and speaking with Mar we finally came to the decision to put together a portable green screen in the old animation building and it actually ended up turning out well. I called up some animation friends who I had spoken too way earlier in the semester and set an immediate date.

The set up was pretty easy and the software I was using was IStopMotion which worked very similar to Framethief so it was an easy learning curve. With some help from some other senior animators the shooting got underway and in two days time I was able to get enough footage to where I never had to do any reshoots. The motion was all capured frame by frame with a camera and I took those and organized them into folders of their scenes. I then brought each individual scene into After Effects and used Keylight to remove as much of the green screen background as possible. I still had some leftover garbage though from green spill and for a couple scenes I had to bring the sequences into Photoshop and erase frame by frame the leftovers that were connected to the character. This was extremely tedious and not really knowing much about keying, maybe there could have been a different way to go but that is the rout I went. I then re-exported out of Photoshop and brought them back into After Effects and animated them from there.

Below are some of the invidiual photos of the shots as well as an initial compostion on the drawn backgrounds:


So before I had actually done the backgrounds I had to finish my animation on the characters. That actually proved less difficult than I had originally thought and I was very happy with how they turned out. I basically created 4 amorphous characters that would come in after the live action characters had been pulled inside the letter.

The designs came from my earlier class of Ideation and Preproduction which I took as a Junior. I had drawn a bunch of different designs which I posted earlier in my blog and I took those designs to create my characters. I wanted them all to be very different from one another and kind of be somewhat relatable to the real life characters they were portraying. I got some great feedback on the movements I came up with and didn't really mess with their movements after that. Once I had some cycles of them playing their instruments, it was fairly straightforward to put them into their respective scenes.

The way I chose to color them really came up kind of randomly because one night as I was working on some other animation I came up with coloring them in with a colored outline and filling them in with black. That way I could take the Flash sequence and bring it into After Effects and apply some glow and scatter effects to make them stand out. I later applied that to how the characters would be pulled into the letter and it ended up having nice continuity.

Here it is:

First Update in a while

So I haven't updated this in a while and I wanted to put in some of the work I have been doing over the past semester on my film. The film is completely finished but I still want to put up some of the information and tests I completed in the process to show how I was able to settle on a finished product. When I last left off I was working on some color tests and trying to decide what backgrounds I would use.

I was having a lot of problems trying to decide which direction to go with my backgrounds. I basically was torn between leaving them blank which seemed less and less like an option because a few of the backgrounds had a lot of detail that would have made it difficult to pickup the letters movement in space. However, I had other things to worry about that had a higher level of importance.

Push came to shove eventually and this last week I finally had to move in a direction. In the back of my mind I had an idea of what I could possibly do and that was to color them in flash which in some cases was difficult and then bring them into Photoshop and take out color and add some filters to get a look I was happy with. So that ended up being my pipeline for the backgrounds. I colored them, exported them to Photoshop, and then from there brought them into After Effects as a compositon.

Here is how some turned out: