Another hit video from cmiVFX! This time we start a series investigating the many techniques to be used in digital matte painting and set extensions in the VFX industry. This first volume focuses on many topics including image creation, image restoration, texture generation, asset modification, assembly, 3d sculpting, modeling, projection surfaces, cross-application communication and more. When it comes to creativity, nobody beats cmiVFX for showing how to adopt the latest techniques used in the industry.
After months of interviewing new and old customers, there was a known gap between new artists and older artists that we wanted to close up. One of the topics we found to be missing from our students knowledge was how to create a large scale matte painting using the Photo Merge technique. Included in the project files are an array of high resolution images of NYC skyline taken from the Empire States building. Learn how to build up “area collections” to help assist your matte painting techniques. This feature is fantastic for adding detail to various locations in your matte painting when you're in desperate need for detail or filler, and lack the time to hand paint this kind of detail.
One of the first things I became an expert in was set extension painting. The art of cutting out shapes in a still image and paint-restoring the missing layers to help build parallax. This technique, also known as “paint behinds” or “reverse object removals,” might be the most important skill in digital matte painting today. Artists who learn how to layer and restore backwards will earn more money for their work. If you're not a matte painter, but you're charged with doing the paint behinds yourself, this chapter will be the most valuable lesson of your life.
So you find yourself with a city skyline or photo of a house that you need to project onto a 3D scene but you do not have any other source for channels to feed into a 3D shader. What can you do? The answer is to generate your own assets from the existing assets you have. Sometimes you will need to combine your assets into a final painting first, then extract them, other times you can extract from the original source to help maintain resolution. Either way, this chapter will explain how to make the assets if you ever do need them.
If you set up your photoshop files correctly, you can use one of the automated scripts to spit out all your layers using the naming conventions you want and send it directly to your project textures folder. This chapter will show you how.
One of the largest chapters in this video, we will show you how to do a wide variety of general 3D production techniques. We will start off by creating a single projection asset with polymodeling and texturing using our image restoration textures and reflection textures to set up your first building. Next, we will focus on optimizing your technique so that you don't “over work” the scene by creating geometry that simply won't be seen by your camera. One of the main issues to deal with in VFX is to only create what the camera sees. Anything else could be wasted time and money that you wont get back. During the course of this project, we will start with nothing and end up with a full scene (included in the project files).
This chapter focuses on the exploration of created assets used in the Winter matte painting project. Learn the assets one layer at a time to get ready for assembly.
As promised, we will create several assets for 3D camera projections in our scene. Learn how to speed up this process by utilizing copy and paste techniques that could save you hours of work in the long run. We also set up this scene file to be used in the next application for assembly and look/lighting dev.
Nothing beats Speedtree for creating realistic foliage assets for any application. The Alembic output contains the leaf or needle animation which imports directly into all major VFX packages today.
We have the base elements for our scene created now, and we must get them into a form that other applications can understand. No matter how you want to assemble this together, you must create the elements to work with your targeted applications. These assets will work with Fusion, Nuke, Clarisse, C4D, and just about any other app out there. Only you will know which one you will use to assemble. We chose both C4D and Clarisse as examples.
We show the techniques for building up a final scene using both Cinema 4D and Clarisse. The main focus in this chapter is on Clarisse and lighting techniques. Learn how to import the textures for shading the trees, creating projections on surfaces, and modifying animation curves. This could be done in any application, however we are using Clarisse because of its potential to build multiple shots for review very quickly.
Video-on-demand streaming is available through the website to subscribers. In addition, video files are available for download for those who directly purchase individual titles from their cart.