Monday, May 12, 2014

Creating Stereoscopic 3D Images

Definitely a cool project! I didn't know that it would be so easy to make a picture 3-D! 
The first three pictures were created for green/magenta glasses. 

Here's a photo of myself after a long day of class. 

Near the CVB, I feel that this one has the most depth! 

Another one of the CVB, but tried working with an up-shot. 

 I also tried doing red/cyan with this picture, but it didn't come out as well as the others. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Extra Credit #3

About a couple weeks ago, I attended the San Francisco Film Festival for the Family films portion. I really wanted to watch The Dam Keeper which was created by Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi because I've heard so many great things about it. The Dam Keeper was amazing and beautifully painted but I think the film that I liked the most in the festival was a live action short called Sprout. It was about a little girl going to the market by herself to buy bean spouts for her mom. It was something that I could relate to and it was so beautiful to see how magical a normal neighborhood could be. Anyways, It was definitely a great experience and I was even able to meet Dice and Robert ,and get their autograph! 

I was even able to get a picture of the Dam Keeper maquettes! 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Recreating Cameras and Lights in Maya

Original image: 

 Maya copy: 

Second image:
Original image: 

 Maya copy: 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Extra Credit: Lighting a Scene in Maya

Here is my scene without any lighting

Key light 

Key light, and Fill light

Key light, fill light, and rim light 

it's interesting to see how adding a couple lights in a scene can make the objects feel even more dimensional. 

Building a Scene in Maya

" DD" 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Special Effects in Animation and Live-action

Diem Doan
April 20th, 2014
Physics of Animation

The use of Lightning effects in Movie

Using visual effects is a common tool used within the film industry to enhance the storytelling and magic of a film; however, applying visual effects without the correct knowledge of physics can distract the audience and pull them out of film. One example is lightning which is a common effect used to show something magical or something ominous ,and it can often be hit or miss if effects are done incorrectly.  Two films that I will be comparing for this lightning effect will be Paranorman(2012)  and X-men: the Last Stand( 2006).   Paranorman and X-men: The Last Stand ’s lightning were created using modern computer technology ,but  there are still some noticeable flaws within those scenes.

Movies with humans that have super powers need visual effects to create a believable story. It wouldn't look right or awesome if movie makers had actors in front of a green screen. One movie that  is a good example of using Visual effects to enhance the storytelling is X-men:The Last Stand. X-men: The Last Stand is an live action  movie directed by Brett Ratner and tells the continuation of mutants living in world unwanted by humans. This time they not only have to fight humans but also other mutants who want to turn everyone else into a mutants.  In X-men: The Last Stand, there is a battle scene between two mutants: Storm who  is a mutant who has the ability to control all types of weather and Callisto who has enhanced human abilities. The scene starts with Callisto attacking storm and the two fight it out ,but Storm gains the upper hand and throws Callisto into a metal fence. This intense scene ends with Storm killing Callisto with her lightning.

For the Youtube clip:
(please go to 1:00 for scene) 

The effects in this movie was created by Genarts who used a program called Sapphire plug- ins which is a program that creates organic and credible lighting bolts. The artist has the ability to insert any type of lightning they want, manipulate how it moves  and even apply it in a 3-D space. For this particular scene, the artist applied the lighting using Sapphire’s Zap onto the shot. Second, the artist applied a glow spark and added some len flares to volumized the lighting properties. Finally, the artist combined all the effects together and layered it onto the shot. Although the effect sounds very easy to create and the scene looks well done. There were some problems that were noticeable as I was evaluating the shot. Some things that I noticed are the bad lighting, flatness, and invalid movement of Storm’s lightning. If look upon closely, the lighting is wrong and the strongest source of lighting appears to be coming from behind the building. Lightning is a huge blast of light and should be the strongest source of light in that scene but if you stop the clip at 1:09, you can see that the foreground isn't even lit.  Although the artist was able to use realistic lightning to apply to the film, it still feels really flat as if the lightning is just applied top like a sticker. It doesn't feel like it moving through space. In addition, the lightning doesn't feel correct when Storm hits Callisto with her lightning. Lightning moves through the body through the shortest routes but in that particular shot, the lightning is just placed on top of her and doesn’t look like it’s surging through her body. Disregarding the flaws of the effect of that scene, I do feel that the lightning was successful it terms of storytelling and getting the point across.
The lightning looks flat and doesn't feel like it's moving through space

Lighting is off! Strongest source should be coming from right not behind the buildings

An example of how Sapphire works. 

The movie Paranorman is an 3D stop- motion animated Horror created by Laika Studios. It revolves a boy name Norman who has to save his town from man-eating zombies while also learning the lesson that it’s okay to be himself. In one of the scene, Norman encounters Aggie, who is the cause of the curse on his town, and has to convince her to stop the destruction. Aggie is shown as a yellow flying ball of erratic energy and has the ability to blast lighting out. Looking closely at the lighting there are some qualities that stand out such as the soft and fading blast of lightning coming from Aggie which makes her feel almost ghost-like.  Interestingly, this effects was created using several methods and by several departments at Laika studios.

Here is a scene of Angry Aggie:

The process begins with traditional and handmade effects. One artist created 2-D ink splatters and another artist microwaved CD to copy the organic shattering then layered it with the animated effects. Secondly,  they created a stop motion armature/puppet that had a glowing head to have a luminescence. Afterwards, They applied visual effects of animated lightning bolts to put everything together. This animated effect  was quite successful for this type of film. I felt that it added texture and enhanced the look of the scene and gave great story to the character of Aggie. This effects although animated quite well has some flaws with the believability of the lightning. Some flaws that are visible are the color and movement of the lightning. The color is too neon yellow whereas real lightning is bright white. There is also not enough erratic movement in the lightning and feels too slow at certain parts. It’s almost as if the movement feels like ink splatters instead of quick unpredictable movements. If the animators  made the movements a bit quicker ,then the feeling of lightning would be brought out  more.

Artist using traditional medium to create the feel of Angry Aggie

A puppet with a glowing head and clothes was created to ground everything

Then lightning effects was layered on last

Overall, both the lightning effects of each movie did their best to create a believable type of lightning but there are still some noticeable flaws.The effect in Paranorman was created using a hybrid of traditional and computer effects which created an interesting look, but the lightning was not the right color and some movements were off . The film X-men 3 created the lighting using the computer program sapphire to layer on top the moving lightning which created some realistic lightning ,but there was some incorrect placing, movement, and lighting. Despite the flaws, both movies created lightning to tell the story and still get the idea across which in my book is better than having an effect that looks good but does nothing to tell or push the story.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Outline of the Third Term Paper

Special Effects in Animation and Live-action

I: Introduction
A. For this paper, I will be comparing the visual effects of Lighting from two different movies, Paranorman and Xmen 3
I. Thesis: both movies, had their own way of making this lighting as realistic as possible but both movie effects contain flaws.

II: Paranorman

A. Describe movie
I. Paranorman( 2012)- 3D stop-motion animated comedy horror abour a misunderstood boy who has to save his town from zombies
B.. Describe scene:
IThe scene of Aggi and when Norman faces her. She is this ball of electric energy

C. Techniques used to create the special effect
I.Could have easily done digital but wanted to have that stop motion feel
II.Lighting was created handmade and all departments worked on it
III. hybrid process: Computer animation, stop motion and hand drawn
i. 2D ink paintings scanned and laser cut into plastic to create lighting, Also used microwaved CD’s
ii.Stop motion- used armatures and lit head to give glow
III.CG- Hand animated lighting bolts to add more effect
D. Successful?
. I.Unsuccessful
i.color is yellow, lighting is bright white
ii. there’s too much texture
iii.speed is slower and not as erratic
a.movement lingers and is like ink splatter
. II. Successful
i. successful for this type of stop motion film, adds to texture/ look of film, as well as give story to the character.

III: X-men: The Last Stand 
A. Describe movie and scene : X-men: the last stand  (2006)  
I.Directed by Brett Ratner 
II. About a group of mutant superheroes who must fight against other mutants
B. Scene
I.This particular scene was when Storm meets her match, Callisto and kills her with blast of lightning

C. Techniques used to create the special effect of storm’s lightning :
- i.Effects created by GenArts
ii.Used Sapphire Plug-ins, which is a program to create organic, credible lighting bolts, The program allows the artist to move or add effects to create a believable looking lighitng effect
iii. Used 3 effects and layered them onto the movie shots- Sapphire’s Zap, Glow spark, and Len flares
D. Sucessful?
I. Unsuccessful -
i.When lightning hits Callisto, doesn’t feel that electricity is surging through her
ii.Lighting feels flat and 2-D (no sense of direction- where is it coming from?)
iii.ground/ storm doesn’t feel lit
II.. Successful
i.Color and lighting movement feels realistic
ii.pacing of lighting feels believable
iii.gets point across
IV: Conclusion:
I.Summarize points