Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Forest Composition Progression

Well, I don't know why but I still can't seem to fix the flickering effect that's happening with the trees. I did manage to reduce it with a little motion blur and two resize nodes, but it's not completely eliminated. But just for the sake of progress, I'll post up what I have so far.

So let's start with the forest. I took 10 different images with alpha channel from the net as I mentioned earlier and used a particle emitter to replace each particle with each of these 10 trees and randomized the order so that it's more believable. Next, I duplicated and aligned the emitter to form a hilly forest look and created a 3D camera in the 3D space. I took a sky image which I had taken from my balcony, colour corrected it and placed it all the way behind the trees. If I'm not wrong, this technique is called multi-plane compositing or 3D compositing. Either way, it's still compositing :D

I animated the trees's spin variance in the emitter settings so that it would have this look of the trees swaying due to wind. For the foreground forest, I put in a higher value for the spin variance so that it would fake the effect of depth.

I went on to colour correction and adding fog based on the z-depth. I did not add depth-of-field because I felt that it wasn't necessary when it was such a long shot. So here's the before and after.

Before color correction / fog

After color correction / fog

With these, I was basically done, except the flickering effect as I mentioned. Took approximately half an hour to render without motion blur and 5 hours to render with motion blur! Here's the nodal workflow for the composition.

And here's the video. Simple camera move. My aim of this composition is to create depth and have the camera move through the space.


Here's a high resolution frame from the animation. Some would say that it isn't sharp, but that's the kind of effect I wanted it to have.

That's all for the forest composition, as far as my progress is concerned. I'm starting to get the hang of node-based compositing and I realise now why it's so much better than layer based compositing. For compositing, I would definitely use a program like Fusion or Combustion rather than After Effects, but for motion graphics, I would still stick to After Effects.

More later.

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