Easiest way to create CGI weapons?
Posted 09 June 2011 - 02:58 PM
Posted 09 June 2011 - 04:57 PM
I could list every piece of rendering and compositing software ever made.
Posted 09 June 2011 - 05:27 PM
Or you could take this route:
Posted 09 June 2011 - 09:08 PM
Posted 09 June 2011 - 09:29 PM
then lighting and compositing CG, again, to match the plate. Done all the time by
experienced CG artists.
Posted 10 June 2011 - 12:20 AM
there's a common misconception that CG software does all the work for you.
All we need to do is push the right button. While the software is impressive,
even high-end packages like Maya and Houdini just don't work that way.
They're great big toolboxes that give you CG equivalents of hammers, screwdrivers,
pliers, maybe some jazzy things like table saws and milling machines.
You want a fancy weapon attached to the elbow of a live-action character?
Sorry, there's no software on earth that can do it. You need an artist who
knows how to use the tools.
Posted 10 June 2011 - 09:03 AM
Posted 10 June 2011 - 09:33 AM
You could model it in clay, make a mold, pour in some foam, for example, and hollow out the center for the arm to go in. Then cover in resin to keep it strong-ish (look for one safe for the foam you use), and airbrush. You can also reuse the mold for more if needed (i'd make 3 to start...)
If you need a moving part for that, then you can CGI just, let's say, the teeth on the saw moving, in theory.
I've never done that before, but that's how I'd start working on it, and see whether or not it'll work (make something simple first, like a block to put his hand in or something...)
Posted 10 June 2011 - 09:45 AM
Posted 10 June 2011 - 09:50 AM
Plus, closer to the beer.
Posted 10 June 2011 - 10:59 AM
Posted 10 June 2011 - 11:36 AM
Posted 11 June 2011 - 12:09 PM
Posted 11 June 2011 - 01:33 PM
at precisely the point you're at now. If you're motivated, start learning it.
For this project, do what Adrian suggested. Build the best-looking prop weapon you can.
Do some screen tests with it to refine the look.
Then rotoscope in the death ray. This will still involve the challenge of animation,
but it will be far less daunting than modeling, animating, tracking, lighting and
compositing the entire rig.
Again, you can experiment with the ray; blur, color, pulsation, lighting bolt fx, whatever.
Comping it in will be relatively easy.
This approach has been used countless times in countless movies, so it can definitely
give you good results.
Unless you're independently wealthy, know now that making movies will constantly challenge your
resourcefulness, your skills, your knowledge.
Posted 11 June 2011 - 04:51 PM
Posted 11 June 2011 - 05:08 PM
That should whet your appetite.
Posted 11 June 2011 - 06:55 PM
Posted 12 June 2011 - 10:47 AM
Posted 12 June 2011 - 02:34 PM
I think Maya now comes with matchmover and toxic (a comp program) - so thats probably a good and cheaper way in than going for all the separate company offerings (autodesk world domination)
Start reading Cinefex, they leave out a heap of info purposefully so you might be swimming for a while, but occasionally you can put things together and learn - certainly much better than having not read it
Edited by Chris Millar, 12 June 2011 - 02:37 PM.
Posted 13 June 2011 - 10:34 AM
Hopefully that gives you a starting point if you wish to go that route.
It'd be cheaper and easier to build or source the weapons for real than it would otherwise. Doing muzzle flashes and laser fire effects is a much simplier process than actually having actors carrying around CG weapons, and isn't going to put you off using VFX later on.
Consider that... most of the weapons in Star Wars were existing guns with bits and pieces added to them and that in Terminator 2 they used practical props for the most part, CG was only used sparingly to acheive certain effects (and where they did use CG they planned ahead quite extensively - more so than is done today).