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Compositing 3D models with live footage


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#1 Ryan Tardis Brooks

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 09:44 PM

Hi all,

I'm trying to composite a 3D model of a spaceship in After Effects via the Photoshop Live Layers method, but it isn't really working that well.

I was originally going to build and shoot models against a greenscreen, then composite them into my final shot, but I figured that building it in the computer instead would be easier. Should I just go back to my models idea, or is there an easier way to import into After Effects?

I'm using Blender at the moment. I tried Google Sketchup, but the end result (after going through the Photoshop import/export process) was... less than stellar.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks!
Ryan
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#2 dan kessler

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 10:39 PM

First of all, yes, it is easier to build your model in a 3d modeler
than it is to build an actual model, light it against a greenscreen,
shoot it, extract a matte, and then match the elements to your bg plate.

Secondly, CG comps of this type usually follow a rather conventional workflow

How about more details as what you specifically tried to do and what didn't work?
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#3 Ryan Tardis Brooks

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 04:33 PM

I tried building a model in Sketchup, importing it into Photoshop, and then saving it as a 3D .PSD file. I then imported that into After Effects with the "Live Photoshop 3D" option enabled. It worked okay, but the quality was very poor, and it behaved like a 2D layer (couldn't move around it, etc.). After Effects also crashed once while I was working.

I tried the same thing with the Blender file. The quality was much better, but I still couldn't figure out how to move around the model.

I've also tried saving my Blender file as a .RPF file (I think it was a .rpf- I'm not in front of my computer), and import it directly into After Effects. That didn't really work, either. With all these methods, I can get the model to show up-- just not in 3D.

Ryan
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#4 dan kessler

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 09:35 PM

I haven't used Blender, but I think you want to stick with that
for all your modeling and animating. You also need to load in your
background plates as reference for both your animation and lighting.
Make everything match as closely as you can in Blender. Then, render
your CG out to a standard file format, like tiff, for example.

Then, pull your background and CG sequences into AE.
Comping shouldn't be much more complicated than A over B with
some color and contrast tweaking. Anything beyond that depends
on the specifics of your shot.

This is the typical workflow for a shot like this.
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#5 Ryan Tardis Brooks

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 08:58 AM

I haven't used Blender, but I think you want to stick with that
for all your modeling and animating. You also need to load in your
background plates as reference for both your animation and lighting.
Make everything match as closely as you can in Blender. Then, render
your CG out to a standard file format, like tiff, for example.

Then, pull your background and CG sequences into AE.
Comping shouldn't be much more complicated than A over B with
some color and contrast tweaking. Anything beyond that depends
on the specifics of your shot.

This is the typical workflow for a shot like this.


Okay, I'll give that a shot.

Thanks!
Ryan
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#6 David Gregg

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 11:08 PM

Modeling spaceships in CG is one of the easier things to build and you can move it just about any way you want. Render times these days are fast. The lighting kit is really big too ;O)

Making it look realistic, if that's your goal, is the only tricky part.

35 years of stuff

Edited by David Gregg, 21 November 2011 - 11:12 PM.

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