Monday, 10 June 2013

Visual Effects Editing Guide

Visual Effects Editing Guide

There are many different visual effects that are used in animation films such as Wallace and Gromit. One example could be if one character falls off of something, they would attach the character to a piece of string and slowly move them closer towards the ground. Then the string would be edited or 'Rubbed' out in a program such as Photoshop. Within our animation we didn't use any Visual Effects, due to them not actually being needed as we didn't have any complicated motions with our characters or sets.

Visual effects can be found in a number of different formats such as miniature sets and models, matte paintings, live action effects: actors being placed in front of a green screen or blue screen. In this intro of this work I explained one such animation film that used visual effects, this was Wallace an Gromit. There can be downsides to visual effects due to it sometimes being extremely costly depending on how large the visual effect is. For example using a green screen to shoot an entire scene can be extremely costly in terms of editing programs, computers etc. As aforementioned, in our animation we didn't use any visual effects as they weren't necessary, but this next section is a guide to creating a visual effect could be for one making a character fall from the sky.

Step one (Materials, props and equipment)

Find your characters that you want to use for example lego, collect your materials for your background props etc. Find a clamp like structure that could hover above your animation, the last piece that you would need to create this effect would be string (preferably a ball of string) as this will help you understand the required length much easier. You will also need a camera and a tripod, a camera such as an SLR that takes photos only would be the best. The tripod is essential in order to keep a still shot throughout the animation.

Step two (setting up)

You place the clamp so that it cannot be seen in the shot of your animation, then you shall need to cut your string to the acquired length so that you can lower it each time a photo is taken of the character, you will lower it closer and closer to the ground of the set. Next you shall tie a knot around the lego character securely to hold it in place. The final stage should be to set up your background props however you desire and then move onto the next stage.

Stage three (footage)

The most important part of this stage is deciding where you would like to place you tripod ad camera for your angles. After you have decided your positions then you may start taking photos of the gradual change of the character moving closer and closer to the ground. I would suggest that each time you change the characters movements you take at least 3 photos as this will make the movement look smooth and not too sudden. After you have completed your movement that you wished to create (Once the character has reached the ground)

Stage four (editing)

The first part of this stage will be to located a computer that has an editing program 'Final Cut' found within it. After this you will need to start uploading your images that you have taken by attaching your camera to the usb lead it comes with and plugging it into the computer. Once the images have then been  uploaded to the desktop of your computer, then you highlight the images and drag them into a program called i stop motion, then export the file as a .mov and then import it into final cut. The images will already be in order so that you don't need to sift through them in order to place them into the correct order. You can then save this piece as something recognizable such as (Animation FINAL) as you will need to come back to it.

Stage five (photoshop) 

As you have used string to hold the character in place you will need to rub the string out in order to make it seem the character has actually floated into the shot from the sky. Going back to why its important to use this slr camera, it makes this stage much easier to  rub out the string as it is a photo, when it is filmed footage it is much harder to edit in within photoshop. You will need to place each image into photoshop and click n the rubber image to then start rubbing out the string which will make the character eventually look as if it is floating. You will need to save these images a JPEG, and as before you will need to place it into Istop motion and then import it into your final cut piece. Next you will need to locate the image within this edit and replace them with you new and improved images with no string showing. Once you have watched the animation through you will then see you have created a Visual effect that shows the lego character floating down from the top of the shot all the way down to the floor of the set.

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