Category Archives: Digital Compositing


The Deadline has arrived and the project is coming to an end, all the loose ends finally tied together in some way or another. The way I feel about my piece is, I am happy with how it is but not satisfied. When I came up with this idea I was a little overexcited and over confident about what I could do, however things got in the way and the project was left for last minute mayhem. I do like the look of how the flight scene started out as when the rotoscope footage was mixed with the horizon sunset, it did look nice enough. I am not happy with how allot of this was rushed such as the 3D towards the end was very rough in my opinion, the main problem was when I ran into not knowing how to do something and I was using a lot of time learning and not creating.
However I’ve had some good responses already, my flat mate Adam seemed to be very impressed by the visual effects, “Wow!” was his response. Blane said he really liked my concept while I was half way in production because of the mix between rotoscope and CGI.
I’ve learned a nice chunk of After Effects and 3Dsmax from doing this project, not only what the program can do but such as how long things take to do. Furthermore I think my music choice was good but it would have fit the piece better if the second half was made properly. Next time I’ll keep on top of things if I’m going to try make something complex again.

Changes :O

Ok so i orginally thought i’d add some 3D clouds into my 3D Ocean scene to make things more complex, however it proved be a huge pain to make in 3DsMax… yes there are some nice presets in maya but i really liked the mental ray sea texture i had and daylight systems i had in 3Dsmax.

So in the end i rendered the scene out without clouds and just placed a textured sky with suttle clouds in the background using after effects, i then colour graded the piece using several solid colour layers with feathered masking and adjusting a few settings on the sky and 3d scene layers to blend better with each other.

So actually i decided without clouds it gives a better tropical feel, i like it!

The Treatment [Digital Compositing]

For this module we had to create a short piece of work using digital compositing techniques. For my project I invented a short story about a commercial airline pilot flying across the ocean to a holiday destination. The pilot begins to get tired and his co-pilot is not in the cock-pit at the time so he switches the plane to auto-pilot. Just as this happens he falls into a strange dream where he is transformed into a Fighter Jet Pilot flying through a psychedelic artistic Universe.
For the first scene as there is no filming allowed, I will rotoscope my friend Ben as the pilot using Adobe Flash and exporting to after effects, the actor will pretend to be pressing the buttons and falling asleep. One of the key shots to this part will be the angle I will start filming Ben at when he’s asleep and rotating the camera to become face on to him so I can nicely morph his face into the fighter jet pilot to better show the transformation as he enters the dream.
The artistic style of my piece will be a mix between fully 3D CGI and rotoscoped black and white drawings, the drawings will contain various parts for green screening. Such as while inside the plane’s cockpit view, the windows will be green screened out to contain the landscape and 3D elements in the background. Furthermore to this, both the Boeing 737 and the F-16 Fighter Jet will be modeled and rendered using 3DsMax as a PNG Sequence to get an alpha channel for crisp edges. The windows of the planes will be masked out when the camera is outside the plane looking through the windows, this is not a problem as these scenes won’t have much motion in anyway.
The first scene of the plane crossing the ocean will be fully rendered in 3D using mental ray, texture displacement, key framing, and reflections for the ocean. There will be a Daylight System inbuilt to the scene so I can create a nice sunset effect on the ripples of the sea, this however may not end up the right colour I am looking for so it will need to be colour graded afterwards in after effects. There will also be a sky with clouds layered behind the Sea. Both the Sea and sky will be position key framed at times to show change in angles and extra motion.
Finally the journey through the universe will begin as the jet pilot (close up) then zooming out the window to reveal the 3D f-16 jet, there will be a spinning turbine at the front for extra detail within the jet. The Jet will fly through the universe at various angles and depending on how far I get with the edit, will define how interesting the dream gets using a variety of other plug-ins and effects. To replicate the Light sources from the backgrounds I make, I will place various photometric lighting around the scene instead of using HDRI. Also the text for this piece will be a comic book style like in the film ‘Scott Pilgrim VS The World’ whereas various actions like explosions or movement will be highlighted using animated text.


For the rotoscoping scenes i used a low quality phone video camera to record my flatmate ben doing the pilots actions.

i then converted these clips to .FLV and imported them to the stage in Adobe Flash. i found the parts i liked best becuase they had the best animation, framing and timing. Drawing around several of the images but added the imaginary pilots uniform onto the reference of my actor.

The flash animation had to have windows in so i pretty much drew the window frame and filled them in with a bright green.

Once the animations were complete i exported as a 1280×720 quicktime .mov file and imported into after effects, the plugin keylight was used to key out the green from the window frame allowing me to put the 3D sea and sky behind it.


To Be Continued!

The reason i’ve stopped here is because i’m not sure exactly what effects i’ll be using after this point.

I Like!

Heres Just a quick video that inspires me to be a pilot, it made me think about whether to include sound effects into my piece or just stick to the song by DJ Fresh – Talkbox. I like this song because its trippy, original, modern, and has a great build up that fits my film.

The Brief

Hello, this might be a big post so brace yourselves. So the task i’ve got is to create something using stuff like after effects and importing some CGI over the top and composite them together.

I have a few ideas, well i did have…

The first one was going to be some sort of flooding or tidal wave hitting a building and i’ve got a main character trying to escape. I would of used real flow and done some motion tracking. Now what i didnt relise untill the other day, we’re not allowed to film. So im thinking of scrapping that idea.

The Second Idea i had is ridiculous… and yeah it also involves filming or simply a lot of animation, last year i made a drawing of a sortov rock elemental giant that lives in a cave/lair. I was thinking of recreating this scene with some destruction physics like using the plugin Rayfire for 3DsMax. But also the idea of this would involve some sort of narrative or it could even be a short clip from a film. Im thinking lord of the rings style scene.

The Third Idea i had was to Film my sister and her friends doing some sort of circus skills, as they are very good at that sort of thing. My inspiration came from dubstep guns (a corridor digital production on youtube) i was thinking of using trapcode particular or something similar to have a very vibrant colourfull film. The plan was to have the performers doing insane skills with juggling balls, hoola hoops, poi etc. and then compositing particle effects over the top of the props they use to get amazing ribbons of light. I would of also used Rayfire so perhaps they can be using Poi balls to smash through walls and shatter things to bits. This could of also had some sort of simple narative like they are dueling with magic or something. I was really looking forward to this idea as it would benefit my sister but also sounds cool.

So im a bit stuck here, no video, just pictures. Hmmm, i could perhaps take pictures of the performers and they could do there thing, then animate them but it seems like that would be very hard. it would be cool and very stylized but it wasnt really what im into.

Well i’ve got a new idea now, but it doesnt really make much sense. I want to make a Jet fighter in 3D and animate it going through complex patterns in a trippy universe, its simple but its not gonna be a piece of cake. Im not sure if just being creative without narrative stucture is a good idea, i want to make an impact on the audience somehow. If i do decide to do something like this it’ll probably combine every plugin i wanted to use in the first place, Realflow/Rayfire/Trapcode Particular/Vray.