Johnny G Junior's NoteBook Treasures: August 2009

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Removing Black from Footage: Afterfx

You may find that one day you will have to remove black from footage for one reason or another. The most common use for this is special effects. Most special effect are filmed on black and in order to use it, you must remove it. :)

Here is a quicktime video to show what some of the techniques look like when executed.

click here to watch the explosive techniques

Before i go forward with how these were removed, i must give a shout out to source of this explosion. This is from ACTION ESSENTIALS 2: 2K. What a great libaray of effect... the great thing is, it comes PRE-KEYED...

Anyhow, lets look at the footage with the matte ignored for the sake of this excersize.

These are not steps.. each number represents that one look. each is separate as a technique.

#1. This is the source file.

2. This footage has a few effects on it. Start with teh CHANNELS SHIFT. Take the Alpha Channel and point it to the RED channel. This will removed the black by using the red channel as a reference. You then add come color correction as desired. LEVELS CURVES HUE and SATURATION. This Method gives you the most SOLID LOOK. works great for fire. may not work well with other objects.

#3. This has a No of effects on it. First the footage was duplicated. With the bottom layer selected, Go to the (BLENDING MODES TAB) Track Matte and use LUMA KEY. this removed the black. Duplicate that layer, insuring the the duplicated footage is also LUMA KEYED to the footage above. This will help solidify footage. You can continue that duplication method if you want to solidify it more.

#4. Change BLENDING MODE ADD - removes black but leaves it semi-transparent

#5. Change BLENDING MODE ADD then duplicated footage, the bottom footage was turned to LIGHTEN. THis helps to solidify the explosion more. Reference #4

#6. Change BLENDING MODE SCREEN - removes black but leaves it semi-transparent

Not one technique works for all. Please experiment and have fun.


Maya Export Error...

NOOooooooo........ Got this error when exporting mesh with rig in Maya...

[ERROR ] The Plug-in has detected mesh nodes with unsupported operators that affect the vertex count. The following nodes will not be processed: [mesh name]... malfunction... dying... dead. now what do I do?

PANIC.. j/k

Delete your history:
EDIT Delete All by Type and click on "Non-Deformer History"

This will freeze the effect on all the additional history nodes such as the triangulate but will NOT affect any of the DEFORMATION.
Now try to export again..... it should work fine

3Ds Max - Biped setup for MotionBuilder. Import + Export + Import

Lets get started and give these bones some life.... WHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAH...

1. Lets start up 3dsmax, and create a biped (street talk: bi-Piddle)

2. Important... this is very important .... for things to work correctly in Motionbuilder... YOU MUST start your biped in T-Stance before exporting. Rotate the shoulder pivot to get the bidped into the right pose.

3. now lets export once you are set. FILE EXPORT as an FBX. Once exported, save the 3dsmax file because we will need it later.

4. Lets fire up Motionbuilder. Also another important step. When importing this, we MUST use FBX plug-in Import. FILE FBX Plug-in Import.. if you use the regular import, it wont work.

5. Now we need to Characterize this biped. Because Biped 3dsmax has a naming convention for their bipeds, we dont have to worry about renaming the rig..... THANKS TO 3Ds MAX Biped Template. In the Asset Browser - go under TEMPLATES CHARACTERS 3DS MAX BIPED TEMPLATE. Drag this onto the HIPS of the biped.

6. Lets go STORY to import some animation. Right Clip and go to INSERT CHARACTER ANIMATION TRACK

7. Choose some animation and Set the CHARACTER dropdown to 3ds max biped template... or the name that it came in on. WAHLAH.... the biped should now have the animation attached to it. It should now be controlled by your story track.

8. Once you are set. PLOT THAT BAD BOY. first to the Control Rig... you can edit the motion, then PLOT to the SKELETON to finalize. Save this file and we are ready to reimport this back into max.

9. Lets go back to max and lets open the 3dsmax file of the biped you saved eariler. Go to FILE IMPORT and choose the FBX file you saved from motionbuilder. BOOM, DONE.
important notes to keep in mind.
1. in 3dsmax, export the biped in centimeters as a unit. this avoides errors.
2. when importing into 3dsmax, the rig should be the same. if the character you are importing and the biped in max have different naming conventions.... it just wont work.
3. you can use a bidped for a skeleton for your real models..... just use the biped as the rig...
im out.