DMU Animation studies

Ieva Beleskaite



VFX. Animation

In today’s session we made an alien space craft move across the desert in a wobbly way.

Saucer (duplicated)
Background changed to BW (black and white)
Shadow (generated in Nuke)

Here are steps taken to make it work:

1. First thing to do is to write in panoramic view and reduce saturation level to make it black and white. Then use Grade node to pin point black point and white point to fix the contrast.capture1

2. Then create a checkerboard as an animation sheet. Of course with that a merge is needed. With Transform node resize to make image fit the brackets. Make sure to leave some space in case of shaking the image. A shuffle and premult nodes are needed to put image on top of checkerboard. Changing values on Shuffle node will make it work.
Afterwards set key frames from 1 till 100 using Transfrom node to make viewer slide through panorama.

3. After a backround moves, saucer is needed to complete the task.
First merge everything together.
capture6Then simply use transform tool to move it across the panorama with key frames and it should move!

However, a line path must be wobbly. So on transform made for saucer set key frames on rotate section and rotate it every 10 key frames.
Useful tip! Hold shift and press right arrow to automatically move every 10 frames!



However, we must take a look at light source of background image. It’s opposite from actual saucer image. To flip saucer go to the same Transform and change scale value w to -1.


Also we can add Motion blur and to it! It’s important because when an image moves fast it kinda blurs a bit. So we want that here as well.capture12

4. However as it is a flying object, it needs a shadow!

A shadow can be created using Radial node. Using Transform to resize it. Softness and opacity values helps to make the shadow more believable.


To make a shadow follow the saucer you must COPY LINKS from Saucer_T (Transform for saucer) and PASTE it on Shadow_T Expression. It should look like this.


We want to move only X value. So leave only that then you paste it. Make sure to delete the brackets as well.
After that Nuke should create an automatic link indicating that it’s following same X value of the saucer.


Shadow offset was set to move the shadow to appropriate position. By that I mean that we need to take a second look at background’s light source. Since it’s a bit tilted a shadow must be fixed.

Here is how it should look now.

5. Last job: adding camera shake and grain to make it look old fashioned.


To make a camera shake you need to modify amplitude and rotation values.


6. Here is the final node sheet and final result.




VFX. Tracking

Tracking is basically TRACKING parts of selected footage.
Our goal was to import an image into a green screen of a laptop.


I chose to import an image of stylised world map.


So here are the steps which we took:

  1. Connect Tracker node to the image sequence.
    Create trackers on each corner of a laptop.So every 20 frames I manually moved the tracker to corner so NukeX would know what to look for and after I’m done I clicked on key_track_all to automatically create missing key frames.
    The tricky part was a corner where a hand comes in since you can’t see the corner. A solution for that was to make gaps of tracking. So you set your key frames every 20 as before until THE HAND comes in. Then carefully select frames where corner is still visible and create an automated key tracker using key_track_current while being between two selected frames (selected frames has to glow in yellow).
  2. Select all tracks and export them into CornerPin2D (use current frame).
    After that make your node sheet looks something like this.
  3. Go to properties of CornerPin2D, select a Form section and click on Set To Input.
  4. IT’S DONE.


For rotoscoping I chose this image. I wanted to choose it for green screen, but a fact that character wears green suit seemed too difficult.blarney

Before rotoscoping I faced a problem. My picture already had an alpha channel so whenever I would draw with bezier tool and pressed A to see alpha channel, screen turned all white. To fix that I had to add Shuffle node, deselect alpha channel and select black background.

Here is a result of rotoscoping and roto map of organised beziers.


After that I found a background picture from almighty Google.041912

Reformated image to fit character picture and merged it together. However, background of character image was still seen so I added a Premult node and Transform so character would fit background image.

Here is a final, magnificent result.



Green screen fun

Alright, so I decided to practice a bit more with green screen compositions.sky_fightsky_fight_nodevolcanovolc_node


Green/Blue screen composition


So basically here, instead of working on creating an alpha layer on photoshop, you can automatically create on using green or blue screens.

Original picture:


Visual effects. Simple composition


Here I present you a first composition I have ever made alone using NukeX and photoshop to put in alpha layers.
As you can see, it’s pretty random.
Also a node graph.layers

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