Effect Test

In waiting for the filmed material last week I did some testing on how to solve the cracking/fissure effect. RIght  now I have discovered a way involving booleans. In the past tense me and booleans haven’t really agreed with each other, therefore I found it a suprise that they could provide a rather good and simple solution. What I did was to use the difference operation on a plane and the proxy hand. I then animated the history on the plane to make it to gardually cut through the hand. The plane’s vertices could also be transformed to make it a crack rather than a clean cut. The good thing about doing it this way is that I can do a custom animated crack to my liking, which is something that is hard to do using maya’s shatter effect. Perhaps I could find a way to use both effects for increased realsim. Here is a couple of quick examples I made. In the last one I turned the piece that is cut off into a rigid body and let it fall. I only did a simple keying of the visability and switched the hand with the duplicated, cut one.

The only problem whith the boolean operation is that it sometimes creates black triangles as the animated plane moves into the hand geometry. However, this is something that can be fairly easily fixed with a few tweaks to the plane.

Thoughts on:Integration of the hands

One of my main concerns for the project is the integration of the hands ontop of my real hands. After the first week of the project had past I had researched enough to work out a plan on how to do this. These were my thoughts:

What I want is to insert a cg model (slightly larger, I want the stone to have some thickness) infront of my real hands. In the later part of the clip I will start to animate the model which will correspond to the real hand’s movements. In the joints of the hand there will start to fall some smaller debris and spread some additional cracks. The real hand’s major purpose is to act as a referance (both as model and animation) and a background to the holes and fissures the cracks make. How much I will reveal of the hand depends on how the effect will look in the end.

The greenscreen was a choice I made a few days before filming. Now I can remove the real hand more easily (perhaps in the beginning when I want the sculpture to be still for example or if I want the animation to differ from the real hand). I also took the time on set to film the background without the hand or greenscreen. This material I can use for projection purposes later on.

The markers on my hand I hoped to work with object tracking. I decided that if I could get the track to function properly, it would be a great help for the animation of the hand. This was also a reason why I decided to have reference cameras on set. In Pftrack there was also a feature called  geometry tracking I wanted to try out if the others should fail.

Managing RED Camera files

Managing files from a RED camera is a bit diffrent than working with normal files. The 4k resolution and the raw images you are able to extract from the camera needs another workflow to stay as uncompressed as possible. Although my final delivery will be in 1080p, it is still good to now the workflow and when it is time to reformat them. Here is a workflowchart I made based on Simon Tingells lecture.


If you are able to, you want to stay in premier as much as you can. For my project however, I want to take the clips into nuke to be able to do the compositng I need. I am more comfortable with grading in nuke and since I need to do some greenscreen-work, cg implementation and 2d tracking, nuke is my first choice of program to do this.

First you edit/cut your clips in premier. Then send a xml-file to REDCINE-x were you are able to edit iso, tempertaure, exposrue and so on. Yes, these settings can be changed in both permier and nuke, the important part is that you change gamma to redlogfilm and export the frames in dpx (1080p in my case). The dpx will later be red as colorspace cineon in nuke. Which will give the images correct gamma to work within nuke. When you later export the files to premier (once again as dpx) for final editing and effects transitions, you have to add a cineon converter filter to each clip in prermier. Otherwise premier will read the files as sRGB as default. For me, it will be unnecessary heavy to work with 4k in nuke for most of my shots. However, in my heroshot I have a greenscreen and as I will be doing greenscreen and dispill removal, I think I will keep it in 4k to have as much information as I can.


Together with the photograhper Mattias, we went to Nordanå to shoot my clips. Although I think we got everything I needed, what a hectic day it turned out to be. Using a RED ONE camera definitely has its advantanges, however there is a lot more to think about and additional equipment you have to bring. But with help from Mattias, our teachers Arash and Samuel, and my fellow student Caroline Näslund, It turned out okay somehow. As I am looking at the data before me, I now know. All that extra trouble was definitley worth it. Thanks everybody!

When I am done with some editing of the material, I will put up the hand shot infront of the greenscreen. Since it is my hero shot for my project, I will be spending many hours getting to now it better from here on. For now, here I am taking some whiteball references for lightning.

More research,revision of Previz and using RED camera

A few days has past since I last posted and this is what I have been up to.

I have arranged for the location, which will be the Museum Nordanå here in Skellefteå. At monday morning we will start to shoot and since we are able to be there all day, hopefully one day is all that’s needed. I have also gone through my storyboard with the photographer Mattias Sjöstedt. He had som great ideas on how to evolve the shots and storytelling. Therfore I have now revised my previz and updated it. Instead of redoing it in maya, I went to Nordanå with a friend who helped me film a previz on set. I have added a coulpe of shots but still managed to keep the number of rendered frames to be the same as the last storyboard, which is good. You can find it here or in MS1:

Since we are filming on monday I have been preparing and planing which items I need to bring. As stated in my research document, I will be working with reference frames and sequences when matchmoving. Therefore I have prepared for two additional cameras to be brought to the location. I have also painted my own mini greenscreen which will be placed behind my hand in the hero vfx shot.


Furthermore, now when it’s been decided we will have access to a RED camera, I have been looking into the workflow of how to manage a RED camera’s files. A workflow chart will be posted later.

First Week And Milestone 1


The project´s first week has gone and past. The project has finally begun.

This week I have been reserching a lot and put together the inital project documents. All of the documents can be found under Milestones, MS1. Be sure to check them out.