Final result for milestone 3

I’ve worked really hard the last week to get everything together, writing the project report and making a little breakdown of the project. I really want to add a quick printscreen of the nuketree but sadly enough I can’t do this. For some reason windows 7 freezes everytime I try to take a printscreen. wuhu for computers! But there is a pretty good description of what I’ve used in my compositing in the project report. you can find it under “milestone 3” :)

The video:

the breakdown:

The breakdown only shows scene one because I’ve used the same method for both scenes since the lihgting et cetera been almost the same :)

I’m pretty pleased with the result even though there are a lot of things I could fix. But the only thing I’m a little bit sad about is that I had to do a “kill my darling” and end the video before the butterfly could get over the tree crowns. This way I saved a lot of rendertime, and could put that time on working more on details and compositing and the main goal of the project. But this is however something I could fix later on when I have more time to actually render everything out :)

rendertime and test renders

It’s really hard to know if the keying or the roto’s are looking good while working in nuke, so now when I had all the renders that I needed frome maya I tried to render everything out so see how it looks:

The roto is looking a little bit wierd at some places so I might need to get a better look on that. also some of the flowers have dark edges around them. and it’s not becaue it was premultiplied. I just noticed that the alpha for the flowers was a little bit bad. I saved most of it with adding edgeblur and erode but I might need to render it again to see if I can make it look better.

there is also a lot of tweaking left with the zblur, blur and grading that I will have to add for both the background and Kajsa. I did add shadows on her in nuke but I think I want them to have some more glow/light.

One other thing that I noticed is that the tracking is a little bit shaky, We will see if I will be able to fix that in nuke :) cause I really don’t have the time to render everything again. especially when it looks pretty OK. There’s a lot of things that I could tweak (such as the stone wall and the tree roots in the foreground, But after adding a better depth to the scene I really don’t think that others will notice how it looks. all the petals falling, the butterfly flying, and kajsa reading, is stealing away all the attention from just that spot.

but rather than that I think this looks pretty good. I do have time to re-render some layers for scene one and two if needed but the background layer with the grass et cetera takes such a long time to render that I rather not.

I also managed to get all the renders for scene two this monday/tuesday. So next up is to add it to the comp and do a quick render to see how it looks and what’s need to be done to make it look even better. stay tuned!

over and out – Michaela s

Scene one almost done

these last couple of days I’ve been working more on sculpting for the tree, the shaders and the lighting + a lot of final tuning in maya so that I could start to render everything out for scene one. I also redid the animation of the butterfly for scene one (last week I redid the whole butterfly so that’s the reason to why I had to give it some new animations).

Here is a quick comp I did in nuke just to see if the renders did work for scene one :


One thing I realised while I tested to render scene one was that most parts of the tree that I had made was cut off from the screen. So the paint effects tree that I had made earlier is only used as a basemesh reference for the new tree trunks that I made in mudbox. The smaller branches that you can see coming in from the top of the camera view is only some branches I took from the paint effects tree but with some 2d planes that I applied for the flowers. However I do think that the paint effects tree I have is of use for the second scene. It doesn’t need as much details as the trees in the first scene because all of the focus will stay on the butterfly through the whole scene. that’s also why I haven’t worked that much on the shading for the paint effects tree. Cause you will never see them in close up without blur. :)

Just a quick render of the tree trunk I made for scene one, I wanted to add it in the last post but couldn’t reach the file while my computer rendered. But here it is :)


Adding details / redoing some things

The last week I’ve been working some more on the details for the first scene such as the grass, the trees, some small stones which I made with paint effects et cetera. the trees are almost done :) right now I’m working a little with the textures for the branches/cherry flowers. I’ve used a texture I found earlier in this project. a picture of an appeltree flower. This actually worked pretty good. I just had to edit it a little in photoshop to make it look more like a cherry blossom branch. One other thing that I need to work some more on is the sculpting for the tree. I got a pretty good basemesh from paint effects but it needed more details. I got one version from before but I’m not that satisfied with the result. So I think the scultping might need some more work.

The grass was much easier to work with though, I just had to change a few settings and change the texture to something more realistic and then it was done. The only thing I’m thinking about now is if I should render still images of the grass and put in the scene as 2d planes, instead of having it all in 3D. The scene is getting pretty slow to work with so that’s the reason to why I’m starting to think this way. I know I was thinking of this before but I think I will have to try it out with the lighting of the scen first, before I decide anything final.

I also decided to redo the butterfly. The first version was a free mesh I found on the internet that I modified a little, but as soon as I started to rigg the butterfly more properly I noticed that the mesh was broken/wasn’t that good. So therefore I did a retopo of the whole butterfly, new uv, new textures et cetera.

So for now I will focus on getting the trees and grass done, and work some more on the lighting of the scenes. My goal is to get a final render of the first scene on Wednesday.

I will add some pictures as soon as my computer is done rendering :)

Tracking and keying done

So, now I think I will consider the tracking and keying done for the both scenes :)

the tracking for the first scene was done some time ago, and it was also pretty simple to make it work when you had an origi. But I realised that it was pretty hard to define the groundplane in the tracking for the second scene, just because that shot didn’t have an origi. But I could make an almost working track with the trackingpoints I had. I tested different points on the ground, to se if I could use any of them as an origi and 2 of them worked pretty OK. It’s not perfect but this will have to do for now.

the keying was pretty straight forward with some garbage mattes and combination with both keylight, IBK gizmo and primatte. I had to make some pretty detailed rotos though for the first scene. the different lighting of the ghreenscreen was hard to key out, especially around her feet. and even if it was pretty straight forward as I said I still had to experiment with the different keyers to see which one was the best. and the IBK is really good for hair details ;P just sayin.

But as I said: the first scene needed a pretty good garbage matte. and the second scene as well. but only where the greenscreen had the biggest difference in color. Some might say that you can key it out with only keyers but I saved quite some time just doing a garbage matte instead of testing different keyers over and over again. Old school rotoscoping for the win!

next up is to get the trees and grass togheter for the first and second scene :)

over and out – Michaela

refining keying and tracking

This week my goal is to have a final key and track for both shots. The tracking is something that’s been a bit problematic through this project. It’s working pretty fine for the first scene but the second one is still something I need to work more on. The version I got right now is OK, But I want to see if I could make it even better.

and for the keying:

right now I’ve just added the different keyers that I will use and tried them out with some roto’s. both garbage mattes and a more detailed roto. I did one key a few weeks ago but the edges didn’t look that good. especially at the shoes and the hair (much greeen on them). (for the first scene). the second scene is much easier to work with when it comes to the keying. But it’s a close up instead so the edges need to look better than in the first scene.

I also did a render of the background from maya to see how it looks togheter with film in nuke. I miiight need to move it up a little. and yes, I forgot to remove the chair for the test. But the tracking looks good. The only thing I’m wondering about is the size of the scene and perspective. But I think it will be easier to see that once I actually got the trees and grass in the scene.

keying test

the node tree is not that structured right now. But hopefully I will add a better one at the end of this week :)

over and out – Michaela

testing textures

Last week I worked a lot with textures for the first scene, and refining some modelling for example the wall. It’s been pretty straight forward. I did sculpting in mudbox, tried to use displacement maps but normal maps worked even better just in this case (for the stone part of the wall). to make the other objects less “simple/plain” I added simple bumpmaps but I might need to work a little bit more with them. The same goes for the tree roots and the groundplane. And I think that I might need to increase the resolution for some textures and also add some more variation to, for example, the “statues”.



render test 2

i haven’t added the trees and the grass to the scene yet because they’re not done and they doesn’t look that good. I will give you a picture of it next week :) To save some time and work I’m only gonna make one “perfect” tree and then, when adding it to the first scene, I’m just gonna rotate it to make it look like different trees + add slightly different diffuse textures for the tree trunks. I will only need 3 trees in the first scene, so that is why I think this might work.

I think I might need to add some small stones on the groundplane as well. just to make it look more alive. But both the stones and the grass depends on where I will place the trees. I don’t want to create a lot of grass that, in the end, you won’t be able to see because of the trees.

I also did a texture test for the butterfly:


I’m sorry for the crappy picture but the front wings became invisible when rendered. It got something to do with the alpha/shader in maya, which is wierd because I’ve used the exact same methods for the back and front wings. what I’ve done is: added a diffuse with alpha, and added the same diffuse node for the cutout opacity in the shader :)

over and out – Michaela

modelling and some cheating!

I’ve worked some more on the modelling! :) I’m also trying to decide where to put the trees and the wall for the first scene. I want to use the wall so that I could add a matte painting behind it with some simple 2D elements, and maybe some simple 2d cards with alpha for more trees.

I’ve found a lot of good pictures on cgtextures that I will be able to use for both textures and background images. especially one png picture of a branch with appletree flowers. I think I will win some time on adding pictures of branches instead of making all of them with paint effects. cause you won’t see that much of the tree crowns in the first scene. mostly the roots and the tree trunks.

I’ve also been thinking about how I should work with the grass. Should I make everything with paint effects or just a part of it with paint effects and then add some matte paintings that’s further away from the camera position? that’s what I’m trying to decide right now.


I’ve started to work some more on the modelling and so far it’s been pretty simple. I’ve saved more complicated meshes, like stone that needs more details, for sculpting in mudbox. I don’t want to have billions of polygons in my scene so therefore I will try to add displacement maps for the objects that need it. it will probably slow down enough with the paint effects later on and it takes time to work with a slow scene in maya. I want to avoid that.

what I’ve done so far is mostly objects for the first scene, the ground plane, the “temple wall”, 2 different stones that I will put out randomly in the scene (different sizes and rotations), and a statue that I really don’t know what to call? It looks like small houses and are often placed in front of tori gates/around temple areas.


I think I will have to add some more roots and details to the ground plane though.

over and out – Michaela s

Tracking almost done

So recently I’ve been trying to solve the problem with the tracking. and I actually solved it for the first scene by trying to track it in matchmover again! and of course after some more research on the camera we filmed the shots with.  And yes, I did try matchmover before milestone 2 but the result came out in such a wierd way so I decided to try to solve the problem with nuke just because the track looked really good there. (before being exported to maya of course).

So, I tried to solve the problem over and over again in Nuke, I tried to change the scale, the rotationaxis, the tracks I choose for the ground plane et cetera in nuke but it always came out the same way in Maya. I even tried to play a little with the camera settings, changing film back size and the focal length just to be able to see if that were the problem. And I did notice that I’ve used the wrong film back size for the camera. I found some good information about the camera on this page:

I must have written down the wrong film back size when we were filming.

I also did some more research on what exactly film back size means and found this page that explained it pretty good:

When I changed the film back size to the proper one and tried to track it again in nuke and then export it to maya. did you think it worked? of course not. I even tried a plugin I found on for exporting the camera, image plane and trackingpoints from nuke but that didn’t work as well. BUT it worked perfectly in matchmover now when I had the right film back size!

I will try to track the second scene in matchmover as well , and I really hope that it will work.

over and out! – Michaela s

(written the 24/02)