VFX Core Concepts 101

VFX Core Concepts 101

Hi everybody,
My name is Clinton Jones, and Today we’re talking about special—
Visual effects. [BEEP]
Today we’re talkin about visual effects NOT special effects.
That’s all the stuff that you do on set. Like the pyrotechnicians: they’re blowing
stuff up– that’s a SPECIAL effect. Anything on set,
anything practical. We’re talkin VISUAL EFFECTS.
[music] Sooooo….
[laughter in background] So compositing! Let’s talk about compositing.
Compositing is when you take all of your assets… you take your fake explosion,
or you take your smoke asset, or you take your magic castle background that
you wanna put into your video…
You take all those layers and you stack them on top of each other
to make them fit the scene. That’s compositing: taking all your elements, bringing it all
into one final, good looking piece of footage.
[CAR ENGINE ZOOMS PAST] Tracking is when you replicate and apply
the camera movement from the shot on that day
to elements that were not originally there in the shot.
[TIGER ROAR] Let’s just say that your footage is doing
this. And I need to tell the computer to just focus
on this movement. You choose tracking points in the footage
and now that I have that data, I am going to parent this element to that moving footage
so nowwww… it’s blended into the scene. Does that make sense?
So with tracking you have 2D and you have 3D.
2D is when your camera is on a fixed point, and it’s just tilting, panning and looking
around. It’s not actually moving in 3D space.
A 3D track is when the camera is doing all those things,
But is also moving through 3D space, right? Traveling through 3D space.
Here’s an example of a bad track. You can tell that it’s not “stuck” to
the footage, it looks very strange, very abnormal, like
this thing actually isn’t here, it looks fake It looks like bad, B-Movie kind of material. Compared to a good track.
In a good track, you shouldn’t be able to tell what is fake. If it’s composited well, and if it’s tracked well, the effect should
be invisible. So, rotoscoping… [sighs] Rotoscoping.
Rotoscoping is when you manually cut out something In the frame… frame by frame… for the
whole shot. And it’s very tedious. Very very very time
consuming. Let’s say you have a person, and you want
to put an explosion behind them. Your footage is only one layer, so you need
to cut me out frame by frame, to add that explosion behind
me. You need to make me a new layer in front of
this explosion. [TRIUMPHANT MUSIC!]
Here is a good rotoscope. You can’t really tell that they are rotoscoped
out, It just looks normal. The edges look clean,
there is a bunch of detail there, it’s feathered where it needs to be feathered…
[SPACESHIP ALARM SOUNDS] Keying! Green screens, blue screens.
You are selecting that color, and saying “Hey computer! I want to see everything
but that color! Just take away THAT color.” And you need
a color that people are not wearing. If you’ve ever watched weatherman footage,
And their shirt’s missing? It looks like they are just
a floating head and some pants? Make sure your actors are not wearing any
blue. If you, for whatever reason, can’t
film on location, or if something’s too dangerous…
like in Jess’s Big Date, when Joey had to be standing right in front of his car, which was getting blown up, and glass was flying everywhere. You just piece those two together, and the
camera shouldn’t have moved, And you get something that looks
pretty dangerous, and pretty cool. So matte paintings have been around for a very long time, what people used to do is put up a piece of
glass, and painstakingly paint on the glass with
a brush, and actually get it there in-camera, and you
composite it. Now we are lucky enough to
be able to do it in the computer. You save out that image file,
give it to the compositor, and they are gonna take that image, composite it into the
shot, they are probably gonna motion track it if
the shot’s moving. All of these effects… all of these kinds
of tools are all used in the majority of most VFX shots.
Then you got… 3D stuff. You can model anything. Trucks, cars…
Planes, tanks… Whatever you can think in your head, you can
model. It’s like sculpting, right?
And then you have texturing, which is essentially coloring. You can simulate explosions, You can simulate things breaking apart,
you can simulate water, any sort of liquid or fluid.
Then you got particle effects… which are tiny little points,
Thousands, millions of little points that add up to make water, or add up to make
smoke, or fire. Lighting!
Just like we light here, now, with all these lights? You light in 3D, where you can set up fake lights that can do all sorts of different things. Then you have rigging. And rigging is when
you set up a character to move; you set up all the joints
and all the bones, and then you connect them all so when you grab this part, the whole arm moves. Once your character is rigged, then you can animate it. That gets into character animation, which is a whooole thing.
I dunno how to do any of that stuff. So working in programs like 3DS Max, or Maya,
Blender, or Cinema4D… these are all 3D programs where you can do a number of things.
So that’s all the 3D stuff, there’s a lot. We’ll touch on that stuff later, but this whole video
is an overview for you guys, so now you know what tools you have at your disposal,
and you can start looking up tutorials for all these things, and getting good at all these things. Um, we have links down below, For tutorials and sites that we like.
But yeah, the whole point is to tell awesome stories. VFX is another tool for you guys to tell really cool stories with.
So good luck on your VFX journeys, and your storytelling journeys,
and I’ll see you guys next time.

Danny Hutson

100 thoughts on “VFX Core Concepts 101

  1. You are confusing many concepts amongst which is the fact that every visible effct is in cateory of visual special effect. Practical effect is a Visual effect too unless you can't see it. In which case is not even effect. And VFX is also visual special effect but generated in a comluter. All those are called special effects. Hope that clarifies some stuff.

  2. You can start learning a lot about the principles of VFX and how to composite successfully:

    Fundamentals of VFX covers topics such as Node-based Compositing, Color Grading and Color Theory, Lighting, Chroma Keying, and much much more.

  3. Blender is all you need, it is a bit daunting at first, but when you get used to the UI, blender is an awesome tool to use. It has come a long way in recent years, especially the latest build of 2.79.

  4. Hi sir gevng my name is kishore
    I interest in Hollywood VFX
    But I have no money
    Sir pls send
    How to starting vfx
    And useing software s
    Pls reply mr

  5. Why is he using terminology most people don't know in the video? And not explaining them? I mean, I know what they mean. But, you can't just throw out words that are going to confuse your audience.

  6. hey hiiii!!! i am very much passionate on VFX but i dont know any software except Ps Ai but im i have knowledge how the things are done !!!! will u help mee

  7. Hey, I'm from (India) n wish to work for big studios like marvel and pixars. Can u guide me for what should I do?? Which universty I should join and How??

  8. आपके समझाने का तरीका बहुत अच्छा है यह वीडियो हिंदी में होता तो बहुत अच्छा होता धन्यवाद

  9. Yes, rotoscoping involves frame-by-frame analyses, but it is not always a frame-by-frame task. In fact, one shouldn't have to adjust much if the fluidity of the rotoscope is adequate.

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