Bird of Prey

I finished this animation on Friday: Bird of Prey.

It was made for a video tutorial that I made for cmiVFX. The tutorial is being featured for free through CG Channel for the next 30 days. It goes into detail all of the compositing that went into creating this piece. Feel free to have a gander and let me know what you think.

the tut. be awesome, i liked it a lot, you explained things very calmly and well. :slight_smile:

and the bird looks awesome too, ofc. :slight_smile:

Thats is friggin awesome, was expecting THIS but still cool lol.

Heh… I should’ve remembered my audience and indicated that this was completely unrelated to Star Trek. :slight_smile:

Thanks for watching, folks!

cool!! (your URL link has an extra set of http://)

Oh hey! Good catch. Thanks for pointing it out. I’ve gone n’ fixed that in the parent post.

Thank you Mods.
I’m really loving this animation section.

Glad you posted this here too.I’ve learned a lot about the nodes from that tut.

really cool tutorial. I wish it went into more detail about setting the materials up for the object masking. Is there a tutorial that explains that part of the process in more detail some where?

@RONIN: Thanks! I’m glad you found it helpful.

@Postmodern_Boy: You’re in a bit of luck. I’ve released the .blend file for this animation so you can take a closer look. Also, if you have any specific questions, please don’t hesitate in asking.

That’s right folks, the .blend file is out in the wild under a Creative Commons license. Have fun!

thought id fix the link for ease of clicking… :slight_smile:

Ha! Good catch! That’s what I get for not proofreading.


I was thinking the same thing as Borg 8 ) I watched the tut and though it was great. It also made me weep with my utter lack of understanding.

Man… I suppose I really ought to be more careful about what I name my animations… either that or I need to actually make something Trek-related as penance for ‘improperly’ using the name. :wink:

Sorry to make you weep, though. :slight_smile: Hopefully it’s not because I was unclear about anything. If I was, please do not hesitate in asking.

You DID remeber your audience - there be many Dragons here. :slight_smile: And all of our members would say that your bird of prey was a Dragon.

Other will say HA! I KNEW dragons existed, and this video PROVES IT.

Others will simply continue to take their medication.

I think it’s more of my skill level atm than anything else, I appreciate your willingness to help though. I think I’ll have to watch it several times and pay more attention(maybe when the wife isn’t nagging lol) to really absorb the whole process.

@PapaSmurf… Okaaaay. Perhaps (though it’s not entirely accurate) I should have called it a phoenix… but then again people might’ve thought I was animating the city in Arizona. But if you concentrate hard enough, I’m sure you can imagine it to be anything you want.

@neobloodline, ah, I understand now. Alrighty then. Best of luck in finding time to watch it again (and I hope that your wife is very understanding if she stumbles across your post :).)

Good job! Thank you for doing this. As having produced many video tuts myself, I am looking for a publisher as well. You should warn people, especially if they are buying it, that this is a video for advanced users, but I enjoyed it. The cmivfx video player is very dark; unselected videos are very hard to see.

I like how you jumped right in and showed how Blender supports OpenEXR multilayer, renderlayers, layers, UV mapping etc. Very subtly showed that Blender is a major player. Thank you for that.

The Phoenix is very pretty, and the demo video is excellent.

Some crits:

  1. In general, the black blender theme makes it very hard for me to see what’s going on. For example, at 18:38 the viewer node looks completely black to me.
  2. Showing the vector blur (at 16 min) maybe could have been better.
  3. Perhaps you could edit the video to remove dead time, and overlay bullet points on what you are talking about. Watch the Um’s.
  4. at 20, why wouldnt your backdrop turn off?

What actual framerate did you record at? Did you use CamStudio?

I agree with smurf, adding bullet points would be great. Also a quick button press explanation helps a lot also. I saw a video tutorial once that has a little effect whenever he hit the mouse button like rings or something. I forget who did that particular video but that effect was verry helpful in follow his mouse clicks. I think maybe you can get that effect from the same company that makes windowblinds (Stardock) it’s called cursorXP. I think there’s a free version.

Thanks for the feedback. I cannot emphasize how very valuable your comments, critiques, and compliments are to me. I appreciate that you’ve taken the time to watch and type out your thoughts here.

Now, to address PapaSmurf’s points… in the announcement I made about this tutorial on my studio’s site, I actually do state that the tutorial assumes you have a decent understanding of the basics of how Blender works, so I definitely have you covered there… though certainly should have made it more clear when I announced it here. Perhaps that should also have been mentioned on the CG Channel site, but I didn’t have control of that.

Now for your specific points (mind you, I haven’t gone back to look at the video before replying, so I’m shooting from the hip here, but I’m pretty sure my comments are accurate):

  1. This is the first time I’ve heard that about the dark Blender theme I use. There’s actually no black in it at all. When you talk about the viewer node being black, are you talking about the node itself, or the graphic within the node? If it’s the latter, my guess is that that perhaps the content going to that node was black. If it’s the former, I’m really not sure what’s going on there. I’ll have to review the video and check it out myself.

  2. You’re probably right. I think kind of glazed over that since it’s a fairly commonly used node that’s been there from the start and I assumed folks would already be familiar with it. In hindsight, I could probably have been more clear about what I was doing there.

  3. Quite a bit of dead time was removed from the video, actually. You might notice that there are very rarely moments when I’m not speaking or when there’s not something happing on the screen. Slow screen refreshes and render pauses were removed everywhere possible. Visual aids like bullet points (or, as neobloodline suggested, mouse effects like concentric rings) might be helpful, but in my experience with tutorials and in the feedback I’ve received in the ones I’ve created, bullet points and what not have more often than not proven to be distracting, gotten in the way, or impeded the pacing of the instruction. I’d certainly consider it for more complex topics that require it, though.

  4. I’m not 100% sure, but I’m going to blame ATI. :slight_smile:

I look forward to the day when I can create some decent high-resolution, high framerate (15fps or greater) video screen captures in Linux. In the meantime, I’ve been using TechSmith’s Camtasia in Windows with very pleasant results.

Camera’s too static in the beginning. Make it hard to look at at first. Aside from that…

TEACH ME!!!:eek: