Hmm, I should probably explain our project, just to give you a better idea of what we need. I’m in the film class at my high school, which is in charge of making the DVD yearbook over the course of the year. We shoot sports and school events and edit them into short (3-4 minute) features with music. However, rather than just being a collection of features, the DVD is supposed to have a theme and story which connects the features with short (1-3 minute) segments. We decided to go with a Sin City-esque theme with the green screening and everything, but after a lot of brainstorming many of the others have decided that it would be too difficult to pull off technically, because we’d either have to use static shots with photo backgrounds, or if we filmed the background we’d have to match the camera movement perfectly. I still really want to do the theme we came up with, and so I decided to start working on a way to do a 3D background. I was talking about it with one of the other guys and he told me he’d heard of Blender and to take a look at it. So my goal is to create a basic tech demo to prove it can be done, show the demo to the others, and then if they agree it works, do all the 3D work myself (I have incredible amounts of free time, and when I’m interested in something I can work tirelessly at it. And they’ll have far less objections if I’m doing all the work. Plus, if I do the backgrounds, that would probably be my major role in the class and I wouldn’t have to work on video announcements [shudder])…
I’m not sure how knowledgable you are in this field- but you’d need a compositing program like After Effects to put your characters in the background – There are cheaper options that After Effects. In a few more releases Blender will have it’s own built in node based compositor. Which is going to put a smile on my face.
We have Final Cut Pro, which I am familiar with and allows for keying and such, and Premiere 7.0, which I am not familiar with, Motion, which I don’t think any of us is familiar with, and After Affects, which I am not familiar with, but some of the others are.
Also in Blender there is a video sequence editor which can do green screen, although I have never used it. You will have to search the forums to find out about that.
Interesting. I’ll search, but if somebody else happens to know a link already that would be helpful.
3D modelling ain’t the easiest thing to just learn on the fly- if your work looks promising you might be able to get people to help out on this forum- to do some of the work for you. Sky Captain and Sin City (I Believe) used a combination of 3d and photo manipulation. Sorting everything out from the start is going to make everything easier when you are doing post effects etc
As for experience, I have a lot of experience building Half-Life levels in Worldcraft/Valve Hammer Editor. It functions a lot different than a 3D modeler, but that’s still what you’re doing, and I think (or at least hope) a lot of the basics still apply to other programs. Also, making a room is less complicated than a face or body or animal or whatever (at least, in my experience and opinion). With that said, I’m still definitely a newbie with Blender and 3D modeling. Also, I’m not sure what would be the best way to go about making a room in Blender. Would I just make a bunch of different objects and put them together?
Anyway, we have a very large time frame (probably six to seven months), so I’m not terribly concerned about time at the moment. If I can figure out the basics and pull off a successful test than I can spend a long time working on my technique and learning new things.
As for using photos as backgrounds, we already know how to do that, but it really limits camera movement because the background is flat. In the final product we would probably use both photo and CG backgrounds, but I’m not sure… it would depend on how consistent we could get the look.
Here’s what I would do, for testing purposes. A still Tripod and no camera movements.
I’m afraid that would be largely pointless, as we could just use a photograph for that, and my goal is to prove we could have camera movements.
Is this video going to have the same Special FX as in the 70’s TV series “Land of the Lost”?
I wouldn’t know. I’ve never heard of that series. However, as I said, we’re going for a Sin City-esque look.
Get the green screen room ready. I assume you may have a green box or green shelf or some sort of green prop.
We have access to several green screens which hang from stands, one of which is extremely large (I forget the dimensions, but large enough to follow an actor as they walk and use that for walking through a good portion of a room).
Anyway, my goal for the first demo is to build a simple room, maybe with a table or some other small detail so it’s more than just the inside of a cube, and have an actor move through the room. I’d like to do at least one pan, at least one shot where the camera moves alongside the actor while he or she is walking, and maybe a simple rotation.
Actually, if anyone knows where I could get a file of a simple room, I could use that to test it out while I’m still working on my own modeling ability.