Short Film- GTA in Real Life | SUPERCAR SPAWN

UPDATE! - Classy Dog has gained over 150 new subscribers since this video was posted! Thank you to everyone for your support! We have a lot of cool, new videos already in the works for you!

Here is a short film I completed over the past five months. I used Blender for the CG and After Effects for the compositing.

Camera Tracking- I used black and orange wooden blocks and black and orange duct tape where the car would be; also used points that were naturally in the shot. This thread by Steve S was very useful in removing the blocks and tape-

Dupliverts- I really liked the look of some of the Trapcode Particular effects out there, but couldn’t afford the plug-in, so I tried to recreate this effect in Blender. A little research brought up this- With this to guide me, I ended up using Dupliverted planes on a duplicate car mesh to create points of light. Using this in conjunction with the Build modifier, you can create the gradual forming of the car. The Decimate modifier is also very helpful when working with dupliverts when your parent mesh is too high-poly; just set the modifier to “Unsubdivide”.

Particles- Dynamic Paint was used to create the particles that move along the car once all the Dupliverts have formed. Originally, I wanted the particles to emit and float up into the air, but then I found out I couldn’t use the Dynamic Paint in conjunction with emission particles, so I had to use Hair particles instead, and used a UV Sphere for the duplication object. I also found out that there is a bug in Blender 2.68 which doesn’t seem to let you do this, so I used 2.67 for the particle shots. The actual transparency of the mesh is just a material in the nodes, which uses the Coordinate Mapping node and a Color Ramp node to “slide” the transparency gradient along the model. You can think of it as a gradient mask in Photoshop, but in 3D.

Realistic Car- I probably spent the most time on this video working on the realistic car shot. Veti’s car is very well modeled, so I had a good base to start with. Thornton Strolia helped me a lot with the car paint shader; you can find a video tutorial on paint shaders he created here- . The car is lit only by a single chrome ball .HDR. I was quite happy to find I could create hard shadows using only HDRI lighting. Because the lighting is so direct and bright, however, it meant I had more trouble with caustics and fireflies. I had to use the Light Path node in the glass materials of the headlights and the windshield to reduce the caustic noise. If I had used an .HDR probe taken on a cloudier day, it would have been much easier. Because my widest camera lens is not that wide, I decided chrome ball HDRI would be much more efficient to shoot than panoramic HDRI. I used a 4" chrome plastic Christmas ornament I bought for the shots. However, because it only captures light from one side of your scene. Without light (and therefore reflections) from the back of the car as well, the shots looked less real. So I decided to use AGIsoft PhotoScan to recreate the side of the building behind the vehicle. I also used this software to create a textured ground plane for the reflections around the bottom of the car body and the tires. Another AGIsoft environment mesh was used for the second shot of the dupliverts, which show the front tires spawning.

It’s a shame the “real car” is limited to one shot, but I have plans for a continuation of this video into a series, so I don’t think this is the last we’ve seen of it.

I learned a lot working on this short video. It has its mistakes and flaws, and many things which I very much want to improve on in future videos, but I’m satisified with how it turned out. Many, many thanks to Harley, Minoribus, and the many other people who took the time to follow my WIP thread and offer helpful suggestions and ideas. You can check out that thread for more behind-the-scenes info on how the video was made here-

As for future videos from Classy Dog, I’ve got a handful of Blender videos I’m going to be pumping out this month. I’m also ordering a new shotgun mic and camera slider in a couple weeks, so this will help to increase the production quality of our future projects. As John mentioned at the end of the video, we’ve got more GTA, more Blender, more videos based on games, and more films based on our own ideas coming out this year. So if you enjoy the work, and would like to support the channel, consider subscribing! Thank you, and I’m happy to answer any questions you may have about the video!

Also, you can try out the paint shader, the HDRI lighting setup and the gradient transparency nodes in this Blend Swap file here-

Here are a few more shots!

The tires I modeled for the car, based on Pirelli tires as per Thornton’s suggestion:

The paint shader are various stages:

And finally a larger image of the car in the video:

Dude, that was awesome!

Thank you, csjones! I hope to improve upon this work in future videos in the series.

Wow, you guys pulled up quite a job! All the compositing and the effects look sweet, and the acting is good too :slight_smile:
As for HDRi, have you ever tried stitching few photos with some panorama software? I had quite a pleasant experience in creating ectirectangular images involving Hugin and fisheye 22mm lens.

Wow Belíssimo job James, in all aspects.
You probably played with almost all the features of Blender to do this.
I see that all this involved a lot of research and hard work.
The effect that you developed to make the car appear gradually was great! If you don’t tell us I would have thought that was done in another software.

PS As an actor you have good skills and it was a very good screenplay :yes:

I really like how my model is used. This is the reason why I upload them to BlendSwap. From current perspective it looks bad - right now I could make it much better. Nevertheless - great work!

Ops… I didn’t know that @veti. Congrat :wink:

LOL - love the cheat code. From Contra, wasn’t it? Very well done on the whole production!!

Dbugged, that would be the (in-)famous konami code :stuck_out_tongue:

This film is full of win, congratulations! The quality is amazing. Can’t wait to see what you guys will come up with next!

I spent all of yestday working, came home hungry and tired, and went to bed early. Today I woke up to find my channel as over 500 subscribers, and the video has been seen over 3,000 times already! Wow! I’m very grateful for such a reaction, and for Blender Nation to have featured my project on their website!

Thank you to everyone who has subscribed! I’m looking forward to sharing more videos with you soon!

yazjack- Thank you! Acting is something we have very little experience with, but we’re trying to get better at it as we progress. As for stitching HDRI images, I certainly would like to try Hugin; I’ve heard of it before, but haven’t used it yet. As soon as I’m able, I’d like to obtain a fisheye lens and start learning how to make panoramic HDRs more quickly. Currently, my widest lens still requires about 50 shots per bracket, and that doesn’t even capture the zenith or nadir! So a wider lens is near the top of my list.

Thank you for subscribing as well! Now I remember where I’ve heard your name before, you helped Chris Kuhn on texturing for one of his space model, right?

CCTrevis- Thanks! There were a lot of things I had to learn how to do to make this video. For instance, I’d never even touched the Dynamic Paint tools before. Learning how to use new tools can sometimes be frustrating and time consuming, but I’m glad I now have new knowledge about them. Probably the biggest obstacle was creating the Duplivert shots, where the car is made up of particles. My computer would slow down a lot, and Blender would even crash sometimes when I tried to render the whole car at once. For those shots, I had to render the dupliverts in 2 or 3 passes, then composite them back together in After Effects. So another, more powerful computer is also on the list of things I would like!

Thank you as well for subscribing!

veti- I’m especially glad to hear you’re happy with how the car was presented! It was certainly one of the cornerstones of the whole project. I wanted to do as good a job as I could, not only for myself, but to do justice to the quality of the model. Of course, I’ve seen your skill level progress since you made this model, and I’m sure you look at it now as something you could improve upon greatly now, but it’s still a very good model in my eyes.

I also wanted to show that uploading your model to Blend Swap doesn’t mean that’s the end of its useful life; there are some incredible models on Blend Swap, and I think they should be utilized and really shown off in a way that does them justice, and as a way to give thanks to the many artists who give their work freely to the community. So again, I’m very happy to hear you liked the video!

Dbugged- You’re right, the Konami Code was first popularized in North America in the NES version of Contra, and I know that thanks to Wikipedia! I’m very glad you enjoyed the video!

CubeGod- You beat me to it! Exactly right!

Keelhaul- Thanks! I’m trying to get better at adding details to my videos, to make them more fun to watch. Glad you enjoyed it!

Thanks for the breakdown on using the dupliverts, I need to study your blend file to learn more about this. Again great job on this James.

James, what can I say, this is jaw-dropping beautiful.
The dialing movement was really funny xD. The effects were spot on, the car looked as real as it gets, really just photographic quality. Congratulations. There’s no room for critiques here.
Thank you for commenting in my threads. Have a nice evening.

Great! I really like the effect from wireframe to shaded material … and the car looks very real!

My goal for the end of Classy Dog’s second year (July 4th) is 1,000 subscribers and 100,000 video views. Thanks to you, we’re on track to meet that goal early!

Harley- Thank you! Last night I cleaned out all the files I knew I would no longer need (about 75 GBs worth!), but if you’d like to see how the dupliverts are set up, I’d be happy to send you an example using Suzanne!

josef- You’re too kind! Thank you, I had fun trying to conceptualize how the car might spawn. My experience with it makes me want to create more complex effects in the future. Not necessarily to make the work more complicated, but to make it more layered and (hopefully) interesting to watch.

marcolorenz- Thanks, I’m happy to see you enjoyed the transition effect! I’m beginning tests for the upcoming videos, so hopefully they will benefit from what I learned working on this one!


:slight_smile: Nicely done. Congratulations!

yeah its actually finished , i’ve been waiting this. great job guys.

James Candy - hehehe… The fun thing is I randomly found this the day before you posted it hereI do quite like how the project turned out :stuck_out_tongue:

SuperMelon- Thank you! I hope my next car video will look as nice as yours did!

jpinkman- I’m glad you enjoyed it! Sorry for the long wait, our next video is coming much sooner!

CubedGod- That is funny! I’ve had that happen to me, as well.