WEEK 4: Lighting the Stage
During week 4, our group focused on lighting the stage, rendering full exr sequences for each shot, and adjusting the timing for our visualization. Based on feedback from last week, we made the train itself longer for accuracy and worked to create a better sense of build up between shots as it moves (the animation is still a work in progress). We also added the drum textures to the scene, adjusted the camera angles for shots 1 and 3, and changed the overall timing to make shots 1 and 2 last longer.
New Visualization Edit:
The biggest challenge we faced this week was getting our renders completed and transferred between team members. The renderfarm was down all weekend, which meant we had to light and render everything locally over the span of a few days. The download speed for me to get everyone's exr renders from Dropbox was also a challenge on wifi. This pushed us off of our intended schedule, especially in terms of how much time I had to composite all the shots and green screen.
After critique last week, we realized the green screen plate we were using would not work for our project due to it being in slow motion, having a different perspective, and containing overly excited people whose hands were covering up too much of our screen space in shot 4. Since we couldn't find another plate online, we ended up filming our own. With it being last minute, we were not able to use the green screen room and had to borrow Professor Bridget's green screen. We had a lot of fun with the plates, but we are still considering reshooting due to grainy footage, bad lighting, and motion blur. Therefore, I didn't refine the green screen yet this week, but rather got a rough key of each person to project onto cards to get an idea of what shot 4 might look like.
Compositing & Lighting :
Before and After Comparisons: I composited Houdini FX (smoke/confetti), depth of field, motion blur, and color grading effects using a regular lighting and atmosphere lighting pass for each shot. In shot 4, the confetti was split up into 3 different passes (background, midground, and foreground) to allow for greater zdepth control and interactivity with the crowd. Since I didn't have a lot of time to composite this week due to delayed renders, I will continue refining the depth and color effects as we move forward. For shot 2, I was also responsible for the train animation and full scene lighting.
In this shot, I learned a lot about how to create focus and balance with lighting and how to create convincing motion blur using the vector blur node in Nuke.
Overall Node Tree for Week 4:
Rough Crowd Projection: (using separate cards for each person)