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fae_alba

Looking for recommendations for camera settings

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So I'm trying like the dickens to get this Christmas short of mine done, started rendering and decided that a) the lighting sucks, and B) I'm not happy with the render settings. For the lighting I'm using the basic default lights from a new chor with the addition of a sun. The sun is set to have a soft yellow color, set at a 100%. I'll confess that lighting and rendering are two areas that I haven't had the chance to experiment with yet, and I'm down to the wire on this project if I'm going to get this done, so I'm looking for suggestions. I've attached the camera presets as well as a base project.

 

Thanks for any suggestions:

tree_lot0000.jpg

SampleProject.prj

Preset.pre

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One possibility...

 

*after rendering to color* convert the entire thing to grayscale. (Using A:M's Tink Post Effect you can use A:M Composite (or the post effect dropped onto a Camera) to quickly do that)

Add noise or film grain (also a Post Effect) but it can also just be a patch/image placed in front of the camera as necessary. This will give the short a early B&W movie/TV feel.

 

If you have more time then you could subtley add in a second color pass that tints the B&W with color.

This would suggest someone has taken the time to color an old B&W film.

 

Concerning the lighting...

I'm a fan of deleting all the default lights and starting from scratch (this is a bit scary at first because initially everything will be black)

First light the most important part of the scene (where you want the audiences eye).

Then add more light to fill in secondary objects. (here consider the true sources of any 'in scene' light.... some may not need to be actually lit... it may be sufficient to simply color them white)

Add negative lights if necessary to decrease light in areas you need to be darker (be careful here as negative color shadows can result from using negative lights)

Finally, after saving to a safe place go in and subtley adjust and enhance the lights.

 

Where possible try to think only in terms of black and white (and grayscale).

Afterwords add the color. (like my earlier suggestion to composite color over B&W you can do the same thing with coloring of lights to enhance the mood, create temperature differences and further direct the viewers eye.)

 

My 2 cents.

 

Good luck!

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In considering the various approaches (and there are many) it occurs to me that you might start by simply taking one frame from a key scene (or one from each major sequence) and manipulate that in photoshop or other graphics program to give yourself a target If you just start lighting without a given goal you'll end up exploring (i.e. wasting a lot of time).

 

It will help also if there is an example of the basic style of rendering/lighting that you can use in the short term to calibrate your eye.

 

Added: a failed attempt to decal the ground from camera view...

test.jpg

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The sample PRJ just has a car on a road no building. Is that intended?

 

Does he know he's on the wrong side of the road?

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I'd recommend first of all changing the neon green color that encompasses the scene. Something a bit more muted will light much better. Also, do what Rodney says - dump all the default lighting. Figure out what you want to highlight and show in your scene and add lights that achieve those goals. Lighting should reveal your scene, not simple flood it. Also, make sure that ambient settings are turned off in camera.

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So, taking the suggestions: removed the default lighting, added a fill light for the shed, and a sun light. Darkened the ground. Added film grain post effect to the camera. Also added a partial sky dome to bring clouds and to give some depth. That ran into issues, since even thought the decal I used on the model looks perfect, when it renders in the chor it is blurred. I can't figure out why that might be. Rodney, wasn't thinking of b+w, but your input jogged my brain cells to look a little differently, so thanks. Robert, figures you'd notice the truck is driving on the wrong side of the road!

 

Here is a test render of the tree lot:

 

Tree_lot0.jpg

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I'm not sure what the intention of the particles in this scene is. Are there supposed to be some?

 

When I render with particles ON I don't see anything but they take a long time to compute.

 

Here's one lighting scheme. I've used fog to make make the background seem farther away. I changed the "sun" light to a z-buffered Kleig to render faster and used two of them.

 

The overhead sun is fuzzy to suggest an AO shadow beneath the car. The other is sharper and tilted to the side to make a more interesting shadow presence in the scene. I added a bitmap to it so it wouldn't be just the exact same light all over. It's sort of like a partly cloudy day.

 

This lighting is designed to be fast. These take about 7 seconds to render

 

Truck_Drive0130.jpg

Truck_Drive0145.jpg

Truck_Drive0151.jpg

 

This PRJ has all the render settings in the camera so you want to set "Use Camera Settings" in Options Panel.

 

SampleProject05.prj

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I added a bitmap to it so it wouldn't be just the exact same light all over.

 

I forgot the bitmap. A better one could be made with experimentation.

 

cloudGobo.jpg

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Have you checked the options for your skydome? You don't want it to receive or cast shadows.

 

A couple of things I'd suggest for lighting. It looks very flat. Bring in a light to cast some shadows. Don't be afraid to use ambient lighting.

 

Here's a quick go with lighting and post work:

 

untitled155b.jpg

 

I may have overdone the effect a little, but when I see something like this and think "old", I think of George Pal-type stuff.

 

What I did here was have a klieg light as my keylight, which is lighting the truck and casting a shadow. I have a strong rim light (orange) which is putting some highlights on the truck, although the color of it doesn't really lend itself to being well-lit. I somehow lost my fill light, but there is one there. Then, there's a bulb set up to illuminate the background. The choreography is using color ambient lighting (a kind of pink-flesh-tone.)

 

I always think about what I want the viewer to be focusing on and then I try to take everything else out of focus. I have the foreground lit brighter than the background, so that the background doesn't seem important. I'm using depth of field, but I've also taken it into photoshop and set up selection masks so that I can make gradual blurs that keep the important element in sharp focus, but softens everything else. I also use those selections to slightly darken the edges. I also put a blurred copy of the image on top of the normal image and set it to overlay blend mode and bump down the fill. This gives everything a kind of bloom effect.

 

I like to break up large flat areas of color.

 

Here's the rendered image before postwork:

 

untitled155.png

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Lots of useful tactics suggested here.

 

Paul, something that would be useful is if you posted an image from a movie that was like what you were wanting to get. "Movie look" could be a lot of things.

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I'm not sure what the intention of the particles in this scene is. Are there supposed to be some?

 

When I render with particles ON I don't see anything but they take a long time to compute.

 

The character has hair, thus particles.

 

I briefly took a look at Paul's project and noticed that he had toon render set = ON in the camera (but I did not look/nor use his preset file). So maybe he is going for the flat, cartoon color look?

 

Hair does not always work well with toon render, especially with lines. Has glitches in 16b-32 (do not know about other versions)

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There shouldn't have been hair..at one time the farmer (in the truck) had hair, but I had removed it because it was uncontrollable. Shadows on the dome is something to look at, most likely it has to be corrected.

 

Robert is close to what I'm going for. What I really want is the 3D look but without the harshness that 3D seems to bring. I want that soft, natural look and feel, and I think that is more to the lighting than anything else. I'm going to play with Master Holmens project, though the scene is in my mind a sunny day. But the render times have been getting extreme, and the 7 seconds stated is much better!

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I think I'm going to go with Roberts' lighting setup minus the fog, since I want that sunny day setting. The last hurdle is with getting clouds in the sky. I have putzed around with using decals on a dome, which look great in the modeling window, but when placed in a chor the decal is completely pixelated. What is the best way to getting a nice partially cloudy day? My last attempt of the sky image is below...

 

SKY_DOME.JPG

 

edit: here's a quick project. sky_project.prj

 

here's what it now does: testz0.jpg

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I would call that "washed out" or "over bright" that doesn't look pixelated in the sample you've posted.

 

The reason it is over bright is that the "Key light" and "Fill light" are shining on it. If you turn them off the color looks normal again.

 

You can use Light Lists to make lights light only certain objects

 

http://www.hash.com/forums/index.php?showt...p;hl=light+list

 

The first advice I should have given is to NOT start any lighting project with the A:M default lighting. It is only good for making sure new users see something in the chor. It's not good for any sort of movie lighting and it's not a standard three-point setup even.

 

The faster way to do lighting is to start with no lights and then add the one light that will be the main source of illumination and get the scene looking as good as possible with just that. Then you add other lesser lights as needed to fill in dark areas or highlight edges or whatever.

 

 

On that sky dome... since your camera doesn't pan in that shot you could use a much smaller flat card at the back of your scene with a cloud image on it.

 

On that cloud image... that one looks like the camera was pointed up at the sky and doesn't look like clouds at the horizon. Even puffy clouds recede into the distance as if they are on a ceiling, not as if they are on a wall that contacts the ground. There's never a case where the top of a cloud will peek above a level horizon.

 

These clouds are all about the same but the ones near the horizon are much smaller because they are farther away. The only one that contacts the ground line is the one behind a mountain:

 

800px_Port_of_Piraeus_Panoramic_View.JPG

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If you select the dome in the cho, go under options in the properties and set "Flat Shaded" to on, the lighting won't effect the dome. Turn off receive shadows and cast shadows, too, since you don't want it to do either.

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You can tone the fog effect down but you need some to get a more realistic look.

 

Notice how the distant details in this landscape are subdued by "fog" even though it is a clear day. The farther away they are, the more the are colored by the fog.

 

800px_Port_of_Piraeus_Panoramic_View.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you select the dome in the cho, go under options in the properties and set "Flat Shaded" to on, the lighting won't effect the dome. Turn off receive shadows and cast shadows, too, since you don't want it to do either.

That's an easier solution!

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Once again this forum comes thru! Here is the latest. This same scene before the addition of the many suggestions, has taken the render from 17 hours to 30 minutes, for a chor that is twice as long. Quite impressive!

 

Truck_Drive_Cut_A.mp4

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I think that is much improved.

 

Changing the ray-traced sun light to a Z-buffered Kleig light and using regular render instead of multi-pass probably gained most of the render speed improvement.

 

I'd suggest tweaking some keyframes of the truck motion so it's not sliding sideways in its turns as it follows the road.

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I think that is much improved.

 

Changing the ray-traced sun light to a Z-buffered Kleig light and using regular render instead of multi-pass probably gained most of the render speed improvement.

 

I'd suggest tweaking some keyframes of the truck motion so it's not sliding sideways in its turns as it follows the road.

 

I monkeyed with those movements already, I might just cut them out, and use some close ups that are planned instead. With the render time improvements I'm now actually thinking this one might get done.

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Start with one light.

 

One non-lighting fix I'd suggest is to vary the height and width of the trees so they don't look all the same and make them more pine green than bright green.

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This is annoying. It just started the other day, in the chor, if I switch to the camera view I see this

 

sc0.jpg

 

If I do a quick render (sometimes it takes two times) I see what I expect

 

sc1.jpg

 

At first I thought it was the sky dome, but removing it makes no diff.

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