Saturday, 28 July 2012

Fire and Brimstone

I've been in a world of pain trying to create this shot [and not just because I've trapped a nerve in my shoulder]. Initially I was having issues with the shader rebuild in NUKE, I was getting the level of detail I wanted but adjusting the colours I required was proving to be really unbalanced due to the transparency of the glass material. I decided then to export the shader rebuild as a tiff sequence and adjust in after effects simply because I have a better working knowledge of the program. Very quickly I was able to get the colour results I wanted and took it back into NUKE for compositing.

Initial shader rebuild (image toned down as specular and reflectivity were more bleached in the original):

Initial after Effects Colour Correction, I really wanted it to have a warmer, modern, soft pink lighting to it: 

The next step was to add the fireworks. Initially I tried to mask out the glass using rotoscoping but it was a slow, unnecessary step and asked Dylan if there was a better way to approach it. There was and I ended up rendering out a new matte pass to use as a multiply mask for the reflections of the fireworks. As this image also contained a straight alpha I was then able to use that to create the mask for the fireworks in the sky. 

Composition with the ridiculous amounts of rotoscoping (green nodes):

The matte pass which I rendered out for use as a mask. It was really simple to set up, just created an extra render layer with a material override using two surface shaders. Its a pretty cool effect in itself and very much in the style of the French animated film renaissance. This way gave me an accurate cut out for the glazing:

Sadly all this jumping between After effects and NUKE had created an issue with the alpha on the fireworks and initially I was having problems with NUKE exporting at 24fps despite setting the project values to 25. To overcome this I created a new scene and pasted the nodes in. After rendering out two sections of the fireworks sequence in After Effects I was able to put them together and after a bit of tweaking using the mix functions on the merge nodes I almost have the shot I want. I think overall its a little bit too reminiscent of "Disney" so I may return to the original shader rebuild but essentially the shot is there and its been fun. The end composition in NUKE seems deceptively simple. I do finally feel like I'm really starting to understand how to use NUKE efficiently and I'm really enjoying it, its like a giant puzzle:

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