VFX Plane Compositing – Full-Length Visual Effects Tutorial for Maya, V-Ray, & After Effects

hey what’s up guys welcome back and I
hope you had a fantastic New Year I wanted to kick start 2020 with a brand
new video series that I put together showing a full CG visual effect shot
from start to finish we’re gonna be covering a lot of information everything
from how to set up your Maya scene file doing file referencing materials V-Ray
lighting V-Ray rendering as well as render passes render layers and the
overall batch render process next we’re gonna jump over to After Effects and
then composite with multi-channel EXR files and then render out a final
preview file so there’s gonna be a lot of information in these videos I was
trying to speed it up and not linger too long on certain subjects but I did try
to explain what we’re doing not just which buttons to press
I’ll also have links in the description so you can jump ahead to specific points
that sounds interesting let’s get started so for this tutorial
we’re using a model of a T-38 and I downloaded the model from TurboSquid
which is available here done by EGP Jet 3D now the model is free but I made
several modifications to the plane including adding extra detail modified
textures and some extra detail in the geometry as well as the two pilots in
the cockpit so if you’d like to use the one on TurboSquid go ahead and download
it from the site otherwise you can check the link in the description and download
my modified version just be aware that I do not own the rights to this model so I
would appreciate it if you did not distribute it without crediting the
original author the very first thing that we just do is make sure we have our
folders and projects set properly so I have a project folder set up and inside
the project folder I have an assets folder this is for objects we’ll be
referencing such as the plane we have a scenes folder this is for the Maya scene
files and a source images folder at this point these are the only folders that we
need I don’t recommend doing the automated approach which will generate a
lot of folders that we will never need this keeps our folder hierarchy pretty
clean and we can create more as needed so we need to set our project here copy
this half of the file set project paste in the path and then click select folder
now we need to create a workspace so just create a default workspace and then
we’re good to go what we need to do now is get our object
inside of Maya and there are two ways to do that there is importing which will
take that object and save it inside the Maya scene file and there’s also
referencing so referencing has two main advantages and the first advantage is it
allows other people to work on that same model while let’s say
mater’s start animating it so in a typical production environment once you
have started on the model animators will need to start animating with it so you
will want to have people who can work on the files at the same time so modelers
can continue to make changes and animators can at least start working
with something it also allows updating a model with a newer version very very
simple or even swapping out to a completely different model entirely this
is very very convenient the second advantages is that it keeps your Maya
scene files smaller for example if you have a very very large model or a
collection of models and those models are being saved inside each Maya scene
file your scene files could easily be in the hundreds of megabytes or even
gigabytes and if you’re saving multiple versions of these files you’re going to
use a lot more space with referencing you’re only going to be looking at one
file and all the scenes that use that reference will point to one object and
not have duplicates of that object in each scene so we’re going to be using
that method let’s go up to file create reference and we’re looking in the
assets folder for t-38 Talon FBX double click so references are indicated in the
outliner with a little blue diamond in the icon so this means that we can
change things like the animations we can change textures and materials but we
can’t change the geometry itself so changes to the geometry will have to be
done on that FBX file directly then what we’re going to do now is we’re going to
add some animation to this plane and the way we’re going to do this is with some
simple expressions we’re going to go to create locator and the locator is going
to act as a additional way of being able to move this plane so when you’re moving
this locator you could think of trying to place it where the centre of balance
is for a much larger plane makes it seem a little bit more realistic if the
locator is lower but for something lightweight like this you could do
something just above the wing so next what we’re going to do gonna take this
t-38 model metal mouse click and drag it over the locator and now this locator
can be animated with an expression and we can still animate the plane directly
such as rotation here okay so for this locator we’re just going to call this
turbulence and then we’re going to add an expression to the rotate so we’re
going to right click on rotate and create new expression we have the object
an attribute name we can copy this down here I’m gonna paste this in and we’re
going to specifically say rotate so we’re gonna use a noise expression
and we’re passing in the time parameter which will give us a unique number every
frame and we’re just going to multiply this by let’s say a quarter then we’re
going to repeat this step for y&z so I’ll just copy this
and just change the letters right here instead of 20.25 I’ll do something like
five instead and we click create we could just move this off to the side now
when you use an expression on that channel you’ll get a little purple box
which indicates it’s being driven by an expression and I’m going to extend this
timeline to 200 frames so what we’ve got right now at the plane is kind of
wobbling slightly so to edit changes if you don’t have your window open anymore
you can just right click and say edit expression and then when you open up
that box again you just click Edit to save those changes that’s what we’ve
done we’ve added some slight amounts of turbulence and doing this type of
animation will take a long time to do by hand and we’ve done it just in a few
seconds and the reason we have a locator is so we can take this plane and then
still be able to animate our own custom animations of it banking or going up and
down or whatever we want okay so next we need to create a camera I’m going up to
create camera just a regular camera now I’m going to keep my perspective view
click space and we’re going to go over to a new view right-click over the
camera and then say camera one and we’re going to position this camera one of the
things that we need to do when setting up a camera is determine the correct
focal length focal length is absolutely vital when doing visual effects because
if you use a camera focal length that is incorrect is going to give away the fact
that this is a CG shot for example this is by default a 35-millimeter lens go
into your attribute editor camera shape and view it here a 35-millimeter lens is
considered wide-angle so to frame this in the shot properly we will want to
take our resolution gate and this indicates what is going to be rendered
you can tell this is wide-angle by the foreshortening so at the front end of
the plane looks a lot larger than the back end of the plane but in visual
effects you always try to mimic what a camera would see and if this was for a
film or a movie whatever it would require another plane to be flying very
close to this one so the cameraman can take this shot but using a focal length
of 35 would require the videographer to get very very close to that plane and
that would be well outside what is considered a safe distance so if for
doing aerial photography you would want to have your focal length set to
something more like 80 80 is going to be flattened the image out it’s going to
reduce the foreshortening and this is going to look more realistic so if you
look at any type of exam of areal aviation photography or
videography you will more commonly see much higher focal links so I would say
80 is a pretty good low value you could go all the way up to 120 and that would
be considered pretty normal as well I’m going to leave mine at 80 it’s right
here we’re going to start at frame 0 and I’m going to position the camera
somewhere here I’m going to click s to set a keyframe for all the channels and
then we’re going to go all the way to the very end of where we want the
animation to stop so I’m going to say that’s going to be probably around 185
I’m going to pop over to a perspective view here so I can can’t angle or a
slightly nothing more like this and when you’re framing the shot you just want to
make sure you have enough space at the edge so if you wanted to add camera
shake or something which would require you to cut in a little bit up your shot
you still have room of the sides or something like that will be fine we just
need one other key frame to keep the plane in the shot let’s go to frame 120
I’ll just lower that to there pull out a little bit here the beginning now I also have the Otto Kieran so this
is why I don’t have to keep hitting s this will be pretty good so next we’re
gonna go into the graph editor so windows animation graph it it and
there’s a few things that we need to do here so let’s switch over to the channel
box we do not need animations on all these frames so what we can do is go up
to edit delete by type static channels and that will remove anything that does
not have a keyframe on it and then right here I’m gonna make these tangents
linear I want the camera to already be moving at the very beginning of the shot
not be stationary so it’s not gonna ramp up speed it’s already gonna be going
pretty fast so we can come back and tweak these later for now this is fine
and I’m actually gonna make one more change here I’m just gonna raise this a
little bit so it’s not going to go quite so close to the edge
that’s something like that’s pretty good and to do this we’re going to be using
V-Ray let’s go up here to our render settings so I have V-Ray already set as
the default render and there’s going to be quite a few things that we will
change here but we’re gonna do all of that later but we do want those in V-Ray
I’m going to change our Max render time down to 0.1 this will limit our render
time to a tenth of one minute or six seconds and we’re going to go up to GI
and make sure GI is turned on next we’re going to go up to create lights and
we’re looking for a V right dome light make this a little larger now this is
only to keep the object out of the way it doesn’t make any difference on how
the light reacts now we’re going to use this dome light to be able to use an HDR
image so we’re going to select the dome light click on use dome text and then
click on dome text here we’re going to go into file and we’re going to look in
the source images folder I actually have to set up here I’m just going to use
this one and click OK now to see it in the viewport you’re going to click on
the little texture switch and then it is displayed in the viewport now I’m going
to go into IPR and then just have a look and what this render looks like now the
benefit of using a dome light is that it allows you to use direct and indirect
illumination just from the HDR itself which will become pretty important when
we start using passes let’s go over to a perspective view I’m also going to turn
on text review there okay so this is completely clipped which I will talk
about in another video of why this is not great to use but this is an HDR
image so that means we’re getting a lot more values and what the monitor can
display so you can change this but by changing this part here you’re probably
gonna make everything else a bit darker I personally don’t want to have to look
at the Sun because if we look at the Sun we should see lens flares and I don’t
want to have to composite lens flares and deduced lens flares properly you
really need dedicated software for like optical flares and I know that a lot of
you guys probably don’t have that so I’m just going to cut the camera off before
it gets to that point and then we should not have to worry about the Sun you’ll
also do something from another angle and that would be fine as well
now if you want to rotate your dome light you can’t just rotate this dome
that picture stays static so what you have to do instead if you look at the
connections in the attribute editor there is a node called V-Ray place
environment text and this is how you do the rotation you can also do vertical
rotation as well but for now I’m just going to leave this at the default so
this next part brings us to surfacing and texturing now this object that I’m
using came from turbosquid and this was a free object and this looks pretty
different to the one that’s available online so the textures were different it
lacked detail which I added in the UVs were not complete I kind of changed some
of the Eevee’s I did add quite a bit of detail to the tail you can see we go to
a wireframe view there’s a few other things that will make this look a little
bit more realistic but overall it’s it’s fairly good the topologies alright and
we really won’t notice any kind of imperfections like if we look underneath
the wing you can see that it’s just intersecting there one of the most
important things to get right in visual effects is time management and time
management is something that a lot of people have a problem with especially if
you’re a perfectionist and I consider myself quite often to be a perfectionist
and it’s often detrimental to your ability to get stuff done so with
modeling if I’m modeling something for myself
I’m with the topology to be absolutely perfect I don’t want intersections I
want everything to be evey perfectly but for visual effects it often doesn’t
matter so this is not for like doing a game or doing something where the player
or where the camera can look at any different angle for visual effects if
you know that plane is going to be very very small like in the distance you
should not spend very long modeling or texturing or surfacing or anything
what’s more important is the animation is good and the materials act
how they should act from that distance so in our case if we look underneath the
plane there is no detail underneath the plane so there’s some detail that I
added in the texture but since the camera is not going to be underneath the
plane we do not need to waste time doing it this is one of the most important
things to get right if you can’t see it don’t waste time doing it or if it’s too
small or you’re not going to see that detail
don’t waste time doing it so let’s take a look at the materials we have up so to
make this process a little bit easier I have sectioned out part of the plane
and already given standard Lamberts and Phongs now for this we’re going to
convert all of these to V-Ray materials and I’ll show you the main jet one and
the glass but the rest I’m just going to skip over because it’s the same process
so to determine what object uses which material there are two ways you can
either click on the object and go to the material which this uses metal dark and
it also uses jet or you can go to a specific material node right click hold
it down and do select objects with material and anything that is
highlighted means that it uses that material okay so for this what we’re
gonna do we’re gonna start with jet and double click here we’re not going to use
the material viewer because array is not fully integrated with it and you’ll
notice that there is lacking quite a few of the options when we converted this so
I’m just going to close the hypershade and we’re going to convert this now you
can’t convert it back from a V-Ray material but all of the standard Maya
materials have this type feature that you can change and what we’re looking
for is a V-Ray MTL V-Ray MTL and that will automatically convert the material
to a V-Ray material and you will notice that the parameters are a little bit
different but they are all gonna do more or less the same thing you just have a
lot more control so also with Lambert’s you don’t get any type of reflections
but with the variant materials you do of course get reflections so let’s go into
diffuse color file and we’re looking for this t-38 color jpg when you do that you
can see that’s been applied and everything looks ok so this model here
has very very little detail in it but in the texture I added in some panels from
a blueprint of a t-38 to give the illusion of detail and that’s very very
effective after you will see a little bit later in this video you can’t really
tell that those are real panels or just lines of panels it’s always better to
have this type of detail modeled in a lot more things you can do with it
especially if the camera get close you kind of have to do that but at
the distance that we will be viewing this problem you would not be able to
tell when this is rendered so let’s take a brief look at the materials here so
the original textures that came with this looks pretty drastically different
so it does not look realistic to the plane even though the proportions of the
plane are good you’ll also notice that this is not a standard resolution so
standard for UVs is going to be one-to-one or just a square so what I
did I stretched this up and I compressed the UVs
to match the scale so if you look at the original model this is going to look a
little bit different to the one that I’m using here so when I redid the materials
the color ended up looking like this so this is from a blueprint this is the
underneath side which was not originally in the map and I also added from a
blueprint these panels here and I added a NASA version of this now the
proportions of these are not all the same especially with some of these
larger objects here like this is for the gear but the gear is not viewed in this
so I just left them in the V’s but they’re not being used in this version
for this next part here I’m going to find a good angle that we can start
looking at this material I’m gonna have the IPR open and we’re going to start
looking at the reflection now a couple things about the V-Ray frame buffer
which make this a little bit easier to use so if you click on this little
button here this allows you to open up some adjustments for example you can go
into curves check mark curves and then you can brighten up the image so these
are really good temporary adjustments so you can see what you could use to
composite these later you can also save this information in a lot which I will
explain later so if we zoom in here you can also see
there’s quite a bit of faceting so these hard edges and this is because V-Ray by
default it does not automatically render any smooth shaded version so to change
that I’m gonna stop the IPR go up to our render settings go into overrides and
make sure you check V port subdivision and then close it and restart the IPR
and now this is changed and it’s smooth how it should be so while I’m messing
around with this camera I also going to change my perspective camera to also
mimic the rendered camera so at an 80 millimeter and I’m going to render this
again okay so this is a pretty good view for
us to start looking at some of the materials and start messing around with
textures I’m going to keep the frame buffer open but I’m going to close down
the adjustments tab and just select the fuselage go up to this V-Ray material
I’m going to change this material name to match what it was originally this is
jet there were no textures provided for
reflection or glossiness I will explain these in a moment so we are gonna have
to go in and add in custom maps for these but for right now we’re just going
to add in some settings so we can get a more realistic looking surface but we
will have to break up some of the reflections here what we’re going to do
we’re going to go down to the reflection type and there are several types here I
prefer award for doing this kind of plane metal and we’re just going to take
this reflection color and crank it all the way up by doing that we’re allowing
reflections to be shown this amount is the amount of reflections so if this is
at black is just reflecting nothing even though the reflections are at a hundred
percent likewise if you put this all the way up to white and then you set your
reflections to zero you won’t get any reflections so this amount is for if you
have a map placed in here that you can’t change the values easily you can just
lower the percentage of how much of that map is being used now glossiness is a
way of determining how mirror-like the surface is so a bathroom mirror would be
a hundred percent you can see your exact reflection that would be one hundred
percent something that is going to be a lot more diffuse would be much lower so
if I lower this your highlights are gonna get much smaller and also more
diffuse so at point eight just doesn’t look nearly as shiny now right now I’m
just gonna leave this at 0.9 unless you’re making a mirror never leave this
at a hundred percent next thing is we’re always going to use Fresnel reflections
and we’re going to use glossy reflections but in order to get a little
bit more shine on this i’m going to unlock the Fresnel IOR which is the
index of refraction to the refraction index of refraction and what that means
is we can change the refraction of the material itself differently to the
refraction of the surface so in this case i’m going to set my for now IOR to
three and this is going to give us a nicer looking metal for this next part
here i’m going to open up this history tab and we can allow history so we can
compare to previous versions so I’m going to enable history by clicking that
power button you can determine a preset directory if you want to but I’m just
going to use the project path autosave and click OK so auto-saving
only works with regular renders not IPR but since we’ve already set a maximum
render time of six seconds this is perfectly
fine to wait so this took nine seconds to render it does its best to hit that
six second mark but sometimes it goes over so right here we can now compare
this two versions in a moment so for this next part we’re going to open up
Photoshop and we’re going to take a look at how we can improve a texture so I’ve
already explained that I made this color image from the original image provided
and I made it into a square as well and it makes it a little bit more convenient
to use we have the bottom side and then we have the two side views then we have
some accessories here this for a color map is perfectly fine and any other
types of detail can be added to the reflection maps I think a lot of
beginners and a lot of students especially get confused of how to make a
reflection material or rely on software such as substance painter to do all of
this for them and substance painter and substance designer are fantastic pieces
of software if you know how to use them and if you know how to customize them
but I found that a lot of students using substance if they don’t have their
connections done correctly or they don’t have any map in a reflection map they’ll
say oh well my reflection is just 100% white and that’s what substance said and
that’s correct and and that is incorrect and I do think that it is a good idea to
learn how to do things manually so you understand how they work so we’re using
Photoshop here and I’m going to show you how you can create a reflection map now
in V-Ray reflection maps are what you might consider to be a specular map and
specularity is a type of reflection but in V-Ray specular reflections are
calculated automatically so a specular reflection is just simply going to be a
concentrated amount of reflections at a specific angle okay so what we need to
do first of all a lot of students will create a black and white version
reflection maps can have color but in this case we don’t really need any color
so we can just go in to select an adjustment layer go to hue and
saturation and just lower the saturation we have to understand what a reflection
map is actually doing at this point so for example anything that is dark would
not be reflective and I think that is white would be reflective but that’s not
how this material would actually work so this is just black paint and black paint
is still reflective but if we were to use this map there would be no
reflections on the nose of the plane likewise but this straw
and these labels here they would have very very limited reflections along with
this logo but the rest of the plane would be very very bright any type of
decal if it would be made in the same material like this kind of paint has to
be removed I’m assuming that you guys know how to use Photoshop it is usually
a prerequisite for doing this type of stuff so I’m going to speed up the
process so what you would have to do here you’d have to select something like
the magic wand select these stripes go over to your brush sample the color and
you want to fill this in with an alt backspace command and this is a rather
tedious process but it is absolutely necessary for creating a realistic
reflection map can you even use things like the clone
stamp tool to repaint some easier parts now if you have a little bit of detail
left in that can often be to your advantage but in this case we don’t want
anything that looks like it’s lettering any type of detail in the reflection map
would simply have to be some kind of like rougher part of the plane or
something that’s slightly more dirty than the rest of the plane and that’s
fine to leave in a little bit of detail and as I said originally if this was for
a very big budget film or something that would have to be very very close to the
camera you would want to spend a lot more time making this map very very nice
but for something as simple as what we’re doing it’s not that important so
don’t spend a huge amount of time doing this but you do want to make sure that
the reflection map makes sense because if it doesn’t your visual effects is
always going to look off and the next thing we’re going to need to do is find
some kind of grungy map to try break up the reflections so this is another thing
that the gunner is often for yet but very very clean reflections is gonna
make your object look like it’s CG and almost no material in the world is gonna
be perfectly clean even if it’s polished chrome you’re gonna get little tiny
scratches here and there so we’re gonna find a good map that we could use for
this so I here I have this tileable metal
material I’m gonna copy this and paste it in then I’m gonna quickly just tile
this over the entire canvas by holding down the Alt key in to snapping it
grabbing a whole section ctrl e to merge them and do the same thing with the Alt
key and the shift key merge them all again move them all the way to the top
so for the blending mode we’ll do something like DIF this will allow the
black edges to show up and then we can lower the opacity now of course I have
not finished this one here the same thing would have to be done on both
sides but I just want to show you how you can quickly add in some rougher
detail and go into filter blur and Gaussian blur and do something maybe
around 2.5 to 3 just kind of blur those edges a little bit more and then add
some contrast with a curve so click control m to bring it curves you can
have a little bit more contrast there you increase the opacity to tad do
something more like that so this is a really good way to start using a
reflection map I’m gonna keep working on this one finish this up and then I’ll
show you the final result but something like this would be a good place to start
all right so here’s my completed map pretty homogeneous and there’s some
edges in areas but it’s going to be fine for what we need I have removed all of
the decals and logos and all the anything that was
way too dark this is going to be fine for what we need okay so now we’re back
in Maya click on our jet model so in V-Ray the reflection color indicates
what type of values or colors are going to be reflected the amount is how much
of this map or this value is going to be used reflection glossiness is going to
be the size of the highlight or how diffuse the reflections are so if it’s
going to be very mirror like as I said you’re gonna put this at a very high
value and if it’s going to be very low it’s gonna be very low value okay so
we’re gonna load in our reflection map here if you have a specular map you
would put it in your reflection color you can also put specular maps in
glossiness maps if you want to be able to have you more customized and more
varied amount of glossiness so we’re going to click on the input connection
go into file and we’re load-in that reflection
actually going to stop IPR here so I was a good idea to pause IPR or stop it when
you’re adding in new textures and I’m gonna do the same for glossiness as well
even though that these are the same map since it has no color we can use it as a
glossiness map as well I’m gonna restart the IPR
and now you can see there’s a lot more detail on the plane like all of these
highlights here I’m going to stop this and do a proper render and then we can
compare the history so going back to the original one that we had this is going
to be down here this is the one that we had with the correct settings on in
terms of the amount of reflection color and glossiness this looks pretty good
but this is with maps on so this looks a lot more realistic this with those
simple maps that we added on and oh here’s another useful thing that you can
do with the frame buffer you can set one to be a want to be be and you can get a
slider so you can go in between them between these two renders you can see
that the latest one that we did with those two maps even just more of a
homogeneous grunge map we’ve added a lot of really good detail and it makes the
plane look a lot more realistic I’m going to show you now we’re going to do
the glass and then we’re going to go ahead and do the lights on the wings and
on the tail and then the rest will just be up to you to finish up yourself okay
so I’m gonna minimize this alright so let’s go ahead and select the glass
we’re going to convert this again into a V-Ray material so the most important
things for glass is going to be the reflection and the refraction so for the
reflection color we can crank that all the way up to white and glass does have
a mirror like quality to it so we can leave the glossiness at 100% next is
going to be the refraction I’m gonna take the refraction all the way up to a
hundred percent it’s going to allow the light to pass through it and then for
the index of refraction this is going to be the amount of distortion we get this
is a fine value to use you could go a little bit lower or a little bit higher
but I’m going to leave this at the default value and then I’m gonna use effects
shadows okay so this looks pretty good we’ve got the light passing through and
we also have reflections of the environment you can see down here and if
we turn around you should probably be able to see a little bit more clearly
let’s go ahead and do the lights next so this is going to be the portside light
which is red covered this to a V-Ray material now for the diffuse color I do
have a texture that I provided for this it’s nothing special it’s just something
to give the illusion of detail it’s not even really vide this is our
left light so grab that in there and we can use the same one for our self
illumination color as well and I’ll load in the same thing I am actually going to
use unique files for these just in case you
to change one of them later don’t forget to change the name turn on self
illumination GI so this light actually does affect the global illumination for
the reflection color we can crank that up and then just lower the glossiness
quite a bit and if this light ends up being a little bit bright we can we can
lower that either in post or go into the color balance and change it there same
thing for this light convert it to a V-Ray material let’s change the name okay so let’s have a look at these this
looks a little bit bright but the whole point of this exercise is to practice
compositing so this is a good candidate for something that we can reduce or just
tweak in post so for right now I’m just gonna leave it as it is go to this light
up here this is another light that I have a texture provided I’m gonna
convert this to a V-Ray material again call this tail light not a diffuse color
has a map and so does the self illumination and reflection color now for the reflection color
take down the reflection glossiness quite a bit anymore like that and that
should be good so the next step here would be to go through the rest of the
materials and apply either values colors or for some certain things textures but
don’t spend a lot of time doing it because most of the stuff inside the
canopy you’re not going to be able to see an awful lot as long as you get the
reflections right that should be good and you have some kind of color but I
wanted to show you another way that you can quickly add detail without actually
using a texture so for this part we’re going to grab this engine cover material
we’re going to convert this to a V-Ray material like we’ve been doing call this
engines cover now we’re going to lower this value quite a bit then in the
reflection color input instead of adding a file we’re going to add in some noise
adding some noise we’ll add a little bit of variation we don’t really need to
change any of the settings they’re fine but we’re going to go back to the output
connection and then we’re going to go to reflection glossiness and we’ll add a
fractal so if we look over at the hypershade we
have now added some detail to the reflections without spending any time in
Photoshop or Substance it’s just a very very quick way of adding some extra
detail okay so at this point what you need to do is
go all the way through and convert all of the rest of the materials to V-Ray
materials add in reflections add in colors and then we’ll be ready to go for
the next part alright so this next part we’re going to do some exhaust so if we
look at the back of the plane here inside the engines there are two little
cylinders here that you could use as emitters if you wanted to use a particle
system and particle systems are the way to go most of the time but in this case
our plainness is flying in a straight line and in fact it’s actually not
moving at all is just we will make it look like it is moving just with the
camera angle and we could also move the environment slightly if we wanted to so
instead of using a particle system we’re just going to make some geometry and
then use the rendered silhouette as a matte for use in After Effects so what we
can do to begin with here we can add a cube snap this over here holding down
the V key go into the settings for the subdivisions width and height we can do
for and then for the depth we can do a hundred and I’m going to hold down the D
key and the V key simultaneously and just reposition the pivot point to the
edge of this object and then I can just scale it out
and we can have this go pretty far I’d be a little bit large I’ll lower this
down a little bit thing like this
the next what we can do is flare this out at the end because exhaust is going
to dissipate as it flies through the air we’re going to first delete the history
so that is under edit delete by type history I’m using a custom panel so now
we’re going to go over to deform and we’re looking for nonlinear and we’ll
click a flare so with flare you get this access so holding down the J key we’re
going to just snap this in place and then go to the attribute and then the
end flare control we’re going to increase this quite a bit might do
something like four and four so it makes it a bit wider next what we’re going to
do we’re going to add another two former and this one is going to be a texture
deformer now on the texture of the former if you
go to the option box there are several ways you can do this one is a UVs and if
we actually look at the V’s right now the V’s are not very not very ideal
they’re not in proportion so we want to go up and just do it like an automatic
map and then they’ll be in proportion now close that down and then on the
texture deformer click create and attention of the former
allows you to add your own texture into this but I’m just going to add in some
noise add in some noise and by default is going to give you a very very crazy
result if we back out we can go to the strength and just lower the strength and
then if we go back to the input connection we can increase the frequency
ratio and we can also do things like lowering the amplitude or changing the
type the low is pretty good wispy is good there these are all pretty useful
I’m just going to leave mine on Dillo and what we want to do is animate this
time function right here and how to do that is just right-click create a new
expression and I copy this attribute here paste and we’ll just set that equal
to time and then click create so if we scroll forward it’s always going to
oscillate back and forth so this looks pretty good but it is flat on one side
so we want to change that select the object and now they go to the texture
deformer here or you can access it in the outliner as well and we need to
change the direction from handle to normal and that will allow to go out in
both sides we’re also going to click the three key to smooth that out
and what we’ve got is some pretty simple looking exhaust that we can use if you
wanted to do more with that flare it’s also possible to do that we could make
it a little bit tighter at the beginning but fits better into the engines
something like that okay so to get the other side what I want to do is go up to
edit duplicate special make sure the option box is checked this will allow
any any connections to be preserved and click duplicate next we’re going to
select the copy of the handle and the textured form of the new one and we’re
just going to move them over there’s something like this so to make
these not exactly the same I’ll select the second one go into the texture of
the texture deformer on this expression we can edit that
expression you notice that the expression is now slightly different
this is number four instead of what it was before add a value to this and click
OK so don’t worry if it’s a little bit
sharp we’re only using this as a matte so we’re only looking at the silhouette
that this shape provides okay right so now we are ready to start setting up our
scene for rendering so we’re going to make use of render layer so it’s this
button over here I already have render layers integrated into the UI so render
layers give us the option of rendering certain objects or lights separately and
it also allows you to specify specific render settings on a per render layer
basis instead of a master layer so what we’re looking at right now is this scene
layer which is considered the master layer and the eye indicates that you’re
looking at it and this clapperboard means that this is renderable so if you
batch render this this means that this layer would render so right away we’re
going to turn this off because we don’t want this master layer to render instead
we’re gonna specify three separate render layers one is going to be for the
plane one is going to be for the exhaust and one of them is going to be for the
background to create a new layer we’re gonna just click on this new layer
button and we’re gonna type in plane once you have a layer you’re gonna
right-click over and then you can create a collection now collections can hold
transforms they’re gonna be objects and you can also do things like shaders
lights and there’s quite a few other options for you there we’re just going
to be using transforms and what we want to do is take this turbulence node and
you can either middle mouse click and drag it up or if you pull this over
there’s an option to add an object so you can add the object in there already
can simply click and drag it up here what we’ve just done know if we’ve added
the plane in there and if we click this little eye we now switch to that render
layer and you notice that the exhaust goes away now by default all lights will
be on all of your layers now you can customize this but for what we need we
do need all of those lights to be across all of the scenes so I’m gonna switch
now to my camera and I’m going to also go back to our 200 frames here and we’re
gonna just find a good frame this will be pretty good for what we need and then
I’m going to go into the IPR so what we want to have is the plane by itself and
right now we are getting the background in there as well so the reason we want
to separate elements inside of Maya is so that when we work in after-effects is
much easier to composite so for example if we look at the Alpha here the entire
Alpha is occupied with pixels and in order to control L
of this plane like doing color correction or adding some heat
distortion or whatever or adding some kind of depth it’s going to be very very
difficult to control without having a matte of just a plane and even with a matte
pass it’s much more difficult to control if the background is occupied so we need
to go and disable the background from rendering let’s go into our V-Ray dome
light go into options and make sure you click invisible so now you can see the
background is gone and if we look at the Alpha the Alpha is only occupied over
the plane okay so I’m going to pause the IPR and now we’re going to go ahead and
add a render layer for the exhaust I’m going to select back on the master layer
I renamed both of these objects exhaust one and two just to make it a little
easier to find I’m going to create a new render layer exhaust right click create
a collection and then just add these objects or just middle mouse click and
drag them into this collection now we can switch to this collection and now
we’re only looking at the exhaust back to the IPR and you can see just the
exhaust is there so another really really useful feature of render layers
is the ability to use layer overrides for example for this exhaust we don’t
really care about the render quality of this and we don’t really care about the
fact that there’s reflections and global illumination and it’s being illuminated
by this HDRI so what we want to do is make some changes to make this render
much much faster so if we go up to render settings we can create an
override for any Eddy setting inside the render settings window so we can go up
to render using right click and create an absolute render override for visible
layer now if you don’t see this feature it means that you’re still on the master
layer and on the master layer you can’t override it because it is the main
settings you can only override custom layers that you create so BSA create
absolute override for visible air this will now turn orange and when it’s
orange you should notice that it is added a tab up here called absolute
override and this allows you to change it so we can say for example Maya
hardware so the Maya hardware 2.0 is a very very fast renderer if we were to
just render a frame of this you can see it’s already done less than a second and
it’s done and since we don’t really care about any of the shading we only need
this as a matte this is a much much more efficient way than rendering all the
detail and quality that the array can provide I’m going to close this down now
if we go back up to the master layer here you can see that the master layer
still is using V-Ray and plane lair is also still using array so
if you’re using Maya for visual effects or even just for regular rendering you
should be using their overrides it is much much more efficient than trying to
disprove force everything okay so next what we’re going to do we’re going to
create one more override and this is going to be for the sky
switch to the sky so the sky doesn’t actually need any objects and we don’t
even really need to create our own collection the collections can be
automatically created when we start making override changes so what we want
to do on this since we turned the sky off inside the down light we’re going to
override that to be on but only for this sky layer we’re going to select the dome
light go over to where it says invisible right-click and do you create override
for visible layer when that is orange you can click the check now if we go
over to IPR the sky renders and you can see that a light collection has been
added for us right here and there is an override on this layer so next what
we’re going to do is set up all the render settings for each layer I’m going
to start on the plane layer we’re going to start on the common tab and just work
our way down and across all of these other tabs the very first thing is what
we’re calling the file and where it’s going to save so we’re going to delete
this we’re going to use a file token here to determine the hierarchy of our
file structure so if you’re going to be rendering many versions of the same file
which you probably will be if you’re working for a client or even for
yourself you’re never going to get it right the first time and you should
never render over previous versions so we’re gonna make a folder we’re gonna
call the folder whatever the version number is click version and then we’re
gonna do a slash so the slash indicates that it’s going
to create a new folder next we’re going to right-click and do layer so it’s
going to make a new folder called version and a folder with the same layer
name as the one that we are currently rendering next we’re gonna do another
slash and then this is going to be the name of the file itself right click
layer again underscore and then the version number now you can put your own
file name but if you’re using this method make sure you don’t type this in
manually just right click and select whichever one you want so many students
that I’ve seen have either written something incorrectly or not exactly how
it’s written here and then it won’t save any of your files it will still render
them it just it’s not gonna save them you also if you have a version listed
here you have to have a version labeled you can’t leave it blank if you leave it
blank again it’s just not going to save it
so in this case we’re going to start with whatever version your file is I’m
on version two so I’m going to start on version two next is going to be the
image format you should never use PNG s if your going to be doing some
compositing always use a excel and for this we’re going to be using a
multi-channel DX ARS the multi-channel is going to allow all of the different
passes which I’ll explain in a second to be integrated into a single file
this makes compositing a lot easier or replacing files a lot easier next we’re
going to go down into the image format options this is where you can change a
lot of settings most of the time I just leave this at 16 bits we don’t really
need full float for what we’re doing you can but it’s gonna make your file size a
lot larger we’re just gonna leave that there
compression type leave this on scanline zip if you use uncompressed eyx ours
they’ll be enormous so we’re going to definitely compress them now this is a
lossless compression so it’s fine to use ok so next we’re gonna scroll down here
open up animation you need to switch it to standard and then the end frame is
going to be 200 you also want to check the render animation only in batch mode
if you don’t click this and it will start rendering from the very beginning
of the animation however if you want to view the animation without batching it
you can uncheck this and view the entire animation as it renders in the frame
buffer so next we’re going to click on the renderable camera it’s going to be
camera one for the presets here you can just go down to HD 1080 we’re rendering
in 1920 by 1080 and next we can go over to V-Ray now for V-Ray what we’re going
to be using the CPU rendering we’re going to be using a progressive sampler
this is going to be a bit faster than bucket because we can determine the
maximum render time for this first pass we’re going to keep this pretty low
because nearly all the time that you render out something there’s going to be
something wrong there’s no point rendering a final
quality if you haven’t even seen what it looks like in after-effects yet next
we’re going to go down to color mapping and we’re not going to allow any tone
mapping or color mapping so we’re going to set the mode to don’t affect colors
only adaptation there’s lots of different types of tone mapping which
I’ll hopefully explain in another video but just take my word for it if we’re
going to be compositing all of this we don’t want to use tone mapping here next
we’re going to go over to GI and there’s not anything you have to change here
just make sure that it is on we don’t need to change anything in settings and
overrides you need to go up to camera and then make sure you enable motion
blur and then make sure viewports subdivision
is checked and there is something we have to do in environment
so let me just move this over I will switch to IPR so we can see what this is
going to look like now previously what we did we got rid of that background
which is what we wanted to do but you’ll notice that through the glass that
environment is no longer visible and we need that visible in refractions so what
we have to do is go into our environment tab scroll down an able override
environment and then for the refraction texture we need to load in the V-Ray
dome light environment and a pause the IPR here move this over so we’re going
to select the dome light go over to our dome light shape go to the dome text and
we never renamed this file and usually I don’t bother but for something important
like the HDR we’re going to just mean this sky HDR so now we can go up to the
hypershade go over to textures and then it’s easy to find the sky HDR move this
over a little bit then we’re going to middle mouse click and drag this texture
into the refraction texture and minimize this go back over to IPR resume it and
now you can see the sky is being placed back inside the glass ok so now we can
stop the IPR minimize it and move on ok so the next important part is going to
be the render elements more commonly these are just called render passes so
render passes are separate attributes of the beauty pass and the beauty passes
all of the main passes that you need to create the shot that you see in the
frame buffer and by separating out all these passes that allows us to composite
them in a much easier way so for example let’s say you render out your plane and
you think that the reflections are too strong instead of having to go back and
rear ender the entire thing again you can simply go to the reflection pass and
lower the opacity of that pass in after-effects or play around with the
color correction likewise you can do things like change
the color of the stripe or change the amount of direct light it receives there
are a lot of different options that you can use here you can also use diagnostic
render passes and some other ones as well if you would like to find out more
information about this you should check out Kaos group’s documentation they have
a lot of information and a lot of images that go along with these so you can
compare what each of them do we’re going to be using a
cific type of workflow here that requires some compositing but not a lot
of compositing we’re only going to be using five or six different passes so
it’s going to give us a fair amount of control but still there’s a lot more
control you can do with separate anything like shadow information so when
you’re adding your render passes make sure you’re on the layer that requires
render passes neither exhaust nor sky actually need any render passes and by
adding them on the basilar layer you’re going to force them on every single
layer and it doesn’t take any additional time usually to render out passes with
the exception of diagnostic passes and things like extra text or or passes that
do not comprise the Beauty the beauty pass is basically whatever the master
layer renders and whatever is rendered to the frame buffer the only thing that
takes additional time is physically saving out those individual passes it
doesn’t take any additional time to calculate them let’s go ahead and add in
direct lighting so that’s called just lighting and when you do that you’ll
notice that a a o V is added an AO V stands for arbitrary output variable
next we’re going to add in global illumination so GI then we’re going to
need reflection refraction and you only need refraction if there are objects in
your scene that are transparent or translucent so we do have glass so we
need refraction then we’re going to add in specular and then we’re going to do a
self illumination and it doesn’t really matter that the order in which you add
these next we’re going to add in an extra text to pass now the extra text
passes a special type of pass which is actually an embedded render layer so
extra text passes do actually take longer to render so whereas render
passes generally don’t take any additional time to render render layers
and extra text passes do so a render layer is going to go in a sequence so
for this scene the first render layer is going to be our plane render layer then
it’s going to be the exhaust and then it’s going to be our sky and just make
sure that all the ones are rendered have this clapperboard
icon turned on this indicates that they are set to render we don’t need to
render it the master layer so the more render layers you have the longer it
will take to render your scene generally the more passes you have doesn’t really
make a difference with the exception of the extra text pass because it is in
fact a embedded render layer so we’re going to rename this to Bao this is only
for our references it doesn’t change the name of the pass inside of NEX our file
so to change it there we’re going to click on extra v-very attributes go into
the explicit channel name and also type in AO now for the texture you can apply
whatever type of material you want or whatever type of texture you want so we
can go into our texture go up to V-Ray dirt which is our AO and then we can see
the results there now just as a quick note if you want to separate out
different objects to use different AOS you’re going to have to use that in a
separate render layer and you would create a material override and if you do
want to use a material override with vr8 dirt you first have to apply a surface
shader to the material override and on the surface shaders out color then you
add in every red dirt okay so let’s go ahead and render this out and see what
we have in the frame buffer the way that you cycle through your passes is go up
here you have lighting so there’s direct illumination then you have GI which is
going to be indirect illumination you have your reflections refractions
specularity specular refers to light at specific angles and usually more intense
reflections so we have quite a lot of specularity here which is pretty good
next we have self illumination these are just going to be for the lights and then
we have AO AO is supposed to be for very very soft shadows this is not really
what we want we want something that’s going to be mostly white with just black
edges so I’m going to keep this up the zoom out make this a little bit smaller
what we can do we can increase the distribution so kind of like the
contrast between the dark and bright areas and we can also increase the
fall-off and take a look at what that produces I’m also going to just lower
this radius down so that’s a little bit better we have a sharper edge here now
this plane relatively in the scene is pretty small it’s probably not to scale
so we probably should lower the radius a little bit more
so something like this would be pretty good for our AO so there’s one final
type of pass that we’re going to add here it’s going to be a z-depth pass
now what z-depth does it calculates the distance between the objects in the
scene and the camera and z-depth is very useful to create atmospheric perspective
and also for depth of field so atmospheric perspective here is not
particularly important but in the previous example that I showed with the
wingman I did use heed up there to be able to have the other plane which is
further away appear a little bit more faded because there’s more atmosphere
between it and then I also used a Z depth before a depth of field
calculation as well now depth of field without a plug-in in after-effects is
not the easiest thing to achieve however I do want to show you how to set
up the z-depth pass here so right here I’m just going to disable the AO pass
because it’s going to take a little bit longer to render I’m going to go to a
top view and on the top I’m going to switch over to the master layer so I can
actually see the camera and we’re going to add a measurement calculation between
a camera and the plane go up to create measure tools distance tool then we’re
just going to select something in front of the camera to about the midpoint of
the plane and it’s going to give is the distance between that so as you can see
this is really not to scale but it’s fine for what we need but this number is
going to be very important now going back to Z depth and I switch back to our
plane there click on depth switch back over to our
camera view and the depth of the entire scene we should do something that’s a
bit larger than whatever the distance is so we could do something like 20 go back
to IPR and this gives us a pretty good amount
of depth something that we could edit a little bit later the depth black we
could increase that number a little bit because it’s not that dark at the front
so we could do something like 5 and just reset the IPR adds a little bit more
contrast and what you should do now is just go throughout the scene and just
make sure that it works at different camera positions as well so this is
getting a bit bright so I’m going to increase the depth white a little bit
and be tried 25 and that’s a little bit better now if you did have more objects
in the scene that go further back you would want to go and make sure this
value is enough to go past the objects in the background so now we can go back
and make sure that a is enabled again so we’re going to go back to our exhaust
render layer and just make sure that that is set up correctly because this
does use a different render engine so for this we’re going to do the same
thing that we did previously I’m gonna set up version numbers now right-click
version version label is to slash render layer / render layer underscore version
number for the image format type we’re going to do
EXR s the data type we don’t need full float 16 is fine compression will use
zip and for the naming convention we do need
to change this it’s going to be name dot number extension make sure the skies also set on beer a
go to render elements make sure the render elements are set to OFF on the
sky since we don’t need any of those passes and now we’re ready to render
there are two main ways you can start batching in Maya one of them is to
switch your shelf over here to the rendering tab go up to a render batch
render however if you’re using a much more intensive scene file I would
recommend closing Maya completely so we’ll close out Maya navigate to our
project folder then we’re going to scenes go to the scene file that you’ve
created right click and select render from the context menu this will open up
a little window if this window closes it means that the render has stopped it
does not mean that the render completed it just means that is no longer
rendering so what I also recommend that you do before you walk away go into your
project folder wait for the images folder to be created double-click the
temp images folder is going to be for anything that you used in the frame
buffer so we don’t actually need any of that information but this first folder
here version 2 we’re starting with the plane and we’ve got our first EXR so I
would make sure this actually renders I would double click your EXR open it I
recommend using X in view or viewing EXR s I would recommend the full version of
X in view and getting all the add-ons which includes in the X our viewer much
faster than opening up Photoshop every time but to view eyx ours properly
you’re going to want to view them in after-effects with the linearized
workflow so I’ll be talking about color management and the linear workflow a
little bit later but for now just keep in mind that anything you see is gonna
be a lot darker unless it’s in After Effects
alright so now that the rendering is done it is time to start compositing
when you launch a perf X the first thing to do is double-click your project
window and then go and select the sequences from your images folder and
double-click the first folder appear and then it doesn’t really matter which file
you select as long as openexr sequence is checked After Effects will figure out
that this entire collection is part of a sequence and then it will automatically
import an entire sequence however since we have three of these there is a more
efficient way to do this so I’m going to delete that if we open up the images
folder in Windows Explorer select all three of these folders as long as there
are any subfolders within these folders we can simply click and drag these into
the images folder right so if we click on the first one here if you notice up
in that it says it’s at 30fps but in Maya we
worked at 24 FPS which is standard for visual effects let’s right click go to
interpret footage main and then we’re going to assume a frame rate of 24 we
also need to go up to color management and under interpret as linear light we
need to force this to be on what this means is by default After Effects will
only interpret a sequence as having linear light if it is a 32
it’s per channel file now we rendered out a raw or linear image sequence but
we only did it in a 16-bit per channel format so by default a prefix is not
going to recognize that so we need to force it to be on and we can click OK
and since we have 3 of these files we can save the settings from the first one
we changed and apply it to the other ones to do that we right-click over the
first one go to interpret footage again remember interpretation then we select
the other two right click again interpret footage apply interpretation
now both of these will use the same settings I’m gonna grab this plane
sequence here and click and drag it into this comp filmstrip icon what this does
it makes a composition that is the same length as the sequence with the same
size and framerate let’s magnify this by clicking this button down here and fit
up to 100% this sequence is 200 frames but generally for visual effects you
will put a slate on your first frame we need to increase the length of our
composition by 1 frame now to do this we need to be viewing frames if you don’t
see a frame counter here and you only see timecode like this which is hours
minutes seconds frames hold down the control key and select and this will
switch it to frames next you can right-click over the title of the
composition go to composition settings you can also do it in the project window
and you can also do it in the menu appear composition settings or you can
use the shortcut key control K so for the duration I’m just going to change
this to be 201 click OK we’re going to increase the time navigator end so we
can view the entire composition click page down on the keyboard to go forward
one frame or you can just type it in here and with the layer selected click
the left bracket key this will snap the layers of starting position to the
position of the time navigator do the same thing with the exhaust and the sky
layers drag these underneath and then again click the left bracket key make
sure your sky is underneath your exhaust so right now we’re looking at the
master layer as if we were to render this from the frame buffer this is what
it would look like if you could include the exhaust in with the master layer by
default which we can’t since this is using hardware 2.0 and the sky and the
plane are using V-Ray the advantage is now we can solo just the sky the exhaust
and the plane and make adjustments to them separately now what we’re looking
at here is the beauty pass of the plane so this is what you would look at in the
frame buffer it does not include AO it does not include Z depth it includes all
the other passes that we used so the very first thing that we need to do is
separate this plane into all its separate passes but before we do that we
are going to rename this one to be the plane beauty click click enter on the
keyboard and notice when I click enter this changes from source name to layer
name layer name is whatever we rename the file source name is what the
original file name is we’re going to duplicate this layer with ctrl D on solo
these now and the very first pass that we’re going to add is the GI or global
illumination layer so we’re looking for an extractor effect so the extractor
effect if you notice that says EXR they’re all capitalized and this is a
way of separating passes of a multi-channel EXR file so to do that
we’re going to select anywhere in this blank space go into layers and here we
can see all the different passes that we specified in array so we’re going to
start with GI notice also that the RGB values are all changed to the GI
equivalent so we have our GI for r g and b respectively click OK and now you will
notice that this is looking very very dark so this is something that we need
to do right at the very beginning but I just wanted to show you the result
because sometimes it’s not evident if you make these adjustments beforehand we
need to set up our working space so click where it says 32 B PC this might
say 8 or 16 for you select this this is an absolutely vital part of compositing
you need to make sure you’re using a linear workflow and you have set up the
correct working space I’ll need to move the project window down here so it can
fit on the screen select where it says none and you want
to go up here to srgb srgb is the standard working space for
most computers and monitors at least Windows monitors so this is using a
gamma of 2.2 and then we need to linearize the working space so by
clicking linearize you’ll notice that the color changes
if you forget to linearize your working space and then you realize halfway
through your project that you didn’t do it you will have to recompose at nearly
everything because the values are very different to view the same colors and
values that we saw in Maya we have to linearize so before we separate out all
the passages go back up to this extractor and we need to unmultiplied it
if you notice on this edge here gets a little bit darker when we don’t unmold
apply it now the unmultiplied effect is a way of removing the background from
areas of partial transparency or in this case it’s just motion blur if I were to
Solo this layer and select my transparency toggle you can see that
this area is a little bit transparent if we turn this off you’ll notice that
areas of the alpha channel that are not occupied by pixels by default will
render as black and because this is black we get a really thin black edge
around the plane sometimes it is not necessary to unmultiplied but quite
often it is so it’s safer just to check mark the box so right now we’re going to
duplicate these passes just go one by one
change the extractor effect and change the past name so the next pass is going
to be the lighting pass the lighting pass is going to be our direct
illumination and the blending mode for lighting is going to be additive so we
come up here to add one more thing before we continue if you do not see
your blending modes here there might be a toggle switches so you can select this
button to toggle between your switches which are these in your modes which are
your blending modes and track mats if you’d like to see them both on the same
panel which I recommend right click on layer name go to columns and then select
switches and or modes whichever one is not selected and then both of them will
be on one panel if you have a large enough monitor I highly recommend this
it’s far more efficient than having to click a button every time okay so next
we can duplicate lighting rename the next one to be reflection
this again is going to be additive specular which is also additive
refraction which is additive and self illumination which is also additive
next we have ambient occlusion or AO ambient occlusion is multiplied and
lastly we have Z depth now for Z depth you’ll notice that if you select Z the
RGB values do not change this is because the Z depth channel contains no color
information then it only contains a single channel to get any non color
channel to work properly go into each RGB Channel and select the channel name
now zeda is not composited with a blending mode so we’re just going to set
this to be normal and then we’ll turn this layer off and use it later now we
can Unseld it all of these have a look at the entire result in your project
folder just go ahead and make a new folder called comps now when you say
version numbers you should always save the same version number as whatever the
latest render that you did in Maya the latest render was version 2 so you
should save your After Effects composition as version 2 as well this
makes it much easier to go back and forth between projects and clients can
use the version number to tell you what they like to what they didn’t like and
that same version number corresponds to a composition and also corresponds to a
scene file and if you’re using After Effects and Maya consistently going back
and forth between them make sure you always have the same version number for
the comp and the Maya scene and all your frames have the version number on them
as well otherwise it’s very easy to forget which version corresponds with
which file and it can make your life hell – good try to figure that out
especially weeks after you’ve worked on something in a client finally in
response or something like that just go ahead and make sure these always are the
same as your Maya scene file click OK let’s set this to 1/2 resolution so this
renders a little bit faster let’s go to the very beginning and then just click
the spacebar this will load in the sequence into your PCs rim and then it
will play in real time now depending on the size and the length of your
composition and how much RAM you have in your PC you may not be able to load in
the entire shot this case we only have 200 frames so we can it will make it a
little bit easier to check what we rendered all right so now this is loaded
in the RAM what we can see that it is now playing at 24 fps and there are a
few things right away that I noticed that need to be corrected so when you
load in your sequence and you get everything composited the very first
thing that you should check are all the passes being viewed correctly so when I
was compositing all of them appeared to be correct none
of the passes were black so a lot of students had this problem where their
reflection and specular passes are completely black this generally
indicates that in beer a you either have the amount set to zero you have a black
map placed in the reflection channel or you have a glossiness of one and if you
have a glossiness of one with no HDR image and only one object that you’re
rendering is very difficult to get reflections to show up properly the same
thing can happen with GI just go back through make sure you’re using an HDR
image or you have at least an environment set up you’ve placed your
reflection maps in the correct channel your maps are not black and your amounts
are not at zero those are the easiest things to fix that some of the most
common mistakes that I see as far as the composition goes the nose
of the plane gets very very close to the edge is almost touching so I want to fix
that I want to pull this out a little bit more likewise the exhaust does not
extend far enough back and then right at the very end here I’m noticing that the
camera kind of does like hits a wall it just seems to stop at around frame 120
it just seems to hit and then just slide it’s not very smooth so I want to go
ahead and fix that as well also looking at the glass here the refraction looks a
little bit too strong it’s kind of warping the image behind it a little bit
too much glass is not going to be that thick so we want to go back and correct
that as well so I’m going to go ahead and set up another render and then we
can come back in composite right so in Maya the very first thing I mentioned
was the camera not being zoomed out far enough so I want to go ahead and do that
so we’re gonna up verge in this file save it version 3 select the camera and
then I’m just gonna pull out just a little bit I’m gonna set this back to
200 I’m also getting two keyframes here so and that’s probably part of the
problem pulled back out a little bit to have a closer inspection of these key
frames we’re going to open up the graph editor and yeah this is a problem here I
don’t like these keyframes you seem to have two keyframes very close just going
to delete those move this off to the side here yeah that’s that solves that problem one
thing that I would like to do though I don’t take these keyframes here so I’m
just holding down the shift key and clicking and dragging over these
keyframes moving this over to frame 200 so this is looking a little bit better I
think what I’d like to do though is around frame 160 I’m going to take this
plane and maybe it around frame 120 I’ll set a keyframe got a frame 160 and then
just pull up the wing let it bank a little bit and then by frame 200 it can
go back just so we can maybe see just a little bit underneath the wing select
the camera again and at frame 160 I’ll just lower the angle just a tad we’re
gonna have to zoom out a little bit more and it around frame 60 we’re gonna pull
the camera down just to get this more in frame another thing that I’d like to add is a
little bit of camera shake in After Effects so pulling out this far will
allow us to be able to crop back in after we add the camera shake so I’m
pretty happy with this right now I think this will be okay next thing that we can
do here is go into the exhaust and scale both of these exhaust objects back so
the furthest out we I think we see is probably around here so as long as I
clear the canvas we should be good pull these out and we’re also going to have
to go into the flare with the flare handle and take the high-bound
back up maybe to around 3 otherwise it’s going to bulge too soon
something like that should be good one more thing I’d like to do is go into
perspective you hear really fast select the pilots head I’m just gonna
add just a little bit of animation to this pilot makes it will make it feel a
little bit more alive so maybe as the cameras coming down kind of glances up
at the camera then looks back the other way it’s a little bit of really subtle
motion but it can look a little bit more realistic this guy he can he’s not doing
anything important right now you can just look up around here you can look
back give this guy just a little bit more movement on his head you can look a
little bit more realistic there something just really subtle but
something on mine we might notice in the final result okay I also mentioned the
class had a little bit too much refraction on it so let’s go into the
Micanopy glass go down to the refraction IOR and for this we’re gonna turn on IPR
and we’re looking at some of the distortion around the edge here and one
thing you can do with IPR is a little bit more convenient than rendering the
entire thing we select this little icon up here turns on the region render then
we can just click and drag a region that we’d like to focus on and it’s not going
to waste time rendering anything else and I’ll try a refraction of one point
two that looks a little bit better if we look at from some different angles yeah
that looks a little bit more realistic turn off the region renderer so I have a
look at the overall lighting here and one other thing that I’m noticing is I
kind of want this screen left side of the plane to be a little bit brighter
and this would just allow the plane to look a little bit more visually
interesting in our composite so one thing I can do I could go into the HDR
and make it a little bit brighter but perhaps what would be a little easier
here is to just create a directional light and line it up with the Sun in the
HDR I let’s go up do you create lights directional light it’s gonna rotate this
around pull this up and just tilt this down a little bit turn IPR on again I
don’t want any of the light to brighten the screen right side of the plane so
pull this up a little bit so that’s looking a little bit too bright so I’ll
go ahead and just drop that down to maybe 0.5 and if we compare this on
off on I think that’s gonna help our composite just a little bit all right I
don’t think there was anything else that we needed to fix let’s go ahead and just
make sure this is set up properly again version label and you update that to be
three for now we’re gonna still leave the max render time pretty low and just
go ahead and make sure that we are updating everything that we need to so
in this case we did change the camera so all of our layers have to be rear-ended
if we were only making changes to let’s say the plane then we’d only have two
rerender at the plane alright so while we’re waiting for that new render to
finish we can go ahead and start setting up our color correction and doing some
other adjustments as well so the very first thing I want to do is some color
correction so I’m going to select this top layer up here right click at the
bottom go to new adjustment layer type in color correction and I mentioned
earlier that in V-Ray there was a way to transfer the color information from the
frame buffer into After Effects I want to show that really fast here I’ll go
back to be an angle like this and do a proper render I’ll turn on my image
adjustments and we had this curves effect on here which is making
everything a bit brighter we also have things like the white balance which will
be color temperature that can make the image warmer so let’s say I was really
pleased with the color of this and I wanted to save this exact color
correction and I wanted to use this same color correction inside of After Effects
you go up here to Global’s click Save we’ll just save this in comps
I’ll call this plane version 3 and we’re looking for a LUT file so in
after-effects you can add an effect called apply color LUT
and what this does it is a lookup table which will use the same values and color
correction in V-Ray and across other platforms as well it is a common format
for transferring color information quite often clients will send you this yet
they have a color that they are happy with and they want all the artists to be
using the exact color correction so that is how you apply a lot I’m not actually
going to use one in this case I’m going to do my color correction manually I’m
going to turn this off and add a curves effect so with curves what I want to do
here is I want to make the highlights and mid-tones just a bit brighter and
then I’m gonna darken the shadows to add a bit more contrast something more like
this I’m gonna go into the red Channel and pull out a little bit of red from
the shadows then I’m gonna allow the Reds in the highlights to creep back
into their original values which is this straight line here so just toggling
between this we’ve made the clouds a little bit more blue we pulled out some
of that red we’ve added a little bit more contrast next I’m going to add a
luma tree color effect now the ulema tree color gives us a lot of adjustments
all in one effect which is nice and it is the only way inside of After Effects
to change the color temperature without using a photo filter so I’m going to
turn on high dynamic range and then in the temperature gauge we can just
increase the temperature do a value of around 90 will make it look a little bit
warmer like it’s sunset unfortunately these values are not in
Kelvin which normally color temperature is in Kelvin but the higher the number
the warmer the image in this case we also have a lot of options for
highlights and shadows without for example if we want to boost the shadows
a little bit because they are looking slightly dark we could do a value of
around 30 now all of these adjustments you can use in curves but it gets a
little bit more complicated so it is nice sometimes to be able to have just
highlights or just shadow control next we can also add some contrast here
without having to use an additional curves it’d be something at around 40
would be a good value now one thing that we do have to be careful with when
adding contrast and brightness especially is clipping now clipping is
when the value of a pixel exceeds the working space so in this case this is
going beyond 8-bit and my monitor can no longer display these values properly I’m
just using a standard 8-bit monitor and any value appear these are floating
point values so one represents the limit of an 8-bit working space to any value
that goes beyond one means that the value cannot be displayed
properly and there’s no subtle gradient between higher-level values
anything at one that’s the highest it can go so if there’s a pixels that are
even brighter than that is this going to stop at one if I were to add another
curves effect here to really extend you ate this effect you’ll notice a really
harsh line that appears so this looks quite poor it’s something that you
always want to avoid we’re going to just delete this curves that was just as an
example and we’re going to either lower our brightness of the curves or we can
use another effect called the HDR highlight compression so the HDR
highlight compression is a way of tone mapping high dynamic range values to low
dynamic range values or HDR to LDR so in this case what it does it tries to make
sure there’s nothing that’s going to clip which it does but it makes the
image look very gray there are tone mappers I work a lot
better than this but if we lock this off it may be a value of around thirty might
just lower this brightness of the curves a little bit here and you want to make
sure there’s no valleys getting above one so this looks pretty good now we go
into full resolution here and have a look at these pilots visors you can see
there’s some highlights on them that are clipping they’re getting really really
bright so because we have this refraction pass on a separate layer we
don’t need to fix our overall color correction to simply fix these pixels
instead what we can do is go down to our refraction layer and solo this layer and
apply an HDR highlight compression on it this is going to be much dimmer and go
back so underneath our color correction we can add an additional adjustment
layer and call this vignette places underneath our color correction and
there is an effect called vignette just drag this on and for now we’ll just
leave the default values basically this is going to help pull our eye into the
shot a little bit more one other thing that I’m noticing here with the contrast
of the intakes they’re looking very very dark so if we mouse over these intakes
we’re getting a values of zero zero zero in the upper right hand corner it’s not
just bright valleys that can clip is also dark values and here we’re
definitely getting clipping so let’s go back to our color correction layer and
on this curves effect we’ll zoom in on our curves pull this up very slightly
you do have to be careful with it don’t go too high so we’re going to zoom in a
little bit more here and just lift this up very slightly
then we can zoom back out so these valleys are no longer clipped so the
next thing we’re going to do is is make the exhaust so we already have a Matt
for the exhaust which is fine or rename this layer to be exhaust Matt and
underneath the exhaust Matt we’re going to grab an adjustment layer let’s call
this exhaust now on the exhaust layer we’re going to change the track Matt to
be alpha exhaust is going to disappear but that’s just because we’re using a
track matte and there’s nothing on this adjustment layer yet to make this show
up we’re just going to grab a curves effect and then just darken down the
value something something around there will be good we can also add some heat
distortion with a turbulent displace effect
you can set the amount to be 100 and the size to be five flex ‘ti maybe around
three and you’ll notice that it is kind of
wobbling the clouds a little bit hold down alt and click on the stopwatch next
to evolution and type in time multiply it by a thousand so this is going to
allow it to constantly wobble this looks really really strong right now don’t
worry it’ll look ok in a moment we can either adjust the curves values or we
can go and click T and then just lower the opacity so we’re going to just
increase these curves a little bit make it not quite so dark we could also add a
fractal noise pattern over the top of this and change the blending mode to be
multiplied the noise type we could say dynamic go into the transform and then
just reduce the scale quite a bit and we can also do the same thing with
evolution that bent I’m asterisk and then maybe something like 2000 because
this does not track with the plane is this kind of everywhere over the entire
comp we wanted to move around quite a bit
and then we could even lower the opacity of this so it’s not quite so strong
we want it to be fairly subtle we just want an essence of it being there
I think this will look pretty good I will have to see it rendered before I
can make those judgments so moving on now I want to do the depth of field
depth of field is the way that the camera is going to focus on different
elements of the shot if you have a really shallow depth of field objects
closer to the camera or further away depending on where the focal point is
are going to become a lot more blurry now for aerial aviation photography is
unlikely we’d see a shallow depth of field because the photographer or the
cameraman is going to have the f-stop up pretty high however we can still add a
little bit and especially if we look later on in the shot maybe around frame
150 it would make sense for this part of the plane to be the focal point and the
rest might begin to just get out of focus just ever so slightly so in order
to do depth of field properly in after-effects it is a little bit tricky
to do there is a plugin that takes a lot of the hassle out of this but there is a
way to do what natively in After Effects so before we do that we’re gonna go down
to this plane beauty shot just noticed this needs to be at the top and we turn
it off we don’t usually need this plane beauty but we can just leave it there
for reference later if you remember that the plane beauty is simply what was
rendered from the frame buffer with all the passes already composited so we
don’t actually need this one so we’ll just turn this off next we’re going to
go into the plane depth we’re gonna make a copy of it click ctrl shift C or
right-click and do pre compose move all attributes into the new composition
double click this layer right now we’re looking at just the z-depth now this
needs a bit more contrast on it but right now we’re going to add a
background and the background we’re gonna sample the color of the wing at
the back end of the plane and place this layer underneath it kind of makes it
look like the plane is coming through some fog here this is fine now the
reason we have to do this is because without this layer the depth of field
will stop wherever the plane stops and that’s not how real focusing would work
so we can’t just single out separate objects otherwise it’s not going to look
correct pop back over to plane 2 and we’re going to add a new adjustment
layer underneath and call this depth of field and we’ll be using two of these Z
depth passes so we’re going to rename this one as well we’ll just call this
DOF for depth of field so on the depth of field we’re going to grab a camera
lens blur effect all right so right away you’ll notice that when we put on the
camera lens blur effect everything is coated in same amount of blur so to
change that and actually use that depth of field
we’re going to go into the blur map change the layer to be the plane z-depth
duf and then we need to change this from source to effect some masks so we can
put curves effects on this z-depth layer and then it will propagate those results
through otherwise it will only look at the source zoom out here and I gotta
crank this value up to be some ridiculous value just so we can see this
very clearly now right away you’ll notice that the edges look a little bit
odd and that’s because anything that’s blurred up to the edge of a canvas since
there are no pixels outside of it it’s going to give this kind of effect so
repeat edge pixels attempts to fix that next what we’re going to do is select
our planes eat up the UF layer turn it on so we can see what we’re doing and
then add a curves effect to it so we need to crush these black values quite a
bit to really begin to see what we’re doing we want the front end of the plane
to be black and we do want to try to smooth out this transition we don’t want
there to be a hard edge here turn this lair back off and now you can
see that this is currently in focus this part right here go into the depth of
field and change our bluer focal distance we’ll to start increasing the
slightly and as we increase it is going to shift the position that’s in focus so
we’re looking for maybe a value of around point one or maybe point zero
five so it’s more or less in the center there the rest looks absolutely
ridiculous and not realistic at all but this was just so we could figure out
what part isn’t focused very clearly now we can drop the blur radius back down to
something like five and this is going to look a lot more realistic so this part
is in focus and then as we get further away from the plane it gets a little bit
softer has more of a film look to it so it is reasonable to expect that the
edges might get a little bit more blurred you know as lower this value if
you want to but this looks pretty good another thing that you’ll notice is that
the clouds look a lot better so without the lens blur on we get a lot
of artifacting from the pretty low sampling time that we had in V-Ray so by
adding just a little bit of blur we kind of get rid of a lot of that without
having to do a higher sampling rate now we will go ahead and do that because
there’s areas around here where it’s is still far too grainy but for this large
area background adding a little bit of blur it goes a long way in clearing that
up I’m gonna rename this effect to be my depth of field the UF I’m also going to
add a second camera lens blur effect underneath this and I’ll put the value
quite low at around 0.3 so it will coat the entire scene again and another layer
of blur but it’s going to add just a tad amount of blur here we might even lower
that to point two just so it’s not so sharp when we rerender we might also
just lower this very slightly if you want to do at 4.5 or maybe 4 might look
a little bit better now but also you need to check from different positions
the further we get away from this the more out-of-focus it’s going to appear
by default so if we wanted to here if we go to the
very end of the composition you’ll notice that the plane is much darker so
it’s going to be far less blur on the front end of the plane that at the
beginning the plane is quite bright so to make this image look a little bit
better what we’re gonna have to do is go into the z-depth lair and you’ll notice
that the background blends in with the tail and towards the end of the shot but
at the beginning is really not bright enough so I’m gonna add a curves effect
to this light gray solid at around frame 130 this appears to be pretty good maybe
140 I’m going to set a keyframe on the curves and I got to go to the very
beginning and at the very beginning I’m just gonna crush these white values up
so they’re a bit brighter that kind of blends in a little bit better because we
want to make sure the background is all always not really the focal point of
this is always going to be the plane next we can pop back out to the main
composition and you can see that now the plane is sticking out more the nose is
always darker than the background okay then we can now turn this back off and
then move on to the next part okay so now that my renders have finished I want
to show you how we can easily import new files so up here we’ll just start with
the exhaust right click on exhaust go to replace footage with file we’re going to
navigate to the version 3 folder go to exhaust and you can see this is now
being updated grab the plane do the same thing right click replace footage file
at the plane see the plane has now been updated and then we’re also going to do
the sky as well is very very simple to import new
versions of files and just screw up through this and just make sure
everything looks pretty good I like the wing being brighter there I
think that’s going to be that’s gonna be better and I like seeing underneath the
plane – there’s one last thing that we can do with the z-depth and that’s going
to be atmospheric perspective so atmospheric perspective is going to be
if there is atmosphere or air between the viewer or the camera and the subject
now further that distance is the more faded this subject is going to look
because there’s more atmosphere in the way so I could go into a whole lecture
on this but I’m going to try to sum that up pretty quickly and we’re going to
control this again with z-depth so we’re gonna leave z depth here but what we’re
gonna do next is turn off all of these passes except for GI so we just want to
keep one of these on so we can work out one at a time and then just copy and
paste the effects as we go up but we need to be able to see what we’re doing
just on one layer so we’re looking for an effect called the set matte effect so
the set matte effect is a way of being able to use a matte without having to put
a track matte directly above the layer says we’re going to be using this matte
several times it’s much more convenient to use the set in that effect we’re
gonna be using the plane z-depth layer and then for this we’re again going to
use effects and masks and we’re going to be looking at the luminance channel so
the bright values so when you do that you’ll notice that the plane goes
partially transparent if I were to solo this layer toggle the transparency grid
you can see is more faded at the front than the back which is the opposite
effect that we want so we’ll go into the invert matte and now is more faded at the
back so this might be a little bit too faded but for right now this is this is
fine we can go and correct this in a moment but one thing that you will
notice the way this effect works it is going to make the plane or faded so
we’re going to fix that in a moment but before we do that we’re just going to
select this set matte effect copy it and turn on these layers again and then
we’re going to paste each one of these passes we don’t paste it on z-depth that
is the matte we don’t need to add anything there so this looks way too
transparent right now so let’s go up into our plane z-depth layer and add a
curves effect well turn this on so we can see it more clearly the front end of
the plane is going to need to be a lot darker so actually what we’re gonna do
here we’re going to take this crush the black values maybe do something more
like or like this for a plane this small you’re not going
to notice a huge amount of difference from the front end to the back end but
if you had multiple planes in the shot you would probably want to do this a lot
more on the planes in the distance but something like this will give us a
really subtle effect but it should work pretty well so if we just look through
different angles here we should be able to get a good read of how this is going
to react so the further away the camera is the more faded it should be this is
looking a little too faded though so we are going to need to crush the black
values a bit more and reduce the contrast so right here it is looking a
little faded but let’s just go ahead and see what it looks like when it is
composited let’s turn this z2 flare off so we can see that there’s that far too
faded here but we can can fix that in a moment what we need to do now though is
fix the fact that we can see through the background so to fix this we’re gonna go
down to our plane GI layer just duplicate that and move the duplicate
underneath and then rename the duplicate to be plane matte so let’s solo this layer
so we can look at it unobstructed solo this layer and toggle off our
transparency grid instead of using the GI layer here what we’re going to use is
the alpha so for our G and B we can just say alpha alpha alpha and then click OK
we do not need a set matte effect so we can just delete it and now we’re just
left with an outline of the plane a faster alternative to this is to simply
use a fill effect over whatever layer you have you can just do something like
this to color it in that’s perfectly fine
so it’s either change the extractor to be alpha only or fill it in turn this
layer off and then next we’re going to need a copy of our sky well duplicate
the sky and place the sky right underneath the plane map and rename this
layer to be sky blurred so the track matte on the sky blurred layer is going
to be an alpha matte of the plane matte some of this and you can see that the
background is now showing up in an outline of the plane so we need to blur
the sky so I’ll add a fast box blur and then for the blur radius we’ll do a
value of around 50 we will repeat edge pixels it we shouldn’t actually ever get
to the edge but just to put it on just always do it now we’re only caring about
averaged values here so as the plane moves through the sky is going to blur
these values so if this is not blurred enough heat maybe increase this to a
hundred because we’re looking more for the average value turn this back off we
got to go ahead and save this and also we need to save this to a version 3 file
since we are using new frames it’s a version 3 so too
see if this z-depth is doing anything if we turn off the curves effect we can see
how faded it is without the curves this looks pretty good
so we’re getting slightly more fading at the back than we are at the front this
might be more evident at the beginning which it is it’s we’re quite a bit
further away from the plane this looks a little bit silly though so what we’re
going to do to fix these frames at the beginning we’re gonna grab another
curves and we want to animate these curves turn this plane
Zita flare on by frame 80 it looks like this part of the plane is pitch black so
we’ll set a keyframe there at the beginning we need to crush in the black
values a bit more and then we’ll lower these white values again something more
like this quickie you so we can see the keyframes I’ll select this key frame
click f9 to ease it out this lair back off
and this looks a little bit better go ahead and change these but we do want
to make sure this is animated now unfortunately with curves it’s very
difficult to animate them between two keyframes so if you did want to go ahead
and reanimate this you’re gonna have to go to a key position that you’ve
keyframed and then you can change them all right
so this is beginning to look a lot better now there’s just a few more
things that we need to do and then I’m gonna go ahead and add some bloom to
this so this next part I want to look at the lights and the wings so I’m going to
take the self illumination layer solo this and I’m going to add a glow effect
at the glow but lower the threshold and then we’re going to just lower the
opacity down to about 75% and I think that’s gonna look a little bit more
subtle another thing I’m noticing at the beginning of the shot the front of the
plane is looking a little bit too blurred and this is because in version 3
we pulled the camera out quite a lot so the depth matte needs to be adjusted so
we’re going to go ahead and fix that as well so we’re going to go back up to
this plane z-depth comp double click and we animated a curves effect to try to
match the background with the back of the plane we’re just gonna tweak some of
those values and make it blend a little bit more especially here and then at the
very end we’ll add another keyframe something more like that and then we’ll
add another curves effect and at around frame 70 I think this is
looking pretty good we turn this back on well set a keyframe there and frame one
we can barely see it anymore so we’re gonna crush the black values here so the
nose of the plane will begin to appear and we need that to be dark so the dark
area indicates what is in focus so we can do something like that and as soon
as we go back we can see this is gonna look a lot more InFocus
okay so the next thing I want to do is just brighten up the background a little
bit well go to our sky layer add a curves effect and boost the values of
the sky and next we’re gonna add some bloom now
bloom is gonna be where the highlights glow this is often seen in film or with
photography where brighter objects have kind of a glow to them often is overdone
in games but it does give a nice visual effect and I’d like to add it to this
plane I’m gonna try to find a better angle here towards the beginning of the
shot and we’re going to just take a copy of the beauty pass duplicate that does
rename it to be bloom turn this layer on and then solo it so
it’s possible to do in after-effects which I’m going to show you here it’s
also possible to do in V-Ray as well so in V-Ray you can add bloom by going into
the frame buffer selecting this icon down here and enabling the bloom layer
effect now I have set these values to something that would make it show up by
default it may not appear to do anything the most important effects to get it to
work are going to be increasing the intensity and lowering the threshold you
also probably want to turn off hardware acceleration because this often does
cause problems at least in the times that I’ve used it and you can see around
all the highlights of the plane we’re getting this glow now this can be saved
out as a render element or a pass so by selecting this going up to your passes
you can select glare and you would get an effect like this now that’s perfectly
fine to go ahead and use this however I want to show you a way that we can do it
in After Effects so we have this copy of the beauty pass and on this pass we’re
going to add a set in that effect now usually you don’t use a set matte effect
as the layer that it’s on in this case is okay so we’re just going to use
itself so we’re using the same layer I’m going to change it from alpha channel to
luminance I’m going to grab a curves effect I’m gonna crush the black values
and then boost some of the mid-tones back up
next we’re going to add a glow effect the standard glow effect does not have a
realistic fall-off if I lower my threshold increase the
radius it doesn’t have a natural fall off it just stays pretty consistent
there is an effect called real glow which does a much better job
of this so if you can find this plugin I’m not sure if it’s available anymore
but it is a very good plugin it handles glow and bloom in a much more
realistic way I’m sure there are other plugins as well however we’re gonna want
to work with this and get it to do what we need
turn off the solo and I’m gonna set the mode to be screen now the difference
between ad and screen is that ad will allow the addition of all the pixels on
this layer and below to exceed 8-bit and enter high dynamic range where screen
clamps the values at one by using screen you avoid clipping at least from the
layer that you’re blending so the layer itself is quite bright but if we were to
compare this with ad we can see clear amounts of clipping here we’re almost
getting values of two by setting this back down to screen we’re not getting
such harsh results I am still gonna use a HDR highlight compression effect and
I’m just gonna leave that on at a hundred percent for now alright so I’m
pretty pleased with that I need to see this whole thing we rendered out to
really know for certain but we only have two more things left to do that we can
go ahead and render out final frames at this and after that render out the
composition I mentioned earlier that I wanted to add some camera shake we’re
going to go ahead and do that really fast go up to here at a new null object
now on the camera shake null object wouldn’t add to slider effects
click enter and we’re going to rename the first one frequency and the second
one is going to be intensity then we’re going to duplicate both of these effects
and on the second one we can just call it rotation we’re gonna grab all of the
layers underneath we’re not going to grab the color correction or the
vignette or the camera shake itself and then you can either use the pick whip
and attach all of these layers to the camera shake layer or you can go into
the parent link option and just select it this way next we’re going to open up
the position to click P hold down the Alt key and click the stopwatch for
position and we’re going to type in wiggle open parenthesis then take the
pick whip and attach the first parameter to the slider control of frequency do a
comma space and then take the pick whip again and
grab the slider control for intensity so the wiggle effect it takes two
parameters the first one is going to be frequency so how many times per second
the value can wiggle or just move around and the second parameter is going to be
how many pixels or how many units of whatever channel you’re on can move so
in this case we’re using pixels because we’re using a position transform then we
can just click the numpad enter key and for the frequency we might try a value
of around 2 and the intensity of around 10 and when we do this you’ll notice
perhaps even more if you increase the intensity so if we did something like 50
we’ll notice that we’re gonna get a border depending on the size of your
intensity you will have to scale up this layer so I’m gonna hold down the shift
key and click s to open up the scale and I’m going to increase the size of this
null object by maybe 2% you’ll have to scrub through and just make sure that
that is consistent you might need to do a little bit more depending on what your
intensity is next we’re going to hold down shift and click R then we’re going
to add an expression to the rotation channel again we’re going to be using
wiggle and we can attach the first parameter to the frequency rotation
comma and grab the intensity rotation then click the numpad enter key or just
click off to the side now for rotation we wanted to do something that’s really
really subtle so I’ll actually do 0.5 so it’s going to be every two seconds and
then for the intensity will only do a maximum of one degree and the reason
we’re using slider controls is so you can animate the camera shake if you were
just to use these numbers directly in the wiggle function that’s fine to do
but there’s no easy way to animate those values so if you put them in sliders you
can control the values at any point just with basic key framing so throughout the
animation this is going to kind of wobble around and with the rotation we
will need to scale this up just a little bit more we’re getting a little black
edge there to be safe I’m just gonna say a hundred and five now earlier I
mentioned that I needed to pull the camera out a little bit further because
I knew that I was gonna have to scale in to always make sure that you don’t have
your subject touching the edges of the composition so you can always crop a
little bit of the plate okay so I think that’s gonna look pretty good when we
render it now with a camera shake we are actually moving all of these layers and
anytime you move anything in a perfects you need to add motion blur so we are
going to select all of these layers and then we need to select the motion blur
switch which is going to be this button here so we just line it up and then make
sure that this switch is enabled for the cop this allows motion blur to be
enabled everywhere and close that and we have one final adjustment to make going
to go into layer new adjustment layer and we’re going to add some film grain
grain needs to go underneath your color correction and we’re looking for an add
grain effect by default you get this little preview
window so you need to change the viewing mode to be final output
and the default grain is is quite hideous so on the intensity we need to
change the intensities at something like 0.1 and then the size also down to
something like 0.1 this is supposed to be a very very subtle effect but in
areas where there’s shadow like in the intakes and in the cockpit cameras will
always have even a little bit of grain and if everything in your plate is super
clean this is going to look a little bit unrealistic so we’re gonna maybe drop
that down to point zero five and that looks that looks a bit better all right
so now the only thing that we have to do is render out a higher quality version
of just the plane so after adding the camera lens blur and adding the grain I
think the quality of the plate is fine so we don’t need to go ahead and render
that out again so we need to pop back over to Maya I
don’t actually need to render bloom so I’m going to turn that off if you do
render bloom you can do it as a separate pass and then you can choose to use it
if you want to and close this down I up version this diversion for I’m going to
go into our render settings do the same for our version label here then go into
the V-Ray tab and change the max render time up to one minute now this is going
to be dependent on your PC’s hardware so one minute on a supercomputer is gonna
be very different to one minute on a laptop it will be a lot better than just
a six second render so a full minute is going to be it’s gonna produce a much
cleaner image we only need to render the plane there that’s selected everything
else looks fine and then we can go ahead and render this out I made one slight
error here this plane bloom layer needs to be underneath our depth-of-field
layer otherwise it’s not going to blur in the same way but now we can go ahead
and load in plane version 4 place the footage with the new plane version and a
version our comp as well to version 4 and now we’re ready to render the
preview let’s go over and rename our composition named composition settings
this is now version 4 whatever this is would be your file name then we’re going
to go up to composition add to Adobe Media encoder queue this will launch the
media encoder it might take a few seconds maybe even up to a minute to
transfer this depending on the speed of your PC and if you have used the encoder
before so if this doesn’t load up right away don’t panic
next we’re gonna click on h.264 and again this process can take a several
seconds here you can change the format to something else but we’re gonna leave
that on h.264 gonna leave the output name the same all of the
basic video settings these are going to be taken from the After Effects
composition so if something is incorrect here you need to go back to After
Effects fix it there and then send it back over we are going to render at
maximum depth and for the bitrate we are going to use variable bitrate or v vr
one pass there’s not a huge amount of size difference between one pass and two
paths but a to pass does take twice as long so on the target bitrate we’re
going to say 20 and then for the maximum we’re gonna say 25 if you’re rendering
in 4k you would probably need to boost this the target should be around 40 and
maybe the maximum around 50 but for 1080 this is fine then we’re
going to use the maximum render quality as well click OK and then click the
green start button then I’ll come and show you the final result here’s the
pretty be rendered out and this would be appropriate to send off for a client
review I also have an alternate version of this I did a few years ago so you’ve
got the wingman in there got a different HDR and the slightly different animation
alright guys thank you so much for watching if you made it through all the
videos I really really appreciate it the series took a lot of time and effort to
put together so hope you guys think it’s worthwhile or at least you learned
something that you didn’t before right so if you have any questions feel free
to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible otherwise I’ll
catch you in the next video peace you

5 thoughts on “VFX Plane Compositing – Full-Length Visual Effects Tutorial for Maya, V-Ray, & After Effects

  1. Hi Bro,
    This was the first time that i have watched your channel video it is extraordinary i love VFX making and watching made VFX works can you do many works like this i love it.
    waiting for next video bro

  2. hey dude i checked all your videos , they are really great and thanks for the tutorials

  3. I have a mix of auto-generated and manual subtitles. If you notice a mistake, post a comment with the timecode and I'll fix it asap.

  4. when i render exr the quality downgrades, i have done exact same thing as you did. Help me here.

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