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"Probe" visual effects breakdown shot #25


Joel Gerlach wrote:

Work continues on the film, using Blender for our VFX shots as I explained in my last message. I created this breakdown of a shot yesterday and thought it might be productive to send it to you guys and get some feedback. This shot was created with around ten or so hours of work, including color correction, two rounds of rotoscoping, motion tracking, rendering, and finally compositing the Blender export into After Effects and integrating it into the scene. We're using Blender 2.5 Alpha Two, and After Effects for the compositing.

Feedback from the blender community would be great! Also, you can check up on our progress at our production blog.

The short film itself is 11:56 long including credits. I hope to have it done by next Friday, and we'll make sure the movie gets sent to BlenderNation for publication. One thing we want to do, like with the great Blender movies before us, is to release the models we used afterward for people to download and explore.

Thanks again!

About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. Grandmaster B on

    Like it, the spaceship has a unique style and the glowing areas look just very cool, the lighting in the final scene looks a little over exaggerated, try to have several light-sources in the scene, otherwise its impossible to make it perfect. Doing such a scene from one fixed perspective without cut is difficult but i think its done well. Good work!

  2. i definitely find there's something wrong with the spaceship's glowing areas in the final scene
    can you try it without these???
    i find it on the whole very promising...actors too are good!

  3. I LOVE Blender! I LOVE After Effects as well!!!...I have switched over to using Linux as my main OS...and really REALLY hate booting into Windows...only do it for AE!.....What I'd love to see is more controls for animation and compositing that AE has into Blender! So how about we all work on that :) Great shot by the way!!

  4. Konstanty---we're using After Effects because 1. it'd be a nightmare to composite and color correct using Blender. Not to say that it couldn't be done, but with over twenty VFX shots... we'd be doing this for months. And 2. the computer labs we are working in are using the Adobe suite, so the integration of AE, PS and PR is rather useful.

    djallalnamri--can you elaborate? Which glowing areas? The indentations or the eyes?

    ByronK--you are awesome. Thanks everyone for your comments!

  5. both indentations and eyes...
    well this is my personal perception:the glowing effect should be softened a little bit
    on the other hand...i find the eyes on the goliathe wip turntable vid very,very good...
    being a wip...i guess it should look better in the future...although i don't know what you as a producer are aiming at...
    those glowing areas...should normally have some "normal bump"...or definitely be" modelized"

  6. The thing you call "Color correction" is what makes your shots looking more cheaper, according to the result!

    But you have bigger problem than VFX, let's say: screenplay.

    Good luck anyway!

  7. "those glowing areas…should normally have some “normal bump”…or definitely be” modelized”"

    I agree. They look like you just assigned materials to individual faces. Use a UV map or something and make the lines less jagged. Or if you're going to leave them jagged, set them apart somehow from the rest of the body.

    Good Job.

  8. Sorry for my bad english.

    For me, the Hightlights are exaggerated.
    the final result is too much burned.

    The model of UFO is too simple... the animation too simple!

    bad textures for the models, bad materials, no bump, no displacement, Too much "toon style".

    Good the actors, no all the others.

    i'm sorry, i not like it.

  9. Hey guys. Thank you some for your comments. To others, please remember that this is one shot of this "11:56" length film. The color burn effect may look out of place for a single shot, but when put inside the whole film, it looks much better. If you want to see more, look at the trailer or the other shots on the vimeo page, and you can ge an idea of how it flows. Also, keep in mind that this is my first ever experimentation with color correction.

    Thanks for the feedback guys, I appreciate it. Criticism helps work be better. :-)


  10. The only thing I didnt like is the camera angle, the two actors are taking up probably 75% of the screen so the probe dosnt get much expose, and those fancy blue eyes are lost in the final composite.

  11. I think the color burn is a bit hot. If you're going for a dark or nighttime scene, you may want to experiment with either some gamma weight, or a combo of small amounts each of gamma weight and color burn.

    You may also try going the other way and first flattening with gamma and applying the same burn. Either way you'll have a little better control over the pseudo-shadow detail.

    The comp looks pretty good, but the foreground characters are obscuring the ship a bit much, although it may not be important if you have a cutaway to the ship itself to I.D. it first.

    Nice work overall.

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