Basic Nuke Multi Projection Setup for Matte Painting

LEVEL: BASIC

This is a basic multi projection matte painting setup for Nuke. There are 4 projections that make up this animated camera move of this column. I added a animated spec pass for some moving shine just for fun.

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Basic Maya Multi Projection Setup for Matte Painting

LEVEL: BASIC

There have been a lot of requests for a tutorial of a basic Maya multi projection setup for matte painting. This is not a glamorous example of projections but I was going for simple and clear in order to teach the setup. I put this setup together a while ago and you can see a little of my frustration coming out with the way Maya does projections. The biggest problem with Maya projections is the complexity of the set up and Maya not giving good feedback if something is set up wrong. A lot of times if something is broken Maya does not give any ques of what is wrong--I guess that describes how Maya works in a lot of ways (arg!).

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Overtime in the VFX Industry

LEVEL: BASIC

Every show that I have worked on has had overtime--it is a reality of VFX post production. Working 80 hours a week for over a month or two is typical. I have done a 120 hour week one time--boy that was crazy.

This is how the overtime typically works. Early in a production there will be no overtime. When things start picking up they will usually tell you that you can work up to a certain amount of hours, like 60 or something, but they leave it up to you. Then the 60 will be mandatory, then 70, then 80 and so on. You will go to a 6 day work week (working Saturdays) and then if things are really crazy you will go to a full 7 day work week. However, I have only worked a couple of Sundays, preferring to get my time in throughout the week.

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Location Shooting 4: Camera Equipment

LEVEL: BASIC

I own a basic SLR Cannon Rebel. It takes 4k images which is probably the minimum you need. I have a zoom lens that goes from 18 mm to 250 mm. I like the versatility of of being able to shoot wide and then be able to zoom into something really tight. There are some compromises to a long lenses like needing longer exposure times but I think it is worth it. A Tripod is nice, one that you can fit on your back for hiking around is great. I mostly would use a tripod for low light photography or sky domes. Like I said I am kind of wanting a more souped-up camera—those canons that can shoot video look very cool.

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Location Shooting 3: Reflector Vest

LEVEL: BASIC

Ok, this is kind of a kooky one but I think is a great tip. It came to me when I was on a night shoot with Chris Evens. We had a tripod and people were looking at us wondering what we were doing. After a while, because we where shooting in the road, Chris put on a reflector vest so that the cars would not hit him. He chuckled as he put it on but I actually thought it was quite sensible. What happened after that was amazing. People actually stopped looking at us. It was like we were invisible. Somehow the reflector vest changed us into some kind of “official survey team” and no one payed any attention to us. We just dropped into the background.

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Location Shooting 2: The Way You Shoot

LEVEL: BASIC

You kind of have to go through the process of shooting and putting them in matte paintings over and over to get a sense of the kind of shooting that is good for matte painting. There are several different styles of shooting, most of which are not good for matte painting: the typical VFX team on location shooting (not sure why but always bad), texture artist shooting, vacationer shooting, professional photographer shooting, etc.

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Location Shooting 1: The Power of Transparencies

LEVEL: BASIC

[dropcap cap="L"]ocation shooting is great--gets you out in the open and away from squinting at that computer all day. I think it gives balance and verity to the job. It’s kind of funny to say but I am able to engage more in the world with a camera in my hand.

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I put some ideas together about location photography for matte painters. Some ideas would be considered “basic”. Others, I think, are cool tips industry people might be interested in. This was getting to be kind of a long post so I am breaking it up into sections. Here is the first of four tips so far.

 

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