Friday, February 1, 2008

Land of the Giants

Got an email request from Mr W. -Hi, I'm trying to create a scene in Antics V3 where a giant is chasing normal sized people. Do you know if there is a way to scale up my giant so he looks much taller in than everyone else?
There is a trick with this that might work, it's borrowed from one of the lord of the rings effects. The hobbit on the cart with gandalf was achieved 'in camera'. That is, the smaller hobbit and the larger wizard were in fact two full size adults sitting on the same rig. The principle is simple, objects closer to camera appear bigger.
Now, because Antics has not got a depth of field (that is there is no focus) the objects further from camera appear smaller than those up close without focus giving it away. In this way you can have characters running away from a giant by positioning the characters at different distance from camera. It's a limited approach though. The idea is also helped by scaling prop items in the background and foreground so that the characters appear a set size. It really works for a side shot. In theory you could force this perspective from a top shot also, like from the giants' pov. Just use transparent floor textures on the giants floor, lower the little people's room untile the are, well, little! (further from camera) I think scaling buildings down when showing the size of the giant would help a lot, also run the slow the movements down slightly to give the giant weight. Have fun, and let me know how you get on.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Swap geometry

It's possible,even usefull, to be able to swap out the geometry on the timeline. The best example is if you want to have a character to change as a result of say, a blast from a strange transformation wand (ala hpotter style). Or, perhaps like in my example, you may want the characters to cycle through during a handshake. The key is to load a new geometry in the properties tab (select object, right click properties, then select the geometry of a prior loaded character.) Most will allow a swap out, but not all. Also you may find some weird eyeball repositioning.
This also works on props, so next time you want a burger to turn into a lemon, just do it in the timeline!
BTW to get the camera to do the move in the sample clip, get a sphere to travel along a path strung between the characters, then have your freecam follow a curved path that sweeps around the talent. Now if you get the freecamera to target the sphere at the start of the timeline, you'll have some great control over when the camera moves and also when it pans!