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3D Transitions in discreet combustion: part 2

COW Library : Autodesk Combustion Tutorials : Ben Munkres : 3D Transitions in discreet combustion: part 2
3D Transitions in discreet combustion: part 2
A CreativeCOW Combustion Tutorial

the 3d transition in combustion: Part Two


Download the completed .cws file and corresponding end result

For Part 1 go here.

Purpose:  To build a transition that helps to instruct the use of the 3d workspace, and how to put it to use in a production piece.

Goal:  To build a transition that will tie sections of a presentation video together.

Design Sketch:


History:

Our client has asked for a very dramatic transition between segments displaying a lot of technology, motion, and to draw interest via ‘pop’.  They wanted to play on some of the ‘old school’ ideas of what school was all about, the use of “projected looking” images, as if it were being projected from a 16mm projector.  They wanted the images to be footage of the classrooms and classes.

We suggested using a 3d environment and giving it a modern ‘grunge’ look, these ideas the client liked and were incorporated into our project.

So in Part 2 of this tutorial we are going to add our motion and text to clarify information and to bring the viewer into the environment.  We are going to further involve them by adding elements of movement to keep them interested.


Step 1: Adding the First Paint Layer


 

Open the previous file or open the file “completed 3dTransition.cws”

(Ctrl+Shift o)


So where do we put this Paint Layer (this is the first important piece of information, we are not talking about an operator we are talking about a LAYER (See fig 01)) we do not want it to reside inside the frame of our projected images, so we are going to add this Layer to the top-level composite.

So we need to select and highlight the top-level composite, then either right-click or select <Object> from the pull down menus, then select <New Layer>, this opens the create New dialog box, where under <Type> we are going to choose <Paint>, under <Name> enter “Text 01”, make sure that you have the NTSC D1 format selected, and our length set to 5 seconds, make certain that you select <Transparent> to turn it on.  Click OK.  See fig 02.

 

 

This has added a Paint Layer to our top-level composite, and has focused our viewport icon to the operator level (See fig 03).

                               


 

Step 2: Setting up our Text


Now that we have applied our Paint Layer we are going to add the text, and other elements to give our transition more interesting movement.  So first, in our Paint Controls (f8) we go to the Text panel (second from the bottom) and in our Text Editor we are going to type “Teaching”, in the middle of the Basics panel under <Font> we are going to choose <Arial>, under <Style> choose <Bold>.  To the right we are going to set our font at 72 pt, and select <Small Caps>, which by default are set to 80%.  See fig 04.

Now switching to the Attributes panel we are going to adjust our color- set the <Face> value to RGB 100, 80, 0.  Now under <Outline> we are going to set the RGB to 100, 80, 20 (this actually darkens the outline a little giving our text more ‘pop’).  Set softness to 20 to give a glow effect to the text, and to give it more density set <Size> to 2.  Your text should appear as in fig 05.

So now making sure that you have the text element selected (highlighted in yellow) switch over to the Transform panel.  Set the X and Y to position it in space and give it room to move some.  Set X to 470.00 and Y to 165.00.

That sets the text, next we will add some streaks, and set up some animation on the layer.

 

Step 3: Streaks, and Rough Animation

First we are going to set up the color of the streaks, and then draw them out.  So in your Workspace tab (f3) select the Paint operator, and under the Modes panel choose <Gradient>, then click on the color swatch to the right.  You are now looking at the Gradient control panel, going to the Swatches tab, select the fourth color in on the second row (sort of a mustard yellow).  Then in the opacity ramp (the bottom of the two) click three different spots to create three tags, sliding one to each end.  Double-click on the first end tag, in the Enter Opacity calculator enter “0” and click <OK>, do the same for the other end.  So now we are ready to create our streaks.

Going to the Toolbar tab (f2), select the line tool , then choose a decent brush width and click, holding down the ‘shift’ key drag out a line horizontally across the screen, approximately half the width of the screen. See fig 06.



Later to create multiple streaks we will just duplicate this one, however we are going to animate it first.  Select the line object on the Workspace tab (f3), in the Gradient panel move the middle gradient tab to the right so that it is positioned at about the 2/3 or 3/4 point in the ramp.  See fig 07.

Then in the viewport move the line (streak) you just created off the viewport to the left.  This is the starting point for the line.  Then select <Animate> or press ‘a’ on your keyboard.  Move your time slider to frame 45 (time code [tc] 00;00;01;15) by moving it manually, or by clicking in the Current Frame indicator and dragging to the right.  Then go to your Translate panel and in the X value click and drag the value (click in the X value box, and holding down drag to the right in this case) until the line is off the frame to the right side.  Select the text object on the Workspace tab (f3) and go to frame 135 (tc 00;00;04;15) in the Translate panel move the text to an X value of 360.00 then pressing the ‘End’ key on your keyboard, or the Go To End button  move the text to an X value of 865.00 (this moves it completely off the frame).  Deselect <Animate> or press ‘a’ again on your keyboard.  This completes the rough animation for our paint layer.


 

Step 4: Refining the Animation

The animation that we created in the previous step is still at an unrefined state and to get everything to move the way it should we are going to need to add some animation to the line’s opacity, as well as the text’s opacity.  We will need to fix a problem that exists with the type of keys that we created on the movement of the streak.

So lets look at the keys we generated, we do this by going to the Timeline tab (f4) and by default we are looking at the Overview panel, switch to the Graph panel, and select the line object in the Workspace tab.  See fig 08.

Select the two keys in relation to the line’s X value by selecting one and then holding down the ‘Shift’ key select the other.  Now on the far right-hand side of the Timeline tab Overview panel select <Bezier> and change it to <Linear>.  This will make the movement of the streak constant from one key to the other.  Now we need to animate the streak’s opacity, which we are going to do inside the Timeline tab panel.  Scroll down the list of attributes to the <Opacity> and select it, drag to the left until it reads “0”.  Turn on <Animate>.  At this point add a key at frame 10 by sliding your Time Slider to frame 10, then clicking the <Add Key> button.  Move your time to frame 15, or when the opaque portion of your line is halfway into the frame click and drag <Opacity> until it reaches 100 in value.  Then set your time to frame 26, or when the opaque portion of your line is 2 to 3 frames from the edge of the frame then select the <Add Key> button.  Last of all for the opacity move the time to frame 31 (tc 00;00;01;01), then click and drag the value of <Opacity> back to “0”.  See fig 09.

So now we need to add two keys to the text using the same method.  Set a key for the text 100% opacity at frame 135 (tc 00;00;04;15), then at frame 145 (tc 00;00;04;25) set the opacity at 0%.  Deselect <Animate>.  Cache the timeline to see the result.

 

Step 5: Duplicate the Streak


.

Now that we have completed the detail adjustments of our animation we just need to duplicate the line object.  Then work within the Timeline to adjust the Y position and the times that the streaks appear.

Select the line object in the Workspace tab (f3) and right-click on it, select <Copy> or use ‘Ctrl’ c, then select the Paint operator (See fig 10) and right-click, then select paste, or use ‘Ctrl’ v.  Repeat the paste until you have about six line objects.


We must now reposition these in their Y coordinates so that they appear in different placement.  To do this we need to go to the Paint Controls tab (f8), then repositioning our time slider to frame 20 we are able to watch the placement of the streaks over the surface of the frame.  Selecting each of the new line objects in turn, clicking in the Y value box, and repositioning each one.  See fig 11.


Now go to the Timeline tab (f4) and switch it back to the Overview panel (See fig 08).  In the Overview panel you should see the bars representing the lifespan of the streaks, so all we need to do now is reposition these to complete the sought after effect.  Just select the time bar and slide it along the timeline to the desired position.  See fig 12 to see how mine came out.



This completes the content of the Paint Layer!

 

Step 6: Duplicate and Reposition the Layer


Now all we are going to do is duplicate it twice, change the text on each of them, reposition the timing of the streaks on each.  Then reposition the layers.

We must now return to the top-level composite by double-clicking on the it in the Workspace tab (f3), this repositions the viewport icon, and directs our focus back to the top-level.  Selecting the Paint Layer and using copy/paste or duplicate, create two copies of this layer and rename them “Text 02” and “Text 03”.  See fig 13.  Then going into each of the layers text element, in the Paint Controls tab (f8) Change the text for layer “Text 02” to “Learning”, and on layer “Text 03” change it to “Technology”.  Then for each of the line objects change their positions on the Timeline tab (f4) so that all three layers have different timing.

Now reposition the layers to the following positions:

Select “Text 03” then go to the Transform panel and reposition this element as follows:

Position

 

Rotation

 

Scale

 

X

-150.00

X

0.00

X

115.00

Y

-190.00

Y

0.00

Y

115.00

Z

15.00

Z

0.00

Z

115.00

Select “Text 02” and reposition as follows:

Position

 

Rotation

 

Scale

 

X

300.00

X

0.00

X

115.00

Y

75.00

Y

0.00

Y

115.00

Z

175.00

Z

0.00

Z

115.00

Select “Text 01” and reposition as follows:

Position

 

Rotation

 

Scale

 

X

-190.00

X

0.00

X

115.00

Y

190.00

Y

0.00

Y

115.00

Z

255.00

Z

0.00

Z

115.00



See fig 14 for the result.


Step 7: Clean up and Render


There are a couple of things that we should attend to now before we complete this piece.  We should sample the last 15 frames and look for issues in placement and timing as our camera does its zoom in.  Finally we need to adjust the flicker so that all three aren’t all on the same timing.

So cache the final 15 frames, and if there needs to be an adjustment you will know!  If the camera flies through a streak object or text object either reposition the object or the camera (be careful repositioning the camera because it can have an effect on relationships with other elements).

Last of all we need to go into each sub-composite, double-clicking on the “flicker” element in each one, and adjust the “flicker” frames by 1 or 2 frames for each sub-composite.  See fig 15.



After you have completed these steps, then render out to your favorite format, and view your result!!


 

In Closing


I just wanted to close this tutorial with a tie back to the project it came from.  In this tutorial we built everything short for this type of transition, you need to have ample lead in frames and ample end frames so that an editor can make use of it.  So if you were going to use this kind of piece in real work, you would probably want 7-10 seconds or so, depending upon your editor.  This tutorial is fully intended to broaden your skills, helping you succeed in new ways with combustion.

A special thank you to Discreet for the great product that has such a wealth of tool history, and depth.

 

Copyright © 2003,2004 Ben Munkres. Reprinted by permission.

Ben Munkres

Discreet combustion Training Specialist

benm@bmunkres.com

www.bmunkres.com


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