Category Archives: Visual Tests

Visual Tests

Each test is accompanied by the main tutorial I accessed for each test. Other tutorials used to help me in creating these tests included work on garbage mattes, replacing footage on a layer, green screening (especially linda.com), looping pre-comps (still to be resolved), explosions, brain cell animation, shadow effect, raster to vector conversion, and audio manipulation (Audacity was used to edit sound).

RAIN

This is the rain for the opening scene. I wanted a fairly heavy fall to help emphasise the character’s mood. It is a visual trope in films that if the weather turns cold and wet and there’s rain on the window or the character is caught out in a shower, things are usually turning gloomy. It has become a cliche but viewers are attuned to its message and it is a simple shorthand way of communicating mood. Starting VFX work with this effect was encouraging as it is a relatively simple operation which gave me confidence to get into the more complicated effects.
Test:
This visual test can be seen in the animatic in the ‘Animatic’ post.

Tutorial

Process
I followed this tutorial and used CC Rain.
I increased the amount of rain by adjusting the number and size of the drops as well as their opacity. To slant the drops slightly across the screen, I increased the wind to ‘150’.

ELECTRIC PORTAL

I may use this as he passes into his brain or as part of the electricity shooting around in there. An update here: I have found it works well on low opacity as part of the background inside the brain. The challenge will be to get the balance right in terms of its opacity so that it suggests rather than overwhelms. The brain will need to be busy in terms of action to reflect the character’s state of mind but not so busy that the focus of the sequence is lost.
TEST:

Tutorial

Process
Working off this tutorial, I used Fractal Noise to create the base material and then placed ellipse masks on a layer over the base material; added Turbulent Displace (with an expression); placed an adjustment layer on top and used Fast Blur, Vector Blur and Color Balance to give the portal its final touches.

TALKING MOUTHS

These are the mouths that represent the voices of his intrusive thoughts. I will loop the movement for the project once I learn how to. The question here will be how fast the mouths move – fast enough to represent a demanding tone but not so fast the action is blurred. The other consideration will be the face colour. They were originally coloured to blend into the bland sky I had for the previous streetscape version but I will need to run trials with different colours now that they sit inside his mind.
TEST:

Tutorial

Process
Working from this tutorial, I duplicated each face onto a new layer and, using the pen tool, masked out the mouth/jaw area on the top layer. Then I placed a black solid layer below this layer and resized the solid to only be seen when the jaw dropped as I adjusted its position. I will be setting the composition on a loop for the assessment project.

SPRAY

This is the spray that he pumps out of the umbrella tip. Following feedback I will have him spin to the front as he sprays. The colour of the spray and the opacity has been chosen to give the impression of a rather poisonous light green/yellow. Once the effect is in place I will need to look as to whether I should heighten the colour and brightness to increase its dominance of that moment.
TEST:

Tutorial

Process
Working from this tutorial, I created a black solid which I then manipulated using Particle Playground and Gaussian Blur to create the initial spray that will issue from the umbrella tip. I then added a second black solid layer on top and used CC Particle World to create the beginnings of the widespread spray and a third layer using CC Particle World to create the spray that spreads across the screen. I changed the birth and death colours to variations of yellow/green

EMOJI RAIN

TEST:
This is the emoji rain that falls inside his brain representing binary thinking (like/dislike). Following feedback, this is a new test with two emojis falling first as a teaser. I like the change, it gives a cheeky feeling to the opening as though they are two younger and disobedient emojis who couldn’t wait for the order to begin and are having a good time in doing so. Will test once the rain is in place whether to increase brightness and hue to heighten the rain’s presence or keep it at the set levels to ensure it does not feel too cartoonish rather than a problem to the character.

Tutorial

Process
Working from this tutorial I used CC Particle World, altered the Particle Type to Textured Square and the Texture Layer to the emoji image. To have the images accumulate at the bottom of the screen I selected Floor Action to Bounce. I then adjusted Hue/Saturation to pull back on the brightness (not sure whether to do this or have them all at full brightness) and repeated the exercise on a new layer to create a second fall.

SHATTER EMOJI

This is the test of the result of him shooting the last and ever-expanding emoji that appears after the rain of emojis. I will consider whether this emoji requires shadowing to give it body and a more rounded appearance or whether all emojis are 2D and should have no rounded body shape. However I increased the dimensions of the shatter pieces to give the suggestion of an inner body and I think it adds to the shatter effect.
TEST:

Tutorial

Process
Working from this tutorial, I placed the image on a layer and applied the Shatter Effect. I then used the following settings: Pattern-Glass; Repetitions 40 to increase the number of pieces; increased the Extrusion Depth to .40 to give the pieces added thickness; altered Gravity to 1.00 and Viscosity to 0.4 to give a better fall. I then placed a sourced file of an explosion on the bottom layer and used Brightness & Contrast and Gamma/Pedestal/Gain to lighten and heighten the explosion effect.

Explosion source
This is the explosion clip sourced from videezy.com. I chose this one as having a nice full-bodied and rounded shape emanating from the centre.

http://www.videezy.com/elements-and-effects/614-explosion