sonosublime Mar 22 @ 9:00pm
Creating new animation sets in the middle of a shot
Hi all,

For my scene, I plan to have a character pull out a gun. Before this, the gun would not be visible. The only way I can think of doing this is by blading the shot at the appropriate time, and then creating an animation set for the gun in the new shot. But is there another way to do this?
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R234 Mar 22 @ 9:07pm 
Yep, have the gun be off-screen at the beginning of the shot, then "teleport" to the character's hand at the appropriate time.
phillippi2 Mar 22 @ 9:20pm 
There's a scene in HL2 episode 1 where you meet up with Barney and he gives you the crowbar. If you listen to the dev commentary, they say there's actually 3 crowbars in the scene. One stuck in the draw-bridge, another which Barney had actually been held onto the entire time but invisible until the first one gets removed from the draw-bridge, and the third, which is the model that you pick up off the ground.

Since source is capable of doing that, isn't it possible in SFM, or do you need to set the animation up in face poser, first?
R234 Mar 22 @ 10:05pm 
It's entirely possible, but it's a lot more complicated than simply moving it off-screen, and for no extra benefit. So there's no point.
sonosublime Mar 22 @ 10:14pm 
That said, wouldn't there also be no point moving it off-screen, since it can't be seen anyway? Plus keeping an animation set for something off screen would also be suboptimal in terms of file size.
The other way is to alpha the gun's material. At the appropriate time, you dial out the alpha (which can be done i a single frame.) But to create a prop half way through a shot? Not that I know of. It either toss it in from the side lines, kill the alpha on an invisible material, or like you say, blade the shot and add the prop.
R234 Mar 22 @ 10:43pm 
...Which are all more inconvenient ways than simply moving the item off-screen. And there's an extra problem with using alpha, too: models made invisible this way still cast shadows. And shot changes without a camera angle change causes artifacts in volumetric lights.
sonosublime Mar 22 @ 11:07pm 
Originally posted by R234:
And shot changes without a camera angle change causes artifacts in volumetric lights.

What does this mean exactly?

A question I have about blading shots is that the current shot gets copied. Does this cause the file to swell in size, even though most of the second copied shot is not actually used in the film?
R234 Mar 22 @ 11:40pm 
Originally posted by sonosublime:
What does this mean exactly?
Volumetric lights don't disappear instantly, even on a shot change, so if you have a volumetric light in the same position in two subsequent shots, the one from the first shot will still be faintly visible at the beginning of the second shot for a split scond. This causes such lights to "flicker" on shot changes. Not really noticeable, unless the camera is in the same position in both shots.

Originally posted by sonosublime:
A question I have about blading shots is that the current shot gets copied. Does this cause the file to swell in size, even though most of the second copied shot is not actually used in the film?
Yep, it does increase the filesize. A shot's length isn't what affects its weight most, it's the amount of elements in it, and these elements' animation samples (which can and will extend past the shot's in and out points).

Seriously, just move the object off-screen. Remember KISS: Keep It Stupid Simple. The simplest solutions are often the best ;P
sonosublime Mar 23 @ 12:36am 
Okay, thanks, I'll probably do it that way.

What I've generally been doing is making one long continuous scene with all the actions of characters, etc, and then afterward I blade the shot into lots of smaller shots to change the camera angles. But, from what you've told me, this would cause huge file sizes.

Do you have any tips for alternate methods?
R234 Mar 23 @ 8:59am 
Originally posted by sonosublime:
Okay, thanks, I'll probably do it that way.

What I've generally been doing is making one long continuous scene with all the actions of characters, etc, and then afterward I blade the shot into lots of smaller shots to change the camera angles. But, from what you've told me, this would cause huge file sizes.

Do you have any tips for alternate methods?
Well, the way you do it is actually how Bay Raitt recommends going about it, for organization's sake. I personally wouldn't worry too much about filesize, projects don't generally take a lot of space anyway, at least compared to the exported video, or the assets used to create the vid (audio in particular).

If you're curious how I do it though, I usually do one shot at a time in a very linear fashion. I make a shot, then work on it until I feel there should be a camera change, then make another one, copy previous animation sets over if necessary, rinse and repeat. I rarely go back to a previous shot, except to fix a mistake or something minor. This is a very messy process, but that's how I always work, I just can't do it otherwise. Most if not all professionals would tell you I'm doing it wrong, but I work alone so I can do whatever I want, right? It is prone to causing continuity errors though, so I gotta be very careful.

I suppose this has the added benefit of keeping project filesize to a minimum, though. Rise of The Epic Scout is in four separate project files, which weigh 27.6Mb, 108Kb, 42.7Mb and 382Kb respectively, for a total of about 70.8Mb. The custom materials and sounds used for it (so not counting the stock TF2 asstes, which comprise the vast majority of the video's assets) weigh about 183Mb. The exported image sequence was over 8Gb, and the final compressed video file is 246Mb.

Meet the Rabid Heavy Taming Engineer is a single 57Mb project file with over 94Mb of custom assets and the final video weighs 170Mb. Can't remember the size of the image sequence though, I always delete those once I'm certain the video is finished and functional 'cause they're pretty big.
Psi Mar 23 @ 10:01am 
Originally posted by R234:
Volumetric lights don't disappear instantly, even on a shot change, so if you have a volumetric light in the same position in two subsequent shots, the one from the first shot will still be faintly visible at the beginning of the second shot for a split scond. This causes such lights to "flicker" on shot changes. Not really noticeable, unless the camera is in the same position in both shots.

I'm seeing this problem pretty severely in my current project even though i am having the camera angle change. It's really annoying. Only thing i've been able to do to get rid of it is to make the volumetric light turn off at the last frame before the initial shot ends but im not gonna be able to do that every where.
R234 Mar 23 @ 10:08am 
Originally posted by Psi:
Originally posted by R234:
Volumetric lights don't disappear instantly, even on a shot change, so if you have a volumetric light in the same position in two subsequent shots, the one from the first shot will still be faintly visible at the beginning of the second shot for a split scond. This causes such lights to "flicker" on shot changes. Not really noticeable, unless the camera is in the same position in both shots.

I'm seeing this problem pretty severely in my current project even though i am having the camera angle change. It's really annoying. Only thing i've been able to do to get rid of it is to make the volumetric light turn off at the last frame before the initial shot ends but im not gonna be able to do that every where.
Higher amounts of DoF and motion blur samples make the flicker less pronounced, but yeah, it's always there, and it can be annoying.
Psi Mar 23 @ 11:35am 
Originally posted by R234:
Originally posted by Psi:

I'm seeing this problem pretty severely in my current project even though i am having the camera angle change. It's really annoying. Only thing i've been able to do to get rid of it is to make the volumetric light turn off at the last frame before the initial shot ends but im not gonna be able to do that every where.
Higher amounts of DoF and motion blur samples make the flicker less pronounced, but yeah, it's always there, and it can be annoying.

oh snap, thanks for the tip. i havn't set any of the fancy camera stuff yet so hopefully that will help.

the reason i'm seeing the problem so much is because i'm using volumetric lighting to build part of the rocket fire effect for Iron Man's hands and feet propulsion repulsors..
sonosublime Mar 23 @ 7:40pm 
Originally posted by R234:
Well, the way you do it is actually how Bay Raitt recommends going about it, for organization's sake. I personally wouldn't worry too much about filesize, projects don't generally take a lot of space anyway, at least compared to the exported video, or the assets used to create the vid (audio in particular).

Ok, I'll probably keep doing it that way then. If all else fails and the exported movies are too large, I suppose I can always export them in separate parts and then stitch them together in Windows Movie Maker.

I suppose this has the added benefit of keeping project filesize to a minimum, though. Rise of The Epic Scout is in four separate project files, which weigh 27.6Mb, 108Kb, 42.7Mb and 382Kb respectively, for a total of about 70.8Mb. The custom materials and sounds used for it (so not counting the stock TF2 asstes, which comprise the vast majority of the video's assets) weigh about 183Mb. The exported image sequence was over 8Gb, and the final compressed video file is 246Mb.

I just watched Epic Scout, and holy crap, that was epic XD

Is there any particular reason you separated the project into 4 separate files?

My current project is a single 137 MB file, and I'm getting a little worried about size. Of course, the actual movie will not be too big after I compress it in Movie Maker, but still...
R234 Mar 23 @ 8:29pm 
Originally posted by sonosublime:
I just watched Epic Scout, and holy crap, that was epic XD

Is there any particular reason you separated the project into 4 separate files?
Thanks :)

The main reason I broke it up in a few project files is because I was using an older computer back then, and as the project became bigger the memory footprint was nearing the 2Gb limit for a 32-bit OS. So once I reached the part where the Scout "dies", I figured it would be best to do the rest in another .dmx. Plus, I thought if I ended up borking the file, I wouldn't lose as much progress.

Project file number two is the Scottish Handshake and Bonk hallucinogenic sequence. It takes place in another map (dark_void), so it was simpler to make it separate from the rest. Project file number three is everything after that until the SFM logo. Project file number four is the brick joke epilogue with the RED Scout.
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Date Posted: Mar 22 @ 9:00pm
Posts: 19