View Full Version : Hatch fx

11-21-2005, 05:15 AM
I was looking at Hatch demo reel http://www.hatchfx.com/realistic_demo.php

and was wondering how for example they did this jungle shot (camera moving from top). It's matte or 3d? Are there any tools for making such nice looking woods or jungles. I know about www.gardenhose.com (http://www.gardenhose.com) but it's for painter and paint shop pro. Is there anything for photoshop?

11-22-2005, 01:50 PM
Hi guys, Alp sent me the link to this forum. I will try to answer as many questions as I can from now on. Lukx, you were asking a question about the jungle shot. Were you reffering to the pull out shot from "The Rundown" or the fly over shot from "River Queen". Both use similar techniques in the projection, but they are very different in the way I put the images together.
First off, after nearly 13 years of doing Digital Paintings I came to the conclusion that the way the so called (painting) was put together did not matter. I spent a lot of time in the beginning to do everything with the painting tools, making sure I was not using any photos or other elements. A 2D painting would usually take me 2 weeks to complete. Now I don't give a f... how I do it as long as I can finish it fast and that the shot looks great. So I will use a lot of photos. I will do a layout by hand for composition and spend a long time sorting photos that I took from various locations. Fiding matching photos is a lot of work, if you are not use to it ,you will find yourself working for hours trying to blend several photos for nothing. For "The Rundown" I had around a 100 digital pics of the jungle that I took from an helicopter. I used them for that shot, and it worked because from any angles the trees were all matching (species).
For "River Queen" the shot required a low backlight morning sun. Try to find photos that matches the angle, the terrain and the light at the same time. Almost impossible. So I decided to build my forest. I bought 10 huge packs of lichen at the train store, built the hills , put the lichen on it, shaped it. It took us an afternoon to do it with Mark. Light it , put some smoke.
It worked really well. I photographed the same hills at different angles and rotated it. For the bg I used different photos that I had from Switzerland and added a lot of haze. At the end , nothing matters but one thing, it has to look good on film. How You get there nobody cares. Nobody is gonna say " well is sucks, but at least he painted the entire thing by hand."
I think that the process of making digital paintings can become quite boring when you spend all your time using the same technique. That is why I am using more and more miniatures. It gives me the chance to be in the workshop and have fun.
I use camera projo on almost every moving shots. Even if it's a slight move. It just gives me this impression of depth that the painting lacks.
It's more something that you can feel than see.

hope it helped.



11-22-2005, 02:40 PM
:D Thank you Deak for your time and your answers.
What you said about putting everything together is so true.
For client how you did the job doesn't matter at all he just want to see nice final product. I would like to ask one more question regarding camera projection just to make sure I get it right.
I want to create fly over shot like "River Qeen" one.
- create simple terrain geometry in 3d package
- create camera in this scene looking from top and making this camera projection one
- create another moving camera
- taking rendered terrain geometry from projection camera (texture) into photoshop
and start creating mattepainting over 3d geom.
- assigning created in photoshop texture to 3d terrain in 3d package

Again thank you for your answers :D

11-22-2005, 03:44 PM
hi lukx, I work with Deak at Hatch so I think I can help you on this one.

The steps your taking are not exacly what you need to do. Projecting with your camera from top will produce the same result as making a normal texture projection( let say XZ). What you need to do is:

-first create your painting, you will have to think about the move you want to put on it as your creating the painting so you can create the different layer you will need to feel the perspective. Ex: Foreground, middleground and background.

-once you have a rough painting, then you go in the 3D package and you create a simple geometry that follows your painting. Think about how the painting will look in 3D. That way you can setup your camera accordingly so it makes sense in the 3D world, horizon at same place, lens etc..

-when you have the geometry that fits your painting then you do the camera projection. If you render the 3d scene at the frame you projected you should have as a result a 3d render that looks exacly like your painting. At that point your 3D model has no effect on the painting. it is when you move the camera that you will see the 3D. Let's use a simple push-in as an exemple. So first frame is your projection, everything looks all right, then you start pushing-in(moving the camera foward) it should work for a number of frames as long as your move is not too exagerated. As you push in you will see the streching in your projected painting. This is where you render that frame(let's say frame 50) with the bad streching and you bring it in photoshop to corect it.

-Usualy in photoshop I make sure to create another layer on top of the rendered frame(50) and then do my correction. A transparent layer will give you an alpha of all your corrections and this is what you want to project, only the correction, not the whole image. Also make sure that you don't go all the way to the side of the image cause you will end up with a straight line in your painting(edge of the projection) once you go back to frame 1.

-Once the corrections are done on Frame 50. you go back the 3D scene and you project your corrections.

You just keep doing this until your shot looks like you want... look at it in 3D, find the problematic area, render that frame, correct it and project your corections.

I hope this helps you.


11-22-2005, 04:25 PM
wow, I'm thrilled another Hatch artist in my post. Thank you Dominic.
Now I understand better whole process. Just one thing isn't too clear for me. (Sorry if I sound really noob) Projecting corrected pieces. Let's say that I projected onto geometry my matte, I'm moving with camera forward and bum I got stretching. I'm not sure how it works in Maya but in max I from one camera I can project only one image and I have no idea how I can then change my first matte to corrected one. I understand that when I have in foreground rocks and they hiding background I can project on backgorund my matte and on foreground, and when moving forward when rocks in front will unhide backgorund I can paint missing part and project only fixed matte on this object. But what if I got this stretching on sides o rocks? Or maybe when I see that there is something worng with matte on one of the objects when moving forward I should project separately only on this object this fixed part? Am I correct? So I'm starting my by projecting matte on main things as background, midleground, foreground then animating and if in some part I see something wrong I create another object for this piece and project on it only fixed image.

11-22-2005, 04:47 PM
Ok, if you can only project 1 image per camera, then duplicate your camera at the frame you want to project and use this new camera for your second projection.

For the corrections situation, you have to understand that the corrections you make are patches( that's why I was talking about using the alpha from your new layer in photoshop). You always leave your first projection as is, this is kind of your base and then you layer the corretions(patches) on top. So you have projection of frame 1 and then on top of it you project the corrections(again lets say frame 50). the corretions will act like a patch on top of the original painting, a patch that is made to correct only a certain area. If you project a whole new texture overall you will end up with frame 50 that works and if you go back to frame 1, it won't work.

If the corrections happen to be only on one object, good for you, your lucky :), but often you will end up with a patch that goes over a number of different objects. You just need to make sure you project your patch on all the object that the patch "touches".

does that help?

11-23-2005, 03:06 AM
Thank you Dominic :D . But I guess I need to learn more first of all about 3d package I'm using to figure out how to apply those patches because this part I still can't figure out. Time to paly with it.

11-23-2005, 07:42 AM
Some pretty impressive stuff from hatch. I still have the "puffy little clouds" tune stuck in my head from an older demo reel I viewed one time.

11-23-2005, 11:34 AM
okey I did it in max. But I required setting another projection camera for the angle where strething happens. I wonder how in Maya camera projection works that you can project more than one image per camera and how it knows how to apply patch if camera is still standing in fornt of the object and problematic area is on it's side.
If someone is interested how to make it in max here's how I did it:

create matte
import into max
create camera (it will be projo)
create geometry based on matte
create another camera (this one will be anim)
in material editor create standard material and in diffuse slot assign composite map
for first map choose camera map per pixel, there choose as camera your camera projo and as texture your matte
assign material to geometry
move your anim where you want and start seeing that something is wrong
duplicate anim cam at this problematic frame (projo cam 2)
render image
fix it in photoshop (all fixes as another layer)
create alpha for fixes.
in max for your geometry material in composite choose another map (2) and there assign camera per pixel (there select as camera your second camera projo and as texture take fixed matte and also tick MASK and there assign your alpha for this fixed matte)

repeat those steps for every other frame with problems.
just create another cameras and another map per pixel in composit material.

11-23-2005, 11:47 AM

Greetings from Kandersteg!

Iíve been waiting a very long time for you to join all of us here in the forum.

What a relief, I was wondering if you were ever going to sign on!

As expected, your responses to the questions are right on target. You and Dom should really think about making a tutorial DVD so others can benefit from your experience. I watched the new demo reel on www.hatchfx.com (http://www.hatchfx.com) and thought it was absolutely fantastic. Thanks to Dom as well for his comments, they were very insightful.

I will try to chat again after my vacation! Iím off of to England to relax for a few weeks where I hope to get a room that is not under new construction.



11-24-2005, 09:17 AM
So I was wondering about this patching technique. I work in C4D and wanted to plan an attempt out before trying it in there. I can see how this works when you get to frame 50 and fix and project the new patch over the original camera from the frame 50 position. Makes sense that that if the distortion looks almost acceptable at 50 then the new patch will look fine when rendered out at frame 1.

What happens if you do this again with another camera at 100? That might look great at from 100 and fine at 50 but way back at frame 1 the distortion would be pretty heavy right?

I have already started putting a simple camera map together to test this so I might be able to figure it out on my own. Just wanted to see if I was thinking about it correctly.

11-24-2005, 01:17 PM
this thread looks interesting, there was some posting on the hatch technoque, but it didnt go far, Im glad this one took off with a bunch of info/input. thx folks

11-24-2005, 05:06 PM
Thank you for this post. There is not much about camera projection even though it is widely used. When doing the test render to see when it starts to stretch how do you about doing the test renders. Simply by using low settings for quick renders? I imagine it might take a bit of time to work out, but is there a quick method of going about it?

thank you


11-24-2005, 11:22 PM
I think the only way to really see stretching problems is to render
the shot at full res. Rendering at half res (or anything less than
full res) sometimes won't reveal stretching, and sometimes it will
appear that areas are stretching when they really aren't.

One of the great advantages of doing projections is that they render
very fast, much quicker than any kind of procedural 3D would. So
full res test renders are not a problem in terms of rendering speed.


11-25-2005, 01:25 PM
Thank you rick, this is very helpful to know!
You mention that they render very vast. Is this becuase that one uses a surface shader and no lighting in the scene? Unless one is matching a 3d object with the projection. But that is something that you can render in layer passes i would think, and the render times for the projection would still be minimal? Am i wrong? Thank you for the input.


11-25-2005, 01:31 PM
A matte painting projection, by definition, replaces all other
elements in the CG scene (lighting, textures, reflection, bump, fog etc.).
When you turn all that off and render just the geometry with a
matte painting projected as a texture, it renders really fast.
You can render reflections, specular, fog/ depth etc. separately
and comp them over the shot, but the painting itself is a speedy
The only other thing you need to turn on with the painting pass is
motion blur, but even that doesn't slow things down too much.

12-01-2005, 09:23 PM
Hey Rick, hope you are doing well.
You are right about rendering at full res.
Before I go into several projection patches I render the shot with the first projection. Amazingly enough, most of the time the streching is so organic that I leave it and only focus on the obvious one.
I do that so I don't waste time covering areas that don't need patching.
Also, the ground is painted with the base for all vertical planes, so any vertical objects don't need blending to match the floor. I wish I could show this in pictures.