Has you know the viewer starts to read the image from left to right, top to bottom, and finally rest at the focal point.
Given that, I would make the shot longer, maybe even double it's time. Have the trucks moving when the shot starts, 4 seconds later the birds fly away, 3 seconds later the plane flies above taking it the remainder time to leave in the horizon.
The trucks are good they push the viewer into the focal point. Birds are also good, because they do the same.
The plane in my opinion is too low and too fast. In my humble opinion I would make it more real. Even in WWII times, pilots would not be performing stunts on a daily basis. I am a commercial helicopter pilot myself, and when flying we usually fly straight and at the same altitude. It's about going from A to B with less expenses and safely.
Fixed wing pilots follow the same rules.
If you make the aircraft perform something different than straight flight, you will actually make the shot about the pilot instead of an establishing shot.
If your intention is just the scenario, nothing can perform on screen. Everything has to be natural.
For instance, lets pretend someone was arriving to the buildings in a truck. You would slow and stop the truck. I would expect the next shot to be around the truck.
If it's about the pilot of the aircraft, the viewer expects to see the aircraft perform, even if in straight flight, just a simple sun reflection on the wing would give clue to the viewer to expect something else from the airplane.
If you were making a shot about the ducks, perhaps from 5, 4 would fly first, then 1 second later the remaining one would follow, and again the viewers would understand that last duck is different.
Gladly, with digital images we can build everything we want to convey to our audiences.
I am looking forward to see where this shot takes you Jeremy. Either route you take, I am sure it will look great, because it already does!
Some great advice about visual storytelling there, great stuff Ricardo!
The shot is already looking pretty cool, and its always good to see people who are able to cross disciplines to produce a full shot rather than just an individual painting. Looking forward to seeing your progress!
Digital Matte Painter // Forum Moderator
Last edited by nickmarshallvfx; 02-21-2012 at 01:54 AM..
(not certain the camera will move to this extreme in the final shot.) ((and some crazy stepping going on))
Looking forward to fixing this up. Corrections are needed on the buildings, river should be painted from a top down view, bridge extended (show the other river bank), add more buildings to fill the gaps.
I rendered the test with Maya Software because for some reason my mental ray batch kicks out frames that look like this:
When I opened this in photoshop, I got the message: "The document does not have an embedded RGB profile."
I must have broken something. It almost looks like some color management conversion in Maya. I'll reset my mental ray settings when I figure out where that txt document lives.
I agree Nick. Ricardo, your advice is awesome! Feels like a layer has been peeled from my eyes. Thank you so much for your detailed explanations!
Update: I get the same error in maya 2010. So it travels with the file.
Last edited by Jeremy Schichtel; 02-21-2012 at 12:14 PM..
You should consider removing the large trees from the matte, and add them back as vue animations. They do not need to be rendered in vue with HD, which means you can do it in your household computer without any big fuss.
If you do not have Vue, let it be known that if you download the trial version, and if you use the external render engine, it will not show watermarks :)
To be honest Vue, is one of those softwares that should be free, it's so damn needy of a powerful renderfarm that no one of us "poor vfx" guys in training would even think of stealing it and use commercially :)
Thanks guys. Your encouragement and suggestions are fueling this matte!
I'll investigate render those trees in vue. I keep forgetting to project the two bare trees that you can see on the first post in this thread. I think those would benefit from being 3D.
Also the big bushes on the far river bank would feel better having some volume. I think that could easily be done with poly cutouts.