Since the last post we have completed our projected and were very satisfied with our results. As you saw in the previous post we started with finding our space in langford A stairwell. When looking for our space we really wanted to find somewhere that not only would be a great place to try projection mapping techniques but also would be able to support a strong narrative and make the audience feel as though they were immersed in the performance. As I said in the last post, we really wanted the audience to feel as though they were in a Disney ride, so really having a strong narrative and good concept for how we would execute the performance was important to us.
Here’e the final video:
We started by having Owen write a script and then we went on to filming ourselves for the silhouette sequence of the project. None of us had ever experimented with filming on a green screen trying to create silhouettes so it was a real learning experience, especially when after reviewing all our film we saw that we needed to reshoot to get the results we wanted. Before our second time shooting on the green screen we made sure to go record our script in the sound booth so that when we shot our second green screen video we would be able to get all our timing right. Here are some photos from the green screen process:
After we got our live action footage we worked in after effects to get the style we wanted our live action footage to appear like. We went for an itunes add type of style and as you will see in the final video I feel like we really got it.
We began to start working in After Effects and other Adobe products to start getting the walls texture and background spray paintings set up. We would work in Illustrator and Photoshop to make the texture and then import them into After effects. After multiple testings at night to make sure that the video was matching the space we began to work on the more technical portions of the project. Owen began using after effects to animate the spray paint that we paint onto the wall during the live action sequence. Using Maya Oscar created and animated the monster that would break through the wall and go on his rampage. Also im Maya we experimented with the wall shatter effect. After putting them together we created a short test video:
Heres progression of the monster from concept to final render:
Along with using Maya to create the monster we first tried creating the wall destruction in Maya. After trying to manually break the wall piece by piece and getting results that were not up to par with what we envisioned so we tried looking for multiple plugins. After much trial and error we decided to try using After Effects to break the wall. Looking at some tutorials and tweaking them for out own use, we came close to the final result we wanted. After adding some little effects like dust falling and atmospheric dust clouds we were more than happy with the final result.
Once we had all the video compiled and rendered we began to work in VPT. Using what we learned in our exercise at the beginning of this process we were able to map the video to the space pretty easily. Learning how to output the sound with the video was a little bit of a challenge though. Using the soundoutput tab in VPT and tweaking a couple things in the sources tab I was able to get the sound to play through with the video. Another problem on top of the sound was finding a way to start all the videos at the same time from the beginning. After looking at some forums online I found a way to create a start preset that would allow me to just click it and it would start all the videos how we wanted them to.
Here are some screen shots from VPT:
Once we VPT working how we wanted we moved to our space to map it to the wall. We found that it was difficult to get the results we wanted as far as quality on a couple videos due to the position of the projector. With limitations created by the space we had to angle the projector towards the middle of the projected space instead of actually having the projector directly in the middle of where we wanted to project. With more time and money we would try to create some sort of scaffold system that would allow us to place the projector in the middle of the space.
Our final touch to everything was creating a fun environment when we actually presented the project. We made sure to wear all black like in our video and ushered in everyone as though we were going to go spray the wall. As they entered we gave them empty spray cans to “spray” the monster with when we needed their help later in the video. I think this added immensely to the actual presentation because it gave the audience a feeling of being immersed in the environment in more than just a visual way.Heres some shots during the presentation:
Through the whole process we tried to keep true to our theme and keep an almost ominous, unknown, and adventurous mindset. We were never too sure if we were actually suppose to be messing around in the stairwell we were in the whole time. Every time we would go into the space to test our video it would be late at night and we probably looked like we were up to no good to anyone who saw us. This project really helped me to learn the importance of setting up a strong narrative and concept before starting on anything in Maya or After Effects. I think the reason our execution went so well is because we had a strong vision before we started. Along with this I learned how to operate VPT and learned new things in Maya, After Effects and some videography techniques.
Owen: After Effects Master, Sound Bandit, Actor, all around great guy
Oscar: Maya Monster Pro, Destroyer of walls, Actor, Legend
Mike: VPT Specialist, Beta tester, Actor, stunt coordinator