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Defocus on the fringe

Posted by Marius Oberholster on Thursday, June 22, 2017 Under: WIP
Hey all!

Today's vlog!


GOD is so wonderful!

 - Question the medium: 3D
Simon from DSLR Guide said something a few weeks ago about the whole VR camera and medium, and it was: "Question the medium". What that means is that the medium has to add something to the story, or it's not useful in the first place.
   Before watching that video, I felt that way, but didn't quite know how to define it until watching his video (GOD is so good - always provides the answers!). So my goal was to have 3D actually add to the story, otherwise it's not worth doing. Gimmicky stuff is cool, but it has lost it's newness in 3D already. There is still a place for something to just look really cool, but honestly, in this case, I want the medium to work with me, not against me.
   So, how can depth information play a part in something like Exodus? Well, there are a few things:

 - Disorientation
   This one is one I am certainly not fond of. Basically you can invert the depth information to create a sense of surrealism, but this usually only works in situations where you have clean frames, so the indentations and other information is clear enough. Not to mention that it may confuse people to the point where they would want to take off the glasses.
   Another way is of course to simply have the depth information bounce and come to stand-still at a certain focus point.

 - Zoom boost
   Very often if someone is shocked, they will be zoomed out, while the background is zoomed in. This can sometimes be achieved with 3D without having to use the camera, since your depth information can pull the scene away from you or bring it back. The best case scenario for this is to simply suggest the gravity of the situation. For example, whenever you reach for someone who was at a distance, but is now closer, it feels exponential - this can be boosted with the 3D, going from full depth inside the screen to in-your-face pop-out.

 - Focus
   In 3D you have something called convergence. This is where the eyes meet in depth to focus on a particular object. In 3D, this object can be placed anywhere in 3D space, but is often placed outside of the screen or at screen level or all the way at the back of the scene. This allows extreme focus to be set on a particular object and for said object to be the same in both eyes, if at the screen surface. This can be used to focus on a set of characters or an object or even the scale of a scene (like focusing on a small character in front of a really big dinosaur in an entry way for example).

 - Scale
   Like the last point mentioned, focus and scale can go hand in hand, but the biggest use of scale really comes into scene size and object size. Because of the way our eyes perceive certain shapes, we can feel like something is larger than it really is, in 3D. This can make a character's presence larger as opposed to another (like in the focus point) or it can be used to imply a truly majestic scene and give a big sense of space.

 - Gimmicky sweetness
   Often overused when a medium is in it's most popular phase, this includes things being thrown at the audience, heavy close-ups in fast action with overly-boosted depth and of course, objects coming out to hit you in the face or stuff like that. These things aren't bad, but they have to fit the story, or it can become annoying to the viewer, because they create a disoriented feeling since the scale and depth doesn't make sense in the natural. Of course, some people just absolutely luv it, but I'm a more serious-minded person, so would most likely err on the side of avoiding gimmicky stuff as far as possible, haha.

 - Further Audio searches
   Of course, the audio and sound effects search isn't over yet. This week presented with a few new sound effects which you guys saw in the video. One of the coolest things, on sound, GOD showed me this week was how to make dry sound, sound like it's outside in the open: little echo and a little strong reverb.
The first part is obvious, but the second seems like a contradiction. Nope, the second one just means that you apply a reverb like a Church Hall (in Audacity) and you turn that volume way down, so it's barely audible. It creates a sense of space with the echo, causing it to sound like it is outside.

   This week was so strange for me in terms of the Sacred Ibis I told you guys about. I assumed, because it has the same build and lives on the same continent and is the same size - roughly, that it would probably sound the same, but oh no! The Sacred Ibis sounds totally different from the Gray Ibis we're used to in SA - you could actually say it's almost too quiet. In fact, often when they fly, you don't even here a peep out of them - you hear more wings than anything else! Just have a listen for yourself:


GOD is so surprising!

Thankfully I still got a clean Gray Ibis sound this week (check the vlog), but kinda useless as it relates to Exodus, hahaha. I didn't really dig into whether they were in Egypt at the same time as the Sacred Ibis, but that would just be me trying to make something fit, haha.
   Also, funny story, for the fly plague, I need some proper fly buzzing sounds, but have only gotten some reference for a fly. Today, under one of the outside roofs, there was a fly buzzing quite stationary and I went to get my phone to record it, when I got there it was gone. I did think a nut was the fly, because it was small and dark, but yeah, the nut didn't make any fly sounds, hahaha.

 - Defocus with blur
   While working on the second shot of the week - Moses facing the palace, I had a bit of a focus problem. Blender already has age-old tools that help with this, but personally, I have had very little to no success with the Defocus node. The scary part is that I've actually watched tutorials on it in the past and still get crappy results, hahaha. For other people it really seems to work...
   Anyway, not to knock the current defocus node, GOD helped me make a node that can do the same thing and give me the results I need without any issues and that you can find in the tutorial below! In it I show you what I usually end up getting with the defocus node and what you can get if you use this new method (which I get to show you how to build). Be aware though, this one blurs the original and the depth information with a Gaussian blur, it doesn't do the whole Bokeh thing - which would be awesome, but yeah, no good results here...
   Even while typing this post up yesterday I felt that I should try one more time and yeah, exact same problems if not worse, haha. I was also led to push the result further and got an even cleaner result for things focused on in the foreground! GOD is so amazing!!! :D
You can check out this focus shift animation in the vlog.

   As I shared with you guys in the vlog, the goal was to get the focus off of Moses and on the task at hand, which was to be the person GOD was using to free HIS people Israel. That meant that while he was as big as life on screen, that the focus had to be forced onto the palace. This came with more than one challenge!

 - Focal Length
   Focal length brings a unique challenge and solution to this particular scene, because as you guys saw in the video, the palace was so far off in the distance that you would barely be able to tell what he was looking at when GOD was speaking to him. Kinda distracting to be honest. So, GOD suggested I up the focal length (referring to a tip I had read about on Facebook that a big focal length of like 180 gives really great toon results). I tried that over a year ago and found that it messes with the backgrounds in a very big way, but in this case, it worked beautifully! Not only could you see the palace better, you can also see more of Moses in the frame without the two competing for screen space. I used 100 though, not 180. 180 was waaaaaaaaay too intense in this case, though appropriate in others for sure.

 - Render Times
   Ironically, this one looks tons better than Esther and renders faster too! Currently, the first shot rendered at just under 2 minutes and the longest was about 3 and a half minutes. That's 2 minutes per frame faster on the slower end than on Esther 6! GOD is awesome!!
   Strangely, removing all the extra objects and particle systems from the scene didn't really help with the actual render time. It did from the stand-point that it rendered a few seconds faster, but not like 30 or 40 - just about 15 if even... So I advise it, but make sure you save the project separately before deleting excess stuff, so that if you delete something important and Ctrl+Z fails you, you have a backup.
   On a side note, GOD gave me the funniest thought after adding the intro to the edit last week and that was: "Well, that's 10 seconds, now only 29:50 to go!" hahahaha. Ironically, that's totally true, but you never think in such terms when you're actually making these videos. You think in terms of story, not really time, because scripture is scripture and it will be as long as it is, because that is what GOD determined. In this case though, it does stretch to about 30mins.

Of course, all this does mean that I do get to take it a little bit easier after all the story-boarding and research, but it does not stop research nor learning. I still have to focus on getting the audio right by recording more sound effects and learning more about writing music. There is sooooooooo much to do on such a production, it can truly be super overwhelming if you look at the mountain that still needs to be tackled. Just focus on the step ahead of you and eventually you'll get there.

Biggest thanx to GOD for helping me with this. Without HIM, none of this would be possible! :D

Know JESUS yet? GOD is reaching out to you through these videos. HE loves you more than you can imagine and wants you to know HIM. Not because HE's lonely, but because HE loves you and paid a heavy price to enable you to go to Heaven, where HE is. See, we all have sinned in some way shape or form. That makes us guilty before GOD. If you have ever said that you hated someone, in GOD's standard, you have committed murder (James 4). If you've ever looked on a person with lustful thinking, you've already committed fornication with them in your heart and you are then guilty of sexual impurity. If you were to face GOD on judgement day, saying: "I was a good person" will be a void argument, just like it would be before a human judge. GOD knew that we would have to pay that penalty and that we could not pay it, even if we tried, but sent JESUS to pay the price for us. Your sins were put on HIM and the forgiveness that is there for you was by no means cheap - the cross was not padded and comfortable, neither was the death.
But, HE was raised up on the third day (after being crucified) and finished the work so that we may enter through HIM paying the penalty we were supposed to pay, but it is only valid for you, if you accept it and live for HIM.
If that is you today, please, follow this prayer:
"JESUS, I believe that YOU are real and I believe YOU died for me and was raised on the third day for me. Please forgive me for my many sins. I make YOU the LORD of my life, full time and to fill me with YOUR HOLY SPIRIT. Teach me how to live for YOU, help me become what YOU have made me to be, in JESUS' Name! Amen!"

To find out more, you can check out this link:
http://www.crossallegiance.org/knowJesus.html
It gives you access to free Bible translations, free teaching videos and more. Remember, this is a decision with eternal consequence, choose life, choose JESUS. :D

Have a great one!!!

Thank YOU!!!!!!

In : WIP 


Tags: god  jesus  holy spirit  blender  anime  progress  exodus  kjv  7-12  moses  defocus  3d  gimmick  animation 

About Me


Marius Oberholster Hey all! I've been doing CG work full-time since 2011. GOD has been with me, supported me and taught me all the way. HE tells us to do all things as unto the LORD and that is my goal. I do whatever I believe the HOLY SPIRIT is leading me to do and it's not always easy, but it's always worth it to be obedient! JESUS is awesome!! If you don't know HIM yet, follow the link above!

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