• Compositing
  • Editing
  • Simulation



  • Simulation fire
  • Compositing


Forest Fire

  • Simulation smoke
  • Compositing



  • Compositing


Car Driving

  • Simulation sand and smoke
  • Animating
  • Compositing


Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 15.43.23.png

  • Sculpting
  • Compositing

Other compositing

Editing Examples:


Final Outcome:




Creative Solutions Reflection

Over the course of the last few months I have learnt a brand new range of skills. Working for a company has been a brand new experience and not as daunting  I thought it would be. Meeting company deadlines has been a challenge but our team worked hard to get them done. With working with a company I became more accountable for my own work and had to show the company how we can achieve the following and make it work. It helped me improve my lighting skill and even learn some rigging.

As for the personal project myself and Lorna pulled out simulation and compositing within a few weeks using a 2 minute window to showcase skills and practices. Although our video isn’t perfect it was a great chance for myself and Lorna to have fun and practice skill we want to utilise for place.

Challenges overcame or not in some cases has been time. In some cases we were unable to get deadlines done or things went wrong that in both projects required a plan B. A definite lesson for the future is always have a plan B!!

Overall this module has been a great experience and has slowly prepared me for an upcoming placement.

Compositing: Megans face

After Effects CC: Motion Tracking the Impossible | Adobe Creative Cloud [Accessed 14.5.17]

Looking at this video I was trying to figure out what software they use to create the scarring. Thinking of how I could replicate the same effect I decided to sculpt in Mudbox. When we shoot the footage of Megan we asked for her head model. This was so I could use the head mesh which will surely be similar to megan’s face shape and sculpt a scar and gashes within that.

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 11.57.46.png

Screenshot of video tutorial

Screen Shot 2017-05-10 at 15.10.09

So with the head mesh I began sculpting into Mudbox. I had never used a sculpting
software so I thought Mudbox was a good beginner’s step. The only problem was I began sculpting and got pretty far before Rhea let me know I needed to UV map the model first. So I started again!

With the second attempt I UV mapped the model I went back into Mudbox with much more confidence. For reference into creating the scar I looked at many pictures of zombies with bubbly flesh and severe wounds. Thinking about the wound I wanted to colour so It would look infected as if the protagonist was unable to get treatment for the wound due to apocalyptic circumstances. I have to say I really like how the sculpt turned out. One problem: The uv map was scaled to the full size. This meant my work wasn’t portioned when the normal map went on so I had to start again!!!

Screen Shot 2017-05-11 at 00.39.15

2nd Attempt at scar

With a third attempt down I sculpted, painted and successfully this time added a normal map. So the next part was compositing and tracking the model. I had first animated in Maya the scar so it fit whenn placed into After effects. However it was all over the show. So I rendered a still instead. Concerning the black background I am able to remove that in after effects, also the black helps me give an indication as to how well the track is doing.

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 12.25.21

Still render

With the track in Mocha, I thought of the most contrasting areas that are on show from start to finish in the video. I found the eyebrow had little movement and was contrasting enough. I also tracked other areas that I thought had little movement. The track itself in Mocha track the footage well and I thought when exporting to After Effects we would have little issues.

Screen Shot 2017-05-14 at 11.51.50

First track in Mocha 

Screen Shot 2017-05-14 at 12.05.13
However it went wrong. Will explain but first want to show other tracks I did in desperation to make this work. I tried tracking the wall,her whole face, her hair. Any feature I could in the hope the track would export well.

However the problem was then copying the information onto a null object it went haywire and I couldn’t get the scar to line up the face. At one point during the zoom out it went in completely the other direction. As you can tell I am uploading this day before deadline so you can tell I was in a panic to get this done.

Screen Shot 2017-05-14 at 16.33.32

A floating scar

Lorna and me tried our best to get the track to export however we realised we needed a plan B. So lorna animated the scar onto Megan’s face, this may look like a fiddly and pain staking process however we didn’t have choice with lack of time and as we used a tripod, we just needed to make sure the scar lined up during the zoom out. I think Lorna did a good job lining up the scar.

Screen Shot 2017-05-14 at 18.43.34

Animating and adding masks to the scar.

Screen Shot 2017-05-14 at 19.24.49Whilst she was lining up the scar I started created masks in behind the scar so that it blended with the colouration of Megan’s skin-tone. By creating bruising  I think the scar looked more apart of the face. However what I will say with more time I think I would have perfected it a lot more to get a more integrated look.

I know the scar doesn’t look completely apart of megan’s face but it’ll be a lesson for the next time. If someone can tell me how the heck to export a track properly in Mocha that would also be helpful.


Other compositing and editing in brief

Well I think I am gonna have to fire through a lot of these. The pipeline of the music video was the following:

  • Either myself or Lorna made the simulation
  • I would composite in the After Effects file and add together

Now you may think that giving me more work however most of the work I did was adding in the file giving Lorna most of the simulation work so it balanced out. The only things I did not composite was two glitches Lorna had done in the reverse footage (dead rabbit glitch and graffiti’d sign glitch)


With the editing I liked to experiment with the footage that was already there. A lot of the work I did the in the video was experimenting with filters, overlays and techniques that could achieve a glitchy aesthetic. This was to give more of a feel that what we are seeing is more bits of fragmented memory or what isn’t real at all.


With the simulations Lorna created I placed them in the scene, trying to blend them in using colour correction, blur and levels to try and make the scene for as well into the footage as possible.My favourite compositing to do was the leaf as I could see it come to life.



Compositing & Simulation: Car/ Wheelspin


For the car segments of the music video we wanted the car to drive around the corner, with sand spitting out of the tyres to indicate they are close to a beach. When looking at the footage there were a few issues that I would have to solve for the composition to work:

  • Animating the car, as I am not a confident animator I am unsure how the final product will look like
  • The detail of the car, the following model is Jenny Finegan’s. Although it is very good it isn’t textured and my concern is that it may look too out of place in the scene.
  • The car will have to come out from behind the hill. This may require some post effects to figure this out. Also the road is bumpy and going downhill, o I will have to be aware of the angle.
Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 17.18.40

Car Footage

For reference I am using this car was within shot whilst filming, this gave me insight into how the car will be placed considering scale and perspective, Another key factor is also the lighting of the car.

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As this is footage of a road, I couldn’t animate the car by position. Instead I used the scale to fake the impression the car is approaching the camera. I first blocked out the path of the car; as you can see it is very rough.

Sand test 1 [Accessed 6.05.17]

Lorna then recommended I go in the graph editor to smooth out the animation; especially going around the curve. With that I tried to polish the animation more.

Sand test 2 [Accessed 6.05.17]

Despite the obvious lift at the end and slow out which needs to be fixed. I thought the aniamtion was okay to continue. I began to test out some sand using N particles as advises from Lorna. My plan was to create 4 then place them on each wheel of the truck. However a very similar problem happened to the particle simulation that happened to the campfire; it wouldn’t show up in arnold.

Sand test 3 [Accessed 6.05.17]

With that the only thing I could do was start again, I thought instead of using a particle container and tracking it to the car, how about I use a particle simulation and have the tyres as an emitter. This worked out much better and I was able to render out the sand. Another thing I did was add a bump map to the car so it looked old and rusted, I’m not sure how effective it is but it looks better than the shader on it’s own.

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Car textures

In post effectives I was able to darker the footage to make the car and background blend together, I also decided to photo bash some smoke in the background as little more foreshadowing to the rest of the story as well developing a narrative. The smoke created was rendered for the forest fire however I decided there was no harm using it for both scenes. I then added a mask on the house to give the impression there is a fire but not too noticeable that it stands out. Finally I added some more colour grading and a fast blue to the car to imply its going at a fast pace.

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Post Effects 

Below is the finished product for the driving car:

FINAL CAR DRIVE  [Accessed 6.05.17]


With the driving done, all I would have to do is change the animation and camera so we get a close up of the wheel. After rendering this out I am not too happy with the results however I that it fits in with the scene once the project is finished

Simulation& compositing: Campfire


Timelapse of beach

For the campfire we have a time-lapse which we think frames the simulation perfectly. To make the logs I made them in maya and then put a bump map over the top, as these were going to be logs covered in ashes and on the beach. The colour of the wood will be much lighter due to the ash. As this was my first simulation I asked Lorna for advice, she suggested I would use a fluid to recreate a fire.

Creating Fire effects using Maya Fluids [Accessed 5.05.17]

This is the video I used to understand Maya fluids, although I am simulation something bit different to this tutorial I found the breakdown of settings helpful. The below scene is used by creating a 3d fluid container with an emitter. I wasn’t sure whether to create a fire that was burning out or one that was more harsh and as it was at its peak.

As for the compositing element we unfortunately are unable to find out the focal length of the footage however I approximately tried to fit the fire within the scene. I used area lights and a skydome to achieve the full effect of the overcast weather. as there wouldn’t be any strong light that would highlight the models except for the simulation.


Failed attempt at fire

Unfortunately I came across a problem when rendering out my fire. The problem being there wasn’t a fire. I thought if I put a point light in the campfire it would show the simulation in the render view however that was no the case. Moving the scene to a different computer made no difference so with that I thought it would be quicker to start again.

The next time round was a more successful experience, using the same fluid container again I was able to create a fire. My only concern was if the fire didn’t look real. However deciding that the fire wasn’t fierce and out of control and just a dying one made it easier for me to create what I have

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 18.52.52

Improved attempt at fire

When it rendered out I forgot to do more of a flickering light and colour change to give the impression the fire is dying down, this required some post effects in After effects to get the final look we wanted. Overall I would say I am happy with the fire I created, my only wish is that I had spent more time on the fire simulation to perfect the flicker however for a first simulation I am content with the results.

FINAL CAMPFIRE [Accessed 5.05.17]

Simulation: Forest Fire

For the forest fire we chose the footage below to create some smoke and if there is any time some embers to go along with it .

Screen Shot 2017-05-03 at 18.16.15

Still footage

For creating the smoke simulation I found it very hard as the fluid container would not act the way I would want to. In the midst of my frustration Lorna helped me start again using the below tutorial.

Maya 3D – Dynamic – Fluid Effect (Advanced Smoke) [Accessed 5.05.17]

I found this tutorial much more helpful and used it as a guideline to creating my own smoke. With the advice from lorna I put a field solver; air to create the feeling the smoke is being carried by the wind. Below is a test of the early stages of the smoke.

Smoke test 

When it came to tracking we found there was too much movement and with little time left we decided to make the executive decision to make this shot a still instead. Overall I’m not happy with out come and find there isn’t enough detail and the middle bit of smoke I regret putting in, that infact was my first trail at smoke.. But i wash my hand off of it as it is done.

Below is the final video:

Compositing Rabbit: Track for Beginners

So our models and simulations fit into the scene, we need to motion track so they integrate into the scene. I took on the role on compositing the final footage in the scenes, this meant colour grading, adding in post effects and tracking which we will cover today.

I started off with Lorna’s animation of a rabbit, Lorna did a great Job animation and lighting the bunny rabbit and rendered about the scenes for me to place. The footage we used seemed the most relevant as it had a raised hill for the rabbit to be placed and was an immersive image of forest.

Screen Shot 2017-05-13 at 17.19.23.png

Image of forest

A problem I cam across when tracking is our footage, as it was very shaky are track found it hard to keep in place. This as a result left the rabbit skating all over the composition. This was when using the general After Effect’s track. I was placing my track on the area the rabbit was gonna to be placed, finding out later that I should have used an area where the footage was more stabilised I can understand why I had such difficulty. I then tried to use Mocha to track the rabbit.

Using the tutorial below I found I understood the interface of Mocha to a degree, seeing the effects it had on the example below made me think Mocha was the best foot forward

How to Motion track with Mocha and After Effects TUTORIAL [Accessed 1.05.17]

Using Mocha with the knowledge I had, I placed the tracking point on the hill. As you can tell from my previous statement this doesn’t work. So as a result I ended with shaky footage

Screen Shot 2017-05-04 at 12.17.32

Mocha, first track

To help I spoke to Christopher McKenna; a graduate from the course and who works at Jam Media compositing. He gave me some great advice on how to use Mocha, below is his advice:
  • “With image opened in mocha, look for areas of contrast to track, try to ensure no movement that may effect your track.
  • Once you’ve decided on your tracking points, use the xspline tool to draw around your area your going to track.
  • You can add multiple track areas if you want by using the X+ tool to the left of the xpline tool.
  • Before tracking your areas, below your image in the motion box, make sure you have translate, scale, rotation all ticked, untick the shear option.
  • Just below your xspline toolbar, there is a second tool bar, theres a tool that is an s within a box, click that and a blue rectangle will appear within your shot within your first drawn xspline, this shows the main area your tracking now.
  • Press track, then export data, make sure you use the option for scale, rotate etc and not the corner pin options
  • Then copy to clipboard and paste the info onto a null”

Using his further advice, he advised I track the various places below

Screen Shot 2017-05-04 at 12.47.48

Mocha, Second track

Unfortunately I still had shaky footage (as you can see below) I tried stabilising the footage to ensure less shakiness. Then starting my track again I found my track worked, the only issue is the footage looks a tad odd however I think for the thereof our video it’ll be okay.  Hopefully using more tracks I can get better and capable of using the software.

Mocha Test [Accessed 1.05.17]

Here is the final footage of the rabbit:

FINAL RABBIT [Accessed 1.05.17]