Last minute timelapse: The Captain’s eyepatch

by - 2012/09/23 28 Comments Production

One of the very last minute changes to our was to add some extensions to the Captain’s eyepatch. This happened the 2 weeks after  the pre-premiere of Tears of Steel. The original eyepatch just felt a little bit naked. I mean, after all it’s just a disassembled webcam with red LED, taped to a metal strip. So we thought that maybe we could enhance that a bit.

Kjartan modeled a small but very effective extension, and Ian created a holographic text overlay, which goes really well with the other holographic elements in the movie. All in all there were 16 shots where you see the captain’s face, there was quite a bit to track and composite. Luckily lots of these shots are quite similar so a lot of the lighting and composite setups could be copied over.

The tracking was mostly smooth and easy as usual, with some shots just taking a few minutes to get good object track. Some other shots suffered from the typical flipping problem of blender’s object solver. So these had to be manually corrected, but all in all it went very smooth.

Now just in time when all tracks of the movie were finished Keir, the developer of LibMV, came up with a fix for the nasty flipping problem. :D
Well, but better late than never. Basically now the solver wouldn’t fall back to a different solve projection mode when the first algorithm produces a certain error value, which had previously caused the error.

So now Blender’s tracker is even better than before!

And here’s a little timelapse of the workflow (original time 28 minutes).

  1. Really enjoyed the video, who needs ILM when you have Blender :)

    • Payton Hubbard says:

      well, I don’t know about that… but it was great work.

    • AlekB says:

      Well considering ILM is not a program that comparison is kind of funny. But point seen and understood.

    • lzymxn says:

      The industry needs ILM, Blender is just a tool, we still need incredible artists to use it ;) Also ILM contributed code to Cinepaint back when it was filmgimp and the co-created the Alembic Open-Interchange format and they have contributed to many open source projects. We definitely need ILM to stick around

    • Ranjith Siji says:

      Well now Blender is much matured tool for all the needs.

    • sortvik says:

      ILM studio is so good that hey don’t even use applications to create special effects.
      Blender is so good of an app that it doesn’t need artists to operate and create special effects.

  2. Darren Waschow says:

    Really, really, really cool! I agree that the eyepiece was a little lacking before. Now it’s just plain groovy!

    One thing, though: The hologram text has the word ‘lasers’ spelled incorrectly with a ‘z’. Doesn’t distract from the awesome, though.

  3. PhysicsGuy says:

    That was fun to watch.

  4. Dusty says:

    Thank you for taking the time to do that. The eye patch was one thing that bothered me throughout all the previews I have seen of this so far.

    No I am looking forward to seeing this even more!!

  5. Bonjour à toute l’équipe de Tears of Steel,

    votre travail a été publié dans le Magazine Blender Attitude:

    Avec nos félicitations !

    BlenderAttitude, Le Magazine de la Création 3D avec Blender

  6. culipatin says:

    Isn’t that a lot of work to catch a shadow…

  7. S J Bennett says:

    It must be a good feeling; so late in production, you have all the assets and technique and technology in place to be able to decide “OK, we’ll do a last-minute virtual costume change on this dude’s face.” Great work. :)

    • andy says:

      It certainly was rewarding, but not necessarily recommended. We had a lot of last minute errors and in return had to do quite a few re-renders.

  8. Martin says:

    Rogier Schippers is now cursing, “If you were going to do it in post anyway, why did I have to be blind in one eye for three days!?”

  9. PickleJones says:

    Fantastic. It must be great to be able to put all these finishing touches on the project, not simply rushing to get the thing in working order (which is what happens to my projects 95% of the time)

  10. 3pointedit says:

    Wow that track type (afine) is awesome! Great demo thank you I learned so much.

  11. Congratulations ! Amazing work !!!