Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Making A CG Rain

When shooting a stormy scene, you don’t have to wait and hope that your local weather station would announce that lower pressure is building and there’ll be a coming thunderstorm. You can opt to shot even with the sun shining brightly and then later add CG effects to make the sunny weather a bad one.

The article “Making a CG Rainstorm with After Effects Plug-ins and Automated Rotoscoping” discusses the latter option. Based on a commercial for BMW, it shows how a scene shot in sunlight is transformed into a fierce rainstorm.

When making this commerical, several techniques were employed. Rain and falling stones are generated by the plugin Particular. One can use it to render 3D particle simulations directly in After Effects. To postprocess the filmed BMW the team used Motor, a popular rotoscoping software by Imagineers.

Making a CG Rainstorm with After Effects Plug-ins and Automated Rotoscoping

Koreans doing rotoscoping

This is clip from the Korean film, “Life is Cool”. This is a story about three best friends falling for the same woman and traces the respective dating styles of a goofy playboy, reckless Romeo and hopeless romantic. This movie has an adult sense of humor that would make you want to hang out with your old buddies.

Life is cool was done through rotoscoping. Rotoscoping is tracing a live action sequence frame-by frame. Although shooting this movie took about a month only, the post production process took two years. A total of 140 rotoscoping artists completed the roto job.

Director Choe Ik-hwan (“Whispering Corridors 4: Voice”) brings “Life Is Cool,” South Korea’s first rotoscoped film. In this HD film project by CJ Entertainment, local production company DNA, which whipped up animation and graphics for “The Animatrix,” creates hip visuals for a friendly love story.

Director Choe Ik-hwan draws his inspiration from Richard Lanklater’s film, “A Waking Life”, a rotoscoped movie about a young man in a persistent lucid dream-like state.

You can read the press release for “Life is Cool” here.