The "Parking Lot Transform" - From the KR VFX Team

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The "Parking Lot Transform" - From the KR VFX Team

Postby z00story » Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:16 am

Yo people. HUD designer guy here (actually, leader of talented HUD design team, it's not just me anymore!).

I got permission from above to share the transform that you guys saw on the Olympics commercial and elaborate a bit on it. I was amazed at how close a lot of you got.

First off, this was a test. I shot it in our back parking lot with my HVX200 walking around an empty space. You can see sound stages and camera trucks in the background. The car, in both forms, is 100% CG. Nate Evans, our 3D lead did the texturing and transform for this test, then my team did the 3D tracking and compositing.

We were pretty shocked to see it air on national televison. I thought it was pretty cool of NBC to do that! That's a sign that we are doing something right in house.

3D has worked a lot more on the realism of the transform since this test and I have been working on the HUD more (making something that rhymes with "Murbo Loost").

Anyway, here's the OG file (I temped the audio too). Too big for me to upload on this server, so for the time being it is running off of one of my sites. If some admin could upload it to this site and swap out the link, it would be much appreciated:

http://www.knightridermovie.com/2008/kittday_sound_480p.mov

*** Edit: Link swapped per request ***

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Re: The "Parking Lot Transform" - From the KR VFX Team

Postby KNIGHT805 » Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:22 am

so are you the guy who did the shot?

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Re: The "Parking Lot Transform" - From the KR VFX Team

Postby z00story » Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:26 am

KNIGHT805 wrote:so are you the guy who did the shot?


I shot the video with my camera. Our 3D lead did the transform CGI. I did a lot of the 3D tracking. One of my 2D artists and I did the compositing (marrying the 3D and 2D elements), then I did the temp sound.

Thus I would say it was a team effort from Knight Rider's in house VFX team, Master Key Productions. Though credit for the transform itself goes to Nate, the 3D lead.

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Re: The "Parking Lot Transform" - From the KR VFX Team

Postby Matthew » Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:27 am

Wow,

Thanks for sharing this with all of us z00story. It's pretty incredible to see such a well realized test of the transformation effect, and my hat's off to each of you that are responsible for creating what can rightly be considered an historic milestone for the show in terms of the previously established visual effects sequences that we've seen over the last 26 years. :good:

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Re: The "Parking Lot Transform" - From the KR VFX Team

Postby Stylez » Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:29 am

Very cool guys! :good: So like we figured...it's not 'polished'? Nice to see you back z00story! :D

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Re: The "Parking Lot Transform" - From the KR VFX Team

Postby KNIGHT805 » Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:30 am

Yeah, I agree with Matt...you guys rock! That was really impressive, it looks as real as the transformation in the movie transformers. It looks believable too, and that says a lot. More then two thumbs up, keep up the good work and pass along props to Nate>

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Re: The "Parking Lot Transform" - From the KR VFX Team

Postby Sue » Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:46 am

That is soo cool thanks so much for sharing. :good: It’s sad that NBC cut out the opening where you can see normal KITT. I see this is a different shot than the one in the commercial. Higher angle and a different parking spot. Was this an earlier or later version? It looks like there is a lot more going on with the doors in this one, and the roof too I think.

Edit:
We can’t wait to hear more about this Murbo Loost! :mrgreen:
Last edited by Sue on Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The "Parking Lot Transform" - From the KR VFX Team

Postby Rockatteer » Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:49 am

that TOTALLY ROCKS!!!

Now if the stories can match the transformation we got ourselves a TV Show!!

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Re: The "Parking Lot Transform" - From the KR VFX Team

Postby Sue » Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:08 am

Sorry to be nitpicky, but I’ve noticed KITTs scanner can look yellow sometimes when shot in real life. It looks like you might be emulating that effect. I would say you might want to try to avoid that, you don’t want him to be mistook for a certain KARR after all. :mrgreen:
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Re: The "Parking Lot Transform" - From the KR VFX Team

Postby knight56 » Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:15 am

The link dont work for me..

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Re: The "Parking Lot Transform" - From the KR VFX Team

Postby Matthew » Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:25 am

Have you got Quicktime, as you need it to be able to watch the video mate?

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Re: The "Parking Lot Transform" - From the KR VFX Team

Postby JJSoCrazy » Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:25 am

Thanks for sharing! The transformation is excellent and looks very nice!

I noticed you said NBC posted it and your were surprised they did and saying you guys must of did something right, maybe this will lead for you guys to have a 22 episode season like GST wants!

Joe

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Re: The "Parking Lot Transform" - From the KR VFX Team

Postby knight56 » Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:32 am

I dont see it can it be posted on youtube <? i dont have quiktime.

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Re: The "Parking Lot Transform" - From the KR VFX Team

Postby Michael Pajaro » Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:46 am

It will be on Youtube shortly.
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Re: The "Parking Lot Transform" - From the KR VFX Team

Postby Sky_Blue_Civic » Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:49 am

That video was awesome! :good:
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Re: The "Parking Lot Transform" - From the KR VFX Team

Postby knight56 » Tue Aug 19, 2008 3:03 am

thank you for your help in posting in on youtube whats the link?

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Re: The "Parking Lot Transform" - From the KR VFX Team

Postby PHOENIXZERO » Tue Aug 19, 2008 3:57 am

Yeah, that did look pretty damn good in the commercial and IMO even more impressive on a TV budget. I had a feeling the car was entirely CG but I wasn't completely sure, it was that good even at this stage. Just a bit easier to notice in the version you've shared. ;) I said it looked ridiculous however I mean it in a "but it looks cool" way and not as in "and looks stupid" way. :P

I'm very interested in seeing how the car model looks in motion since I think we all know how physics/animation/motion of a CG effect can make or break it an CG effect, no matter how good it looks standing still if it doesn't move/react or look right it can be a quite jarring experience, most recent instance of that for me would be the scene in The Dark Knight where Batman, riding the Batpod does a 180/turn around off the side of a side of a building with the front tire going up and it twisting around to point him back in the opposite direction, took me out of the movie for a second.

I have faith in that you guys already have a good handle on it. :good: Not like there's a whole lot of realism in having a 3,000 plus pound car manage to jump off the ground in the first place but it's still gotta at least look like it's a real car and not a totally computer generated and badly animated effects shot. On the bright side at least you have total control so there's no need for a cut away to avoid showing the car being wrecked upon landing nose first. :lol:

There are a lot of big movies over the years that have had bad CGI, especially in the earlier days but there's still plenty now, from big budget films to Sci-Fi channel's "monster" movie of the week. Hey! One of which David Hasselhoff recently starred in. :shock: What kind of budget do you guys have? Is that something you're allowed to mention? Either way so far it looks like you guys are doing some really good work and probably not being paid enough. :D

I'm probably not going to word this in the way I want, I'll blame that on it being late and my being tired. I wonder, how much of a pain has it been to implement the lighting and reflections correctly? Or is it done automatically in the final rendering of the model with it's reflective surface with it being calculated by the hardware/software you're using? I'd kind of feel bad for you guys if you're going to have to work on every shot and making sure reflections, lighting and everything else is done properly because I can imagine it being a pain to have to constantly do manually. But I'm sure if for some reason that was the case it's something that would get a least a bit easier with experience. I'm trying not to think of it in the way it's done with graphics engines in games and how reflections can be done in "real time" by the game engine, after a lot of work by the programmers that built the engine so all the calculations are done correctly of course. Is it similar even though you're basically putting a 3D model into a 2D space where there was nothing for reference? On one hand I can imagine it being so but then on the other I my mind is coming up with problems with that due to the natural lighting or lack thereof and environment on something that isn't really there.

What kind of hardware and software are being used? I could make guesses or look some stuff up but then I'd probably end up making myself look more stupid. :lol: I really need to do some reading and maybe have stuck to working/playing around with image software and got deeper into it.


Wow, I've spent way too much time writing this and wrote waaaay to much. :oops:
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Re: The "Parking Lot Transform" - From the KR VFX Team

Postby PHOENIXZERO » Tue Aug 19, 2008 4:23 am

Oh yeah! How's the HUD coming along? There's something that's kind of been bugging me, I don't know how much TV you watch but there's two or three commercials out now that are doing similar with things coming up and the someone interacting/manipulating images coming up and displayed. I can't recall what companies they were for but I know at least one was either a financial or an online trading company, maybe both. Certainly it's not going to be all that similar to what will be done as the purposes are entirely different but it might take away from the impact/impressiveness of it if there's a commercial or three doing what some will see as pretty much the same thing. :/

Okay, I'm going to shut up now and stop rambling. It's almost 4:30 here now, I'll spare everyone anymore headaches and go to sleep. :D


EDIT: Holy crap I used a lot of smiles/emoticons in my previous post!
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Re: The "Parking Lot Transform" - From the KR VFX Team

Postby trissybabes » Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:26 am

It's hard to believe that car's 100% cgi!

I figured you'd walked around the 'stang in the parking lot and used that as the key to the effects but to say there was nothing there is awesome!

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Re: The "Parking Lot Transform" - From the KR VFX Team

Postby neps » Tue Aug 19, 2008 6:26 am

Wow, thanks z00story and 'above' for sharing this story!

This type of info is really too cool for us to learn, and it's something that really makes the fans feel welcomed to the series! So a HUGE thanks!

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Re: The "Parking Lot Transform" - From the KR VFX Team

Postby Stuntman Lee » Tue Aug 19, 2008 6:51 am

Thanks for the update. I hope the Murbo Loost will be just as good. :good:

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Re: The "Parking Lot Transform" - From the KR VFX Team

Postby trissybabes » Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:06 am

Hmm, "Murbo Loost" I wonder what that could be?

Jicro Mam? or perhaps even Tuper Sursuit Lode...

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Re: The "Parking Lot Transform" - From the KR VFX Team

Postby z00story » Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:37 am

wow, lots of replies in one night!

First off, thank powers above me, who actually suggested we show you this shot. Believe it or not, a LOT of us come to these forums. In fact, I see a lot of great questions here about how we make things, and some of them would be better answered by other people I work with and their skill set.

I can say briefly that yes- there are two different shots. The one I showed you is the first one we did, the one that aired is the second one. The transform is exactly the same, the only difference is in the camera work. In this one, I walked around the spot, in the second one, I drove around it (to get a smoother, dolly like move).

As for reflections - Nate can respond in far more detail than me (Nate if you are reading this sign up and join in). In short, there are more and less complicated ways to do this. Nate had a really cool trick that involved me doing a couple of quick passes in photoshop, but he did all the magic in his 3D program.

As for what 3D program we use - I'm not sure if I should say, I will leave that up to the 3D team to decide. For 2D We use After Effects and a program called Nuke - not to mention all the usual suspects: photoshop, illustrator, and some specialty programs for tracking, etc...

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Re: The "Parking Lot Transform" - From the KR VFX Team

Postby Solid Snake » Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:17 am

z00story, awesome clip and story you gave us! Thanks for that... oww here is my 2 cents, the shows looks great so far! Now the story should be up on the same level and you guys have a hit.
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Re: The "Parking Lot Transform" - From the KR VFX Team

Postby Mango19 » Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:29 am

Well, I showed to to my six-year-year son and his eyes got big as saucers... Guess I know what's on his Christmas list now.

One thing that's giving me a good feeling about this show is how much fun everyone seems to be having. This seems to be a very happy set - if that carries over to the final product that'll be good news indeed.


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