Author Topic: Experiment: Single Frame animated with depth pass  (Read 183 times)

Offline cyphyr

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Experiment: Single Frame animated with depth pass
« on: October 14, 2018, 10:40:06 PM »
This is something of an experiment.
I always like the idea of doing more with less.

Each animation is made from a single frame and depth pass rendered out in Terragen.

The animation is made in Nuke (any 3d or comp package could do this) by using the depth pass to mask out the rendered image of cards that are placed at increasing distances from the render camera. The camera can then move and the depth masked cards will give parallax to the final scene.

This technique still requires some refining and there are only some cases where it works but none-the-less the two videos below consisting of 5 animations were completed in a weekend and would have taken many weeks to achieve a frame by frame Terragen output. It is obviously not as good as a fully Terragen rendered scene but (imo) it is not "that" bad.

Comments and critique very welcome.

Layered Forest

Layered Forest 2
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Offline Oshyan

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Re: Experiment: Single Frame animated with depth pass
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2018, 10:48:02 PM »
Really not bad at all. I think the flat (non-spherical) ones worked best for me. Certainly usable in an appropriate situation where it's not going to get a ton of scrutiny.

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Offline cyphyr

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Re: Experiment: Single Frame animated with depth pass
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2018, 10:57:55 PM »
Yes the cards do work better but I didn't pay quite as much attention on getting the distance of the separation right for the spheres. I measured the card positions to match the landscape but just guesstimated the spheres.
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Offline Dune

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Re: Experiment: Single Frame animated with depth pass
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2018, 06:14:31 AM »
That is very interesting! Thanks for showing.  Can you elaborate a bit more on how you did that? I sometimes get requests for animations, but am very hesitant to get into it. This would be a very good way for simple animations not costing tons of time.
What distances do you put the cards away from eachother? Any (free... I have to see if it works for me first) comp packages that you can advice?

Offline cyphyr

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Re: Experiment: Single Frame animated with depth pass
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2018, 10:33:30 AM »
Well it's not a perfect solution by any means and does give the final output a certain somewhat cartoony look. Basically it is a massive cheat!
The parallax is more effective in the distance (... hmm so maybe rendering the original image with a long lens may help ...) and there are limitations regarding areas that are obscured by overhangs becoming revealed (so for example a tree that hides terrain behind it would not be able to reveal the terrain because the terrain behind never got rendered.)

I'm using the depth pass in the render layers although if that is not available you could set up a second render and use a distance from camera to achieve the same result. This is then taken into photoshop and a threshold adjustment is run on it to create a black and white image to use as a mask on the cards. Changing the threshold creates different black and white images that push further away from the camera.

Initially I placed the cards at equal distances from the camera (in the z axis), that did not work well, then I placed them at twice the previous cards distance (1, 2, 4, 8, 16 ...), this worked much better. Lastly I tried measuring the distance of the hills in Terragen and using that as the card measurement. One extra step, all the cards have to be individually scaled to fill the camera screen space so the cards that are furthest away are much larger than the cards in the foreground.

That's pretty much it apart from setting a frame range and moving the camera a very small amount.

I used Nuke Non Commercial for this but I was originally going to use Lightwave. The process should work in any 3D capable package.

Hope this helps
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Offline Dune

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Re: Experiment: Single Frame animated with depth pass
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2018, 12:30:36 PM »
Certainly does. LW, great. Thanks, Richard.

Offline DocCharly65

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Re: Experiment: Single Frame animated with depth pass
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2018, 02:23:13 PM »
A great solution for landscapes!

Offline Hannes

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Re: Experiment: Single Frame animated with depth pass
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2018, 08:17:02 AM »
That's really cool. A great timesaver for background shots at least.

 

anything