Monday, December 3, 2012

Compositing and finishing

I have rendered three different passes to be used for the compositing stage.

The first pass was the color/raw render pass which contained the color information of the scene. Sicne the color now contained the Global Illumination data in it, I've killed two birds with one stones, there was no need for a separate GI pass.

The second pass I have rendered out is the Ambient Occlusion. As mentioned before, this is necessary to bring all of the small details and darker areas to life. The color pass by itself cannot grab all the detail needed, so Ambient Occlusion is a must have.

The last pass rendered out was a so called RenderID pass. This pass gives every model a different, solid color. This allows me to mask out anything within the scene if needed. For example, if I add in a volume light effect, I can block that light out now and simulate it being behind a tower or another building. The light can shine through the leafs of a tree, but in a realistic manner, where the leafs actually obscure the light.

I didn't have to render out a separate alpha bass for the background as that was included in the color pass.

The next step was to take these into After Effects and begin the compositing.

First, I need to combine the maps and then begin to tweak the colors and add an appropriate background as well as the chosen audio.

Here are some images from the final footage:

To create the final image, I have used RedGiant Magic Bullet software, which I've found to be amazing for creating different visual styles and not having to be very technical about it. 
I've also used the Knoll Light Factory plugin for After Effects to quickly add in some very appealing lighting effects, such as simulating the glow of the sunlight and the glow on the blue crystals as well.

I have added an intro scene to the animation to slowly catch the viewer's attention before the main animation part begins. The audio chosen is from the game itself, thus providing the authentic Blood Elf feeling and carrying the animation through.

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