Creature design continued

After the plot was finalized the creature design was further discussed. In the movie, the main character hides behind a rock at some point, where the rock reveals to be the creature who stands up. After the plot twist, the creature crumbles apart.

The creature needed the following features:

  • Consists of parts (can crumble apart)
  • Has a rock-like appearance
  • Has quadruped features but can stand on two legs (Intimidating)

With this, the final creature design was made. This creature will be modeled in 3D by Paul.



Green screen Lighting Research

Green screen

We chose a very visual commercial and to remake this we will need to use allot of green screen. Green screen can be tricky and if you don’t do it right it will look sloppy and you can spot it from miles away.
The basis for a good green screen effect is a good lighting, and how to work with it. This is why i did some research about working with a green screen.

Things to pay attention to

  • Try to make your green screen as flat as possible, wrinkles create shadows that make it harder to work with.
  • Watch out for movement, make sure all the movements of the actor are in front of the green screen. 1 body part out of the screen will ruin your shoot.
  • Shadows, make sure your actor is far away from the green screen not leaving any shadows on the surface.
  • Reflections, watch out for reflective props and jewelry, anything that reflects or sparkles can be difficult to key.



The most important thing when working on a green screen is to have it evenly lit. If the lighting on the screen is even it will look more realistic, you can easily do this with 2 fill lights with soft-boxes around them. you can use the zebra function on your camera to check if the lighting is even.
You want to have the zebra pop in everywhere at the same time, if it pops in early on a spot you know that that spot is brighter than the rest.

Film your actor a few meters in front of your green screen and background lighting. If your actor is too close the light might  bounce of the screen en give a green glow on your subject, this is called spill.

Next step is to create a lighting for your subject. A 3 point lighting will really make your subject pop out. The backlight is very important, it will help you separate your subject from the green screen.
Make sure your key light and fill light are at a good angle so they won’t mess with the background.


A three point lighting

A app that can help you figure out if your green screen is ready to be used is Greenscreener. this app will show different levels of light, making it easy to spot mistakes in your lighting.

Maya Rendering

We will probably render in Maya and export our renders towards After Effects.
I’ve looked around and tried some simple rendering techniques and found out Mental Ray can create a lighting based on an image.
The results are quite nice and it might be what we are looking for.


Mental Ray image lighting test

Mental Ray creates a sphere based on the image to create a realistic lighting. With the right textures and a good bump map it creates a nice render that could blend in with the scenery.
I have no doubt that this could work for background assets like trees and rocks, but will it work on the animated monster?

Green screen basics:

Tips for green screen:
Getting the best green screen chromo key setup: