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VFX in Pre-Production

Lesson 4 from: Guerilla Filmmaking

Ryan Connolly

VFX in Pre-Production

Lesson 4 from: Guerilla Filmmaking

Ryan Connolly

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Lesson Info

4. VFX in Pre-Production

Next Lesson: Filming Gear: Audio


Class Trailer

Day 1


Writing Your Story


Script Breakdowns and Shooting Schedules


Finding Cast and Crew


VFX in Pre-Production


Filming Gear: Audio


Filming Gear: Camera


Filming Gear: Lenses


Lesson Info

VFX in Pre-Production

So I'm going to go over visual effects and preproduction, I kinda want to break it down, like, because I come from both, like, the smaller end and then the high end stuff. Um, so what is the pipeline? As you guys probably move up, you're gonna hear about a pipeline and in visual effects that, like most important thing, and then how it's different for real filmmaking and things, even mind. So what is the pipeline? These are all the jobs and the traditional visual effects company. I know it looks intimidating, but it's just each step and that's, basically, why it's a pipeline? You have the plates that come in all this stuff? Then it goes through each of these, then comes out the other side, so I'm just going to go through it really quick, each job, sea of compositing, which is probably what most of you guys will be doing at a girl level. We're just taking basic stuff, putting it together for the end things that's going to go with your footage, you have effects, which this kind of confuse...

s people lot effects in visual effects, it's different effects are like destruction, fire, liquid magic stuff like that, you have modeling, which is sort of self explanatory, which is just making stuff in three d u have rigging which if you're doing animation which is the next thing in their rigging is like giving a character bones so that the animator could actually move him you have a tv which is the technical director and they're usually ones that make tools and stuff they're kind of proprietary so like you had after effects but at your company and no one else had it that's kind of a technical director's job then you have a shader texture which would be the person that makes like let's say you had a lizard they're the ones that are going to make this skin it eliza look like skin tracking is like a camera tracker there called a match mover which the tractor camera object stuff like that and then you have lighting an environment which would be lighting obviously if you're lighting everything and then environments are kind of like different now because picture wizard of oz how they're like going to the emerald city and you could clearly tell it's fake that used to be environments now because computers are so fast and stuff they just build it so you saw lord of the rings or something you're like well that looks really didn't paint it's all built and then lastly you have rodeo and paint which they're kind of the unsung heroes which when it's bad it's bad but everything is rooted like at the higher level things aren't really keyed everything is rhoda because you don't know if the composite is like, oh, I need a map for someone's arm ok, so how is it different actually just in case you don't know what rodeoing is it's it's not I mean, it is technically on frame by frame and cutting everything else so, like you're like, oh, I have a cg element I need and someone moves in front of it they have to cut out the arms so that it looks like it's actually behind it, so they have tools obviously you don't have to go frame by frame to do it, but it's kind of like this frame and go five down and then so it's kind of rodent and then paint would be like, oh, they have something on their face we need to get rid of it, so we'll paint it out. So how did so for a girl of filmmaking is that you guys were going to kind of have to do all of it or find someone that's sort of like could do some of it and stuff you're not gonna have this huge pipeline you're not gonna have like oh, we have a hundred computers, the sun stuff too it's gonna be a much smaller scale eso this is kind of thing you're gonna have to go by, which is victor I mean, this is kind of like for anything but this how it's going to be so typically good and fast it's gonna cause tons of money with an artist okay? You're gonna have fast and cheap which I would avoid out of all of them and then you're going to have good and sheet which the thing with that is that might be someone from like a friend or someone that works in like a traditional sense like a bigger pipeline they're like, yeah, I'll do it they're used to having more time like I've worked on a shot that was like three hundred frames long and I was working on it for three months so you might have people like that or it's like, oh, it looks awesome, but they're not going to meet your deadline and there's like middle ground where it's like you're never really going to find it, but hopefully you could find someone that kind of fits lower they'll at least be able to do it good for, like a fair price like this it's like compromises, right? Right. So if you're at like india level like we are it's also about finding someone who's just going to be excited so it's not just a job for them they have, you know, ownership in it, which is the same thing with finding any crew which I don't think I mentioned which I should have was it's got to be everybody's project to can be your film and they're doing it's our film, we're doing this together because you need all hands on deck you need all these people, you're not gonna be able to do it same thing goes with, you know, your visual effects artist, they need to feel a part of it on dh sometimes you can get somebody you know, at the level of stark or the like that have worked on insane things just because it's, you know, most of time it's just a job for them, then they just have to do this shot, pass it on, they don't have ownership, and if you give them ownership of something they're excited about, they might, you know, you get behind it with you, would you say that's, right? And in fact, with the previous slide with all of those things, I'm sure all of you guys have seen movies you're like that looks so fake, why does that make that in the movie? Well, to think that a lot of people don't realize is I that whole chain it had to go through from the beginning to the end to the director and get approved by multiple people, so I mean, I've worked on stuff where you're like oh, this looks awesome then it gets to the end there like, change this and then the final result looks awful or you're just working on something like this is terrible I know it's going to be terrible but that's what they want and that's what you have to do so I mean even at that it's like a compromise with all of it so just keep that in mind before so things to keep in mind budget this is a big one because it's not just money, okay? You have a time budget too, so I know a lot of people were like, I want this thing look awesome, but you have a time budget, okay? So it's going to cost time or money like for were you just go back so for instance, you're like, okay, we're shooting on sut I'm sure everybody started the term like we'll fix it in post. Okay, well, think about that if you have a budget if you made you found an artist, you're like, cool, we're going to do you're gonna do ten shots ago? I'm ashamed of myself, but I've said I'll fix it in post, right? Well, like you say, you agreed, okay here's one that would be both we have a week and I need you to do ten shots and I well you have the boom mike in there well guess why even though it's a little thing we'll fix it in post now it's eleven shots what if your deal with him was that I'm gonna pay you per shot well now it's caught it's coming out of your budget so I mean it's home because it's happened so many times you're like I'll just fix this later what happens if you think by oh yeah I'm looking at this that's super simple well what if it's a boom mike in front of a waving tree now that little tiny thing that you want to fix so simply is this very difficult task and now it's going to take time away from them and you're not going to meet the deadline not only that this is very important to you is don't have people like even if you're just doing you don't even have someone doing it for you don't have someone else like for instance I'm not going to go up in touch of lighters light so don't let someone else has nothing to do with the effects they're just nothing to do with it like oh it's fine whatever they'll just fix it because now what might happen is that person's gonna cost you money they're gonna cost you time and then you're not going to meet your deadline or it might just be something that just ruins a shot it could be the smallest thing s so now here's another one is choosing our side agrees with the previous point make sure that they could do it do the job that they say they could okay, I mean that's basically it like you're gonna like oh yeah cool, cool, cool I could do the shot and then maybe they could and then they were on all the time you don't want that you want them to be like, all right, I could do it has a really impressive resume. It's like transformers has this dark night, I'm gonna interrupt you take the big one a lot of times you're going to see especially you going jim, you you're going to see these awesome rials transformers shots and then they're like they have no previous work a lot of time and I've worked with people. They'll be like, um, senior lead composite er and then what happened is because they're an intern, the senior level guys, they're like, I'm busy this is such a simple thing just take the spark set up that someone did just throw it in there. Technically it is their shot because they did it, but when you're looking at you're seeing the transformers move everything's going everywhere you're like, yes, I want them and then what turns out like all that they did is they just oh, I put the little spark thing in there, I just put the file together and though and I mean, I've seen it where they're just tried to like the wording they'll use when it's like I was a rodeo person, I do want to be a composite er and then they're like, no senior level uh god of artists like so you really want to make sure that what they're doing like I think the best simplest thing and say, well, what did you do in the shot so let's just keep that in mind because it's a smart thing to do now this I'm saying all of these are informed because they all are because this is something that me and ryan how do you go with where it's like yeah like that I mean it's not that it's bad just so you guys don't know like if you were working with someone that doesn't effect because I don't know if you guys know this, but like my specialties effect so it's like destruction stuff, fluids fire itself. The thing about that is it's not just like add the fire and with that you have to simulate it first and then you have to render it I had a shot that it was my turnaround time was three days, so I would do the one shot they're like, ok, I would have to send it in for review there like cool keep going with it, I would have toe up president because the amount it was two terabytes and space and it was just so difficult a shot and that's how long it took for the computer process it then they would approve my simulation, then they would say, okay, now render it so that was another day, and if they made a change, I have to go all the way back and I'm like, all right, in three days, you're going to see the final thing so that's, a really big one, because I know a lot of people used to after affection like I put the thing in, I could see the instant results and it's not like that when you get to higher levels, even if it's not even higher levels, like just adding certain cg suffering and the other thing that's kind of difficult to gauge is like, I'm sure you guys have seen your rendering, maybe like editing and it's like, oh it's going to take an hour? Well, usually a seed, you stuff and even like aftereffects, it's telling you how long it's going to take based on the frame that it's currently at, so I might say okay you have thirty seconds left of this render and that's because they're nothing difficult on screen there's no there's, no info and then as stuff starts coming in it's like oh now it's going to be an hour now it's three hours now it's three days and that it happens all the time to my dismay yeah now organization let me just go to the next one to thes to kind of go hand in hand so you obviously want to stay organized and a good way to do that is with communications so if you're speaking to an artist and you're like because this kind of happened with the doping in the frog with our enemy because you're kind of nervous about it one thing that happens is you don't want to be vague when you're talking about you like okay francis I defend that was working on the third transformers he used during this explosion in okay, he gets back and note the slips awesome. This looks great. Could you add fifty percent more mystery tio he's like what? What the hell does that mean? And it happens all the time so it's like if you want something to happen be super descriptive because that's where I ended up having the dog and the frog was like tell him on this frame the lip needs to be here you need to say this rising to be looking over there because especially when you're like you have all these things it's nice it's just like a shopping list you're like oh I just need you this this listen this and then you're done because the second you did that it was like there was like one more thing like oh just change this and at this yeah there's like two things with that it's like one year working either you're working with the new artist or you're working with an established artist that you're like nervous toe work with because their way further ahead than you but you're lucky enough to get them right in this case we're working with a new artist so I needed to actually put maurin there because he was also nervous about the project we had a super short deadline he did a fantastic job but we really had to get, like, point by point with it because we had a very short deadline when you're working with a bigger artist which have also done this you give less because you're like I want you just do you thing I don't want to hoard over you and you get pissed off but no they want that they want like what he's saying they want every little bit so they could do what you know you're looking for next stop over my thiss one sort of self explanatory which you want to be concerned like I know everybody has their vision but don't let your vision get in the way of like people's well being especially if they're helping you out kind of like don't be a jerk about it like it's just a movie and the thing is the second it's not just you it's not your vision and it's not just your project it's everyone's and I mean, I've been there where it's like I mean, I've worked on one of the movies I'm not saying which where it was like I mean I was there, which I had the record for most days in a row and it's fine because everyone was working with was nice but then like the director didn't like someone at the company I was at so they just none of us got screen credit here like cool thanks slave doing not only that my stuff showed up on the dvd with, uh some guy I never saw you like this was the most important shot, this one we had to make sure I'm like I have no idea who this guy is he's like but it was weird because he had all the concept art that I was working out and stuff so I mean just treat everybody the way you want to be treating the good golden rule most of the golden golden, the golden rule, the golden rule questions, questions, any questions in the studio audience when you're working on projects that are just kind of for your own thing especially how important do you think that setting like deadlines is and budgeting the time and stuff for that when theoretically you know you could just keep tinkering on until your done it's due then and then he'll just follow I mean like with us we're kind of like wait umbilical like it's kind of funny because like you detailed self like I hope you like this kind of thing I'm like I know what you're thinking I'm like stark I need fifty percent more mystery in that case I understand it really depends on what you're talking about like everything we do has a deadline forced on us we don't do anything where it's like whenever we want to release this we can release it yea which I wish I want that so bad because you know we could take a year to do a ten minute you're really something that's unreal so I would say keep trucking I mean at some point you know as they say film doesn't get released it escapes you have to stop at some point because at some point you've got to realize that you're hurting it not helping it now but if you have all the time in the world to perfect it perfected uh just know that you can't go past that point now we're going backwards when you hit that ceiling release that thing so start a question. How soon in the writing process do you lupin, the fx guy or the team that usually depends on rye, but we usually don't have a script on. Yeah, well, usually you go script by script, and then you can even make a time budget of like, well, if you want this awesome one, then you're going to kind of to give here. But if you want a bunch of cool like you just have, like, a gas tank, look at it that way, we only have a finite amount. So you have to pick and choose where you want to spend the time, but usually it's hell, right? And then we go through it. All right? Maybe one more. What do you think? Bad effects or no effects? If you had to choose just a question of fact. Yeah. No. If you can't do it, like even no. Okay. Yeah. No story. Even if you have an awesome thing, everyone seen it. You're like this, movie's. Great. And then you see something like, oh, you had me until then. And if it if it takes your audience side of the story

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

1080p Screen Insert
2.40 Aspect Wide Screen Template
Rule of Thirds
Storyboard Template
Storyboard Template
Class Footage - 1
Class Footage - 2
Class Footage - 3
Class Keynotes
Stark Assets
Guerilla Filmmaking Outline
Gear Guide

Ratings and Reviews

Samuel Befekadu

I bet this class will be awesome. the course is given by Ryan Connolly!! I have been watching this guy for more that 5 years. I just wasn't serous about film making then. but now since i love film making why not try to be one of them by learning form the best in the field like Rayn. he has been inspiration for a lot of film maker from his YouTube channel Film Riot. his way of teaching so funny and entertaining . I bought this course to learn Ryan Connolly's killer skill. Thanks creative live and Ryan Connolly!

Will Green

Great class! It starts at a very simplistic level and covers the full spectrum of filmmaking. I would not necessarily buy this course for advanced film students, however it is an amazing review for beginner students to intermediate students. I would love to see a BTS of a short film from start to finish. I've seen all of Ryan's BTS shorts and I would greatly enjoy a much more intricate play by play of the short. THAT"S SOMETHING I WOULD PAY A LOT TO SEE. An 18 hour compilation of prepro - post of a short would be awesome.

Jonathan Beresford

Love Ryan and everyone at Film Riot. Excellent course of the excellent quality I've come to expect from them. I just wIsh he'd act more. So funny.

Student Work