VFX: Matchmoving and stabilising


What is stabilising:

  • This is taking a shot with a shake or unwanted movement and removing it. You can get multiple desired effects from smoothing to no movement. I have learnt to stabilise using after effect. You will want to stabilise a shot if there is shaking from holding a camera when you want a smooth shot or if you want a still shot.

My attempt:

  • First, I imported the footage I was provided into after effect, I then rendered it out as TIFF image sequence and reported it at 25 fps.

2017-06-08 (3).png

  • I use warp stabilising which does it automatically.2017-06-08 (4).png
  • I then changed the smooth motion to no motion:2017-06-08 (5).png
  • I kept it on stabilise, crop, auto-scale. And I selected subspace warp:
  • I then rendered it out:


What is match moving?

  • This is putting images onto footage by matching the motion and movement of the camera by tracking one or more points in the footage and then applying the data to a null object, you then attach the image to this. High contrasting points are the best to track as they are clearly defined. You can use photoshop to clean up the footage and create things to add onto the footage, and you can use after effect to track.

What areas/features are easier to track?

My attempt:

  • First I took the footage, rendered it out as a TIFF, I then took the first TIFF and opened it in photoshop. I used the clone stamp tool to remove the dots on the hand then added a tattoo onto the hand, I then hid the original layer and exported this out as a PNG.
  • I then tracked the hand using the dots, I added two tracking points and tracked in the position, rotation, and scale. 2017-06-09 (6).png
  • I then added a Null object and applied the tracking information to it, then imported and attached the png to the null object.
  • I rendered it out:



Game Design: Game Player/Buyer Types

Why are Gamers/Buyers categorised?

  • Gamers are categorised so you can target games towards their preferences. understanding your target market and an audience is key for making a profit. The better your categorised the better end product you will make for your target audience.

How are Gamers/Buyers categorised?

  • Gender: In 2017 I personally doubt the logic of gender as most games and consoles are targeted towards males, but women still play them. Over half of middle-aged gamers are women. Games that have women that are oversexualized will tend to attract more men, but they still attract women. I would argue that men are not oversexualized in games. The issue that is rather patronising to women is when you plaster everything in pink and say is feminine. A good example of this is Bic Pens with their awful ‘for her’ pens, this faced immediate backlash and an apology from Bic. I didn’t want to include gender as its like suggesting skin colour matter or eye colour matters. This seems like a rather outdated concept for categories.
  • Age: This is very important especially below the age of 18 as features in your game will limit the ages that can play them. Violent games with sex in them will be 18+ rating and that is the target demographic while a SpongeBob game will be targeted at a much younger audience as it is simpler, more childish and playful. More adults games tend to be more complex. Understanding the age of the players your targeting is key for example Deadpool was an 18+ movie, needless to say, it did very well, as it has a target of a more adult based audience while Avengers films target a range of young to older generations. getting your target age right means limits on what your game can and can’t contain.
  • Culture: Games relevant to users culture will incentivise them or interest them. Games dealing with culture have to tread carefully as slight mistakes could be perceived as racist. A game parodying British culture with stereotypical accents and nostalgia will intrigue anyone in England, maybe not so in the rest of the UK. If Assassins Creed ever does a game in China like their fans want then it will interest a huge Chinese audience. The issue with cultural targeting is some cultures might approve while others won’t. Nazi zombies in Call of Duty is one of the most beloved game modes in most of the western world, but in Germany, it does do well at all, most of the game is censored and has low sales.




Game Design: Review for Cities Skylines

Cities Skylines:

Cities Skylines is a city-builder game made by colossal order. It is published by Paradox Interactive. It is available on Windows OS, MacOS, Linux, which released in 2015 March. Xbox One port released in April 2017, lacking many of the workshop user created features and official DLC. I have been playing this game since it released and own all four main expansions, I have pumped hundreds of hours into this game. I know the ins and outs of this amazing city builder, the many positives, and the many negatives.

Image result for cities skylines

So I will start with talking about the gameplay. For a city builder, it is the best of its kind. It completely destroyed sims cities hold of the market after their shockingly poor release of Sims cities in 2013, lacking moving, forcing players to always be online, no custom assets and very expensive DLC. Cities Skylines, on the other hand, has no multiplayer support but makes up for that in its mod-ability and workshop

support, it has one of the largest mods and assets of any game of the steam workshop. Paradox embraces the modding community, adding some mods into the actual game and providing lots of support to the community. Xbox One version lacks all of this but that’s Xbox’s fault. Cities Skylines graphics are realistic, the highest settings and the correct colour corrections can make the game appear hyper-realistic.

Image result for cities skylines zoning


The controls are easy to pick up and with the latest updates, add lots of small controls like the precise curvature of roads, however, landscaping tools and canal tools are not nearly as polished and are full of bugs. To build housing, factories or business you have to zone alongside a road. This too has its bugs, the zoning system works in tiles, the square tiles do not work well on curves, in American grid cities this is okay but when trying to recreate European cities this makes the streets look patchy and very unrealistic. The game rewards the player periodically when they reach populations or infrastructure achievements, unlocking new policies, buildings and wonders to build. However I don’t like these, I play the game for relaxation, I play with unlimited money and all achievements unlocked, my reward from playing the game is creating a healthy functioning city.

This game released in 2015 but the constant community support and official DLC and updates adding new things to the game, this shows no sign of slowing down, according to steam the game averages of 12,000 people playing every day, soaring to over 70,000+ when, this has not dropped in a year at all, so I believe this game will continue till either they release a new game or sims city make a new game that betters skylines.

Overall I love this game, with its many faults but many positives I still continue to play it religiously. I will continue to buy its next DLC and I want to make my own custom assets. This game not only relaxes and improves my creativity but also encourages me to practice 3D modelling.




Game Design: Design a Game

The Brief:


  • We sat in a circle and brainstormed ideas, Ollie said time travel, I said dystopian future, Lew said balloons, and Josh said ‘district 9’

Design Document:

VFX: 3D Layers

3D layers

What is 3D Layering?

  • A 3D layer is a 2D layer in a 3D space. After effects allow you to move layers on the X, Y, and Z axis. You are able to rotate the layers on its axis without actually warping the layer. You can use 3D layers with cameras to create parallax.

What is Projection in After Effects?

  • This is 2D images in a  3D scene. You lay out the layers at different distances apart, using a camera you can move around the scene, you create the effect that the 2D layer is 3D scene.Image result for projection in after effect

What is Parallax and why do we use it in Matte Painting?

  • This is the effect when an object’s direction/position appears to move when looked at in different position. This is used for creating compositions out of 2D layers to create the effect that it is a 3D scene. An example of this in a film is the Indiana Jones film, the mountains and trees are 2D matte paintings but using 3D layers to create parallax they appear to move.

My example:

  • I took my images and imported them to after effect, where using the top view i positioned them in the 3D scene. I added a Camera.

2017-06-08 (1).png

  • I tracked the positions in the XYZ positions of the camera, moving the camera slightly creating a parallax effect.

2017-06-08 (2).png

Final Outcome:

VFX: Keying

What is Keying?

  • This is separate objects from a (usually) Green screen. We use a green screen as humans have less green compared to blue and red in their skin. Inside software like after effect we would remove the green leaving us with the desired objects. It is best to separate the footage into separate keys as different areas of the objects react differently to the greenscreen.

Why are alpha channels so important?

  • Alpha channels are used for transparency, if the alpha channel is white then there is a solid image, if it is black then the footage is transparent. In between white and black allow you to make things semi-transparent. This is very important for compositing as it allows you to have just the desired object in a completely different scene without a white box around it.

Why do we need to despill?

  • This is removing green light that spilt onto the subject in the footage, you remove the green making compositing look more realistic.

What are light wraps used for?

  • This is used for making the subject fit into a new background by making the light of the background spill onto the composted subject.

My Attempt:

  • First I got the footage, I denoised it and then created a new composition. I then duplicated the footage three times calling them Head, Torso, and Legs. I used the pen tool to recreate a mask over each piece of footage around either the head, torso or legs. I then keyed the mask and move each mask so that it always covered its area.


  • I then added a background in and colour corrected it by removing the green on the hue and saturation effect and increasing the reds on the curves effect.2017-06-14 (3)
  • I rendered it out:

My second attempt:

  • This time I keyed the entire piece of footage and then created an individual mask for the cup. I had to move the vertex’s individually on most of the frames so it correctly masked around the cup.


  • I then added a background in like before and colour corrected again by using hue/saturation and curves. 2017-06-14 (6)
  • I then rendered it out: