3D Compositing a Futuristic Sci-fi City
Staff Writer By: Enoc Burgos
iClone provides video editors with a one-stop 3D compositing tool that breaks down the 3D environment barrier, and let's almost anyone with little-to-no experience jump straight into layering videos and CG assets in a real-time 3D space.
Here, iClone power user Adolf Navarro shows us the possibilities of using iClone 6 when creating a sci-fi set, mixing 3D props and billboards with video textures. The new Reallusion PopVideo 3 software allows one to mask HD video footage filmed using green screen backgrounds, creating a keyed high definition video format than can be used as texture in iClone 3D props. It lets users mix real footage in virtual sets without further compositing operations.
In addition, iClone also allows to render video sequences with transparent background that can be used later in a new project such as billboard textures, in order to create crowds, vegetation walls or any other compositing layer.
All these video textured billboards, can be placed in the 3D set as any other prop. It's very convenient, as they get fully affected by the lights of the project, (colour, intensity, etc.), receiving the shadows of the other props in the scene and projecting their own shadows as well. Also, if the scene has a camera travelling, the parallax effect is automatically created in the final render, as the billboards are actually placed in the set.
To show all these features, Adolf has created a sequence that combines a heavy change in the ambient light, starting with an orange sky that turns to purple at the end, with a travelling camera zooming through a multilayer scene.
In the foreground, he included a masked green screen shot, of his partner Izara and himself, which has been made by using PopVideo, and has been integrated in a 3D balcony that faces a futuristic city.
All the other characters scattered over the city platforms and the dense vegetation on the beach are billboards as well, but created from iClone itself in auxiliary projects. In the end, you'll see how iClone automatically manages the shadows and the changing lights, integrating the billboards in the scene without further editing.