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Scene Modeling Case in Film Industry


  • Industry Application:

    Film and television special effects, 3D animation, 3D advertising

  • Case Description: Visual effects on special location

    • Two individuals are flying and fighting above the waters to show Chinese Kung-Fu (like the flying fight between Nameless (acted by Jet Li) and Broken Sword (acted by Tony Leung) in HERO (a Chinese famous film directed by Zhang Yimou));
    • When they fight to a key plot point, the actors pause or with very slow action, and the audience can view them from special viewpoints, for example, from the above with rotating viewpoints (like the bullettime special effects in MATRIX) or from under the water;
    • The method of this case can be applied to film special effects, 3D animation and 3D advertising.

    Movie poster of HERO, shot in the Jiuzhaigou Valley

  • Work Flow Chart:

    1. Copy all the things which will show up in the special effects snippet (including the scene, the environment, and the actors) holographically into 3D software, so as to create a virtual 3D world which looks the same as the real world. The steps include: use a digital video camera, or film camera to shoot around the scenes and humans, then import the videos into the planned Easypano Auto Modeling Software to automatically create models. The environment can also be made into a environment map by Easypano Panoweaver;
    2. Export the above models into other 3D software for further refinement until satisfaction;
    3. Then begin the virtual cinematography: use the virtual camera in the 3D scene model to create a fly through/walk through animation according to the director's intention, and any viewpoint is possible;
    4. At last, merge the dynamic special effects with the environment map to generate exciting but realistic visual effects.

    Work Flow Chart of the Film Case


    • To add motions to the human models, you need to use other techonologies like skeleton reconstruction, motion capture and facial expression capture. To learn more about these, please refer to the related technologies of other companies.
    • As to how to make the panoramic environment map with Easypano Panoweaver, please refer to the feature article on about Panoweaver application in the epic movie TROY.

  • Advantages:

    • Photorealistic models: Easypano auto-modeling software can realize photo-realistic 3D reconstruction, so as to assure the absolute coherence of the appearance of the virtual and real world without any cleavage;
    • Speedy production: auto-modeling can save lots of time that traditional modeling methods will take;
    • Low cost: save the high equipment/prop cost in the traditional film special effects production;
    • More freedom: the virtual and real scenes/objects can be merged easily, and the effects will be more go-as-you-please and natural than the ones using only compound tricks;
    • Director's "WYSIWYG": during the film photography stage, as all of the humans and scenes have already been modeled, the director himself/herself can adjust freely and feel the optimal angle and method of the virtual cinematography until satisfaction.

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