Portal Power Practicing

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I needed to try a lot of new things before properly starting my VFX project, last week. I decided to try the most tricky part of what I planned, the portal.
To create a video of Kyle shooting a portal from his hand I went through a lot of stages:

  1. We set up the green-screen and took the clip of him doing the motion for the shot. It had to be simple as I was trying green screens and original footage for the first time.
  2. I used Keylight on the top layer of footage I imported to after effects to get rid of the screen. I did this by adding a black solid layer in below the footage, then on the footage I used the eyedropper tool to select all of the green. I then changed the view to status and played with settings such as color grain until the black surrounded kyle, and only bits of grey touched him. Once set back to final product view it looked great.
  3. To create a new shadow I duplicated the top footage and placed it below the original, then used the curve tool to make the visible silhouette all black and set the opacity down. I moved the footage left sightly and was left with a new shadow, which followed him perfectly. For something to fall upon, the shadow was layered on top of an image of a brick wall, rather than the black solid from before.
  4. I tinted the wall, then moved the footage along to where he seems to punch it. There I added in a radial blur and keyed it in to start and finish quite quickly.
  5. Next I used the effect I got from productioncrate.com to make a portal appear. I got the effect of the portal opening and spinning , so I added 2 layers of it. My clip was short, so I had to speed up the footage of the portal opening a lot, then keyed that layer invisible, as I simultaneously keyed the other portal layer visible. I did this so I could change the speed and slow the portal down as soon as it was open.
  6. The slow opening helped me add the final touch, the destination of the portal. I took an image of a forest (which clashed the brick wall) and cut it into a circular mask.
  7. I keyed the mask to grow behind the portal and become very visible when it was open. To add to this I added in a twist effect from the effects panel, so it would twist open as the portal spins, then stop.

I am very pleased with how this turned out as some of it was trial and error, but a lot was the stuff I’ve been taught about layering and replacements in VFX. I worried I would struggle with VFX, but thankfully I really enjoyed doing this practice run for my project, which I managed to get clips for today.

I want to do all of this (and then some) for my project and feel so much more confident about how it will look when finished, now.

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