Tutorial 10 – The Corridor
Photoshop File: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15812361/Tut10/In_the_Town_of_Silent_Hill_by_AKRadish.psd.zip
C4D Corridor File Start: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15812361/Tut10/corridor_tutorial.c4d.zip
C4D corridor File Finish: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15812361/Tut10/corridor_tutorial_finished.c4d.zip
Hi everyone and welcome back to Renderready.com. Today, we go over Projection Man and how to use it to build a scene in 3D that would take forever using materials/shaders/rendering time. You can download the files above but watch the video to give you a step-by-step walkthrough on how to work within Projection Man.
To start off, Projection Man is a plugin built by Maxon that is the beefier cousin to camera mapping. Instead of one image though, it can take layers/alpha channels from a Photoshop document and make plant that on different geometry throughout the scene. This technique is pretty easy to use and can help build really cool shots where there is a reference file or artwork that needs to be built in 3D.
To set up your PSD file, you need to slice up your image into layers based on Z-depth, starting with the closest elements that are seamless objects. If elements in your scene overlap other elements, then there needs to be a little clone tool work. Take the left column overlapping the wall. The wall elements should be clone brushed behind the column so as the camera moves, there is no duplication of textures behind the column to the wall. Make sure the aspect ratio is a 4:3 in Photoshop. This will allow you to get maximum resolution of the doodle image (explained later) when building out your 3D scene. Once the entire scene is cut out in Photoshop or you download the Photoshop file from above, move over to Cinema 4D to start Projection Man.
There are several things you should do prior to starting your projection. First, in your preferences in C4D, set your Projection Man settings from Luminance/Alpha to Color/Alpha. If you don’t, lights won’t work and your GI will go insane. Next, add a Doodle Frame into your scene and set the resolution to 1024×768. Then import your Photoshop image of the corridor. Then add a display tag to your doodle object, check visibility, and adjust your transparency so you can still make out your image but also make out your geometry. Then lay down a plane object and scale/rotate till the floor is lined up with your image floor. With certain photographs, you may have to adjust your focal length to make this whole process work.
Once you get your camera lined up, add a protection tag to it so it doesn’t move. Then start adding in some simple boxes for the walls, the columns, and everything else in the scene. The modeling does not have to be perfect, just close. If you want to skip this step and get to the actual Projection Man workflow, just download the C4D file above.
Once all the object are in the scene, move to the protected camera and STAY ON THAT CAMERA NO MATTER WHAT. Open your Projection Man tab in the window foldout menu. From the first layer in the Photoshop file, find the elements in the layer, compare to elements in C4D, and select those elements. In our files, the columns will be our starting point and there should be 6, two on the left and four on the right. Choose all those elements, right click in those elements in the projection man tab and choose “load bitmap”. Select the Photoshop image and in the layers, choose the column layer and alpha channel. That will project that layer onto those columns with the alpha channel ignoring all unselected elements. Then set the side in the material tag from front to both. This will ensure the alpha channel will go all the way through. Once that’s complete, add a single light into the scene for visibility’s sake and then start going down the list of Photoshop layers, comparing that to the C4D elements, and adding textures through Projection Man.
Once complete, it’s now time to light the scene. Turn on GI and set your Diffuse Depth to something high like 3 or 4. Then add directional lights with area shadows pointing down through the different sky vents in the ceiling. Add a box around the scene with the top part of the box open to hide any textures that weren’t properly painted. Add several more lights to brighten up certain areas like the doors or columns in the back. Once this is done to your liking, add more elements to your 3D scene to make it spooky. Wheelchairs, operating tables, bed pans, anything that can be rusted, dusty, and broken look really cool. Finally, while on the projection camera, add a new camera. This will be the camera you render with. Adjust your aspect ratio to what you need at this point and add some animation to your shot. Be sure not to move too much otherwise you will see the tearing of the textures. Simple slides, dolly, or crane shots are pretty much the bread and butter of this program. You may want to add buffer channel tags to your object in your scene so you can reduce the saturation/brightness of these elements in AE as well. Add nulls with compositing tags throughout the length of this corridor to have some depth points and you should be set to go to render out this scene.
In AE, import or use Cineware to bring in your file. Once in, I added some blur to the wheelchairs by duplicating the main image sequence, adding the wheelchair buffer channel, luma masking the wheelchairs then adding a small 2 pixel fast-blur onto those layers. I then used Magic Bullet Looks from Red giant to really give it a special type of haunted feel. Really cool plugin that’s super fast to work with and can deliver some amazing results. Then add some blur on the top and bottom of your shot to fake some DOF and you should be set to scare the crap off of anyone you meet.