Progress on the CCC Short Film

I haven’t written about it, but I’ve made a lot of progress on the short film for my Wednesday night sci-fi game. The film itself is presented as an in-universe informational advertisement about the mission the characters are undertaking, with supporting graphics, voiceover narration, and a call to action. It’s bringing together green-screen footage, Blender animation, transitions, and other basic stuff I’ve been learning. I’m assembling the actual film in DaVinci Resolve 17.

Along the way I’ve learned a lot:

  • You can animate pretty much any property in Blender, including (for example) the factor on a Mix node for materials – going from one type of material to an entirely different one in a few seconds, for example. Combining this with proportional editing vertexes, I’m able to create some interesting stargate effects. However, Blender won’t show these animations in the timeline until you turn off the option to only show selected objects.
  • When exporting animation from Blender for compositing in another program, I should be using the EXR format, not an AVI. This format will preserve more detail, allowing me to color grade footage. I used AVIs this time, but I’ll do it better next time.
  • Use Resolve’s “Add Tracks” tool, not “Add Track”, to precisely place new tracks where you want them. It’s a little more clicking, but ultimately less cumbersome than adding a single track at the top of the stack and then repeatedly clicking it down. Right now, Resolve doesn’t seem to have support for just dragging tracks within the stack.
  • On that note, if you want to snap to particular time segments on a Resolve timeline, there might be a better way but I just added Fusion Composition tracks of the appropriate length, and disabled the video track they’re on (leaving it enabled causes a rendering error).
  • A lot of Resolve special effects are just complicated Fusion node graphs under the hood, and it’s possible to edit those beyond the basic configuration Resolve gives you.
  • And most randomly, you can’t use 2.92’s geometry nodes on a single vert, you need a face of some kind.

I’m hoping to have this film wrapped by the end of this weekend. I have three more shorts I’m planning, but some of them require crew and that’s never a good omen. Still, I’ll make what progress I can.

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