FXhome Reacts to old videos ft. Simon Jones | Part 1

by birtanpublished on August 16, 2020

Hi guys, welcome to another FXhome reacts video. This week we have Oli, as always, but also, Simon Jones, the OG who’s responsible for a lot of the videos you’re about to watch, so let’s get started. Ok, here we go, World War II Beach Assault, BAM. That’s the old FXhome logo, very old. This is one of your masterclasses Simon. Yes, this was when we first started trying to do masterclasses where we wanted to make a little short film that we could then make loads of tutorials all about. Every single person in this video is the same guy. Christopher Puttock

Who we work with a lot. We wanted an easy job, I did the ships. This was way back, this was pre-HitFilm. Yeah this was VisionLab. Look at that gun, that wasn’t there. This is all cloning and compositing and all the beach girder things are composited as well. Lots of masking. It’s a massive masking task basically. And his leg’s off. He’s got his leg off. Yeah he also headbutted the floor there which wasn’t great. His head hit his helmet as

It bounced off the floor. Don’t do stunts guys. Wasn’t he a stunt man though? At that point he was a trainee stunt man. That’s the kind of training you do. And that helmet was a proper helmet. We’ve still got it in the server room. What we should have done is have a soft foam version for that shot, but we didn’t think of that. You live and learn. The bunker shot as well is completely fabricated because there wasn’t a bunker with a giant gun in it. You were just up on the cliff edge?

Yeah, it was like a cliff on the beach where we were looking down so the whole shot is created out of nothing with loads of cloned people and girders and explosions and all sorts. Also should we point out the quality. YouTube quality was lower when we uploaded this, but also the camera quality was also only SD back then. Which was a nightmare for green screening and all that kind of this. So, that it came out so well is a testament to the amount of time Simon put into it.

Lots and lots of rotoscoping going on there. I think what’s good about this video is that the scope of it was really carefully designed. Some of the other stuff we did back then was ridiculously ambitious for the time whereas this one, because it was a lot of cloning and masking and rotoscoping. As long as we did that well it kind of works and it kind of holds up quite nicely now. And this was way before we had the ability to do any camera tracking or motion tracking of any sort. So every single camera move is artificial

In post. And then he’s got his leg off. I was wondering how you did that? Is his leg bent behind him? That was a green screen sock which was a bit of a nightmare but that’s how you can get that ragged bit of cloth wiggling in front of it with his leg still being off. So he bends his leg back but it’s in a green thing so you can still key it out. Javert and I were looking and were saying that the shadow of his leg in the background is so good that his leg must have actually

Not been there. That’s Simon Jones, classic, Simon Jones. I can’t remember how I did the shadow. I don’t know how that shadow works so well. The shadow is entirely fake isn’t it, because that is one crisp, crisp shadow. If you look around his head in the shadow, it’s…he hasn’t got one. Alright let’s not focus on it too much guys, you’ll ruin it. Right, so the next video we’ve got is one called “What’s your idea?” and this

Was an ad made in 2012 to advertise HitFilm 2. This was quite a different production for us because this was the first time I think we’d got in an external company to do the filming and it’s kind of produced in a more traditional way. The actors were cast and we had multiple locations, this was in London, and the first shot was in Norwich, and we went out into the countryside in Norfolk. Most of it was just shot on one day. Did I do the helicopter? You did the helicopter.

Sorry guys. That was a 3D helicopter. So this was shot on a rooftop in London so that skyline is mostly real but obviously with the destruction added in. I don’t think I did that shot of the helicopter though. Some planes in the background. Yeah I did the planes and the helicopter and I think I did other bits in this sequence. And this is the North Norfolk countryside and that stuff in the air isn’t there. This was shot on the same day as the bit in London, so we shot in London then drove all the way

Up to Norfolk to shoot this. And we were very lucky with the weather and the traffic. So this is the UFO landing sequence. Did someone make the UFO for us? I can’t remember if it was made or if it was a purchased 3D model. And we still have this helmet, there’s the glasses, the tracked glasses, and this helmet is still sitting around here somewhere. And that suit. This is in the Norwich Arts Centre, it was yeah. And there was this wicked band and loads of people dancing. Did they just come in to do this specifically? Yeah, it

Was this kind of retro afternoon we put on. So there’s lots of really interesting particle stuff here. I love that, I love all the particles. I think what was interesting with this is that basically every bit of promo we’d ever done previously was Star Wars or the Matrix or like the beach landing assault, it was all kind of action movie stuff. And this little segment in this video was pretty much the first time we were like, “let’s do something that isn’t genre specific and is more motion-graphics and isn’t just appealing

To people who love science fiction. It’s got a bit of everything in so it shows the scope of what HitFilm is. That was the intention was meant to be like, these people have ideas for a movie. And then you sort of go into their mind of them making it and you can make it with HitFilm. This actually comes from an original idea that we had right at the start of AlamDV2, where we had a director who was really frustrated with his actors. But he was more frustrated with his process of making the film, because it wasn’t how

He imagined it. And we tried to make a video, although it never saw the light of day, where he goes up to the actors and goes, “no, no, no, it’s meant to be like this!” And then it starts happening in front of them. Like the sticks turn to lightsabers and they one of them is flying and all that, but our imagination of what it could be far outstripped our abilities, software, camera, everything at that point. Would it now? We could do it now. I really really liked it and everything, and yeah, all these different bits and different

Flavors it brought to it, like real action and then like fantasy sci-fi and then just like you know, kind of the music video but kind of like something more delicate. It showed the point of what we were trying to get across but we maybe needed to hammer it home a little more. Because it doesn’t really tell you that HitFilm, it doesn’t tell you enough about HitFilm. I think it’s always a challenge of this stuff isn’t it, the balance of creating

A satisfying little short film of some sort. And a promotional trailer that tells you useful information. I think what’s interesting though is if we were so focused on trailers and just, the software does this this and this, you can very easily tailor that to the software’s strengths. Whereas when you go off and try to make a satisfying short film, you end up pushing yourself in the direction that then teaches you stuff about the software, which then gives you ideas for new features, and it kind of all loops around. It was the

Best test, wasn’t it? Because yeah we were such a small team we didn’t necessarily have those sort of big testing of it actually doing what it’s meant to do as a product. So like normally when you’re making these you’re leading up to a release, but it was also when you were most testing the software. So it was a real scary time for the developers because they knew that for the next 3 or 4 weeks you were going to be battering the software trying to get it to do everything, so that’s when most of the bad stuff would come out.

It’d be like, “Simon’s got another bug! The shadows aren’t doing what they’re meant to be doing!” And that would happen a lot. So I think in this side of the room we love making stuff, and the other side of the room they hate it when we make stuff. Thanks for watching this episode guys, if you want to see any of the full length videos that we’ve been watching they’re down in the description below. Remember to subscribe and hit the bell for notifications on when we next upload. Bye!

Welcome to another Hit-FXhome, no. I was gonna say HitFilm. If you’d like to check out any of the videos you’ve seen in today’s episode, you can see them in the description. Nope. Description. Thanks for watching this week’s video guys, if you wanna watch any of the videos we’ve been watching, they’re- can’t say “watching” like 4 times. If you’d like to peruse. If you ‘d like to browse.

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