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How to handle split screen shots?

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MichaelMaier
How to handle split screen shots?
on Apr 3, 2014 at 9:39:04 pm
Last Edited By MichaelMaier on Apr 3, 2014 at 9:41:14 pm

I got a call from somebody who wants me to grade a project. He explained that during editing a lot of split screen stuff is being done. It seems they had some performance problems and had to divide the screen, taking each side from a different take of the same shot. But the split needs to be seamless as it's supposed to be the same take. As I understood it I think it's like a two-shot where they use the performance of the actor on the right from a different take than the one on the left, but need to look like it's the same take.
There seems to be quite a few of these types of shots.

I was asked about the best way to handle that. I'm not quite sure myself as I have not encountered this yet.

Do these shots have to be rendered as a visual effect first, meaning having the two shots composited and reimported in the editor prior to the export of an AAF? Or would the AAF carry the necessary info and the rest could be done in Resolve? There doesn't seem to be really any complex compositing going on.


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Marc Wielage
Re: How to handle split screen shots?
on Apr 4, 2014 at 7:39:03 am

I think this is a VFX issue, and you do need for that to be rendered before you get it. If the blend between shots is seamless, then just color-correct it as if it were a single shot. The problem is going to be in registering the image, taking care of shadow issues, focus issues, and stuff like that. I think it's dangerous to do stuff like this, and I don't think it's as "organic" as just getting one take right with all actors involved, but I recognize that this is a trend nobody can avoid nowadays.

Imagine a scene with five or six people in the frame, and each person is from a different take! It's gonna happen (if it hasn't already). Next, they'll want that in 3D, with a Steadicam shot, rack-focusing to each actor all over the room...


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Joseph Owens
Re: How to handle split screen shots?
on Apr 4, 2014 at 2:54:00 pm
Last Edited By Joseph Owens on Apr 4, 2014 at 2:56:14 pm

[Marc Wielage] "Imagine a scene with five or six people in the frame, and each person is from a different take! It's gonna happen (if it hasn't already). Next, they'll want that in 3D, with a Steadicam shot, rack-focusing to each actor all over the room..."

I'm imagining billing that out. ka-ching. It is a VFX issue, but as colorists, we are or should be either hand-in-glove with that or really start considering grade to be a kind of VFX.

I do a certain amount of this and for the most part the cinematographer/dP on this particular series is religious to the point of fanatical with his lighting and scene-match. So the seam is almost always invisible just treating them with the same grade. If there is a shadow mismatch (rare), then setting up a split with power window alpha-out to reveal a lower layer will show that and then a little shade-off is relatively painless. I've done whole shows with the same actors playing their doppelganger-nemeses like this. Show 208 of Tiny Plastic Men is an example. http://tinyplasticmen.com/

jPo

"I always pass on free advice -- its never of any use to me" Oscar Wilde.


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MichaelMaier
Re: How to handle split screen shots?
on Apr 7, 2014 at 12:20:01 am

[Joseph Owens] "I do a certain amount of this"

Could you describe your workflow? Does the shot info carry through with AAF? Thanks.



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Joseph Owens
Re: How to handle split screen shots?
on Apr 7, 2014 at 3:50:11 pm

In this case, the show is edited FCP7. The editor uses a simple soft-edge wipe, (I just have to remember to shutoff the alpha output in the Resolve timeline or the result is a half-black plate) so its just a completely normal, nothing-to-see-here roundtrip. Effect rebuilds itself in the FCP timeline.

Unless there is some kind of effect incompatibility between MC or Symphony that something like that wouldn't survive the AAF rebuild, I can't see why it shouldn't work one-for-one.

jPo

"I always pass on free advice -- its never of any use to me" Oscar Wilde.


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Arnie Schlissel
Re: How to handle split screen shots?
on Apr 8, 2014 at 10:43:41 pm

[Marc Wielage] "Imagine a scene with five or six people in the frame, and each person is from a different take! It's gonna happen (if it hasn't already)."

It has. David Fincher (or, rather, his editors) has become notorious for doing this when he has multiple characters in a shot.

Arnie
Post production is not an afterthought!
http://www.arniepix.com/


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