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Looking for an Effect or Trick: for "door open light flood in"

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Diq Diamond
Looking for an Effect or Trick: for "door open light flood in"
on Oct 3, 2015 at 8:49:27 pm

Looking for an Effect or trick: I have a woman standing inside a room just inside the door. Camera on woman, the door busts open. You do not see door, just the splash of light that floods the room and hits the woman when the door opens. Anybody know an effect or trick that can make this look real? Thank you for your time.


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Jeff Kirkland
Re: Looking for an Effect or Trick: for "door open light flood in"
on Oct 3, 2015 at 11:29:57 pm

I'm guessing this is one of those situations where some muppet actually said "We'll fix it in post" out loud, and everyone listened? The most convincing way to do it would be to have done it practically on set.

It's a hard one to answer without seeing the footage and knowing the context. The shaft of light from a door looks very different in a horror film compared to a romantic comedy for example.

Anyway, if I was short on time, I'd start by looking at footage of something that has the effect I want, frame by frame. Then I'd comp, blend, and animate a highly feathered block of white into the frame and emulate the shaft of light as best I could.

If I had more time, I'd experiment with dropping the footage into a 3D environment and letting virtual light spill in from an opening virtual door.

You say the door bursts open so the light is pretty much going to be instant on so there's probably not a lot of animation to do, just an initial fade in - and maybe widening of the light - to simulate the door opening and getting the compositing mode right.

But that's all said without having any idea of the starting image or the final effect you're trying to achieve.

Jeff Kirkland | Video Producer | Southern Creative Media | Melbourne Australia
http://www.southerncreative.com.au | G+: http://gplus.to/jeffkirkland | Twitter: @jeffkirkland


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Bret Williams
Re: Looking for an Effect or Trick: for "door open light flood in"
on Oct 4, 2015 at 4:50:03 pm

I assume you'd have to roto around the person opening the door as well.


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Jeff Kirkland
Re: Looking for an Effect or Trick: for "door open light flood in"
on Oct 4, 2015 at 8:16:20 pm

True, although in my head we didn't see the door in the shot, just the effect of it opening. And you'd need to think about what the light looks like if it's supposed to illuminate (or not) any other objects in the room. And are there dust particles suspended in the air. And is it artificial light, sunlight, weird alien science light....

Fortunately, something on the screen for one second doesn't have to be nearly as convincing as something on the screen for 10 seconds.

But yes, I can imagine having to roto lots of layers of light if there were other objects visible and you needed to emulate falloff, etc. A lot of work for something that could probably have been practically emulated with a real light and a flag on set.

Jeff Kirkland | Video Producer | Southern Creative Media | Melbourne Australia
http://www.southerncreative.com.au | G+: http://gplus.to/jeffkirkland | Twitter: @jeffkirkland


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Bret Williams
Re: Looking for an Effect or Trick: for "door open light flood in"
on Oct 4, 2015 at 9:01:58 pm

Yes, I'm misunderstanding the part about not seeing the door. So this would be the reverse shot of her staring at the door as the light hits her face. So first off, I'd simply start with some bloom/overexpose looks along with a draw mask to feather in just the area you want to bloom. So, just dissolving to a more overexposed shot with perhaps just an area of the shot overexposed. Yes, like could have been done on set. But alas, an hour of post is a lot cheaper than an hour of shoot day. Especially if it makes your shoot day run long!


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