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Robert King
Lighting fx
on Dec 21, 2015 at 5:36:49 am

i'm shooting a car interior on a green screen. I would like to shoot an exterior but need something to project reflections of the trees going by. Does anybody know the manufacturers are such projectors?


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Mark Suszko
Re: Lighting fx
on Dec 23, 2015 at 12:14:27 am

Actually, you might not need to project that. You can just shoot a plate shot from the back of a van or whatever, looking up at the sky and trees while driving, then reverse this/invert it, and layer it into the greenscreen final comp over the windshield. Same for shots on side windows: shoot a plate out the side door of a van or similar, composite it back into the glass area in post, with a distort tool and masking. I've done this a couple of times and playing with the opacity and blend modes was all it took. If you really want to make lights wash across the actors in the car, you could do that with hand-held lights the old fashioned way, or use any portable video projector, I suppose, fed with a motion video of the trees, or, really, just animated black and white bars would do it.


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Robert King
Re: Lighting fx
on Dec 23, 2015 at 12:25:39 am

What a great idea. Thanks.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Lighting fx
on Dec 23, 2015 at 1:53:45 am

No prob. When you shoot the front window, first, clean it super-clean dry, with the finest gauge steel wool you can buy. Clean it inside and out. When you shoot, you want to either have a rotatable, adjustable polarizer on the lens, or at least a flat black foam board card or cloth above the shot, to kill stray reflections in the glass. You will then have a clearer shot of the guys in the front seats, and an easier time selling the artificial reflections you put back in over the glass. Check for how shiny the car paint is, as well: if it's too reflective you'll want to composite on it too. Even better, frame it out, or use dulling spray on the car paint.


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Robert King
Re: Lighting fx
on Dec 23, 2015 at 2:27:05 am

Just put something together in ae and it look good. Any suggestions how to prevent the camera from showing up on the side and window of the car. Besides distance I am thinking bringing up the car int lighting will help wash the reflections. Any ideas?


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Mark Suszko
Re: Lighting fx
on Dec 23, 2015 at 3:05:13 am

Black foam core board with a lens hole cut out, cost about $3, or use flat black cloth from walmart, $5 a yard.


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Todd Terry
Re: Lighting fx
on Dec 23, 2015 at 5:08:25 am

Take all of Mark's excellent advice, he's right on the money.

As for avoiding camera reflections, yes, use a polarizer which will cut some of them, but not all. Judicious masking of the camera and environment will help that.

If you have side windows that are giving you reflections, simply roll them all the way down (if they will, in today's cars not all side windows will roll all the way down, especially rear windows). For windshields, for big budget productions it's not uncommon to have the windshield removed, but you probably won't have that luxury (I never have). But with those angles camera reflections are unlikely, anyway. You're more likely to have reflections of lighting instruments.

And yes, you will find adding reflections in post to be a bazillion times easier than doing it practically or with projection. And you have infinitely variable control of it in post... with practical or projected reflections, those are going to be baked in and you are stuck with what you shoot.

Done well, they can be pretty realistic, or hyper-realistic...

The windshield reflections were added in the third shot of this spot, at about the :06 mark....




Admittedly those don't look that realistic (the angle is impossible for one thing, and we should have warped them some), but in that case hyper-realistic was ok for us, because all of the other fake signage had a surreal look as well.

This fifth shot in this spot (at about :06) is a bit more realistic...



In this case, the RV was not moving. We couldn't tow a gigantic motorhome, nor did I want them to actually drive and tailgate a camera car that closely... so they were parked and I did a dolly shot with an arcing truck move around the nose of the vehicle, and the sky reflections were added in post. I was going to run out with a hood-mounted camera and shoot some real moving sky, but our first try just used still images of a sky we hand on hand with motions applied to them, and the result fell into the "ehh that looks good enough" range and I didn't even bother with the other shoot. Looks fairly realistic, I think (and the fact that it is less than a two-second shot helps).

Let us know how it all works out... or show us.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Robert King
Re: Lighting fx
on Dec 23, 2015 at 10:23:43 pm

Thanks for all the help. Luckily I don’t have to deal with a windshield. The 3 actors are in the back seat with only int. The green screens out the back and each side window. Three camera positions. The car ext, and green screen footage, will be shot out in the woods without the actors. It’s not on the list but I would like a car ext with an actor in the window as the car moves by. I did some testing and this is what will work for me.

Camera behind a black curtain. A 24mm lens close up on the car windows. About 3’ distance. With only the cars side visible overlaying the trees reflecting is more realistic. I created tracking matts for the windows and the painted areas. With the passing trees opacity set higher on the window glass than the painted areas the effect looks really good. With a couple of grips pushing the car in front of the camera this will be quick, easy and cheep. Thanks again…..


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Mark Suszko
Re: Lighting fx
on Dec 23, 2015 at 11:38:02 pm

Sounds almost like the old fashioned rear projection/process shots in old hollywood movies. Good luck, please do post stills or clips, not just of the results, but the tech setups, too.


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