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Figuring out how to pull off a crazy shot

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Brian Bernhard
Figuring out how to pull off a crazy shot
on Aug 2, 2010 at 5:05:49 pm

Hello,

I am producing a science educational show and I am trying to figure out how the heck I am going to pull off a crazy shot that I wrote into the script. Any ideas would be helpful.

I want to have the camera locked on a close up of an object in the hosts hand, the host then releases the object and I want the camera to track it down as it smashes into the ground, I would like the object in focus the whole time. It also needs to be shot in HD.

Anyone have any idea what kind if rig I could get or build that would work without destroying any camera gear?

Thanks,
Brian

Blight Productions
http://www.blightproductions.com


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john sharaf
Re: Figuring out how to pull off a crazy shot
on Aug 2, 2010 at 5:17:21 pm

Hi Brian,

You might try to essentially "animate" the Shot; break down the action into the appropriate number of "frames" and repeat the action that number of times while adjusting the camera height to where it would be appropriate in the "timeline".
By making more frames that would actually happen in reality, you could create a "slo-mo" effect. The in-betweens would mostly be a blur, and the final "crash" probably the most important. This should be shot at the slowest motion possible for your budget (probably 60p). A nice sound effect would help!

Good luck,

JS



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Brian Bernhard
Re: Figuring out how to pull off a crazy shot
on Aug 2, 2010 at 5:58:12 pm

An interesting option thanks for the idea. I am hoping to get the drama of the fall, but if I can't figure out anything else, this might work well.

Blight Productions
http://www.blightproductions.com


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Mark Suszko
Re: Figuring out how to pull off a crazy shot
on Aug 2, 2010 at 6:33:56 pm

What's the object?

There are a couple things to try.

One is, camera(s) locked-off, you can composite pieces of multiple takes, and so drop the object several times and combine those takes.

Two, shoot with a high shutter speed for clear motion, then apply interpolation software to slo-mo the heck out of it. But reaslly this is a job for a high-speed camera with a faster frame rate.

Three, motion-track the object, and combining this with a "plate shot" of the background, you can faked the look of a camera tracking with the object all the way to the floor. Requires some Aftereffects skill.

Four: make a rig similar to the ones used for olympic diving: a pole and sled with the camra that can free-fall even with the falling object, and a braking/cushioning system at the bottom to save the camera.


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Todd Terry
Re: Figuring out how to pull off a crazy shot
on Aug 2, 2010 at 8:35:12 pm

Mark's fourth suggestion is what I would do... build a vertical sliding rig of some sort to safely "drop" the camera at the same time as the object.

In my head I can see a device that looks pretty much like an ordinary camera slider (T-rails and bearings), except propped up on end. That's the easy part, the hard part is stopping it safely and suddenly gradually.

Anyone remember the old stuntman's device called the "decelerator"? In these days of CGI it's not used any more, but back in "the day" it allowed someone to jump off a building, sans airbag... they basically fell tethered by a cable which suddenly "decelerated" the person right as they reached the ground. This was done by wrapping the cable around a conically-shaped feed-out reel which lowered the speed of the feed-out nearer the small end of the reel.

You could probably cobble together something (as people in my office say, "A complicated system of winches and pulleys") that would work, maybe even decelerate with bungee cords or such, if you can figure out how to do that without any bounce at the end. Lots of trial and error.

T2

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






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Mark Suszko
Re: Figuring out how to pull off a crazy shot
on Aug 2, 2010 at 9:02:54 pm

Why do all the mechanical building effort, when you can do it in software?

Say the object is an egg, just so we have a common reference. And the idea is to track in free fall with the egg until it his the floor, splat.

Egg then has to stay in the center of the frame the whole shot.

To get that effect... you can drop the egg, with a camera falling alongside of it.....
.
or.....

you can leave the egg still, and move the wall and floor, instead... The eye really doesn't know the difference since the relative apparent motion is the same.

Floor and wall are easy to make move digitally. The egg can be chromakeyed in, or hung from a cord or glued to a stick or anything.


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Todd Terry
Re: Figuring out how to pull off a crazy shot
on Aug 2, 2010 at 9:11:20 pm

"Why do all the mechanical building effort"

Because it can be loads of fun!


"move the wall and floor, instead... "

...and lighting instruments, whether virtual or real.

T2

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






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Mark D'Agostino
Re: Figuring out how to pull off a crazy shot
on Aug 3, 2010 at 1:41:32 pm

Since Brian wants to capture the object smashing int the floor would you rapidly raise a "floor" to impact and smash the stationary object in your example?

Mark D'Agostino
http://www.synergeticproductions.com


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Mark Suszko
Re: Figuring out how to pull off a crazy shot
on Aug 3, 2010 at 1:51:58 pm

Yes, just use two takes of the egg, one shot at floor level to capture the smash. Roto it out from the background/floor and blend the two takes at the impact point. The floor and wall are flat 2-d stills, maybe with some 3-d camera projection to help with perspective. The more of it you can import into 3d CGI, the easier things become.

I just have a natural antipathy to deliberately "dropping" a camera. Though one of the new HD Govideo cameras seems rugged enough to be dropped a short distance. How I'd do that would be to use the optional underwater housing as a frame. Glue or bolt plastic tubing guides to the sides of that case, so the camera is guided down the center of a pair of music wire guide tracks, into a soft shock absorber at the bottom. Then you do take after take until you get the release timing right.


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Emre Tufekci S.O.A.
Re: Figuring out how to pull off a crazy shot
on Aug 3, 2010 at 6:21:09 pm

Something like this:

http://www.garrettcam.com/camsDiveCam.php

Emre Tufekci
http://www.productionpit.com



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