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emulating digital projector in fcp/after effects

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Jack King
emulating digital projector in fcp/after effects
on Oct 18, 2009 at 1:57:22 pm

Hi there,

just wondering. I'm doing a music video at the end of the month which is going to incorporate the use of digitally projected images of the band's faces onto members of the cast in a dark wooded area. Despite all the efforts of make up, filming this footage to achieve max contrast, the expensive projectors etc, it would be comforting to know that it is possible to recreate this in post should something go wrong/it not look the way i intend it to.

So, given the authentic beams of light that will be projected onto the casts faces from real projectors, if things don't match up, could i somehow use the rushes for the intended projected footage (the bands faces) and faintly superimpose them over the casts faces in post and achieve an authentic look? if you get what i'm saying...?

any help woulld be greatly appreciated! Thanks, jack :)

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walter biscardi
Re: emulating digital projector in fcp/after effects
on Oct 18, 2009 at 2:31:23 pm

I think this would require the use of 3D animation software to properly make the footage appear projected on their faces. The images will bend around their faces and you can't achieve that with 2D software.

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Rafael Amador
Re: emulating digital projector in fcp/after effects
on Oct 18, 2009 at 3:19:57 pm

You can do that in AE.
I would recommend you to have a look to the incredible collection of AE tutorials of the COW.
You can have a look to those Artbeats tutorials that treats related techniques;

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Arnie Schlissel
Re: emulating digital projector in fcp/after effects
on Oct 18, 2009 at 6:48:54 pm

You can rotoscope the projected effects onto band members' faces, but that wouldn't wrap the effect around the faces the way projecting it live would.

You can shoot the band members on a greenscreen stage, key the projected images onto their faces and key the band into the forrest., but that won't wrap the effect around their faces the way projecting it live would.

To get the proper wrap, you'd have to model the faces in a 3d animation program to match their movements and then use the projected effect as the texture for the model.


Post production is not an afterthought!

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david bogie
Re: emulating digital projector in fcp/after effects
on Oct 18, 2009 at 10:09:09 pm

I most strongly disagree and I came here for an argument.

This is easily accomplished as a practical effect on your set if you have the proper camera. Most of the better HD rigs have the lux specs and sensor sizes and lenses to pull it off with fabulous results.

This is a total nightmare if you want to do it post PLUS it will always look like you did it in post. Which isn't BAD if that's your stylistic approach. Using high powered video projection systems as lighting sources is old news, folks been doing it for a long time, so you should be able to research the topic with a little patience. I worked on projects in high school 40 years ago in which we shot 35mm slides and 16mm films projected onto people and set pieces and I have used all forms of image projection in theatre productions.

If someone is paying you to shoot this, you cannot do it with your camera set to auto-anything.You need time to experiment. When you do the experiments, document them with notes. Do not try to remember what your f-stops or projector settings were, write them down and speak them into the camera mic while conducting the tests.
If you are not an experienced and competent photographer, with a good grasp of fill-to-key and background lighting ratios, you need to bone up on the topics and maybe acquire a light meter for your tests.

I say, meet this head-on with a solid grasp of the lighting requirements and the relatively simple physics. Please return someday and let us know if you pulled it off in the filed or had to complete it in post. A link to your finished project would also be great.

Good luck, hope you find the support you need here on the cow.


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Jack King
Re: emulating digital projector in fcp/after effects
on Oct 19, 2009 at 2:04:40 pm

Wow, thanks a lot everyone.

Comforting to know that if something does botch up I can use 3d software, and thanks very much for the tips and links. I'll look into this.

Doubly comforting post from david so thanks, this is indeed what i'm going to try before the shoot. Glad to hear it's something you think is easily achievable. Anyhow, thanks again, can get on with this full of confidence!

Cheers guys :)

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