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Changing the environment

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Justin DeanChanging the environment
by on Jun 23, 2011 at 12:53:41 pm

I am shooting a movie, that takes place in a city in which has had bombs dropped on it. My actor walks down a normal city street, and I would like to change the buildings that surround him and make them look a little bit more ruined, banged up, scratched bombed out and etc...

Is this possible.

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Steve RenardRe: Changing the environment
by on Jun 23, 2011 at 1:43:35 pm

Yes, so long as you've planned the shot correctly. Also yes if you haven't, but it will be a lot more work.

I'd start with Andrew Kramer's tutorial on matte paintings on - he says everything in there that I would say. After that, it's up to your imagination.

Good luck!

Steve Renard
Media Director, Cicada Design Inc.
and Freelance Know-it-all

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Justin DeanRe: Changing the environment
by on Jun 24, 2011 at 1:54:42 am

I use his website quite, a bit, I'm unsure what exactly tutorial that is, or is it not under tutorials? Link possibly?

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Mark SprakerRe: Changing the environment
by on Jun 24, 2011 at 5:54:57 am

I believe that is the tutorial he was talking about.


Here is the gist of how I would approach this:

Shoot the scene with as little camera movement as possible. Panning is ok, just don't over do it. All that matters is that you can get a good 2D track in AE.

Once you've got the footage, save a still frame where you can see all of the buildings and use Photoshop (or whatever image editing tool you have) to create the destroyed look. You can do this inside of AE if you don't have PS but it's more work.

After that, it's just a matter of motion tracking each building with the appropriate "destroyed" bits. It'll be more involved than just a simple Sky Replacement due to parallax. It should definitely be possible nonetheless; Just keep it simple.

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Michael SzalapskiRe: Changing the environment
by on Jun 24, 2011 at 1:59:54 pm

There's also a new tutorial over there that covers more complex set extension stuff:

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.

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Justin DeanRe: Changing the environment
by on Jun 26, 2011 at 11:54:00 am

That's kind of what I thought. For big shots of the buildings, I'll just photoshop and won't have the actor in them,but when he's walking through them, just change em and motion track. Thanks a lot, I really appreciate it.

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