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Best way to shoot a text message on a cell phone

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Tyler Smith
Best way to shoot a text message on a cell phone
on Feb 5, 2012 at 9:01:02 pm

Should I green screen and make a message, and if so how can i archive that effect
Should i just shoot what's on the screen of my phone

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Angelo Lorenzo
Re: Best way to shoot a text message on a cell phone
on Feb 5, 2012 at 9:08:48 pm

It depends on how bright your cellphone screen is. If it's relatively bright and youre shooting indoors then you can sometimes balance the exposure of the screen to the scene.

If you have after effects you should also have Mocha, which is a planar motion tracking program. Pop it open and look at the help file; the help file describes most of Mocha's functionality in terms of motion tracking the screen of a cellphone.

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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: Best way to shoot a text message on a cell phone
on Feb 6, 2012 at 10:58:48 am

If you can get a good/working capture off your phone then off course use that - it'll save you time tracking and inserting the text.

Whether you use a green screen or black depends if there are foreground objects (fingers or hand) encroaching into the screen area. Black is the preferred choice if there nothing comes across the screen since black helps to retain the highlights of the screen. But green is preferred if fingers/hand cross over the screen - this precludes having to roto/track the fingers/hand.

When tracking with mochaAE or mochaPro, be mindful of glints/highlights running across the screen as this will almost certainly confuse the tracker from what it should be tracking - the screen.


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Stoney El-Abd
Re: Best way to shoot a text message on a cell phone
on Feb 7, 2012 at 2:33:52 pm

As far as archiving the effect I doubt it's possible as every "conditional" will vary even if you did the shot twice in one minute. By that I mean the angle that your subject moves the phone at, the way the light hits the gs, the angles of the light relatively speaking to the gs on the phone, etc all these will probably be slightly different even if the "exact" same movement is performed. So you can probably save a "ballpark" keying preset with your keyer and then tweak it. With whatever motion tracker you use the thought of a preset has never crossed my mind, every track is different unless you're tracking remote operated real camera shots or cgi scenes.

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Andy Engelkemier
Re: Best way to shoot a text message on a cell phone
on Feb 8, 2012 at 12:53:24 pm

Most people I know just shoot what's on the screen. They do that in most cases I've seen on TV. That's usually the fastest way, and produces more realistic results. Tracking often creates a floating effect without a bunch of manual work unless ideal conditions are met.

You may have to dim the screen a bit, depending on what you're going for. If that's not particularly easy, you could apply a dry gel to it if you have any sitting around. It would just look like a screen protector so no one would notice.

Or, just add more light to your scene overall. Instead of shooting a phone in a dark room, shoot the phone in a dimly lit room, and darken it later. Basically use a similar technique to shooting a night shot in the day time. That would make the phone's brightness not a problem.

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