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4 or 5 second rule for visual effects

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Graham Quince4 or 5 second rule for visual effects
by on Feb 17, 2012 at 11:13:25 am

For the longest time I've been using a rule of thumb that for FX to work, they should be on-screen no longer than 4 or 5 seconds. I swear I read this somewhere years ago but in conversation with someone recently, they hadn't heard it.

The rule is certainly true in mainstream movies:

In Terminator Salvation CG Arnold's face is on-screen for a total of 13 seconds in three separate shots (the conversation I had was the sort thst happens after a few drinks)

Another example would be the dragon sequence in HP Goblet of fire. The creature is never on screen for more than 4 seconds at a time.

I guess my question is: is this something I stumbled across or is it actual theory taught to professionals? (It should go without saying that it's only a guideline)

Graham

http://www.YouTube.com/ShiveringCactus - Free FX for amateur films


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Dave LaRondeRe: 4 or 5 second rule for visual effects
by on Feb 17, 2012 at 3:54:29 pm

I could be wrong, but that rule sounds kind of bogus to me.

I think the visual pacing inherent in the editing process has far more to do with shot duration than anything else.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Graham QuinceRe: 4 or 5 second rule for visual effects
by on Feb 17, 2012 at 4:40:36 pm

As I say, I use it as a guideline more than anything. I've just delivered (amatuer) shots that have been 10 seconds in length in the past and assumed they would be edited down, only to find they've been dropped in whole.

And I do that it's all about the pacing, it's just these days when setting up a comp in AE or C4D I try to keep it to 4-5 seconds. But, as posted, I couldn't remember if I'd made this up or had read it somewhere.

Graham

http://www.YouTube.com/ShiveringCactus - Free FX for amateur films


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Conrad OlsonRe: 4 or 5 second rule for visual effects
by on Feb 17, 2012 at 6:37:38 pm

You should have your edit locked before you start your VFX work so the shot is as long as the editor decided (usually with a few frames handles at each end).

There is no time limit taught to VFX artist but it is easier to get away with less than perfect work in shorter shots. Longer shots will take longer to do and will cost the producer more so deadline and budget might come into play but is should ideally be up to the director and the editor.

Remember that in general the obvious VFX work is more likely to be in action sequences, which are usually cut quickly anyway but there a loads of long VFX shots that you wouldn't notice.

There are some really long shots in Avatar and



.

4-5 seconds might be the average but it's not a rule that's been written anywhere.

---

conradolson.com


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Andrew SomersRe: 4 or 5 second rule for visual effects
by on Feb 19, 2012 at 6:09:23 am

Olson: "You should have your edit locked before you start your VFX work"


If we waited till lock, the feature would never get done, LOL. :)


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Barend OnneweerRe: 4 or 5 second rule for visual effects
by on Feb 18, 2012 at 6:53:50 pm

Never heard of this before.

Raamw3rk - independent colourist and visual effects artist


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Andrew SomersRe: 4 or 5 second rule for visual effects
by on Feb 19, 2012 at 2:56:51 am

Odd - no such rule really exists.

I know VFX shots that are *minutes* in length that no one would know was a VFX. I know other VFX shots that are less than a second that are completely lame.

It depends on context, quality, and a bazillion other factors. Forget such a guideline, it is meaningless.


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