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Any bright minds who wouldn't mind speaking to me over Skype about some effects?

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Chris WoodAny bright minds who wouldn't mind speaking to me over Skype about some effects?
by on Apr 7, 2012 at 6:11:54 pm

So I have a variety of effects in my upcoming film, and it's quite time-dependent as it's for my dissertation, I was wondering if I can speak to anyone and they can offer some tips as to how I'm to go about creating these effects.

If anyone wouldn't mind having a chat about it to me via Skype voice call that would be great.

Thanks very much.


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Angelo LorenzoRe: Any bright minds who wouldn't mind speaking to me over Skype about some effects?
by on Apr 7, 2012 at 9:25:28 pm

Can you discuss any of your questions on the forum? Not only does it help others who might be interested in the answer, but with Easter and Passover going on right now, I wouldn't be surprised if a large chunk of free time was hard to find this weekend.


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Chris WoodRe: Any bright minds who wouldn't mind speaking to me over Skype about some effects?
by on Apr 8, 2012 at 10:38:54 pm

I'm free pretty much throughout the week.


Here's some of the VFX I need to do on my film in post-production:

Matte painting - I have some shots on the that I want to make look more mountainous. I'm having trouble getting the images I have to blend in.

Compositing a 3D object into a live action footage. How to match move a 3D object so that it appears rock solid on camera.

A character gets his throat slit - I want to composite some blood trickling down his throat. He's only had his throat exposed for a few frames.

Another characters get a blade through the throat. I want to recreate this in 3D and use matchmoving to composite it bursting through the characters neck.


I hope this helps. If anyone wants to add me to talk about it, you can reach me at mr.woodkins

Thanks!


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Darby EdelenRe: Any bright minds who wouldn't mind speaking to me over Skype about some effects?
by on Apr 9, 2012 at 8:19:32 am

So it's hard to give specific answers without knowing exactly what your problems are, but here are some higher level thoughts on your concerns.

[Chris Wood] "Matte painting - I have some shots on the that I want to make look more mountainous. I'm having trouble getting the images I have to blend in."

What you need to do for this will depend on the type of shot you're working with. Whatever the shot, you should start by exporting out a still frame from your piece and doing your matte painting in Photoshop. Matching color and perspective is important here.

If your shot is a panning shot then you can make it easier on yourself and export enough frames to cover the entire pan in one Photoshop file.

If it's a zooming shot then export the frame with the widest field of view, but once inside Photoshop scale the document up to allow your painting enough resolution for the zoom (the amount will depend how much the shot zooms).

For both panning and zooming shots you're in luck: 2D tracking should be all that is necessary to get the matte painting to stick convincingly in your scene.

However, if your camera is moving at all then things get more complicated. For a convincing matte painting you'll need a 3D solve (match move) for the shot. Then you can project the matte painting in a 3D application on to low-res geometry that stands in for the painted elements (mountains). This can definitely take some time to get right.


[Chris Wood] "Compositing a 3D object into a live action footage. How to match move a 3D object so that it appears rock solid on camera."

This would be match moving again. There are lots of different solutions for this but they all look pretty much the same from a high level:

Track > Solve Camera > Import Camera into 3D Application

What tracker/solver and what 3D app you use is a matter of preference. This can be a specialized skill that careers are built around, so I would encourage you to try and find someone with at least some experience to do it. It's science, art and a little voodoo magic. That's just the camera solve though, then you need to do your best to integrate the 3D object into the scene via shading.

If you took notes on the camera's focal length, "film back" and position (if it's on a tripod, the distance from the ground to the lens) then these will help a lot.


[Chris Wood] "A character gets his throat slit - I want to composite some blood trickling down his throat. He's only had his throat exposed for a few frames."

Probably best done as a practical effect. This will save you time, money and it'll look better. Buy some corn syrup and food coloring. Mix 'em up how you like and trickle away. Since this is a very short shot (and a close up?) you can get away with a lot.

If you've ever seen Silverado, there's a shot of one of the main characters dropping his revolver that the director realized needed to be emphasized with a close up of the revolver landing in the dirt... only they never shot it. So they went out past the parking lot of the production facility with a camera and a gun and dropped it in some dirt. You'd never know watching the film.

If you do re-shoot then try to match any details that are visible: clothing, jewelry, lighting, skin tone, etc. Some necks might be more recognizable than dirt :)

[Chris Wood] "Another characters get a blade through the throat. I want to recreate this in 3D and use matchmoving to composite it bursting through the characters neck."

Depending on the shot this could be crazy hard or relatively simple. I can't say for sure based on your description, but it sounds like you have an edit as the blade hits the throat and the fx shot is simply the blade coming out the other side of the neck. Editing will definitely help sell this. The approach and difficulty of the effect itself (as with most of these) will depend on the shot.

Sorry if that wasn't very helpful but it's difficult coming to the table without knowing what was planned and shot.

Darby Edelen


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Chris WoodRe: Any bright minds who wouldn't mind speaking to me over Skype about some effects?
by on Apr 9, 2012 at 5:07:03 pm

Thanks Darby. Here's where I need Skype though, so I can have someone personally advise me on the methods I need to take, as I can then transfer over stills from my film, etc.

If anyone wouldn't mind adding me, that would be fab.

- Chris


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