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Force Push

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Evan RobinsonForce Push
by on May 27, 2014 at 10:01:59 pm

Hi all,

I need to do an effect resembling the force push. I did not see any tutorials that I liked, so came up with an idea. I'm not sure if it will work, and I would like some advice about my technique.

First, you have the actor jump backwards and fall onto something soft. Then, without moving the camera remove the object and the actor to get a clean plate

Next, with out moving the camera, have the actor go to different positions in z space so the animator can have reference for how big the actor will be at the different locations.

Next, with out moving the camera, Throw a soccer ball along the same path that you want the actor to be thrown by. This will also give the animator reference to how to animate the object backwards in z space

Finally, The vfx guy will rotoscope the actor falling, and exaggerate the motion based upon the references by animating the guy backwards in z space.

Is that a good way to do this effect, or is there a better way? We don't have access to cranes and ropes, which would make it easier.


E. Robinson

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Kevin CampRe: Force Push
by on May 27, 2014 at 11:08:46 pm

since the move is probably pretty fast, if you can get a shot of the actor jumping backwards on a green screen, that may be all you need (that and a clean shot to composite him/her on). you'd just need the feet and arms all in the frame when they jump back.

here's a tutorial that has a similar effect:

Kevin Camp
Art Director

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Dave LaRondeRe: Force Push
by on May 27, 2014 at 11:09:42 pm

Got access to a portable green screen to use as a background for the actor? It could save a lot of roto work.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA

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Evan RobinsonRe: Force Push
by on May 27, 2014 at 11:20:16 pm

I myself have a green screen, but I actually can't be on set and they don't have one. Thanks for the suggestions though.

E. Robinson

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Chris WrightRe: Force Push
by on May 27, 2014 at 11:23:38 pm


you're way overthinking it. Put a harness of some sort under their clothes with a cable out their back, then put the camera facing the actor. No rotoscoping required. Also, this reference point creates an easy cgi plate. There's no complicated perspective.

btw, you'll need at least 3 people to pull them back if you want a good pull.

Practial ALWAYS lookes better. A good example, the new star wars movies. The force jump wasn't even done with trampolines. 4 guys held a 2x4 and lifted as fast as possible. That's with a billion dollar budget too.

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Walter SoykaRe: Force Push
by on May 28, 2014 at 11:53:26 am

Safety first! As you can imagine, you can really hurt somebody with a team of people suddenly and forcibly pulling someone back.

While I'd agree that the practical approach will look better, I'd also say that if you can't guarantee that you can do the stunt safely (i.e., you have somebody who knows what they are doing), I think it's better to do this as VFX.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]

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