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Adding digital snow thru a window

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Ryan AtkinsAdding digital snow thru a window
by on Dec 10, 2014 at 8:22:31 pm

I'm working on a short film that takes place in the Winter and Spring time. Principal starts early January. This will be shot in Chicago, IL, in which the weather doesn't always cooperate. My team is looking into alternatives in case we do not get snow fall during filming.

We have a few scenes taking place inside, and we have snow falling outside - it's seen thru a window. One consideration is digital snow from AE. What are best practices for accomplishing this? I've never actually done it before.

Any advice is appreciated.


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Dave LaRondeRe: Adding digital snow thru a window
by on Dec 10, 2014 at 9:36:14 pm

CC Snowfall (or Snow, I forget which) works pretty well, but you have to tweak the colors a bit.

It'll give you some depth, but I wouldn't count on using it: I'd use multiple instances of the effect to create the illusion of depth. The further away, the small the snow, and slower the speed.

If you're shooting in Chicago, you have to keep The Hawk (aka the incessant wind in the Loop & environs) in mind: it can blow in one direction near you, and in a totally different direction across the street. Multiple instances are good for that.

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


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Erik WaluskaRe: Adding digital snow thru a window
by on Dec 11, 2014 at 6:03:54 pm
Last Edited By Erik Waluska on Dec 11, 2014 at 6:04:08 pm

Those are good tips from Dave. I have a free snow and rain template on my site that takes some of the pain out of the process but requires Trapcode Particular.

Erik Waluska
EAWmedia


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Erik WaluskaRe: Adding digital snow thru a window
by on Dec 11, 2014 at 9:01:43 pm

These tutorials might be helpful as well.

Erik Waluska
EAWmedia


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Ryan AtkinsRe: Adding digital snow thru a window
by on Dec 11, 2014 at 9:50:33 pm

If characters are to be looking at snow through a window, would I need to green screen the windows?


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Dave LaRondeRe: Adding digital snow thru a window
by on Dec 11, 2014 at 10:05:48 pm

It would help indeed, but it also opens up a can of worms: you won't see what's outside the window.

You'll need to shoot the backgrounds for the windows separately, and plan the angles at which you shoot inside so you can get matching angles outside.

If there's camera motion inside, you'll need the same camera motion outside. Some of this might be accomplished with motion tracking, but maybe not.

You would be very wise to add an extra person to the crew -- an effects supervisor.

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


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Ryan AtkinsRe: Adding digital snow thru a window
by on Dec 11, 2014 at 10:31:13 pm

Once posting my reply, I realized that, depending on the frame of the window, I could scale the effect in the window frame and mix that with current conditions outside.


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Dave LaRondeRe: Adding digital snow thru a window
by on Dec 11, 2014 at 10:53:53 pm

True, but you'll still have to separate everything that is NOT a window from the parts of the shots that ARE windows, otherwise you'll have fake snow over everything. The degree of difficulty varies with the nature of the shots.

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


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Ryan AtkinsRe: Adding digital snow thru a window
by on Dec 11, 2014 at 10:55:29 pm

I see, ok. Well I have a lot of good information here. Will do some tests and may inquire from there.


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Dave LaRondeRe: Adding digital snow thru a window
by on Dec 11, 2014 at 11:02:46 pm

Glad you're running tests. Personally, I'd investigate consulting with or even hiring an effects supervisor if there's a lot on the line with this shoot.

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


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