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How do I do this effect?

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adrian mendozaHow do I do this effect?
by on Feb 17, 2010 at 4:45:20 am

I'm not completely sure if it's done with after effects, because when I messaged the uploader, he did not reply back.

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Michael SzalapskiRe: How do I do this effect?
by on Feb 17, 2010 at 3:27:04 pm

It is possible to do it with After Effects. To be honest, it would be possible to do with just an NLE.

The easiest way to do it is to have a 3d program and create the guy on the roof and falling off in 3d and only have the person on the ground be an actual human. However, for the sake of this post, we shall assume you don't have that.

Like most decent effects, to get this right will require some planning.

Okay, let's think this through.

I see the effect being shot three parts.
1. Person on roof
2. Person falling
3. Person on ground getting up

You hide the transitions between the different shots with camera jerks and jitters. This video is supposed to be taken by someone watching a suicidal jumper. This ordinary person who happens to have a camera WILL be startled when he realizes the person has fallen off the building. This will cause the camera to jerk.
Also, the sudden stop at the ground is going to be another sudden movement of the camera. Most normal folks, when looking through a viewfinder, lose a sense of where the ground is, so it will come sooner than they think. This causes them to overshoot the stopping point and have to swing back quickly.

So, you film your actor getting up on the edge and starting to jump (knees bending and extending, etc.) and - your camera timing must be good here - the camera man twitches, causing his camera to shoot down or up.
Then, when you go to film the falling thing, make sure you start with the exact same camera motion you ended the last shot with. I would suggest doing several takes of each so you have more options to match. In AE (or Premiere or Final Cut or iMovie) you should just have to do a quick crossfade between the two shots and it shouldn't be noticable. It will be especially effective if you have some decent motion blur.

Now, as to the person falling. I would think you could just shove a dummy off the roof. However, if you want decent movement and you don't want to try to rig up some sort of motion rig on the dummy, you could also film it on green screen. The problem with green screen is that you have to worry about doing good chromakeying, getting the angles and depth correct, and matching the camera's movement with motion tracking in AE.

Now, when the dummy/person hits the ground the camera will overshoot down too far and has to quickly whip up to see what should be the dead body. Again, we hide our transition in this whip.
Make sure, when you start this third shot, that it begins with the same motion the last shot ended with. Overshoot and whip back up. Then your actor, with lovely fake blood on ground, peels themselves off the dirt and walks forward.

Honestly, unless you're going to chromakey the falling person, you don't even need AE. You can just do it in any NLE (Premiere, Final Cut, Avid, Vegas, iMovie, Windows Movie Maker, etc.).

It's all in planning the shot and practice with the camera.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

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