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Back To The Future Fan Video

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Zachary Snyder
Back To The Future Fan Video
on Feb 19, 2010 at 9:07:03 pm

Hey everyone, I'm a total amateur at this After Effects stuff, but I was planning on making a video involving me dressed as Doc Brown from Back To The Future, and my car acting as the Delorean time machine.

Basically I want to emulate these two scenes, with a combination of shooting with me and my car, and for some parts splicing Michael J. Fox with me dressed as Doc.

Scene 1: The Delorean's first ride: http://www.hulu.com/watch/22646/back-to-the-future-the-delorean#s-p1-so-i0
Scene 2: Roads?: http://www.hulu.com/watch/24491/back-to-the-future-part-ii-roads

So I'm just going to explain what I want to do and if anyone could please take the time to either explain how they would do it using After Effects, or point me to a tutorial, or just tell me what the name of the effect is that I should google... that would be such a big help!

For the first scene I would like to splice myself over Doc Brown when hes talking to Marty, I should be able to do it using a green screen, but if anyone has a favorite chroma key tutorial please share. Next I'm going to get a shot of my car driving, so how do I get the blue flashes of light, the explosion at 88mph, and the famous flame tracks afterwards...

Now for scene two, I want to be able to splice myself into the car with Marty, (I want to be able to say "where were going we dont need roads..."). Again im going to try green screening it, is there any way to mute the person speaking while still keeping the background music?

And finally, I want to be able to make my car get up and fly away. I was just planning on taking a picture, and use photoshop to cut away so that just the static picture of the car rises and fly away (with maybe some rocket fire out the back?) but if you guys have any other ideas please let me know.

Ok so any help, suggestions, or comments are greatly appreciated!
Thanks so much guys!
Shlomo
P.S. Here's a video I made from my costume last year, I recreated/spliced into the Speed Racer intro! :)






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Michael Szalapski
Re: Back To The Future Fan Video
on Feb 19, 2010 at 10:30:50 pm

I'm not going to address all of your questions, but I'll hit some of them.

Keying tutorials? There are bunches out there. Quite a few here at the COW. Here's another. Keep in mind that if you're shooting with an HDV or DV camera and are trying to key it, you will have problems due to the color resolution as explained here. However, this might help.

Laying yourself over the doctor could be tricky. It will require you to either be very precise with your motions to cover up his or you will have to try to create a blank plate of the background behind him and effectively erase him from the scene first.
Or, alternatively, you can rotoscope Marty and place him on an entirely new set you design. Either way, it could be tricky.

I recreated the back to the future car effect a few years ago for a very parody-filled comedy. Off the top of my head, I don't remember how I did the blue flashes. I believe I may have used the lightning effect and - I would suspect - a colorized lens flare. I'll have to go back and look at it.

The flame tracks we created in the same way they did the original. Ropes soaked in kerosene.
(Practical effects almost always look better than digital ones.)

Since you claim to be a beginner in AE, might I suggest a few places to begin? This is a great resource for starting out in AE. It mentions these tutorials, which are great.

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

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Dean Sensui
Re: Back To The Future Fan Video
on Feb 20, 2010 at 6:42:29 pm

You might consider doing a face replacement on Doc. You'll need to match lighting, of course, and match-move your face with his. But that would save you from doing a lot of rotoscoping and compositing.

Dean Sensui -- Hawaii Goes Fishing


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Zachary Snyder
Re: Back To The Future Fan Video
on Feb 21, 2010 at 12:33:06 am

Hmm, maybe, for most of the first scene he's separated from Marty and behind an almost completely black background, so I was hoping it would be easy for me to splice myself in...

The second scene in the car might have to be that way, thanks for the suggestion!


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Zachary Snyder
Re: Back To The Future Fan Video
on Feb 21, 2010 at 12:31:50 am

Thank you Michael for taking the time to write a response! It is greatly appreciated!

Yeah, the few times I have used keying I do have issues because of the color resolution, so I will read that tutorial.

Will definitely read the tutorials, I plan on splitting every cut of the two scenes I plan on using, so I will have a better idea of what exactly I want to do. Thanks for posting those tutorials, I will check them out!

Hmm, I'm not sure I can get kerosene soaked ropes... any way to simulate it?

I'm not striving for perfection here, this is just a fun video to go with the costume and show my friends (Religious holiday, Purim, is coming up... it's kind of like a Jewish halloween..) I just love using Adobe After Effects and trying to learn new effects...

Oh I watched all of the Video Copilot Basic Training videos as soon as I got After Effects... they were extremely helpful! :)


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Back To The Future Fan Video
on Feb 21, 2010 at 8:55:37 pm

[Zachary Snyder] "I'm not striving for perfection here, this is just a fun video to go with the costume and show my friends..."

Well, at least you're thinking ahead. Good for you!

Y'see, the problem with AE is that the more you know, the better able you are to come up with a solution for your particular needs.
My employer decided I don't need the latest version of flash, so I can't see the actual clips. But I know the movie,and if you want to move your car around in 3D space, you've got a real job in front of you, and that's no joke.



[Zachary Snyder] "...Hmm, I'm not sure I can get kerosene soaked ropes... any way to simulate it?"

That's the whole idea behind those ropes -- they save you effects time. Sometimes the best effects are practical effects, and that's why Michael mentioned it -- it's just plain easier.

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


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Back To The Future Fan Video
on Feb 21, 2010 at 9:17:16 pm

[Zachary Snyder] "...Hmm, I'm not sure I can get kerosene soaked ropes... any way to simulate it?"
Well, yes, but it won't look nearly as good and it certainly won't be as much fun.
Seriously, unless you live in a country that doesn't sell kerosene, you can get kerosene soaked rope. Buy kerosene, shove rope in sealed container with kerosene. Let soak for a day. DONE!

If you absolutely must do it digitally, there are tons of tutorials out there for achieving fire effects in AE. Pick one and try it out in a couple of lines.

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

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Zachary Snyder
Re: Back To The Future Fan Video
on Feb 21, 2010 at 9:48:12 pm

Ok thanks guys, I'm going to search for some fire AE tutorials, if there are any you can recommend, please post.

Using kerosene soaked ropes would probably be a lot more fun and look much better, but since I accidentally set fire to my mothers favorite tablecloth during a different production a few months ago, I really am trying to stay away from using real fire... :)

Thanks everyone for their help and suggestions, I've already started working on the video! (I'll post it here when it gets finished next week...)


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Back To The Future Fan Video
on Feb 19, 2010 at 11:40:48 pm

Michael speaks the truth. What you want to undertake is a lot of work, with a VERY steep learning curve.

AE is not the kind of application where you can learn a few tricks and you're done. You need a thorough knowledge of the basics. If you choose to avoid learning them, you will find yourself good and truly hosed.

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


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Zachary Snyder
Re: Back To The Future Fan Video
on Mar 3, 2010 at 7:45:09 pm

I finished the video!

Thanks everyone for their help!

I know it looks super amateur, but i hope you enjoy it and try not cringe too much, lol.







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Michael Szalapski
Re: Back To The Future Fan Video
on Mar 3, 2010 at 8:13:12 pm

How come we Gentiles don't get to have cool holidays like Purim? It looks like a blast.
I think you suceeded in your video. I suspect your friends will enjoy it. Well done.

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

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Zachary Snyder
Re: Back To The Future Fan Video
on Mar 3, 2010 at 8:16:49 pm

lol, well what about halloween?
(Personally like Purim better, we deliver candy instead, and there's no horror element to it, but that's just me.)

Glad you liked the video! Yeah my friends and fam enjoyed, I even entered it into some Purim costume contests, wish me luck! :)


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