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Silhouette Behind A curtain

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Paul HoughSilhouette Behind A curtain
by on May 17, 2011 at 3:06:24 am

Hi,

I was wondering if someone could guide me through/recommend a process for creating a silhouette behind a curtain. Below is a copy of the image I am attempting to use - and would like to be able to have the silhouette of a man behind the curtain. Unfortunately it isn't practical at this stage to shoot something for real or even partial. I have a shot of said man green-screened.

Best,

Paul

a href='http://i1.creativecow.net/u/118522/curtain.jpg'>

curtain.jpg


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Dave LaRondeRe: Silhouette Behind A curtain
by on May 17, 2011 at 3:39:11 pm

That's the ONLY shot you got? Sheesh!

I take it the curtain is on the left in the picture, and it's plain-old too dense to see a shadow on it. The curtain should have been thinner. The subject on the right side of the shot is blown out, as is the background. If that's the only shot, there is no resurrecting the video on the right, because there is no detail in the blown-out areas. They'll look flat and featureless.

Perhaps you can tell us 1) how good this has to look and 2) the details of how you intend to use the shot in addition to just casting a shadow. And you should also read the following:

Dave's Stock Answer #2:

When you're out on a shoot, and you say, "we'll fix this in post" without knowing PRECISELY HOW you're going to fix it in post, don't shoot it! You'll only end up shooting it over again.

Since post typically costs three times the cost of production, fixing something in post is not a way to save money, but rather a way to spend more of it.

And, before you say "well fix it in post," always consider who's doing the work, especially if you're the one doing the work.

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


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Paul HoughRe: Silhouette Behind A curtain
by on May 17, 2011 at 4:21:50 pm

Hi Dave -

The right side of the shot is irrelevant since I'll be doing something else to it. But I think I miscommunicated what I'm trying to do - I'm not looking to cast a shadow onto the curtain but create a silhouette of someone as if they are outside standing behind it.

Best,

Paul


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Theo van LaarRe: Silhouette Behind A curtain
by on May 17, 2011 at 4:47:03 pm

I would try to use a displacement map to visualise the person behind the curtain.

Theo


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Paul HoughRe: Silhouette Behind A curtain
by on May 17, 2011 at 4:52:41 pm

Hi Theo -

I'm still quite green in After Effects. Could you possibly go into a little more detail?

Thanks,

Paul


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Dave LaRondeRe: Silhouette Behind A curtain
by on May 17, 2011 at 6:08:57 pm

[Paul Hough] "I'm not looking to cast a shadow onto the curtain but create a silhouette of someone as if they are outside standing behind it. "

And how is that done in real life? A light source shines on the curtain from behind, and a person stands between the light source and the curtain... creating a shadow, no?

You could do this by chroma keying the person, positioning it in the proper lace on the curtain, using the fill effect to turn the chroma key subject black, and blurring that same layer a little bit to take the hard edge off the shadow. Adjust opacity to taste.

But I don't think you'll see much of a shadow; that curtain's REALLY dark, and there isn't a whole bunch you can do to make it lighter without blowing out the lighter edges around the curtain.

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


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Dave JohnsonRe: Silhouette Behind A curtain
by on May 17, 2011 at 6:35:47 pm

Perhaps it'll help clarify the point if someone else says in a slightly different way the same things Dave L. has already said. Dave has explained how to get a shadow on the curtain so no sense in repeating that part. What seems to need clarification is that the shadow isn't going to look realistic at all because the curtain is very obviously way too dense for a shadow to be seen through it, which is why it is completely blocking out all of the extremely bright sunlight that is blowing out the adjacent part of the frame. If you lighten the curtain a lot, you may be able to trick the viewer into seeing something other than a composited shadow where a real shadow couldn't naturally occur, but that'll be quite a trick. Best of luck.


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Paul HoughRe: Silhouette Behind A curtain
by on May 17, 2011 at 9:01:32 pm

Ok - thanks.


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