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Digitally Extend a Camera Move

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James Hoback
Digitally Extend a Camera Move
on Apr 5, 2013 at 2:45:47 pm

Greetings all, I have a been wanting to try this technique for sometime. I've never been able to figure out how studios digitally extend a camera move when they have shot with a dolly on a green screen stage. (Ex: Camera pulls back infinitely to show a character walking through a digital desert)

I have read a few articles saying once you have tracked the shot, try animating the digital camera based on the timeline curves from the tracked shot. I'ved tried and it always looks terrible.

If anyone has any references or suggestions, it would be amazing. Thank you in advance.

James H.


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Digitally Extend a Camera Move
on Apr 5, 2013 at 3:39:31 pm

Here's a very nice - and long - tutorial from VideoCopilot on Set Extensions - which is also what you might use to search for other examples. It essentially involves camera tracking, then matte painting in Photoshop:

http://www.videocopilot.net/tutorial/set_extensions/

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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James Hoback
Re: Digitally Extend a Camera Move
on Apr 5, 2013 at 4:36:44 pm

Thank you for the quick reply. This is good in terms of tracking and set extension, but I'm looking for something very specific.

I'm trying to figure out how to lengthen a camera move by blending from the real camera move to a digital one. If my camera can only dolly back 10 feet in the studio, how can I extend the move to say, 100 feet?

Thanks again.


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Digitally Extend a Camera Move
on Apr 5, 2013 at 4:58:14 pm

My guess would be that you'd use the same techniques used in the link I sent you, but then extend the camera motion - using the After Effects camera. Once you have the subject in a clean key, it's a simple matter to just zoom out. The trick is having a large enough background plate/matte painting to allow for the zoom out to occur. Say you're working in 1920 x 1080 - you'd want a background plate at least twice that size. Of course, depending on the camera move, it might just have to be a lot wider, and more foreground, if the camera is dollying back and tilting down.

Here's a documentary on the Matte Painting and compositing techniques used in Hollywood films:







Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Digitally Extend a Camera Move
on Apr 5, 2013 at 5:05:08 pm

One more great source of information is from Focal Press - a book entitled The Visual Effects Arsenal, by Bill Byrne. It's essentially a how to on many techniques and applications of VFX for the independent film maker:

http://www.focalpress.com/books/details/9780240811352/

You can often find used copies of it out there, but it's worth every penny of the 49 dollars it costs new.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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