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Replacing the Spaceman's visor

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Matīss Pērkons
Replacing the Spaceman's visor
on Aug 11, 2016 at 4:33:30 pm

Hi,

I've been thinking about shooting a short film which involves spaceman. Making the suit is one challenge, but getting right the reflection from the visor glass, through which he should look, is another. Achieving the reflection is important, so I'm just wondering:

Where spaceman would be in front of the camera, is there any way how to get it right so that camera doesn't reflect in visor? I was thinking about the challenge of roto and keying, replacing the picture in visor with the scene I've shot. Could it be possible to achieve it in After Effects?

For the understanding of what i appoximately imagine how it should look, I post this picture of spaceman:
http://i.huffpost.com/gen/1728327/images/o-SPACE-SELFIE-facebook.jpg

Or maybe there is another way around? Any advice will be much appreciated.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Replacing the Spaceman's visor
on Aug 11, 2016 at 4:43:05 pm

How are you going to make the suit?

I would recommend that you search for behind-the-scenes videos from the 2013 feature film "Gravity", starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. The two actors spent the majority of the movie in space suits. You may be able to glean some valuable production insights.

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


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Kalle Kannisto
Re: Replacing the Spaceman's visor
on Aug 12, 2016 at 5:58:25 am

I would shoot without the visor and add the visor with its reflections in post in C4D or Element 3D. Then you don't have to worry about the original reflections and can add whatever reflections you want. If you need to see the hands or other parts of the person interacting with the environment in the reflection, you'll need to rig up an action camera to the helmet so that you can shoot the "reflection" view at the same time. In which case, a green screen or fully black environment on the camera side will make it easier to separate the parts you need.

I did a shoot where the whole helmet was a 3D model, since I couldn't get a real spacesuit helmet anywhere, wherein I sandwiched the actor's head between the two halves of the model, and used the footage itself as a reflection.

Kalleheikki Kannisto
Senior Graphic Designer


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Matīss Pērkons
Re: Replacing the Spaceman's visor
on Aug 16, 2016 at 5:58:38 pm

Thank You for Your answer, Kalle. I just don't understand - do You suggest me to green screen camera itself? I imagined it could be the visor which I could green screen, then apply the reflection footage, but I'm not aware will it work, as I've had very little work so far with green screen.

As what goes for suit - together with cinema artist we're thinking of making one. Of course, it will not look like in a big budget movie...


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Kalle Kannisto
Re: Replacing the Spaceman's visor
on Aug 16, 2016 at 8:29:00 pm

Two possible scenarios are:

1) You don't see the reflection of the astronaut in the visor. Then you can just put some tracking markers on the helmet and add the visor with Element 3D or some other 3D solution. No need for green screen. I am assuming you still want to see the astronaut's face through the visor some, so you wouldn't want to green screen it.

2) If you do see the reflection of the astronaut in the visor, you need to shoot the reflection footage at the same time, from the helmet toward the main camera with a second camera, such as an action camera so that you get synced motion of the astronaut in the reflection. In that case you would need some way to separate the reflection of the astronaut and add it to the environment reflection. That would work best by making the environment that the action camera sees, i.e. the main camera surroundings, black or green screened. Black would be easier to achieve than an even green screen unless you have a cyclorama at your disposal.

Kalleheikki Kannisto
Senior Graphic Designer


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Matīss Pērkons
Re: Replacing the Spaceman's visor
on Aug 20, 2016 at 11:53:54 am

Thank You, Kalle, for Your recommendations.

I actually need to see the reflection so that I can't see spaceman's face. So that the viewer could better put himself into the spaceman's position.

When You say it, I think of merging these two options (?). First, I shoot the reflection from camera, from spaceman's helmet. Second, using the tracking markers, I add that reflection.


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Kalle Kannisto
Re: Replacing the Spaceman's visor
on Aug 22, 2016 at 8:03:01 am

Better shoot them at the same time so that the action matches. It's much more difficult to get two separate shots to match: you're going to end up time remapping one or the other. You can put the action cam on the forehead of the actor since you're going to be covering it up anyways.

Kalleheikki Kannisto
Senior Graphic Designer


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Matīss Pērkons
Re: Replacing the Spaceman's visor
on Aug 23, 2016 at 5:17:53 pm

I started to think the same. Ok, in time I will let you know how's its going forward.

Thank You!


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Robert Buchanan
Re: Replacing the Spaceman's visor
on Aug 27, 2016 at 3:54:59 pm

If you're using a 3D solution could you use an environment map or is the reverse camera used to capture the actors arms and interactions to add as reflection?


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