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Creating "HELP!" sheet that hangs from a building

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Michael BrodnerCreating "HELP!" sheet that hangs from a building
by on Nov 23, 2009 at 12:34:26 pm

I'd like to create a sheet hanging from a building with the words HELP! on it. (See image below)

How should I go about doing this? Should it just be static or would some subtle "breeze" bahavior look cool?


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Dave LaRondeRe: Creating "HELP!" sheet that hangs from a building
by on Nov 23, 2009 at 4:29:49 pm

Shoot it as a practical effect: match the camera and light angles of the original shot and shoot a sheet with the word "HELP!" on it. Then you can play with a fan or a leaf blower, and roto around the sheet.

It's a lot of work, but not anywhere NEAR the hassle of getting the physics of a sheet moving in the breeze to look right.

Alternatively, you can shoot a sheet tied at all four corners to make the roto work easier.

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 editing.

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

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david bogieRe: Creating "HELP!" sheet that hangs from a building
by on Nov 23, 2009 at 4:40:06 pm

That shot also needs to be corrected for the underexposure.
Adding the fluttering sheet will require a reflection in the glass curtain on the building.

Dave is correct, it's much easier and more fun to shoot practical effects but if you simply MUST use AE to simulate it, search the AE tutorials for "flag." PITA but great fun.


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