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Blending two shots perfectly

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john shand
Blending two shots perfectly
on Jan 4, 2010 at 9:21:35 pm

I have two scenes one is a low lit cinema. The other in a park in the day.
I am trying to achieve an effect where i zoom from a wide to a close up on a persons eyes and then zoom back out where the person is standing in the park. What is the smoothest what to achieve this?
Is it more to do with the camera work than in the edit? What is the best way to go about this in after effects?
Thanks


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Steve Roberts
Re: Blending two shots perfectly
on Jan 4, 2010 at 9:45:07 pm

I think it's careful camera work, but you should zoom out for the first shot, then run it backwards. That way you can position the CU framing precisely. Zoom out for the second shot as well.



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Michael Szalapski
Re: Blending two shots perfectly
on Jan 4, 2010 at 10:20:39 pm

I agree with Steve. You would use AE to help blend the two shots together, but a carefully planned shoot (including measuring distances and angles) is more important to making it look good.

- 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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Steve Roberts
Re: Blending two shots perfectly
on Jan 4, 2010 at 10:33:18 pm

To add to Michael ... the blending process might include a dissolve between the two eye shots as well as a bit of scaling and re-positioning to match the framing of each eye shot.
... but you should match them as precisely as possible before going into post.

Hey, do a test.





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Paul Crowe
Re: Blending two shots perfectly
on Jan 5, 2010 at 2:09:15 pm

Hi John,

If you have the resources you could try shooting the actor in a studio in front of a green screen. That would make it way easier to change your BGs and eliminate the need to match your shots between locations. The clever bit will be changing the lighting from low light interior lighting to daylight - you could try doing this with physical lighting or lit for a good key and animating the grade it to create the lighting transition in AE.

Of course your sound mix will help immensely with pulling off this effect.

Cheers
Paul



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john shand
Re: Blending two shots perfectly
on Jan 6, 2010 at 5:03:51 pm

I agree it seems green screen would be the best solution but as i am zoomed right into the face you cant see any background, does this make things easier?

What is the best way to cross the two different skin tone colors, is there anything more effective that a cross fade (we haven't used a lighting set up because we are shooting a documentary)



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Dave LaRonde
Re: Blending two shots perfectly
on Jan 6, 2010 at 7:35:50 pm

[john shand] "...we haven't used a lighting set up because we are shooting a documentary..."

That matters not one tiny bit.

You are doing an effects shot, and the fact that it's in a documentary is totally irrelevant. Either you treat it like an effects shot -- which includes the MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENT of a chroma key shot, namely good lighting -- or you abandon the shot and go with Plan B.

....after all, isn't a documentary supposed to be based on REALITY and not some contrived visual effect?

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


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john shand
Re: Blending two shots perfectly
on Jan 7, 2010 at 1:41:19 pm

Dave i know where you are coming from, i might have to re-address the shot.


p.s. All documentary is fake, using other creative devices to enhance a documentary is typical. No documentary film maker can afford to ignore the impact of CGI and special effects in documentary, it creates new ways to tell stories.


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Paul Crowe
Re: Blending two shots perfectly
on Jan 9, 2010 at 1:34:45 pm

I think you're going to find it quite difficult to pull this kind of transition Fx off without using a green screen or changing your approach to the transition.

What are the shots prior and after the C/U on the face? And are you genuinely zooming in/out to reveal the transition or is there a cut out to a wider shot to reveal the park?

Of course if you did opt for a different approach a simple flash frame or wipe or something could save you a lot of grief.

Someone could simply edge past him in the cinema (don't you hate it when people do that!) and you could use the body crossing camera to sneak in a cheeky wipe transition using an animated mask or something?! Something like that could work.

Cheers
Paul



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john shand
Re: Blending two shots perfectly
on Jan 9, 2010 at 11:05:52 pm

The set up we are trying to achieve is our subject is in a cinema watching a film (the film he is watching is an earlier film we made of him living on the streets.) It starts wide (we have asked him to focus on a point that we know will keep his eyes in the same position in the next shot) We slow zoom into his eyes and we are hoping to achieve a smooth transition from that close up to the close up we shot in the park, which then zooms back out to show where he was living on a park bench.

The only reason i don't feel we will need green screen because on the close up all we can see is his face. No background. We have also measured out the shots now.

The main problem i am having is blending the two skin tone colors from the dark room to the light day lit park. Is there anything artificially that can be done in after effects?


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Paul Crowe
Re: Blending two shots perfectly
on Jan 11, 2010 at 3:29:45 am

Try using an adjustment layer that spans before and after the transition between the two shots and key frame a transitional color grade between them.

Using the filters in the Color Correction Effects panel.

Experiment with key framing curves, Level controls, possibly gamma, bright/contrast, exposure etc?

A bit of experimenting with subtle key framing through your transition might soften things and work okay.

Experiment with timing, but I imagine the quicker you can move though it the better, without obviously having it jarring. I imagine you've already set up a timing on your eye C/Us transition. Perhaps start by making your color grade transition say 10 frames either side of your main transition and go from there.

Oh also don't forget you can play with the opacity and the transfer modes of the adjustment layer to help the effect also. Hope this is helpful.

Cheers
Paul






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