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Sean O'Donnellseamless merging of two camera moves?
by on Mar 16, 2010 at 3:56:39 am

I'm looking to merge (maybe using a matchmove?) two or more camera moves into one long tracking shot. Is there a way to line up the end of a crane shot to the beginning of a steadycam shot for one seamless shot? I would block it out to get both moves as close as possible, with some overlap. Is there a way to merge or morph them into one? I don't know if AE can do this or if I'll need a secondary app.


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Dave LaRondeRe: seamless merging of two camera moves?
by on Mar 16, 2010 at 8:06:28 pm

Why go through all that grief in post?

It's darned near impossible to do unless you have motion control cameras, both on the crane and on the ground. But you probably already figured that one out, deemed it too expensive, and are looking for a more budget-friendly way to control the uncontrollable.

If you go the post route, shoot in a resolution that's way bigger than what you need, to help you match up the shots. Shoot just a TON of takes, most seemingly unnecessary, to help you match the speed of the primary camera motion.

Matchmove software would be useless.

So what might work? Why not figure out a way to put a Steadicam operator on a crane, then walk off it?

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


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Darby EdelenRe: seamless merging of two camera moves?
by on Mar 16, 2010 at 9:13:14 pm

[Dave LaRonde] "So what might work? Why not figure out a way to put a Steadicam operator on a crane, then walk off it?"

Dave has the right solution.

You could theoretically use the 'difference' blend mode to help you line up shot A and shot B with transforms as close as possible, but even if the cameras are in exactly the same place at the transition point it's likely that something will have changed in the scene, the white balance or exposure will be off, and it will be a pain.

Save yourself the headache: walk your camera off the crane.

Darby Edelen


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Sean O'DonnellRe: seamless merging of two camera moves?
by on Mar 16, 2010 at 10:06:33 pm

Thanks for the advice. This project is just a small series of shorts (ultra low budget style) I'm putting together and I'm laying out shots I would like to do (not need to do) and seeing what is available to help me on the software end. My crane is just a small jib crane, so not any kind of set-up to go hogwild with.

I've just begun tinkering with Mocha and some matchmoving, and wondered aloud if there was something out there that could stitch, or morph two "close as can be" camera moves into one long one. But as Dave says: Grief. For there is no plug and play solution for that. And Darby, you point out how the variables will wreck havoc with getting it lined up right across the board. And there's probably a dozen more factors working against this idea!?

Seamless appears to equal motion control, or the walk off idea. So, maybe I'll tinker around a little and see if I can come up with something workable for the project. This is just for fun, which means much higher tolerances! Just trying to get it to look the best it can. I'll check out difference blend mode idea. I was going to try getting them as close as I could, then take the last second of the first shot, the first second of the second shot and try stabilizing them as one unit? We'll see...

Sounds like I'll end up just having more cuts in the piece. Probably easier. Since I'm learning most of this as I go, I should probably dial back my ambitions. A lot. Thanks again!



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Darby EdelenRe: seamless merging of two camera moves?
by on Mar 16, 2010 at 10:45:59 pm

If you can put the camera on a cheap-o steadicam rig and attach that to your jib, then have some way to remove it quickly, you could do a hand off from the jib to a camera man.

No I don't have blueprints, just thinking out loud :)

Darby Edelen


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Sean O'DonnellRe: seamless merging of two camera moves?
by on Mar 17, 2010 at 3:06:43 am

Yes, that is something I have been tinkering with. I have a little gimbaled home made steadi that is quite smooth for what it it, but needs the second hand to keep it from wandering. Combined with my two little jib cranes and a dolly system I can actually get some great feeling from my shots. But...I love those long smooth tracking shots that seem to drop from a crane shot into a long traveling shot and then end with a nice subtle dolly move. That said, just hashing this out has refined several of the shots I am planning.


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Dave LaRondeRe: seamless merging of two camera moves?
by on Mar 17, 2010 at 2:25:43 pm

Glad we were able to offer a different perspective that got you thinking BEFORE you shoot. It's always better to do that than to get a rude surprise in post.

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


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