I'm doing a movie that has a girl in a dream-like hallucination. She is seeing inanimate objects in her room moving about. In one scene, paper flies off her desk and floats around the room. How do I get paper to fall down slowly and erraticly similar to the concentration camp scene in Shutter Island? I would like to see the paper falling like snow flakes. What is the simplest and most efficient way to do this?
[Joseph Fatheree]"What is the simplest and most efficient way to do this?"
Grab a bunch of paper and drop it from above.
I would suggest you would probably want to shoot at a somewhat higher frame rate than you plan to deliver it.
You'll have to experiment on weight/thickness of your paper stock.
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Unless you have an unlimited budget to do this properly in 3D, I recommend Michael's advice: do this as a practical effect. You will doubtlessly come out ahead in the long run. Almost always, the best effects are practical effects.
Having said that, it would be a VERY GOOD THING to shoot this on a greenscreen, and key it into the shot with the talent. Watch the lighting, and use the very best camera you can find to do this.
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If all of the above does not suit you, you can try Free Form to create the animation in AE. Use a match moving soft to track the camera move and export that to AE ( Boujou, Syntheyes or Vodoo- I think this one is free). Use Free Form to distort layers of newspaper images and animate them falling. Multiple passes needed.
Or shoot some paper falling with a high speed camera....