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Carl Condliffeassistance with an effect
by on Apr 29, 2011 at 1:21:30 am

Hi - I have been using After Effects for about a month and really enjoy it. However, I am stuck with my latest piece of work and am hoping someone may be able to help.

I am working on a shot for a short film / commercial that requires a subject sitting on some steps in black and white. As he sits there, four other people fade in to appear on the steps sitting with him, one at a time and in colour. After the final person appears, the entire shot fades into colour.

I can't seem to find any tutorials that may help. I have tried to approach it like some of the cloning tutorials I have looked at but I can't seem to get it right.

Any help would be appreciated. For example, do I film each person individually, or just the other four together and the original subject by themselves? Best way to go about editing it..

Thanks in advance..


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Victor NguyenRe: assistance with an effect
by on Apr 29, 2011 at 2:28:11 am

so are the background also going to be in color?


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Dave LaRondeRe: assistance with an effect
by on Apr 29, 2011 at 2:34:03 am

AHA!

You, sir, are a prime candidate for Planning An Effect. I congratulate you for asking questions before you shoot! All too often, aspiring image makers jump into the deep end of the pool. You are to be commended for your apprehension and caution.

You seem to have a good idea of what you want to do. I suspect this good idea remains in your head. It's time to examine it AS AN EFFECT.

While others may direct you to searching for such things as the Pleasantville Effect --which is certainly helpful, but not a total solution -- I have more fundamental, but crucial questions which can ease the post-production process, saving you time and aggravation in the process. They may seem trivial, but they have a profound effect on planning such an effect. So break out pencil and paper, draw if necessary, and answer the following questions:
  • Shadows: Do you propose to shoot this on a sunny day, when the angle of the sun may cast shadows on other actors? On a cloudy day, when shadows are dispersed?
  • Interactions: Do the people added to the shot interact with the primary character in any way? Do they sit close enough to touch? Do they speak to one another? Do they have any form of physical contact, such as fist bumps, ruffling one another's hair, conversation or something else?
  • The Unsaid: You may have neglected to mention something crucial in your vision. For example, you may have forgotten that at the end, they all jump up and shout "Cowabunga!" or something.

Answer these -- using paper and pencil if necessary -- and you will be a lot better off. It is the unwise person who fails to plan an effect shot. You can bet your life they don't do that in Hollywood.

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


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Michael SzalapskiRe: assistance with an effect
by on Apr 29, 2011 at 1:38:42 pm

Dave asks good questions. Basically you are going to have to do some compositing, but what type and how you prepare for it matters greatly depending on the answers to what Dave has asked you.
If they don't interact physically, this will be much easier. However, the physical interaction will be a cooler effect. However, our focus should not be on the effect, it should be on telling a good story. Story first!
Answer Dave's questions and we'll be happy to continue to help you plan this out.

- 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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Carl CondliffeRe: assistance with an effect
by on Apr 30, 2011 at 1:02:11 pm

[Dave LaRonde] "Shadows: Do you propose to shoot this on a sunny day, when the angle of the sun may cast shadows on other actors? On a cloudy day, when shadows are dispersed?
Interactions: Do the people added to the shot interact with the primary character in any way? Do they sit close enough to touch? Do they speak to one another? Do they have any form of physical contact, such as fist bumps, ruffling one another's hair, conversation or something else?
The Unsaid: You may have neglected to mention something crucial in your vision. For example, you may have forgotten that at the end, they all jump up and shout "Cowabunga!" or something."


Ok.. Winter is just kicking in here so it was going to likely be overcast so no shadows hopefully.

Originally I wanted some of the actors to extend an arm behind the back of the central character (shot is based on friends supporting the main character), but figured this would be too hard to do, so decided I would have to go with placing actors so there was no interaction..

Nothing else in the shot. Simple as that! Have had a little more luck in the last few days getting it looking ok with some sample footage, but want to be confident of the most effective way to go about it before I do the filming.

Thanks for your help :)


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