Friday, February 27, 2009

I'm attaching hair/beard to the Cornelisz head. It's a bit awkward and nerve-wracking, as I know that every little hair is going to get more screen time than anything else. Hopefully it won't suck too hard.

Almost there - almost ready to make some actual shots. Been dicking around with various After Effects tricks - simulated camera movement, motion blur, parallax movement, etc. I'd like to be pretty well versed with that stuff before we start. Everytime you discover a new technique, there seems to be a brief 'honeymoon' period with it, where you want to really emphasize it and use it on everything. Then later on, you calm down and use it more objectively. That's where we want to be when we're actually shooting.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

couple quick track tests, at different exposure times. A bit hard to see the results at such low res. But its something fun to look at.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

We've been doing more photography test of the set. Some of this shit is pretty dry, but i'll try to lay out some of the technical stuff in case somebody ever reads this and it's beneficial.

We think we're going to be able to do HDR tracks (high dynamic range). That is to say, we'll be able to move the camera itself incrementally (taking a frame each time) to create the illusion of camera movement. This would let us make much more interesting shots. As well, the HDR shots have a graphic, 'storybook' look to them. When you see them with a still shot, they don't look real. But when the camera starts to move, something interesting happens - the objects register as 'real', but strange (good) looking.

The problem has been an extreme flicker that shows up when we do the HDR processing on a camera track. We thought it was just inherent with HDR, but maybe not. What it seems to do is emphasize any flicker dramatically. We also think that our lights are flickering in very subtle ways that don't show up until we process them in HDR.

So, the answer seems to be very long exposures, that average out the flicker. As well, we'll most likely be getting one of them 'power supply' boxes that give you an even, regulated supply.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I like this one. Most of them havent been too hot.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Couple more HDR pics. Still not right. Need to make the back wall lighter than the rest, with a nice gradient. Doesn't work compositionally otherwise.

Mr. Head, in HDR. With a bit of hair taped on. Though, if Dave can't solve the HDR flicker, we can't do it this way. Bummer. Head is pretty much done. Now it's beard and costume time.

Here's a quick track test with the current set, after strong HDR processing. This ain't supposed to be a good shot, or good HDR, or good lighting, but it tells us what we need to know. The original flics have a tiny bit of flicker, but the HDR processed shots flicker like a bastard. Dave thinks it's due to the basic nature of HDR. There's been other tests before and since; Dave thinks the problem might be solvable, somehow. I'll try to include technical details if we do solve the problem, for the benefit of others. If it's not fixable, that means no tracking with the sets. we can do imitations of pans via wide stiches and AE, which will let me do what needs to be done. But it'll be a bummer if we can't track.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Things are moving along now. Dave the Photographer is back, and helping out. Which is good, as i'm no pro with the lighting and whatnot. We gots a camera, software, and a place to shoot the big-ass greenscreened armatures.

We've been doing tests with tracking shots with the set. Multiple exposure HDR shots. It ain't working - the HDR processing is erratic, and flickers. It's looking like we're not going to be able to do camera movements with the set. Oh well. We're going to do some AE parallax shit instead with layers.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

We gots a new camera and software. We're doing some HDR tests; HDR batch processing, in particular. Or, whether or not it's possible to take multiple HDR frames, same shot or otherwise, and make them all look the same without any weird HDR rendering glitches or flickering. Seems to be working so far.
A few knock-off HDR pics. They're a little over the top.

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