Saturday, August 08, 2009

We've been doing more stuff that I can't post pictures of. Just boring old words.

Been testing out fake camera movement; we've got a plan/technique.

Here's the routine for a shot;

1. Film an actor acting out a motion, with a DV cam, on a tripod, wide enough to catch all the action.

2. Film the same action with a DV cam, but with the camera moving to follow the action and framed up approximately how the final shot will be. This is filmed with a white back drop covered in black crosses; reference marks.

3. Shoot the animation, wide enough to encompass all the camera movements. Shooting to be done against a greenscreen.

4. Using the After Effects motion tracker plugin (in which reference points are anaylzed and followed automatically by the computer), duplicate the camera movement from step 2.

5. Apply the auto-tracked movement to the animated footage.

6. Drop out the green via After Effects.

7. Drop in a jpeg behind the character, with the same motion tracker movement applied.

8. If the character is far enough from the wall that the greenscreened puppet should be moving at a different rate than the background (not needed for most shots, in which the character is 2'-3' from a wall - reallife scale), use the AE parallax function to move them at different rates.

Result; natural, real off-the-cuff lively feeling camera movement. And it's actually really fast to do. And, the best motion takes can be selected.

We've got the scene planned out, reference footage shot (just test footage so far). Going to go in Sunday, and test out the whole process. Once the routine is reasonably set, we'll film the reference footage, and that's it, we're filming finally.

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