View Full Version : Need advice from the Masters

03-13-2004, 05:51 PM
Ok, I'm Kinda a new poster here, but been reading this forum for sometime now. It has come the time I trully need your help, hehe...

OK here's the take.

Black Balls appear from a white backround. CAM zooms out to reveal the black balls are a dot pattern from an incredibly zoomed in picture. CAM contnues zooming out until it reveals its the cover of a book, "Essay on Blindness", from the portuguese writer José Saramago. CAM keep zooming out to reveal more books trown at the back seat of a car, and then dollies back until we are out of the car, a 1972 Ford Maverick.

The main challenge here is joining the animation drawn over a high quality scan of the image, and an actual zoom and dolly from the camera. What should I do? Zoom in the book until it covers all the frame before zooming out, and dissolve my animation to that, with a perfecly matched frame? Shoot a Green covered book, and take from it a motion path keeping the animation covering the green book frame by frame using transform? It's a great shot, and the movie seriously depends on me making this happening.

Any suggestions?

Thanks in Advance!

Júlio Taubkin
Brancaleone Filmes

03-14-2004, 02:15 AM
Hmmm, that's quite a challenge I would say. I'd have to see some sort of storyboard or something to get a better idea of what you were saying. If you don't mind, kinda late for me :)

03-15-2004, 02:16 PM
Wes, well...

I don't have a storyboard yt, but I have the whole thing already drawn in my head... (Doesn't it sound bound to be a sucess? :o)

Really, the only part I'm stuck is this one: How do I go from a Digital AE zoom out from a higly magnified high res scan to a regular on camera zoom out of the same picture (to keep zooming until I frame the surroundings of the picture as well...)?

is that possible to do with a highly tuned dissolve or do I have to actually keep the digital Image composed over my cam movement until the cut (which would have to be done frame-by-frame, I suppose... :'( )?

But if the first reply I got was from a Guy who uses a shot of Ed Wood as his avatar, I'm sure my luck is gonna turn!!!


Sol M.
03-15-2004, 05:20 PM
You could do a rough test of both methods and see which one would be the best mix of believability and practicality in actual production.

03-16-2004, 01:07 AM
I use the effect, Trapcode Shine, I do this effect all the time to simulate a quick move from far to close shots, it adds ray lengths to the footage and you can switch between the two seamlessly. www.trapcode.com is where you get the AE plugin. Go here to see an example http://www.trapcode.com/movies/zoom.mov

And for your info... ED WOOD IS THE MAN! 8)

03-16-2004, 07:54 AM
I'd have to say try the Shine technique... i've used it a few times with decent results. You also might experiment with lining up the elements (scan and real footage), and try some different fades between the two. Timing is going to be your biggest challenge, as the movement of both elements will need to match correctly to trick the viewers' eye...

03-16-2004, 08:50 AM
Or you can do what he said... ;)

03-16-2004, 09:34 AM
yeah, I expected that. I'm gonna try doing some tests as you all suggested... As for the shine plugin, it's gorgeous, but it's too fast paced for the movie...

Thanx all for the replies

03-16-2004, 09:37 AM
Its not so much the pace of the example i showed you, its the application and technique. You use the shine, at any speed, to transistion from one peice of footage to the other which look similar w/o the audience noticing the switch. The rays that come out allow you to head fake them.

Sol M.
03-16-2004, 09:39 PM
Well, the effect that the rays from shine mimic is that of a "zoom blur" which occurs when the lense is taken from wide to telephoto (or vice-versa) quickly causing the image to blur during the zoom. *As a result, IMO, this effect lends itself to a fast-paced transition.

I may be wrong, but when described by taubkin, I imagined the desired effect to be more of a dolly away from the book at a constant speed and look totally real. *The zoom-blur effect is more of a gimicky effect that can disconnect the viewer.

Your transition is going to be the key thing that will determine this shot to be believable or not. *I would recommend using the scan of the book up until the actual book is completely in view and established, then fading the scan out to show the actual cover for the remainder of the shot.

This will require color matching the scan to the actual book cover as it appears in the shot so that the transition is as unnoticeable as possible (this can be done over the duration of the artifical dolly out of the scan so that you can start with the look and feel that you want). *Also, accomplishing the effect would be made easier by putting tracking marks on the book so that you can 'pin' the scan to the actual book for the short time that you want to use the scan as the cover. *You can always paint out the tracking marks in post.

While you could do it, I would not recommend using the scan for the entire shot (unless the screen time of the book after you dolly out is very short), as the actual book cover will react to the environmental conditions of the scene (lighting, etc.) much better than the scan will.

03-17-2004, 06:30 AM
all very good points and ideas....

03-17-2004, 06:34 AM
Theres a shot simelar to this in Secret Window toward the beginning when the camera is moving around the main characters apartment and passes through a piece of glass on a pannelled door.

Your shot can be accomplished through some fancy photography and after effects trickery.

1. *For the raw footage you will want to roll down the back window, and set up a dolly/jib camera rig inside the car. *See picture.

When shooting you want to zoom all the way in on the book and slowly zoom out but not to the widest angle. *You only want to really get the back seat of the car and the books in the picture, *let the other books enter the frame "on their own" *dont force them into the shot. *once you've zoomed out enough to frame the shot, start to dolly back slowly (about as slow as you were zooming). *Once the lens or mattebox has reached the point where it would intersect the window of the car, pause tape and roll the window up. *the mattebox should be very close to the window and you should see the glass in the shot. *keep dollying back at the same speed you were before to reveal the whole car.

2. edit your video so that everything appears as one smooth motion. *time correct segments of the clip as necessary.

3. *in after effects, youre going to want to create a composition. *place your video and your still in the composition. *set both layers to 3D. *create a new camera. *with this new camera you can adjust zoom settings as if it were a real camera. *these settings can also be automated.

this shot will require some work, but to the best of my knowledge, thats how you can accomplish it.

the digital zoom in after effects will seamlessly replace the blurred out of focus zoom segment in the raw footage then will seamlessly cut to the dolly out.

Neil Rowe
03-17-2004, 06:58 AM
..the camera looks like a pitcher tipping off the end of the jib ! :P ..kinda like my storyboards, where someones head looks like a bird nest.

03-17-2004, 04:46 PM
Anthony has got a great suggestion and an even better picture :P.

03-27-2004, 05:21 AM
I hear you all!

Thanks Anthony for the drawing, that is exactly what I had in mind. Thanks for the tip to make both layers 3D, it will certainly help the perspective corrections.

very interesting effect on the "through the window" shot!

I'm still thinking, because the shot now involves a second dolly to the front window, and I don't even have a Dolly (Or Jib!!).

But I'm going to get it done. That I am. Even If I have to use my own copyrighted (as If...) HumanDolly! (Wich is essencially me on Rollerblades holding a monopod attached to my right foot).

Anyway, I digress. Thanks for the pointers, I'll let you all know!

03-29-2004, 12:29 AM

1) Please post the shot when it is completed. It sounds too cool.
2) Please post footage of yourself or at least a frame grab of you using the HumanDolly. I'm compiling a book about human evolution. :P

Good luck!

03-29-2004, 01:33 PM
1) Will do.

2) Will do, even though I must look ridiculous while I'm dollying... ;D