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Creating and filming shadows of people....how???


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#1 Fandango

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 06:39 PM

I'm having a slight dilema of how to achive a certain objective for a video which I've been hired to do. We have to basically recreate the attached picture below but in movement. The problem is that I'm not sure what would be the best way to make and film the "shadows" of people so that it more or less appears this way. I would greatly appreciate some suggestions and hopefully I can figure it out. What would be the elements and form to best get results? Lighting, post etc.

sombrascopy_2_.jpg
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#2 Lars.Erik

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 07:03 PM

Maybe you can put up a big wall of white diffusion of some sort. Make sure it hangs straight, either bounce some lights to it from the back, or hit it with one big source. Let the people walk between the light and the wall and you are on the opposite side of the wall. It might work. Don't know about post though. Maybe someone else knows about that?
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#3 Fandango

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 07:35 PM

Maybe you can put up a big wall of white diffusion of some sort. Make sure it hangs straight, either bounce some lights to it from the back, or hit it with one big source. Let the people walk between the light and the wall and you are on the opposite side of the wall. It might work. Don't know about post though. Maybe someone else knows about that?


Thanks for the idea..its something that we also had thought about, unfortunatly the mecanics of how we'll be able to see the feet, left us stumped as well...thanks for the reply. :)
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 09:19 PM

You could use a mirrored mylar floor to silhouette the feet and roto out the reflection.

Or just dress everyone in black, shoot them on a white cyc, and create a hi-con image in post to lose all detail in the blacks.
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#5 Michael Collier

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 09:22 PM

Does it have to be shaddows? What I mean is does it have to show the elongation and compacting effect that shaddows have, given the surface they hit? would it work to just have the outline of people? You could take a white backdrop and really hit it with light, make it bright, then shoot your subjects in front of that with little or no light on them. Then in post crank up the contrast setting to crush everything into white or black. Then add a bit of a gausian blurr to give everything a soft edge.

Would that work? or does it have to be shaddows? You can show their feet because everything below IRE 50 will go black and everything above it will go white. Just make sure they dont wear light clothing.

I realize this is similar to davids idea (that guy always posts while I am typing my . He must be better at describing things quickly. I need pages to get accross what I mean. Photo is worth a thousand words right? thats my eternal salvation.)

Edited by Michael Collier, 28 November 2005 - 09:26 PM.

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#6 Hans Engstrom

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 10:43 PM

Why not greenscreen it? Green floor, green wall?
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 01:42 AM

Why not greenscreen it? Green floor, green wall?


Sure, but there isn't much difference if you use people's lower halves dressed in black walking in a white cyc versus a green cyc -- you can pull either a luminence key in the first scenario or a chroma key in the second.

Now if you couldn't dress everyone in black, then yes, a chroma key might be better, and then you could just turn the foreground element into a black matte.
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#8 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 01:11 PM

Hello,
If you want to reproduce excactly what I see on the picture, you might have some problem with havin people walkin in different levels, so I would suggest to just shoot couples or single persons and then after you separate them (using the teqniques others mentioned above), then mix them in post.
U might have too much light from the white background on them, so do not overlight too much.
Just get the shapes well and adjust the luminance in the post, while as mentioned crush the blacks.
U need to separate black from white, and make it look absolute, so u need to overexpose the white by 1-2 stops.Or just go for a luma key, ( just needs pure white background without so much overexposure).

Dimitrios Koukas
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#9 Fandango

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 05:31 PM

Thank you everyone for your comments, they are greatly appreciated. We are going to apply them to some tests to find out what will work best.

Please don't hesitate to keep adding your two cents as they will easily be worth a million, and I'll check in every once in a while until we shoot to see what else can be done based on your opinions.

Saludos from México
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#10 Rolfe Klement

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 05:26 AM

there is a white floor called "roscofloor" that dancers use that has a very low reflection

So dress the cast in tight black, put down a white floor, overexpose the background and expose the stock for the background. Crunch the foreground in post

We did something very similar here

http://www.creatives...ills/stills.htm

I had to buy a 100ms/2 - which I now long term rent to a dance company (but if you are based in the UK then I can get you access to it ) - you can also use white muslin stapled to the floor - needs a couple of layers though

thanks

Rolfe
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#11 Delorme Jean-Marie

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 10:03 AM

just an idea (maybe bad)
could it work to dress people in white at night exterior and a frontal lighting to key the characters and, in post, assigne them a black color on a white background and floor?
just the oposit of mr mullen's idea??
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#12 boy yniguez

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Posted 03 December 2005 - 09:34 AM

Sure, but there isn't much difference if you use people's lower halves dressed in black walking in a white cyc versus a green cyc -- you can pull either a luminence key in the first scenario or a chroma key in the second.

Now if you couldn't dress everyone in black, then yes, a chroma key might be better, and then you could just turn the foreground element into a black matte.




yup but a white cyc made of acrylic sheets (white plexiglass) lit from under and behind should work better.
even then the cast should still be completely covered in black.
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#13 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 02:51 AM

yup but a white cyc made of acrylic sheets (white plexiglass) lit from under and behind should work better.
even then the cast should still be completely covered in black.


Lighting from underneath,
will add too much light on feets and knees.
Very difficult to wipe this out in the post.
Dimitrios

Edited by Dimitrios Koukas, 04 December 2005 - 02:52 AM.

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#14 boy yniguez

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 07:34 AM

Lighting from underneath,
will add too much light on feets and knees.
Very difficult to wipe this out in the post.
Dimitrios


dimitrios,
please do a test. place any object darker than an 18% gray on a white plexi surface lit from under and spotmeter the object as against the white surface which is your source of light and you will see a difference of at least three stops which is enough to separate your subject from the surface.

boy
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#15 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 11:15 AM

There's nothing wrong with the idea of a backlit set with a backlit floor -- it's just that it is a rather expensive and elaborate solution, even beyond the means of the shoots I tend to shoot.
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#16 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 02:01 AM

dimitrios,
please do a test. place any object darker than an 18% gray on a white plexi surface lit from under and spotmeter the object as against the white surface which is your source of light and you will see a difference of at least three stops which is enough to separate your subject from the surface.

boy


Hello,
I usually do not speak or write things that I haven't done, or tested.
I see what you mean. Thanks
Dimitrios

Edited by Dimitrios Koukas, 05 December 2005 - 02:07 AM.

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#17 SpikeUM

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 09:09 AM

Here is my first post...
You can get that effect by shooting green screen and have the talent wear black or really dark colors for easy keying and the dark color wont pick up the green as much. Key out the green (you can do this with any light color if you cant get a green screen) and apply a drop shadow filter on the keyed footage. I dont know about other programs but After effects allows you to show shadows only and poof, you have your shot. You can control the hardness or fuzzyness also. To get the depth I would shoot each couple separatly and create the depth in after effects. Just make sure you get the full body in the shots.

Edit- As far as lighting just make sure the people are dark. You dont need to really worry about making them look good because you are just using the drop shadow effect from the filter and not the actual footage. You can can even do this in a white room with alot of shadows being cast and pretty much pull a clean enough matte for this effect.


Hope that helps..
Aram

Edited by Aram Bauman, 05 December 2005 - 09:13 AM.

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