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Shooting miniatures


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#1 Andriy Pryymachenko

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Posted 10 December 2005 - 02:33 PM

For example, I need to shoot a scene, where a war ship is drowning.
I have a miniature 1:10
How should I shoot it to look realistic?
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#2 Stephen Williams

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Posted 10 December 2005 - 02:55 PM

For example, I need to shoot a scene, where a war ship is drowning.
I have a miniature 1:10
How should I shoot it to look realistic?


Hi,

High speed will help, are you shooting film or video?

Stephen
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#3 Dickson Sorensen

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Posted 10 December 2005 - 04:52 PM

For example, I need to shoot a scene, where a war ship is drowning.
I have a miniature 1:10
How should I shoot it to look realistic?

The scaling factor for overcranking your camera for miniatures is as follows

model speed = normal speed (24 for film USA) x square root of 1 over the model to life size ratio.

example 1:10 model

24x square root 1/.1= 24xsquare root 10= 24x3.18= 76fps

The water in your shot will be a little harder to deal with as waves don't scale well. I have heard of using wetting agents to reduce surface tension though I have no personal experience if this helps.
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#4 scott tebeau

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Posted 11 December 2005 - 12:03 AM

When dealing with natural elements, smoke, fire, water, don?t really hold up when employing them in miniature environment that is less then 6th scale. A friend of mine while working on the titanic miniatures said that this was the case and they stuck to it.
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#5 Andriy Pryymachenko

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Posted 11 December 2005 - 02:31 AM

High speed will help, are you shooting film or video?

Video.

The scaling factor for overcranking your camera for miniatures is as follows

model speed = normal speed (24 for film USA) x square root of 1 over the model to life size ratio.

example 1:10 model

24x square root 1/.1= 24xsquare root 10= 24x3.18= 76fps

The water in your shot will be a little harder to deal with as waves don't scale well. I have heard of using wetting agents to reduce surface tension though I have no personal experience if this helps.

Thank for the formula! I`ll try to deal with water somehow...
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#6 David Silverstein

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Posted 12 December 2005 - 04:43 PM

Im almost postive Titanic the movie used minitures. Try to get a making of titanic and watch it and see how they did the water the water might be put in afterwards.
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 12 December 2005 - 05:01 PM

"Titanic" used very large miniatures plus a full-scale set -- there wasn't much use of a CGI Titanic actually.

But for the most part, the water hitting the sides of the ship was digitally created (CGI), combined with real ocean plates. Only the super large miniature sections, like the stern sinking, used a water tank.

Since there is no way to miniaturize water or flames, the larger the miniature, the better, unless you create the water or flames separately and composite them in. Some people try detergents or other agents in the water to break-up the surface tension.
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#8 Lukeo

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Posted 17 December 2005 - 09:02 PM

Hey,

how do you shoot convincing miniatures with video? (mini dv) I'm guessing you shoot it with standard settings and then do something in post production?

Lukeo
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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 17 December 2005 - 11:34 PM

Well, at least the extra depth of field with consumer DV is sort of an advantage here. The problem is that you can't overcrank when necessary, unless you want to convert 60i into a 60 fps slo-mo effect.
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#10 Algis Kemezys

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Posted 17 December 2005 - 11:38 PM

I would film it slightly out of focus firstly. Then in focus but with a thin film of vaseline on the filter. Make sure lots of spray and water is splasing. Shoot some scenes with only water drops on the lens. Keep the craft small for detail purposes. Good luck 1
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#11 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 18 December 2005 - 11:38 AM

Vaseline seems like an odd choice for shooting miniatures. I'd probably use a Tiffen Smoque or LowCon to increase the affect of atmospheric perspective though.
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#12 Ron_mc_Don

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Posted 18 December 2005 - 01:26 PM

Why do you overcrank when film miniatures?

Thanks in advance,
Tony.
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#13 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 18 December 2005 - 10:09 PM

Why do you overcrank when film miniatures?

Thanks in advance,
Tony.


To give a sense of scale to movement when it interacts with an organic environment (like a foot hitting the dusty ground, something exploding or a heavy object splashing into water, etc.)

Not necessary when it's a mechanical movement with no interaction with other materials -- for example, a spaceship moving through space is often shot at extremely low frame rates, moving the camera or spaceship very slowly, to allow longer exposure times so the lens can be stopped way down to improve depth of field.

But a shot of something like a miniature bridge collapsing or a miniature tank crashing through miniature trees would be shot with a lot of light or in sunlight (to stop down the lens) and with the camera overcranked to give the proper scale to the motion. A ship miniature moving through water, exploding, etc. would also be shot overcranked.
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#14 Ron_mc_Don

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 10:01 AM

As always Mr Mullen, a perfect asnwer!

Cheers,
Tony.
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Metropolis Post

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The Slider

Technodolly

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Willys Widgets

CineLab

CineTape

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Rig Wheels Passport