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How did they do it?


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#1 Jaco Jansen

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 12:56 AM

Hi All
I hope this is the right forum to post this question..? How do the team from BBC's 'Planet Earth' achieve those stunning - super steady aireal shots. I recall the episode with the polar bear swimming for miles out into the ocean, and walking over iced landscapes, with the framing starting on a full shot, and then zooming out to reveal the bears as specs on the infinite frozen background. On some of the other episodes, the animals do not seem to be too bothered on whatever they use to fly the camera...
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#2 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 02:16 PM

That sounds like a plane or helicopter, although I haven't seen the show you're referring to.
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#3 Christophe Collette

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 05:57 PM

Check out the making of from Le Peuple Migratoire, sorry, I do not have the name in english, you will find it easily though. Tierry Machado was the Dp on this. They used a deltaplane with a small propeller engine at the back which they are not using all the time. It is very light, very silent, but usually the birds you see from that close flying are trained animals.
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#4 Andy Boreham

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 12:09 AM

I haven't seen it, but could it be a composite shot?
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 01:06 AM

I haven't seen it, but could it be a composite shot?


The plane isn't in the shot normally -- it's just that the camera position is so close to the birds that the birds have to get used to the plane flying that close to them.
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#6 David Akinde

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 02:31 AM

Hi All
I hope this is the right forum to post this question..? How do the team from BBC's 'Planet Earth' achieve those stunning - super steady aireal shots. I recall the episode with the polar bear swimming for miles out into the ocean, and walking over iced landscapes, with the framing starting on a full shot, and then zooming out to reveal the bears as specs on the infinite frozen background. On some of the other episodes, the animals do not seem to be too bothered on whatever they use to fly the camera...


Hot air balloons!

Edited by David Akinde, 16 January 2007 - 02:32 AM.

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#7 Tim Partridge

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 07:15 AM

I recall the episode with the polar bear swimming for miles out into the ocean, and walking over iced landscapes, with the framing starting on a full shot, and then zooming out to reveal the bears as specs on the infinite frozen background. On some of the other episodes, the animals do not seem to be too bothered on whatever they use to fly the camera...


They are probably more concerned about the global warming. ;)

I've not seen the show and what you describe sounds like typical high-end aerial photography, but a cameraman who works on the show told me they do quite a bit of bluescreen.
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#8 Dory Breaux DP

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 12:11 PM

I am guessing it was probably a helicopter with some form of stabilization.
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#9 Richard Ladkani

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 02:02 AM

I am guessing it was probably a helicopter with some form of stabilization.



Hi

They used a wescam mount which is standard for areal photography but attached a 40x Canon Zoom lens with the 2x extender. I saw the film last week and was amazed how steady it was. I have used the 40x a few times and especilly with the extender on, if you just breathed at the lens it would shake. So it's really amazing footage they could get. They flew the helicopter with the wescam rig around the world to film whereever they needed it. They were shootong for 4 years! The budget by the way was 47Million? for the 13 episodes and the feature length version. So they really had the budget to do it right.

What I am interested in is how they did the timelaps of a landscape scenery where the vegetation is going through 4 seasons. They do it again and again on different locations I want to know what technique hey used. I am guessing a 35mm still camera on a rotating base plate attached to a computer or something. But I would like to know it excatly if anybody knows.
Best
Richard
www.richardladkani.com
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#10 Chris Keth

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 01:31 PM

I would have guessed that the timelapse was done with digital SLRs. They're cheaper and easier to deal with and are more than enough resolution to go to HDTV.
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#11 Matthew Buick

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 04:52 PM

I saw behind the scenes shots in which the crew used ducted fan powered hot air balloons.
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#12 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 08:29 PM

They used a combination of Hot air balloons (not super successful and pretty dangerous!), and Gyro stablized mount under the nose of the helicopter. The pilot hat a monitor, so does the DP and the producer, along with controls for the zoom...etc The zooms are allowing them to get 1 1/2 miles away. This came in handy for the wild dogs shoot. If you can, buy the DVD set and check out the making of. Really great stuff.

jamie
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#13 Andres Pardo aka Gral Treegan

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 12:23 AM

Hi!!

i think is a hot air ballon. why? if you see planet earth bbc show you will find that when the zoom lens goes wider the shot is taken at a big big height. theres a shot that camera is following a polar bear in a "close" shot, camera start to open until we have an amazing extra panoramic full full shot where the polar bear is just a litlle thing. please rent or buy that dvd boz, is amazing!!!!

bye!!
G.T



Hi All
I hope this is the right forum to post this question..? How do the team from BBC's 'Planet Earth' achieve those stunning - super steady aireal shots. I recall the episode with the polar bear swimming for miles out into the ocean, and walking over iced landscapes, with the framing starting on a full shot, and then zooming out to reveal the bears as specs on the infinite frozen background. On some of the other episodes, the animals do not seem to be too bothered on whatever they use to fly the camera...


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#14 Will Earl

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 06:57 AM

What I am interested in is how they did the timelaps of a landscape scenery where the vegetation is going through 4 seasons. They do it again and again on different locations I want to know what technique hey used. I am guessing a 35mm still camera on a rotating base plate attached to a computer or something. But I would like to know it excatly if anybody knows.


I haven't seen the shots your referring to so I don't actually know the answer to your question, but there was a commercial on TV here which did a lengthy timelapse sequence - shot over a year next to a river in the country to get the change in seasons.

They built a concrete base to mount the camera on out on location. Every time they needed to take a new shot they'd carry the camera out to the location, line it up on the mount, take the shot and then take the camera away again. They used a static shot, but I'm sure you could do a pan or tilt by making incrementally adjustments each time (require a bit more lining up and adjusting though).

Actually now that I think about it, they shot one second clips which they transitioned between. Created a very natural looking shot that didn't look sped up, even through the seasons changed though out the shot.
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#15 jason lam

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 10:44 AM

I saw the behind the scene, some are done with hot air balloon, some probably with Helicopter. I am in the process of perfecting my RC helicopter cam. In the next couple of month, it will have Gyro Stabilization. Here are 2 clip without gyro stabilization.









jason
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#16 A. Whitehouse

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 04:03 AM

Some of those timelapse vegetation shots look like comps to me with foreground elements being shot separately. There wouldn't be any need for a robotic head (on these timelapse shots) because hi res stills would offer enough of a canvas to track around.
I doubt they used Hot air balloons over a polar bear infested Arctic ocean! For some reason I thought they used the Cineflex system www.cineflex.com but I could be wrong. I haven't watched the making of. In a similar vein how did they shoot or create the space shots of earth for the series? Are they stitched or entirely fake.
Great series.
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