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Question on Faking Rain


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#1 Daniel Smith

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 07:31 AM

Hi.

I know that a good way of faking rain is to cap a hose pipe, cut small slits in it all along and then jet water down it.

However, what I was thinking was, do you need multiple of these pipes (from close to distant) to get a good effect or can you get away with just using one, a few metres away from the camera? (Like a filter)

Has anyone shot a film using this method, and is the film available to see online?

Keeping in mind, I don't mean the great big wide shots. Like in 'Road to Perdition'. I mean shots like in '28 Days Later'.

Thanks.
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#2 Matthew Buick

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 09:45 AM

Are we going to be seeing more work from you soon? :)

I'd imagine the hosepipes would work. As long as the holes are circular. :)
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#3 David Regan

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 10:55 AM

I'm not sure if one hose will look like rain, having never tried it. But I would advise, even if it does work to look like rain, be sure you are wetting down the area you shoot, because even if you have a convincing amount of rain falling, a dry road/object in the background will throw the illusion off right away.

Good Luck
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#4 Daniel Smith

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 05:09 PM

Are we going to be seeing more work from you soon? :)

I'd imagine the hosepipes would work. As long as the holes are circular. :)

I doubt it.. unfortunately I'm impotent until I finish college, and even then, I won't have access to a camera. But then hopefully Ravensbourne will come along...

(If you want a foothold in a job working with cameras a lighting, take a look at them, a lot of their students go on to work in TV)

I'm not sure if one hose will look like rain, having never tried it. But I would advise, even if it does work to look like rain, be sure you are wetting down the area you shoot, because even if you have a convincing amount of rain falling, a dry road/object in the background will throw the illusion off right away.

Good Luck

Thanks for the tip. I'll make sure I do that.

I love the effect rain gives... unfortunately it's not something you often see in a lot of indie productions. It really gives a sense of atmosphere.
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#5 Chris Keth

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 08:36 PM

I've done it reasonably at night by first wetting down the area the camera will see. Then we used, I think, 4 hoses with spray nozzles and just sprayed them all as close to straight up as possible. One was right in front of camera (more like raining on and in front of camera), the second and third were raining on the talent and surrounding area, the fourth was as far out as we could move it without seeing the edges of its spread. I used a long lens so the 4 hoses' water would stack up more in frame and look denser than just 4 hoses.

Edit: I forgot to add one more detail, but an important one. It definately was not a wide shot. It was two people kissing. They were framed about waist up in one shot, top of shoulder up in the other. Both were on something like a 75 or 100mm on super 16.

Edited by Chris Keth, 12 May 2007 - 08:38 PM.

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#6 David Bradley

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Posted 13 May 2007 - 10:52 AM

I did a shoot not so long ago with fake rain. It was DV, shot at night (exterior) under tungsten balanced to 4500k with the camera pre-white at 3200k. We found the rain pretty much disappeared in the lowlights and could only really be seen when caught directly in the light. If we had the kit I would have put milk in it. We sprayed two garden hose pipes from taps with a thumb over the nozzle in the air. Because the scene was lit so that the background was entirely black it actually looked like rain. I imagine if the back/foreground had been visible then it would'nt have worked.

We had similar succes when aiming a dedo onto a window and spraying a hose at it whilst filming in doors. The talent stood adjacent to the windoe, the impression that the trickling water left looked pretty ace if completely accidental.

I wasn't around for post but sound was probably the most important element in making convincing rain. I think they used a BBC stock sound of rain as well as additional foley.
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#7 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 13 May 2007 - 11:25 PM

They do make small raintowers, modified, they might work for you.
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#8 Stuart McCammon

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Posted 14 May 2007 - 02:25 PM

I think using strobes will help to see the rain more in a night shot, rather than putting milk in it - FYI
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#9 Chris Keth

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Posted 14 May 2007 - 05:45 PM

I think using strobes will help to see the rain more in a night shot, rather than putting milk in it - FYI


True, but I don't think that's generally an option. This is a cinematography forum, not a photography forum.
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#10 Stuart McCammon

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 01:09 AM

This is what I was referring to, Chris:

http://www.unilux.co...ustry.php?iid=5

Thanks for letting me know this is a cinematography forum - I will try to remember that)
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#11 David Bradley

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 07:17 AM

hadn't heard of these. look great. Thanks Stuart.
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#12 Jim Feldspar

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 05:10 PM

hadn't heard of these. look great. Thanks Stuart.



Comment and question:


This may help some of you. i-Movie has a special section of VFX that you can lay on after you've
shot
your scene, in this case no hoses except to wet down the streets. It works especially well for night
shoots or overcast days but particularly night because if you have a streelight or something in the
background, that will seem to justify the backlighting of the rain. I've used this effect for
downconverted P2 footage and then sent it to Final Cut Express to finish. With good sound effects,
it can be pretty convincing.

I just bought an instructional CD at my local camera store. It says that it would show how to create
environmental effects, like rain and snow, in Photoshop. I don't know much about Photoshop but
could get access to it. The video starts with the instructor standing outside introducing how he's
going to show how to do these effects in Photoshop. While he's talking, there is snow falling and then
lightning, both clearly effects and implying that how to do them will be revealed in this CD.

In the video however, he uses still pictures and never says a word about getting these
effects onto an editing timeline. This video was right next to an instructional DVD on shooting
Mini-DV.

I called a friend who knows Photoshop very well and he said that he didn't see how Photoshop,
which he said is for still images, could be used for video effects.

Does anybody know? I think that I got duped. Does anybody know of any effects programs that
can allow rain or snow to be put over scenes in a video or film? Thanks.
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#13 Chris Keth

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 05:55 PM

This is what I was referring to, Chris:

http://www.unilux.co...ustry.php?iid=5

Thanks for letting me know this is a cinematography forum - I will try to remember that)


I wasn't trying to be rude. I just figure that if they're jerry-rigging a rainmaker they probably can't rent strobe lighting.
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#14 Will Earl

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 11:03 PM

Comment and question:


Jim, Photoshop isn't designed for doing any sort of motion graphics work (film/video/animation), however it can be used to do so if your prepared to work frame-by-frame or by batch processing image-sequences.

Rain VFX can be accomplished a few different ways. Shooting it as an VFX element, by filming the rain against a black background and then compositing the rain, or by using particles - which can be 2D or 3D depending on what program your using - but unless iMovie comes with a 'Rain' FX preset then your best bet is shooting water falling in front of a black background. You then can 'screen' (see below) this footage over your plate.

In compositing a 'screen' operation creates the matte/alpha of the image using the luminance of the image, this is handy for shooting elements such as smoke, water, fire and dust.
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#15 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 11:10 PM

Why the talk about milk? You should always backlight, to see rain!
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#16 Alex Haspel

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 01:21 AM

i once shot with artificial rain on a low budget short. we had two firemen with two hoses.
most of the time they managed to get nice fat drops that rendered nicely,
but sometims it was more of a diffused spray which happened to be areal troublemaker,
continuity-wise.

there are two shots of this in my showreel, within the last third. www.alex.haspel.at
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#17 Jim Feldspar

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 09:47 AM

Jim, Photoshop isn't designed for doing any sort of motion graphics work (film/video/animation), however it can be used to do so if your prepared to work frame-by-frame or by batch processing image-sequences.

Rain VFX can be accomplished a few different ways. Shooting it as an VFX element, by filming the rain against a black background and then compositing the rain, or by using particles - which can be 2D or 3D depending on what program your using - but unless iMovie comes with a 'Rain' FX preset then your best bet is shooting water falling in front of a black background. You then can 'screen' (see below) this footage over your plate.

In compositing a 'screen' operation creates the matte/alpha of the image using the luminance of the image, this is handy for shooting elements such as smoke, water, fire and dust.


I definitely do not want to do frame by frame for a ten minute short that takes place in the rain! I
think
that the video I watched is extremely misleading as it begins with the host talking for a minute or so
with falling snow and also lightning and I doubt that was down frame by frame and I guess not even in
Photoshop!

I really like your suggestion of shooting the rain and compositing it. I've done some things like that.
I know that I'll have to backlight the rain but why do you suggest a black background? I can do it but
I'm just curious; would green screen somehow affect the shot more or do people simply not want to
get their green screens possibly wet?


Thanks!
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#18 Will Earl

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 05:38 AM

I really like your suggestion of shooting the rain and compositing it. I've done some things like that.
I know that I'll have to backlight the rain but why do you suggest a black background? I can do it but
I'm just curious; would green screen somehow affect the shot more or do people simply not want to
get their green screens possibly wet?


It's more to do with getting a nicer matte out of your VFX element. I don't have any rain examples on me, here is an example using blurry lights, notice how the lights seem to blend in perfectly with background image. We're using the image itself as the matte instead of trying to create a matte based on a particular colour.

Posted Image

Edited by Will Earl, 30 June 2007 - 05:42 AM.

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#19 Jim Feldspar

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 07:29 PM

It's more to do with getting a nicer matte out of your VFX element. I don't have any rain examples on me, here is an example using blurry lights, notice how the lights seem to blend in perfectly with background image. We're using the image itself as the matte instead of trying to create a matte based on a particular colour.

Posted Image



Cool, thank you!
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#20 Ed Blythe

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 08:18 PM

Soooo, sort of reviving this thread with a view to a) getting a few more tips on cheapcheapcheap rain, and B) safety tips when jerry-rigging weather effects.

Other than trying to keep the spray well clear of any of your gear, how do you properly insulate and waterproof your electrics? Camera's a little easier - keep her covered - and it also won't kill you if it's not protected.

We've got a wide shot of a house that a character steps into the foreground of - night time, fortunately.


Cheers.
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