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Invisible wire...fishing wire doesnt seem all that great


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#1 Albert Smith

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Posted 08 August 2007 - 06:37 PM

Hi, were trying to do a very basic effect. we need to simply make a bike look as if its standing up on its own on 2 wheels. we thought about just dealing with it in post, but I would much rather just do it for real and figure it out, I don't have much experience with this stuff, we just thought of fishing wire at first but fishing wire is a very glossy reflective material for the most part and it shimmers and reflects in light. I know people still sometimes use wires for fx so how do they do it? what kinda of wire is used? any specialty places to get a hold of some? and any specific things to think about when lighting it?


thanks for any information on this


-Jake Zalutsky

Edited by Jake Zalutsky, 08 August 2007 - 06:37 PM.

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#2 Nick Mulder

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Posted 08 August 2007 - 06:55 PM

I'm no expert but on a recent shoot we too found fishing line too reflective so ended up using cotton - it had to be doubled up to match the strength we required for the application but the good thing was it didn't reflect and we could match the color with the background ...

Not perfect in every case but worked for us this time.
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#3 e gustavo petersen

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 03:34 AM

To expand on Nick's suggestion, you might want to use upholstery thread which is generally stronger. Much of what will make this effect work is making sure you control the lighting and insure that little to none hits the tread (or fishing line). I have seen some folks gently rub 220 grit sandpaper to dull the line's smooth surface on thick fishing line and others use dulling spray both with some success. If the shot doesn't have to move around the object, you could of course also try securing the bike to the ground with some kind of support that's lined up behind some part of the bike and hidden from the camera's view.
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#4 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 02:40 PM

I know people still sometimes use wires for fx so how do they do it? what kinda of wire is used? any specialty places to get a hold of some? and any specific things to think about when lighting it?
thanks for any information on this
-Jake Zalutsky


Used to be piano wire.
& it is painted to match the back ground.
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#5 Michael Nash

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 06:23 PM

Monofilament is both reflective and acts like a lens (focusing light). You're better off with something black and dull (thread or piano wire depending on strength needed), or painted to match the overall color/value of the background.
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#6 robert duke

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Posted 11 August 2007 - 12:26 PM

instead of monofiliament try using some of the braided fishing lines available like spider wire. it comes in some extreme strengths and is as small as the light weight mono. It comes in a dark green and a black color. it is non reflective and knots easily.
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#7 Michael Nash

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Posted 12 August 2007 - 09:24 AM

instead of monofiliament try using some of the braided fishing lines available like spider wire. it comes in some extreme strengths and is as small as the light weight mono. It comes in a dark green and a black color. it is non reflective and knots easily.


Well that's gotta be better than this one! :P
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#8 e gustavo petersen

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Posted 12 August 2007 - 01:49 PM

Well that's gotta be better than this one! :P


I don't think that's a wire, I think it's shooting its laser. After the UK falls, we're all next.
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#9 robert duke

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Posted 12 August 2007 - 11:52 PM

WOW how do you find this stuff? Is it kizmit or what?
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#10 Stuart McCammon

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 09:05 AM

Lots of shoots don't worry about the line and just take it out in post - might be more important for the line to be the same color as your bike than the background)
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#11 Michael Nash

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 05:52 AM

WOW how do you find this stuff? Is it kizmit or what?


Well it all happened after the UFO's over Haiti went viral last week.

Maybe this should spawn another thread, but there are several reasons why this video doesn't work for me. I'll admit that many small details are done very well: the motion tracking, the focus tracking, and the way the light sources glow through the palm fronds when the craft goes behind the trees.

There are a few big red flags though. Not to mention the ridiculous "gasp" at the beginning, I find several major faults:

(Drumroll a-la David Letterman top ten)

4. The more or less "perfect" framing of the object's flight relative to the operator's position. It looks as though somebody shot a background plate in anticipation of a good comp.

3. The resolution of the CG model exceeds the background plate -- the model looks better or "cleaner" than the real video element.

2. The UFO "production design" looks like something out of Stargate SG-1.

And the number one reason why this fake doesn't, or none of the others ever, work convincingly (drumroll gets louder):

1. There is no camera-generated detail enhancement (edge enhancement) on the light sources of the craft! Video cameras always add an artificial edge enhancement to areas of high contrast, so there should be a thick electronic-looking dark outline on the right side of the lights on the craft. There isn't. I'm amazed that more CGI and effects guru's don't get this right. It's basic.

This one looks pretty cool, and the filter flare/shadow is a nice touch. Too bad the filter shadow is too sharp given the distance.

Given all this, it will be interesting to see what J.J. Abrams et. al. do with Cloverfield when it finally hits the big screen.
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#12 JD Hartman

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Posted 17 August 2007 - 03:48 PM

Try rebar tie wire. Available at a mason's supply, building supply, etc. It's dull black, soft iron wire.
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#13 Will Earl

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Posted 18 August 2007 - 06:46 AM

Yeah maybe this should get it's own thread, anyway.

4. The more or less "perfect" framing of the object's flight relative to the operator's position. It looks as though somebody shot a background plate in anticipation of a good comp.
3. The resolution of the CG model exceeds the background plate -- the model looks better or "cleaner" than the real video element.
2. The UFO "production design" looks like something out of Stargate SG-1.
And the number one reason why this fake doesn't, or none of the others ever, work convincingly (drumroll gets louder):
1. There is no camera-generated detail enhancement (edge enhancement) on the light sources of the craft! Video cameras always add an artificial edge enhancement to areas of high contrast, so there should be a thick electronic-looking dark outline on the right side of the lights on the craft. There isn't. I'm amazed that more CGI and effects guru's don't get this right. It's basic.


4. Agree with you to some extent, but if the UFO was flying that path and the operator was following it, that's kind of how I'd imagine the framing to look like. The OP does lose the UFO for a moment as it flies past.

3. The resolution of the CG element is going to be the same as the BG plate, and I'm quite sure if they went to the lengths they did with these clips, that they're most likely going to be distressing the CG element to match the FG. The includes throwing a noise and compression pass on the CG.

2. Haha. I kind of thought the same thing, well not exactly SG-1, but yeah it looked production designed.

1. In the first few frames of the clip there is a light source down the bottom of screen right, it doesn't move so I'm wondering if this is in the BG plate or a CG element. If it is a real element then it also doesn't seem to have any edge enhancement going on. Maybe they shot it with the detail or sharpening settings turned off for this very reason.

Then again it has been posted on Youtube, so with all the compression going on it kind of sucks the fun out of analysing these type of viral marketing videos. Trust me it's much more fun trying to pull apart VFX shots at the full 2K resolution.
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#14 Michael Nash

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 05:05 AM

Well aside from those other red flags, there apparently were some more telling ones that slipped past me. Someone posted a video debunking the thing by pointing out that all the palm trees are exactly the same CG "model!" I have to admit I didn't notice, but that explains the ease with which the animator got the craft & lights to go behind the trees so convincingly...
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#15 Joseph Nesbitt

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 10:32 PM

I remember reading somewhere that it is supposed to be shaking, (monofiliment) something about the camera can't see it that way or something, anyway if you are supposed to shake it you should use something else. This is in relation to the bike thing, not the UFO discussion.
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#16 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 02:47 PM

I remember reading somewhere that it is supposed to be shaking, (monofiliment) something about the camera can't see it that way or something, anyway if you are supposed to shake it you should use something else. This is in relation to the bike thing, not the UFO discussion.


That would be for stop motion where you're shooting single frames at a longish exposure.
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#17 Jonathan Hirsh

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 04:04 AM

\ fishing wire is a very glossy reflective material for the most part and it shimmers and reflects in light.


In the past I have taken a sharpie to the monofilament. That seems to work for me.

JH
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