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Sillhouettes + other questions


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#1 Efraim Smits

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Posted 18 July 2008 - 05:45 PM

Hey guys,

I've got a shoot coming up. Quite complicated and I can't figure out the optimal way to set up. Any suggestions would be really helpful!

I need a band playing in front of a 'plazma' like spread. 25+ plazmas with a story going on behind. I've attached a picture so you could take a look at the idea. But, at one point, I'd also like both to be visible - both the band and the backdrop. Essentially, I thought about projecting with a 10k lumen hd projector from 8m behind the vinyl, simulating the 'plazma' screens (sliced up footage in cross-sections), which would definitely be super for the silhouette, BUT what after the lights come on?? How in the world will that look like? AND also the back footage is going to be low-key at times. Do I need some back light? I've got a very low budget to work with and i'm shooting on a JVC HD-GY200 @60p.

Any input, please friends.

Cheers,
Efi

sm.jpg

Edited by Efraim Smits, 18 July 2008 - 05:47 PM.

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#2 Michael Belanger

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Posted 18 July 2008 - 05:54 PM

My first inclination is to shoot this as a clean silhouette on green-screen and motion track the background in during post. It seems like a lighting/spill nightmare otherwise.
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#3 Efraim Smits

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Posted 18 July 2008 - 06:03 PM

Yeah, but the silhouette then? I considered this already before, didn't mention it, but could I alternatively use motion tracking on the chroma-key but would i then just simply remove all brightness on the band in post? funny thought.. ;) I'd have to be selective that the green remains untouched.
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#4 Daniel Sheehy

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Posted 18 July 2008 - 08:09 PM

Yeah, but the silhouette then? I considered this already before, didn't mention it, but could I alternatively use motion tracking on the chroma-key but would i then just simply remove all brightness on the band in post? funny thought.. ;) I'd have to be selective that the green remains untouched.

You could light the band as silhouettes infront of the chroma screen. The BG keys out, and you desaturate the silhouette to kill any chroma spill. The advantage of this is the backlight gives a little depth to the silhouettes.. makes them look 3-D

Or if you can't really do that, you can use the chroma key to generate a mask. Only problem is that doing it like that makes the silhouettes look like 2-D cutouts, exactly like your mockup image...

Edited by Daniel Sheehy, 18 July 2008 - 08:10 PM.

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#5 Michael Belanger

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Posted 18 July 2008 - 09:25 PM

Yeah, but the silhouette then? I considered this already before, didn't mention it, but could I alternatively use motion tracking on the chroma-key but would i then just simply remove all brightness on the band in post? funny thought.. ;) I'd have to be selective that the green remains untouched.


I'd probably aim for a fairly dark silhouette but with a little detail still in the shadows to show shape. If you remember the first few rounds of ipod commercials there were straigh black on color then eventually they did a few with actual perfomers where there was some detail in the blacks.
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#6 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 19 July 2008 - 01:14 AM

That's a sweet looking image! Hopefully we can help you get close to that!


I would think projection would be much cheaper than 25 plasma's. Cut the projected video up in Pre (hahah, editing before you shoot!) and play around with it. You can go pretty wild with options, and sizes if you think about it.

You can do rear screen projection, but you will obviously need some distance behind the screen for the projector. Front projecting might be a better choice, also cheaper. You could shoot this in a white room studio, projecting onto the white wall.

You will need distance between the band and the wall though. I think if you set up tons of negative fill/key from the camera facing the band, you might be alright. Think of it as keeping everything behind camera as black as possible. You want to keep as much spill off the band as possible obviously.

Think about this: You are going to be exposed pretty deep because of the screen, forcing detail out of the band members. Considering you are shooting digital this actually helps you. Try to keep the band at a 3 stop minimum underexposed. You can crunch more in post. Ideally you would want more.

I'd set up lights for fill and for back light that can be striked on as needed. Large lights through large diffused frames would look great with a 1 - 1 1/2 stop over backlight, when you want to expose the band
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#7 Efraim Smits

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Posted 19 July 2008 - 05:32 AM

Thanks guys for all your input. Projecting from front in an all white studio is a no-no. ;) I like the idea of the 3D shadowing...it's more dynamic and interesting and besides, when the silhouettes become real, then from Cut-Outs to 3D will look really shabby.

I'm still going to test this quickly, but otherwise i only got one shot at this. Anyway, I'll send you guys a link when it's completed.

Cheers for now,

Regards.
Efi
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