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Dry for wet


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#1 michael a brierley

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 10:06 AM

Hi, does anyone have any knowledge/experience about shooting 'dry for wet'? We are shooting a dream/fantasy sequence and the director wants to shoot a Bollywood actress as though she is underwater, we do no have a tank out here, and frankly, shooting underwater is just not an option. I assume smoke and wind machines and a lot of film are required? (guessing we will shoot at 150 fps) I believe there was a sequence done in this way for one of the 'Lord of the Rings' films. Any suggestions appreciated.
Thank you,
Michael B
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#2 Steve McBride

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 03:34 PM

You'd probably also have to suspend the actor so that they can move their legs and such more and then you could put a large fan underneath them blowing their clothes all around. If you go with the smoke, don't go too crazy, you'd just need a little.
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#3 Hristo Stoyanov

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 05:32 PM

I am not experienced at all, but i am quite interested in the challenge. I am totally theory crafting.

What exactly are you after? Do you need a totally dirty water feeling - dim, foggy-like. Or more like crystal, as in air, like the scene with the flying chick in 300, where they put her in a water tank with perfectly clear water, which looked as if she was floating in air?

Light scatters and reflects a lot under water from many particles - big (which can be seen as chunks, and tiny small), which gets a soft look you know. Not to mention the light beams. Now for the light beams, i remember watching the making of Stargate (the first one), where they used optical effects to simulate the beams that come from the portal, and those beams kinda looked similar to those under water, but it was a while ago and i have forgotten how they did it. Maybe it would be beneficial if you look up the documentary.

For the simulation of the particles i don't know. I am thinking of doing it in compositing. There are a ton of image generators - noise patterns, sparkles that can be commanded into anything from xmas lamps to elephants, etc. IF you are interested i can investigate a bit and show you some suggestions?
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#4 Jay Taylor

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 07:27 PM

Hey there,

This isn't exactly the same thing, but I thought about what Stanley Kubrick did on 2001 to simulate the actors floating around in space…

He had the actors suspended on strings, but had them, and the camera, upside down. So instead of it looking as though they were swinging around on strings, it gave it a strange floating quality.

Maybe something like this could be worked out for faking underwater movement?

BTW, is that at all accurate? I can't remember where I read that about 2001…


Jay

Edited by Jay Taylor, 11 January 2009 - 07:31 PM.

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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 07:31 PM

This all depends on if the subjects will be shot against a blue or greenscreen, or a real backdrop.

If a real backdrop, dark, maybe blue-ish, then yes, smoke would be good, dancing shafts of light as if filtering through water, and "floaties" -- particulate matter floating through the air (the old-fashioned trick would be the same for pollen -- chopped-up feathers blown through a fan... but nowadays, there may be something similar to how fake snow can be generated that is light enough to float around.)

The watery beam effect would be similar to the old trick of bouncing hard light off of a tray of water with mirrors in it, except that you'd have to figure out how to get it to come from above instead of below.

There's a chance that a MAC nightclub projector unit could have a pattern that is close enough.
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#6 Justin Hayward

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 11:39 PM

The watery beam effect would be similar to the old trick of bouncing hard light off of a tray of water with mirrors in it, except that you'd have to figure out how to get it to come from above instead of below.


You can rig clear tanks (like clear plex) above and shoot the light down through them. They don't need to be more than a foot deep, but width will be a bigger issue.
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#7 Justin Hayward

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 11:45 PM

Or bounce it off the water into mirrors above bounced back down.
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#8 michael a brierley

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 12:06 AM

Thank you for your insights. The actress will be shot against a darkish background. I was thinking of building a black tent over the camera and shooting through a 'thin walled' fish tank filled with fairly dirty water, perhaps with some kind of floating seaweed stuff in it- that will give the audience the impression that she is under water, and to further the illusion, I agree that we need to hang her from harness's and blow her with a wind machine and add in some 'floaty' elements. I think Mr Mullen's suggestion of using a Mac/night club projector beam bounced into a suspended curtain of mirror tiles might work to create the scattered light effect.
Now... wind and smoke, those are two elements that don't go well together.
Thanks again,
Michael
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#9 John Sprung

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 01:28 PM

I was thinking of building a black tent over the camera and shooting through a 'thin walled' fish tank filled with fairly dirty water, perhaps with some kind of floating seaweed stuff in it-

Anything the fish tank would give you could be done at least as well in post. That would make your shoot simpler and give you lots more control over the dirty water effect.




-- J.S.
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#10 Ralph Keyser

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 09:07 PM

If you do the upside-down actress trick, you don't need much wind at all to sell the effect. Just a small house fan will do it along with someone to move it about a bit. One of those oscillating fans might work for you too.
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#11 michael a brierley

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 01:17 AM

I found two examples of what I believe we are trying to achieve. Quality's pretty bad, but you get the idea. http://uk.youtube.co...&...;emb=0&aq=f
http://uk.youtube.co...h?v=sSFWJrnhLuM
I believe both scenes were shot 'dry for wet'- the actors hair looks dry in both clips and the way they keep their eyes open makes me believe that they were not under water. The bubbles coming out of their mouths really sells it- guess the post supervisor should be there on the day.
Michael
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#12 Hristo Stoyanov

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 04:46 AM

http://uk.youtube.co...&...;emb=0&aq=f
http://uk.youtube.co...h?v=sSFWJrnhLuM



Forod's hair looks just like algae - moving in the same direction, slowly, all together, based on the movement of his head, especially evident when he is being moved out. Same thing with Sam, but his cape is quite obvious how strong is being moved, while at the same time his hair is calm. I think if they mount a blower powerful enough to do this to his cape, wouldn't it be obvious on his hair also? Or they attached strings? Imo, it's all under water.


http://uk.youtube.co...h?v=QDe6MZQjpho

Her hair also doesn't look wet when she is under water, but as soon as she gets out of the U W environment, it suddenly changes. Also her eyes are quite normal as if she is on the dry, imo; she blinks too much, but anyone should be able to overcome that desire for a while. You should be able to download a greater resolution of the clip from somewhere and observer it in detail.



(the U W part is at the end somewhere) Here is another example with the hair.
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#13 Will Earl

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 09:07 AM

Imo, it's all under water.


It's been a long time, but I'm fairly certain the Lord of the Rings clips that Michael posted were both shot dry-for-wet - the difference between the speed of the cloth and the hair can probably easily be described as a case of 'real-things-look-fake-when-you-over-analyse-them'. They also shot Adrian Brody's underwater shots in King Kong using the same technique - although he was swimming instead of drowning. The particulate matter in the water, plantlife and bubbles were composited in later on - I believe using both a combination of CG and photographed elements. Plus a bunch of colour grading to achieve the murky underwater look.
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Ritter Battery

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FJS International, LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

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Visual Products

Opal

CineLab

Wooden Camera

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