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Shooting a motorcycle wheel. Advice needed!


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#1 Mei Lee Lim

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 10:18 AM

Hi everyone!

I'm working on a bike shoot that's going to be shot entirely on green screen next week. Atm, we're trying to figure out how to shoot its tires spinning. Basically, if we had the bike elevated on stands, sure we'll be able to get a shot of that but it would look fake because there isn't any pressure applied onto the tires. Once keyed out, it'll look like the bike is floating instead of having it's tires pressed against the ground.

Someone recommended a treadmill but I can't really see how that's going to work. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks!

Mei
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#2 Mike Donis

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 03:18 PM

That sounds like it could be quite tricky to pull off - not to mention also perfectly tracking the background footage of whatever rushing road you're using.

It's not possible to simply frame the actual points of contact the bike makes with the road out of the shot?
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#3 Chris Keth

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 05:04 PM

In the context of a finished sequence, I don't really think it matters if the tires are slightly bulged at the bottom from weight. If the rest of your sequence and the bike looks like it's tracking on the ground, the audience will buy it. The alternative is to shoot this mostly in the studio and frame out the actual contact point like Mike suggests. Then you go out and get a couple tight shots of a motorcycle wheel on the ground.
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#4 Fran Kuhn

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 05:17 PM

Mei,

Loading the suspension is even more important than the contact patch of the tire in selling the illusion. The suspension must be compressed to the point it would be during actual riding conditions.

I often have a grip "load" the suspension for motorcycle still photo rig shots. The fork and rear suspension are compressed and then secured with high strength stainless wire or tie down straps to keep the wheels in the correct position. The trick is to place the wire so it's out of camera view. You can often hide it behind a fork leg and deep under the rear fender around the shock linkage. The wire or straps will keep the suspension in the correct position even if the bike is raised off the ground on jacks.

-Fran
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#5 Mei Lee Lim

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 07:55 AM

Thank you all for your suggestions!

Actually, we have thought about about framing out the contact point of the wheel but we didn't think that would look quite right either since it would just look like the area was "cut out". We've yet to try this but come to think of it, it may not look so odd if we take it to post and applied a shadow under the wheel.

We completely overlooked the matter of the bike's suspension so thank you Fran for highlighting that. It will definitely contribute to the overall illusion.

Anyhow, still open to suggestions but I'll keep you posted on how we end up doing things! Appreciate your replies!

Cheers,
Mei
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#6 Chris Keth

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 04:59 PM

Thank you all for your suggestions!

Actually, we have thought about about framing out the contact point of the wheel but we didn't think that would look quite right either since it would just look like the area was "cut out". We've yet to try this but come to think of it, it may not look so odd if we take it to post and applied a shadow under the wheel.

Cheers,
Mei


Well, I wouldn't frame a full shot and then just omit the very bottom of the wheels. :lol: It has to be done artfully. ;)
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#7 John Sprung

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 05:30 PM

If you shoot any of it practical, be sure to have an optical flat, UV, or skylight filter on the lens. Bikes kick up coarse sand particles and such, and a filter is a bunch cheaper than a front element.





-- J.S.
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