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How Do I Combine two shots to appear as one long take


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#1 Evan Ferrario

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 11:01 PM

I know this has probably been discussed before, I could find examples of it but I still don't understand how it is done. I couldn't find any topics explaining the process when I searched.

I would like to know how a shot such as in the last battle of children of men when it appears as one long take and was actually 2 shots combined. Or in war of the worlds where the shot begins in the car, passes through the window and up into the sky. How are these seemingly long takes achieved.

I found a thread which referred to it as an invisible dissolve. If I would like to attempt to use this technique, how should it be done. I imagine the end of the first take and the beginning of the 2nd take should be as close as possible to the same point. How are the frames in between created to connect the two takes. By this I mean, how is the seam of the two shots covered up so perfectly so that the viewer doesn't detect the break at all.

Or is is a case of combining trick photography and cgi effects. In Children of Men, there are a few times when the camera passes in front of a wall or a dark shadowy area. Does the break have to be at some point where the image in front of the camera is blurry or a solid area so that the break can be hidden. So I couldn't combine two shots of a man walking down the street and expect it to be hidden. However if I were to have a tree pass infront of the camera and combine the shots at that point, it could be done. If someone could explain this process, it would be greatly helpful.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 11:32 PM

You can do a moving split-screen, soft or hard-edged depending on which is easier to hide. Or you can roto the moving edge of a foreground object passing the frame as a wipe, or even better yet, really plan this shot out and use a greenscreen at the end of one shot and the beginning of the other so you can composite the passing edge of one moving object creating a wipe without doing a roto job. Or you can do a short dissolve as something covers the lens entirely, like a smooth wall or a cloud of dust or a lens flare that whites out the whole frame, etc.

In "Star Wars" there is a transition from one Death Star miniature to a second miniature of the trench as the camera dives down, and the transition is a jump cut hidden by a flash of light from a laser canon, like a lightning bolt.
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#3 Scott Fritzshall

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 03:50 PM

Step 1 of this is really good preparation. Know what you're doing beforehand and have it all planned out. Putting it together, though, is going to require a fairly good grasp of compositing techniques. If you haven't seen this neat little spot, check it out, and look at the making of that's linked to it. After that, go to fxguide and subscribe to their fxguideTV video podcast, because they interview the VFX Supervisor and go much more in-depth about how it was done (it's episode #57). FXGuide is a great resource in general, by the way, and their podcasts are really good if you're interested in learning more about visual effects.

Watch those, and they should give you a good idea of the basics of doing this. If you've got more specific questions about it after watching, I can give you a hand.

Edited by Scott Fritzshall, 05 January 2010 - 03:52 PM.

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#4 Tom Hepburn

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 09:18 AM

If you haven't seen this neat little spot, check it out, and look at the making of that's linked to it. After that, go to fxguide and subscribe to their fxguideTV video podcast, because they interview the VFX Supervisor and go much more in-depth about how it was done (it's episode #57). FXGuide is a great resource in general, by the way, and their podcasts are really good if you're interested in learning more about visual effects.


Hey Scott,

Great information here. Thanks!

Tom
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#5 John Sprung

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 03:57 PM

There's one of these in "The Third Man" -- Most of the scene plays in an apartment set on a sound stage, then they dolly to a window and into some potted plants. On location, they do a dolly thru the potted plants and tilt down to the street, maybe 40 ft. below. The plants don't quite match, and a 4-6 frame dissolve may have hidden it better than the cut they used, but you have to see it a few times before you catch how they did it.

I did something similar once where the director wanted a swish pan from action inside a store to action outside on the sidewalk in bright sunlight. We exposed for the store interior, and shot everything up to and including the swish pan. Then we cut, exposed for the exterior, and picked it up from just before the pan. A 4 frame dissolve between the two pans tied them together.




-- J.S.
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#6 Evan Ferrario

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 01:11 AM

Thanks for the info guys,

I did a quick test of this idea just to try out some different techniques. I posted it here

By no means would I call it a good job, I just wanted to see for myself how possible it would be. I am going to try something this weekend with a dolly, I see the great value of a motion control rig now. The shot I envisioned which got me interested in doing this would be to follow someone as they got into a car and started driving.
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#7 Joshua Csehak

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 11:07 AM

I did a quick test of this idea just to try out some different techniques. I posted it here


That looks great! How'd you end up doing it?

In Rope, Hitchcock did the "short dissolve as something covers the lens entirely" trick, tracking the camera past something all black, like the back of someone wearing a black suit.

The flash of laser light to hide the jump cut is brilliant though! Never knew that.
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#8 Steve Wallace

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 01:32 PM

I did something similar once where the director wanted a swish pan from action inside a store to action outside on the sidewalk in bright sunlight. We exposed for the store interior, and shot everything up to and including the swish pan. Then we cut, exposed for the exterior, and picked it up from just before the pan. A 4 frame dissolve between the two pans tied them together.

Is a swish pan the same as a whip pan? If so, I agree here. It is the easiest way (and maybe sloppiest) to hide a transition from one shot to the next. You just pick frames with tons of motion blur and its pretty easier to match them up. I've used it before a couple times.
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#9 Evan Ferrario

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 10:36 PM

That looks great! How'd you end up doing it?

In Rope, Hitchcock did the "short dissolve as something covers the lens entirely" trick, tracking the camera past something all black, like the back of someone wearing a black suit.

The flash of laser light to hide the jump cut is brilliant though! Never knew that.


I walked backwards through the door with it open about 5 times and then started at the closed door and tried to pull back at the same speed I was traveling when I went through it. In Final Cut I compared the shots and found the 2 that were the closest at the moment when I was in the doorway. I zoomed in about 2% on each shot to give me a little room to work with and then I moved both shots around so the cabinet in the shot was in the exact same place for both shots. I tried a tiny dissolve but it seemed to work better without it.

Also before that, I tried walking from the outside in and it was much more apparent when the switch between the shots happened. I think it had to do with knowing the window was there while in the backing up approach, by the time you realize it's a window, the change has already happened.

I am trying to plan a similar shot where the camera is tracking backwards and goes through the glass of a car right before the actor opens the door and gets in. The real tricky part is going to be doing the shot with an actor in the frame.
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#10 Chris Millar

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 11:09 PM

Yeh - pretty sweet...

Its my personality to be critical so I'll say there is a little room for improvement around the transition - not so much orientation wise but speed wise, as you know the instantaneous move away from the closed window to match the move is impossible - (infinite accel = a fart in the spacetime continuum) - you could apply the opposite velocity path in AE/FCP to 'linearalize' it a bit.

At least I know what I'm bagging on about - anyone else know what I mean ?
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#11 Scott Fritzshall

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 06:52 AM

At least I know what I'm bagging on about - anyone else know what I mean ?

No, you're right. It's good overall, but the transition is too smooth and it looks artificial. This is where you want to start tracking your shots and combining them by animating the camera between them.
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#12 Joshua Csehak

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 09:15 AM

I am trying to plan a similar shot where the camera is tracking backwards and goes through the glass of a car right before the actor opens the door and gets in. The real tricky part is going to be doing the shot with an actor in the frame.


There's an After Effects tutorial about something like that:

http://www.videocopi...ls/magic_glass/
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#13 Jim Hyslop

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 12:03 PM

Yeh - pretty sweet...

+1 on that

(infinite accel = a fart in the spacetime continuum)

ROFL. Nice metaphor.

At least I know what I'm bagging on about - anyone else know what I mean ?

Yes, I noticed that little hiccup in the camera speed too. Good suggestion on how to overcome it.

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Jim
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#14 timHealy

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 06:31 PM

In "Star Wars" there is a transition from one Death Star miniature to a second miniature of the trench as the camera dives down, and the transition is a jump cut hidden by a flash of light from a laser canon, like a lightning bolt.


I have always been a fan of that transition as it is very easy to do. The models and minitures are another issue.

To the OP, have you ever seen Rope?

best

Tim

Edited by timHealy, 17 January 2010 - 06:33 PM.

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#15 Chris Millar

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 08:42 PM

Heres another way to overcome the speed hiccup:

Its practical, and tricky - but I reckon doable...

Have the window glass section temporarily stuck onto your matte box just like a big oversized filter, pull the lens through the hole in the window so as to be matching speed at the window, when the glass reaches the frame it wont fit through so it pull off the mattebox and fall down - ah hah! but have some kind of adhesive on the frame waiting for it ...

Have fun pulling the window apart and putting it back together again then finding appropriate double sided tapes or whatever and then making sure your registration of the pane and the frame is good for the actual shot - but thats about it ^_^
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#16 Jim Hyslop

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 09:12 PM

Have the window glass section temporarily stuck onto your matte box just like a big oversized filter, pull the lens through the hole in the window so as to be matching speed at the window, when the glass reaches the frame it wont fit through so it pull off the mattebox and fall down - ah hah! but have some kind of adhesive on the frame waiting for it ...

Have fun pulling the window apart and putting it back together again then finding appropriate double sided tapes or whatever and then making sure your registration of the pane and the frame is good for the actual shot - but thats about it ^_^

Well, that and trying to fit the camera (and you!) through the opening....
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#17 Chris Millar

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 10:10 PM

Well, that and trying to fit the camera (and you!) through the opening....


I meant still working with the edit. I'm trying to get the camera moving before the point of the cut tis all...

But yes, the way you read it would be possible if you had long enough arms ;)
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#18 james mcpherson

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 05:39 AM

http://www.ukscreena...les.htm?aId=982

double negative won a ves award for COM, we did most of the transitions. theres probably more info dneg.com
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#19 Evan Ferrario

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 10:47 PM

http://www.ukscreena...les.htm?aId=982

double negative won a ves award for COM, we did most of the transitions. theres probably more info dneg.com


Thanks for the article, its really impressive how many invisible cuts are in the final sequence. I still would like to know more about the software Plane-It.
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