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Creating a diy motion control rig for mirror shot


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#1 Jed Shepherd

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Posted 16 October 2010 - 07:46 AM

Im wanting to create the effect where the camera dolly's sideways behind a lady at a mirror with the camera not visible. Im capable of compisiting the images but its the attaining the footage which is where im a little stuck. As the shot involves movment i was thinking of hooking up an electric whinch to the dolly and filming the shot of the woman at the mirror, then the reverse shot of whats behind her. Has anyone tried this before? I would have to roto out her reflection and real body but im not sure if it will work.
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#2 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 07:32 AM

How about using 2 mirrors, one set at a 45 deg angle (it being very thin glass or preferably front silvered)to the talent, reflecting the woman stand in front of the other mirror then adjusting her mirror and body angle so the image appears to be as close to parallel as possible visually in the the 45 deg reflecting mirror without showing in the frame, then setting the camera so it can track across the image in the 45 deg reflecting mirror creating the illusion that you are trucking your vampire camera behind her. B)

Edited by James Steven Beverly, 17 October 2010 - 07:33 AM.

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#3 David McDonald

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 12:32 AM

How about using 2 mirrors, one set at a 45 deg angle (it being very thin glass or preferably front silvered)to the talent, reflecting the woman stand in front of the other mirror then adjusting her mirror and body angle so the image appears to be as close to parallel as possible visually in the the 45 deg reflecting mirror without showing in the frame, then setting the camera so it can track across the image in the 45 deg reflecting mirror creating the illusion that you are trucking your vampire camera behind her. B)



It is possible to do a motion control move with a regular dolly....It may not be robotically perfect...but if it's a fairly simple push, you can just try to push it exactly the same multiple times. I've done this before, setting straight track on the ground, and marking off measurements on the floor; you have a piece of tape for every second (the distance will depend on the speed of the push), and you can have someone call out the seconds with a stop watch and have the dolly grip hit each mark at each second. The result will be pretty damn close.

You could also try shooting reverse plates. I mean, shoot the 'reflection' of the woman...have her face the camera and put her hair and any wardrobe stuff backwards and shoot her straight-on, and do the dolly move the opposite direction. And then do your shot from behind her normally, and rotoscope her (After Effects rotobrush would work nicely) or use a green screen, and composite in the reverse plate into the mirror frame.
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