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"Clone/Duplicate" Actors within scene


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#1 Chris Warren

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 10:17 PM

Hey Guys,

I have a shoot coming up and it requires some VFX work. I have worked many shoots, but very little dealing with any kind of VFX. I kind of have an idea on what to do, however I am hoping this forum will steer me in the right direction.

I am shooting a scene where two actors are sitting at a dining room table eating dinner. The characters speak very little to one another. Appearing behind each seated actor is their clone/duplicate, the seated actors "thoughts". I need to shoot the same actor within the same frame, ie Moon/Multiplicity. There won't be any movement of camera, due to the lack of a motion controlled rig, so that won't (hopefully) be an issue. There will be character movement from the "thoughts", like walking around the seated character.

The plan is to shoot both on location and on a green screen stage. On the stage, we'll be shooting all the needed shots of the couple seated at the table, the "thoughts" standing and moving around, and a clean of the table in front of the green screen. At the location, we will shoot a clean background plate w/o the table, matching all the shots from the stage. We will also get the individual coverage of the seated actors and the "thoughts", ie CUs, as well as inserts.

That way the editor and compositor will have the needed shots to layer it together. Logs will be kept of everything to match the shots.

Is there anything I am missing? I really hope I explained it well enough. I appreciate you taking the time to read this and your responses.

Thank you guys,
~Chris
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#2 dan kessler

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 12:09 AM

locked off camera - check

clean plate - check

actors and table against green screen - check

plenty of coverage - check

so far, so good

Now go over everything with the editor and compositor BEFORE you shoot
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 12:22 AM

If the duplicates are behind the seated actors at the table, then the greenscreen needs to be behind the actors at the table, and (separately shot) the duplicates need to stand in front of the real background wall, and that becomes the plate added in post behind the actors sitting at the table. It only gets complicated if the duplicates interact with the table or the foreground actors by crossing in front or picking up objects on the table.
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#4 Patrick Kaplin

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 05:29 AM

I'd suggest, if you haven't already, checking out the special features on the Moon DVD. They could only afford a motion control rig for a certain amount of days and could barely fit all the shots into the schedule. For simpler moves and pans, a trick they used was to do the take with Sam #1, then once they were happy with the take, playback would send a half opacity version of the selected take to the operator's monitor, where he would practice the move in the selected take repeatedly. The operator practiced while the actor was getting changed in wardrobe/makeup to his second character. When Sam #2 was ready, the operator would follow the moves from the previous take during the new take. That was the basic idea, and it's been awhile since I've seen it. But it essentially worked as a poor man's motion control rig. You could try contacting Gary Shaw, the DOP for Moon to ask about any caveats to using this system.
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#5 Stephen Williams

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 07:56 AM

locked off camera - check

clean plate - check

actors and table against green screen - check

plenty of coverage - check

so far, so good

Now go over everything with the editor and compositor BEFORE you shoot


Not sure why bother with the greenscreen, much more likely to look cut out, just shoot the scene with the person in different places & just soft edge between the 2 passes.
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#6 Gregory Gesch

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 06:30 PM

Hi Chris. I suspect you are overcomplicating things. I would suggest only shooting on location, firstly with a portable greenscreen behind the seated character, then remove the screen and shoot the clone. Exactly the same lighting and setup, angles etc. and easier continuity. Your fx person then only needs to put a garbage matt around the seated character and key the shot. Things to be aware of are shadows and reflections, it could be wise to make sure the main lights fall away from the table, it's easy to put a drop shadow from your seated character onto the background character/set if neccessary (and perhaps even desirable). It also means that your seated characters can do whatever business they want on the table (eat/drink/whatever)and that can be included in the matte. Well, them's my thoughts and first post. Hello all.
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