Jump to content




Photo

Shooting Miniatures *NEED ADVICE/TIPS*


  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 Michael Townley

Michael Townley

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts

Posted 21 January 2015 - 01:40 PM

Have a commercial shoot coming up next week that involves shooting a game of chess. Director wants the chess set to appear as if its in a large room and the board and pieces are 2-3ft tall. I've done quite a bit of research regarding DOF being very important when shooting scaled objects. 

 

Does anyone have any advice/ tips as to what I can do differently, avoid, ect???

 

My Plan:

 

They are building a custom chess set/board that will be slightly larger than a normal set. The set will be on a table top that is the exact dimension as the board.

-I suggested to build 3 wall flats that will sit about 5-6ft back from the chess table (the walls will be movable so we can adjust accordingly) The walls will be 4ft wide and 6ft tall.

-I will be lighting mostly from overhead with a few sources from the sides. 

-there will be a slight haze over set.

 

-a hand model will be moving the pieces as we go through the scenes. the shots will be a mix of closeups, slo mo, overhead, sweeps.

 

 

I will be shooting on a RED EPIC. I thought it best to have the camera on a Chapman Dolly the entire day to save time of setups.

 

My Questions:

 

-What is the best way to approach lens choices for shooting miniatures?

-How much light do we really need if I plan on shooting at say an f16 (Is there correct math for choosing the best aperture when shooting miniatures to get the correct DOF?)

-Will the walls act as a proper background for this project, making it feel as if we are in a giant room?

-Will the chess pieces look bigger than average?

 

Looking forward to hearing your advice and answers.

 

M


  • 0




#2 Carl Looper

Carl Looper
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1367 posts
  • Digital Image Technician
  • Melbourne, Australia

Posted 21 January 2015 - 04:47 PM

Traditionally you'd want as small an aperture as possible.

 

However, these days one sees a lot of photography where normal sized scenes are given very short depth of field.

 

The potential problem you'll have is that a chessboard will be understood, by default, as small. With a minature building, on the other hand, it is by default, understood as large, so the only problem you'd have shooting a miniature building is ensuring some consitency with what photography of a normal building might look like.

 

But what would photography of a chessboard normally look like? Normally it will look like the chessboard is small. So you'd need something other just DOF to suggest it is large. Is the hand going to be large as well? What is left to suggest in any way the chessboard is oversize? Or even meant to be oversized? Especially when it isn't.

 

You need something else in the scene to suggest the chessboard is oversized - or reciprically, that whatever else is in the scene has shrunk.

 

C


  • 0

#3 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 18789 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 21 January 2015 - 04:55 PM

You'd want to stop down as much as possible, f/16, f/22, etc.  The other thing is to get the camera into a position that doesn't seem high in the air if these chess pieces are supposed to be huge.  This can mean using things like Innovision probe lenses and snorkels to get the lens down to the table top.


  • 0

#4 Paul Salmons

Paul Salmons
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 46 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 26 January 2015 - 02:10 PM

Maybe consider getting a child's hand or a very small women's hand to move the pieces? 


  • 0

#5 Phillip Mosness

Phillip Mosness
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 70 posts
  • Other

Posted 30 January 2015 - 03:12 AM

Years ago I was reading a forum where shooting miniatures, space ships I believe, was being discussed and the one thing I remember from that was in regard to camera pans.

The idea was that if you didn't adjust the pivot point correctly the effect would be that the camera would seem to be out at the end of a long crane rather than in a stationary point.

I think the pivot point needed to be at the front element of the lens , but a little experimenting would probably get it right.

I'm not sure if I'm being particularly clear on the concept.


  • 0

#6 aapo lettinen

aapo lettinen
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 703 posts
  • Other
  • Finland

Posted 30 January 2015 - 09:19 AM

Years ago I was reading a forum where shooting miniatures, space ships I believe, was being discussed and the one thing I remember from that was in regard to camera pans.

The idea was that if you didn't adjust the pivot point correctly the effect would be that the camera would seem to be out at the end of a long crane rather than in a stationary point.

I think the pivot point needed to be at the front element of the lens , but a little experimenting would probably get it right.

I'm not sure if I'm being particularly clear on the concept.

sounds like they scaled the parallax according to the scale the miniatures are


  • 0

#7 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 18789 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 30 January 2015 - 10:08 AM

I think you are talking about panning and tilting around the nodal point.


  • 0


rebotnix Technologies

CineLab

Ritter Battery

The Slider

Glidecam

Zylight

Pro 8mm

Paralinx LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Technodolly

CineTape

Aerial Filmworks

Tai Audio

Visual Products

Abel Cine

Rig Wheels Passport

Willys Widgets

Willys Widgets

Visual Products

The Slider

rebotnix Technologies

CineTape

Technodolly

Aerial Filmworks

Pro 8mm

Abel Cine

CineLab

Ritter Battery

Zylight

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Rig Wheels Passport

Glidecam

Paralinx LLC

Tai Audio