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Basics of Shooting plates and VFX


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#1 Vivek Venkatraman

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Posted 13 October 2015 - 10:35 PM

Hello,

 

So I am shooting a short that involves some VFX shots.

 

There are scenes that involve 2 characters in the same frame, but one character is going to be composited into the frame with VFX.

 

 

I am an absolute zero at VFX what precautions should I take while taking these shots.

 

Any tips for shooting plates ?

 

I will be noting down details such as camera height etc and sharing it with the VFX team.

 

Anything I need to read up about ?

 

This will be shot on a 5 D 3

 

Thanks,

 

Vivek Venkatraman

 


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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 13 October 2015 - 10:52 PM

You have to work backwards from the finished shot in terms of composition, focal length, lighting, and then break it down into the foreground and background elements.  If that background will be shot outdoors in daylight, it would be good to shoot that first so you know what you are matching the foreground to, unless you are shooting everything outdoors at the same time in the same light.

 

Unless your background is CGI, then you have to figure out the lighting for the final shot so that you can light the foreground to match what you will be animating for the background.

 

I think your biggest challenge is just pulling a good chroma key with something shot on a Canon 5D Mk.III.  There seems to be plenty of online advice on shooting green screen with a 5D so do some searching.


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#3 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 12:18 AM

You'll need to note down your focal length, focus distance, lens height, and inclination


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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 12:10 PM

It really helps to always think about the shot as if it weren't a composite, where would the camera be, where would the light come from, etc. if it could be shot for real.  This will keep you from overly treating each element as if it were its own shot with its own look.

 

As far as focus goes, though, generally it is better to shoot everything sharp-edged against a green screen and let the compositor decide where the focus should be, when it should go soft, etc.  Same goes for background plates, although for longer-lensed night backgrounds, it might be good to shoot both an in-focus and an out-of-focus version (if in the final composited version the focus would realistically be on the foreground) just because the way background points of lights enlarge and create shapes are sort of unique to the lens optics and hard to create from an in-focus plate.


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