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Simulating Wide Underwater Scene


Yao Zi Wei
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I am visualising a concept for a short film, but I would like to have an underwater scene where I can actually see at least half the body of a person in the water, shooting from below.

 

I have learnt that the fish tank methods are good enough for close ups. If I need half the body to be shot underwater, I will need a very huge tank to contain the actor.

 

I am wondering if there could be more ways to do this provided that I could not really go underwater in the ocean or a pool.

 

Thank you for incoming suggestions.

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If you need to see the surface of the water, it may be quite tricky to cheat. There are techniques for making things appear to be entirely underwater, such as the use of smoke, of floating motes of dust, and naturally a proper environment and production design. People walking around in dense smoke in diving gear can look quite convincingly as if they're underwater. Things intersecting the surface are a different matter.

 

Is it something you could do in miniature? If it's a body, perhaps use a model and shoot it in a tank.

 

P

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If you need to see the surface of the water, it may be quite tricky to cheat. There are techniques for making things appear to be entirely underwater, such as the use of smoke, of floating motes of dust, and naturally a proper environment and production design. People walking around in dense smoke in diving gear can look quite convincingly as if they're underwater. Things intersecting the surface are a different matter.

 

Is it something you could do in miniature? If it's a body, perhaps use a model and shoot it in a tank.

 

P

the miniature model could be nice if it look human enough, what im going for is a person in home clothes, floating beneath the water while i can see the water surface. I wonder the dust u were saying, is a simulation of the seabed though?

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You need to shoot underwater for real -- you can fake a man in a diving suit dry-for-wet, but not a full-figure person with floating clothes and hair drifting around, plus the surface of the water above them. I mean, maybe something that looks highly stylized could be cheated with fans and slow-motion and floating chopped-up feathers and wire-work and a projector creating a rippling background, etc. but that's a lot of work and it will look, as I said, somewhat unreal.

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There was a short bit in Gone Girl that was shot dry for wet and augmented with CGI that I completely bought as genuinely being shot underwater. It was very brief though. Shooting a whole sequence like this probably wouldn't have worked.

 

Here's the pic from American Cinematographer for that set:

post-65401-0-42058700-1442533610_thumb.jpg

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