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Nope's New Day-for-Night Technique / Hoyte van Hoytema FSF NSC ASC


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3 minutes ago, Joel Chivington said:

I don't quite understand why the alexa 65 is shooting vertically? Can someone explain this in more detail?

There is a beam splitter which combines the framing of the two cameras. Similar to the way a teleprompter or 3D rig would work. 

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the IR/color mix is really interesting, but I thought what really sold the Day for Night effect was how the light sources/practicals were put in; nobody seems to mention that. In many of the shots you see the house lit up in the BG or distant lights (sometimes just those faint red "aircraft warning lights" on the hills)...I kept thinking they must be doing MOCO multi passes shooting the house at night in perfect register to be able to "burn in" the practical etc... I've had to do day for night a bit  lately and the best results involved getting a VFX house in there; trying to do it just in the grade was pretty tough.This wonderful footage in Nope looked really great as  "day for Night in sunlight" ( you could tell that's what they must have done), but the addition of the light sources pushed it right over the top I thought.

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8 hours ago, Douglas Koch CSC said:

the IR/color mix is really interesting, but I thought what really sold the Day for Night effect was how the light sources/practicals were put in; nobody seems to mention that. In many of the shots you see the house lit up in the BG or distant lights (sometimes just those faint red "aircraft warning lights" on the hills)...I kept thinking they must be doing MOCO multi passes shooting the house at night in perfect register to be able to "burn in" the practical etc... I've had to do day for night a bit  lately and the best results involved getting a VFX house in there; trying to do it just in the grade was pretty tough.This wonderful footage in Nope looked really great as  "day for Night in sunlight" ( you could tell that's what they must have done), but the addition of the light sources pushed it right over the top I thought.

I agree and this is why I originally mistook it for set extensions or matte paintings or something across the board. I am starting to think vfx is a bigger part of this process than is being advertised though. And I imagine just lining things up between film and video was a bit tricky. Not sure why they didn't just use two Alexa65s other than wanting to keep things shot on film.

I recently shot some traditional day for night footage and used the red channel as the luminance values (after getting it into linear space). There are issues with purple fringing or CA, where if you have CA there are dark black edges around trees, for instance. 

But just using the red channel as the luminance channel and otherwise working traditionally (underexposure and shooting with tungsten white balance outdoors with heavy ND to open up the aperture) works really well and results in a similar look to the look Nope. (Except very very primitive.) 

Infrared photography does darken skies, but it does strange things elsewhere, so I can't imagine the luminance for Nope was just from the IR channel, I bet it was a mix of things. Not sure. And not sure how different that would look from just using the red channel either.

Regardless, I suspect there is a tremendous amount of compositing involved here. I still liked the look a lot and felt it was very cool learning it was done more in-camera than I first expected. But now I'm thinking a lot of it is compositing. Still refreshing compared with full CGI sets, and it looked better to me than that would have, and fit the movie's story better.

Edited by M Joel W
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