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James Erd

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About James Erd

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  • Birthday 08/06/1962

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    Palo Alto, CA
  • Specialties
    Organizing, Filmmaking, 3D Modeling, Computer Graphics<br /><br /><br /><br />

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  1. If the projector is aimed at the puddle that won't work, but if the projector is aimed at a screen or wall behind the puddle you'll get a better result. You might want to try doing this indoors in a large room/studio with an old 35mm slide projector. This way you won't get artifacts from the video being out of sync with your camera. The main source of light would be the projection and what ever light you are hitting the puddle with in the foreground. You'd also like the projector and foreground to be on dimmers so you can balance the effect.
  2. I had a similar issue last year and we went with cyalume ( Glow Sticks ) because it is self luminescent. One of the suggested alternatives was fluorescein dye which glows brightly under UV light. I understand a very small amount goes a long way. I haven't worked with it so I can't tell you more than that. If it is being sprayed on the actors you will probably want to look up the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) to make sure it conforms to your local safety standards. There is also another substance called Yttrium powder which I believe is an active ingredient in several black-light paints. It can be mixed with paint or water as you like. Though most of these paints are sold as non-toxic, I have read that Yttrium powder can irritate the lungs and is bad for the kidneys. This link might help: http://www.blacklightworld.com/Glow%20Pain...e%20Pigment.htm
  3. Thanks Tim, I had fun putting that together. One of these days I'd like to put together a small book of gags, but every time I start creating I just want to go out and rig something for real... or for my reel.
  4. Hi Tim, Can the client create their own background environment ( Roll Your Own ). If so what file formats can the system recognize?
  5. In addition to creating the effect in camera you can also enhance or even create the glowing effect in post. Most editing programs like Adobe Premiere, Final Cut allow you to choose different compositing modes. So you can layer the track over itself, then using Gaussian blur for instance and then setting the compositing mode to something like screen or vivid light. Then adjust the opacity to set overall level of the effect. If you want to limit the effect to just the actor you need to add a mask, preferably before adding the blur.
  6. Now that is very interesting. At the risk of asking a stupid question, does "Live Multi-camera Green Screen Compositing" mean you are also doing the match moving in addition to the keying and compositing? I also noticed that there were no visible tracking markers, so I am assuming that information is being derived some other way.
  7. Shake is a compositing program like Combustion. However instead of compositing in layers you use nodes. I don't have AE so I can't give you a compare on the features, but you can download a 30 day trial on Apple's website to see for yourself: http://www.apple.com/shake/trial/ The Mac version is only $499 Linux is a bit more pricey at $4,999
  8. Just for fun you could take a pair of tin snips to an empty 100' daylight reel and then reload it.... then you have light coming in whenever it hits one of the areas where the film isn't protected.
  9. I am more comfortable going digital these days than I was in the past, even to the point that I haven't used film on a project in quite a while. Overkill definitely better in most cases than under-kill :) As for my own purposes I definitely want the much chroma information as I can get when I am keying but I think this effect could probably be pull off fairly well even in HDV 4:2:0 since keying would not really be needed any way. As far as going the optical path it could be done DIY without using a mat by sandwiching the negs with the blown out negative backing the normally filmed footage and then do a contact print. Of course this requires a gate that can reasonably be expected to get three pieces of film through.... and still have good registration <_< Not very likely that is going to be in most folks personal collection. I did have access to a JK optical printer but that still leaves the negatives sandwiched on one end.... unless using reversal is an option... But when I think about all the places for things to go wrong in that path, I think I would have much less frustration in the digital realm and then I would get to experiment with a lot more looks with out the need to spend my limited budget at the lab. On the other hand if I were trying to achieve the look of awfully bad footage shot by a stringer in the 80's..... maybe the pitfalls would work in my favor? Nah... I'll go digital :)
  10. Referencing the past in this way is probably a bit unfair but some how it has become an accepted way of evoking a different era. I don't really understand why it works this way but it does. In college I was experimenting with processing my own film in different formulas. I didn't have access to proper equipment because we did not have a film program. So I used what was available to me at the time..... buckets. As you would expect the film suffered horrendously but I learned what I needed to from my experiment. So in that regard it was a great success, and that would have been the end of the story were it not for the fact I desperately needed something to turn in at the end of the semester to get a grade. In desperation I used the results of my experiment to create a short film. I had no expectation of how it would be received and was quite surprised to be asked how I got "Film from the fifties" before I had a chance to answer some one noticed the 1-800 FAX number on the coffee mug one of my actors was holding. Then they turned on me, accusing me of deliberately trying to deceive them. On the other hand I have actually seen some awfully shot news footage by a stringer in the early 80s. Even the pro's didn't get it right all the time and sometimes the story was compelling enough that the footage was aired in spite of the flaws, but it was much less frequent than you would expect from watching the films we make about the past.
  11. I would go with putting a lens cap on my Bolex and creeping the door open and or pull out the filter holder. Then with a 2K or better scan and spend a little time compositing the effect. I use Shake and there about a dozen ways to do this effect without even using a keyer. I am sure you could do it in AE, Nuke, Combustion. It's not hard. The real advantage is you will get the effect you want, when and where you want it. If you try to do it in camera be prepared for additional days of shooting. You still may be able to avoid the digital land of ones and zeros if you can find a house with some old school techs, but it will cost a good bit of money and you will also have to establish that working relationship with the lab, because it is going to play a part in the final look of the your film.
  12. I'm not sure how it was shot, but I didn't see much that couldn't be done in post by a good compositor.
  13. It's funny but I found this post doing a google search on my name. I guess these days anyone can be a spy :ph34r: Any way while I am here I had another idea on how to set up the gag. Since real tape decks are limited you could limit the modification to only the cassette. Here's how I would do it. First take apart a standard cassette and being careful not to disturb the contents drill a small hole through the backside for the main leads to go through. These should be of a heavier gauge copper stranded wire. The part that wraps around the oil soaked cotton would be just one strand. That will keep the heat localized. Use a six or twelve volt lantern to heat the wire. Also you could substitute a small chip of dry ice for the oil soaked cotton. Here's my functional diagram The two main lead should be easy to hide if you pick the right kind of deck. One like this wouldn't even need to be modified. This way you are wrecking cassettes which are practically free. But I think this gag always looked best with the old R2R decks because you can see the reels moving....
  14. Well you could soak a small bit of cotton in machine oil and wrap a few winds of thin copper wire around it. Then at the appropriate moment connect the leads to 12V DC battery. leads should to the battery should be thicker than the wire going around the cotton. A good higher amperage switch not near the battery is also a great idea. :blink:
  15. I like the idea of just having a good gaffer around. It's the most versatile solution I know of. Though I am going to try some thing with painting shellac.
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