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Will Earl

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  1. Is it a shot? Is it in a film? Seems pretty easy to figure out. I'm not sure I'd consider the shots of the flowers (around the 3 min mark) the greatest anything in the history of film.
  2. If it's any help to anybody, the VES Handbook is probably the latest up-to-date guide to VFX film-making. http://www.amazon.co.uk/VES-Handbook-Visual-Effects-Procedures/dp/0240812425
  3. I believe the most common way to approach these types of shots (specifically the use in Heroes and X-Men 2) is to shoot everything in camera at 24fps with actors or mime artists in FG and mannequins or cutouts in BG with rigging used to hold characters up in mid-air. CG elements are used to have frozen/slowly moving elements (ie.. spilled drinks, bullets, etc) appear in the shot and rigging is either creatively hidden in the shot or painted out in compositing. Using this technique means you can move the camera around and you don't need to do motion control passes at different frame rates or even put up a greenscreen (even at the high-end of vfx, it is still hard to make greenscreen shots look good). It does however mean that you need to remove any elements in the shot which could give away the 24fps frame rate - ie... fire, smoke, water, dangling hair, etc. For the burning church you might be able to get away with a Pepper's Ghost http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pepper's_ghost style effect, but it'll probably be easier compositing high-speed flame elements. Hope that helps.
  4. Depends on whether you and the grading tool are working in linear or log. In log, using an offset is roughly the same as an exposure adjustment - from memory it's something like 0.18 equals one stop, so if you wanted to increase the exposure by 2 stops you'd set the offset to 0.36. In linear, adding an offset is more like flashing the negative as it's most obvious effect is to lift the shadows in the image - it will lift the entire image but the effect is not the same as an exposure adjustment. Gain can be made to act like an exposure value adjustment in stop values by setting the gain value to 2^stop (the ^ symbol represents "to the power of" in maths geek). So if you wish to increase the exposure by 3 stops you would set the gain to 8 (ie... 2^3). In order to reduce the exposure by 3 stops you would set the gain to 0.125 (2^-3). Although like any thing done on the computer, it's probably not quite the same as changing the aperture or iso on the lens or camera - it does double/halve the values recorded in the image.
  5. By photographing, repainting or scanning it you are still making copies of it. http://fairuse.stanford.edu/Copyright_and_Fair_Use_Overview/chapter0/0-a.html#1 Perhaps an example closer to home might help... I can point a camera at the screen and film any of your work - but I can't claim that me-pointing-a-camera-at-a-screen is my own creative work and that I now own the right to distribute your work. Even if your work wasn't filling the frame, say it was a over-the-shoulder shot of a character watching your work on a tv screen, I'd still need permission from you in order to use the work, even through the majority of the shot belongs to me. If you weren't happy for me to use it then I'd have to find something else for the character to watch. This summary of cases offers a few examples of what can be considered fair-use versus what is considered copyright infringement... http://fairuse.stanford.edu/Copyright_and_Fair_Use_Overview/chapter9/9-c.html I suggest reading through the Stanford site, it gives a pretty good overview over copyright and fair-use. The PDF on this page also may be handy http://www.conoa.com/siggraph08/, it's a primer geared towards artists and software developers regarding intellictual property.
  6. Once you purchase something you can resell it but you cannot make copies of it - this right to make copies is what copyright is all about - the ability for the copyright holder to make copies of their work. ie. If you paint a picture and sell it to me, I can't take the picture and sell/give-away prints of your artwork. Same thing applies to any film, video or digital you shoot - you can certainly sell me a copy of your work, but I can't sell/give-away copies of your work. As to the original question, any footage you shoot is copyrighted - no matter how mundane. It's up to you to decide how that footage is shown - if you don't want it to be shown in clubs, schools, oil rigs, hospitals, coaches and prisons then that's up to you.
  7. Instead of using the card reader - have you tried transferring clips from the camera to computer via usb cable?
  8. You can use a Hue/Saturation effect (under the Colour Correction filters) to adjust something like this. You select the colour range you wish to alter (in this case you'd want to isolate the yellow range). Then any hue, saturation or lightness changes you make will only affect that range. It's likely you may also need to do some rotoscoping to isolate the correction from other aspects of the shot (jacket, hair, car, tree trunks). Yes this might require some effort, but truth is - stuff like this does often require some effort in order to make in work - you can either try your best to fix the shot in post or reshoot the shot/scene.
  9. Hi Phil, You should be okay shooting the shot as is. When it comes to compositing the two elements together your likely going to get some film weave - when you get the film scanned get them to include the gate in the scan, that should give you something to stabilize the plate. Otherwise your just going to have to find a static feature in the image which you can track. Most compositing tools have the ability to stablize or matchmove a tracked feature - so you can either stabilize the plate or apply the movement of the film weave to the painting element. Shoot a second of film with the lens cap on and get that scanned (you only need 5-6 frames which you can loop). That will give you a noise profile of the stock - you can overlay (I forget the actual blending method - Nuke has a ScannedGrain node which does this for you) this over your matte painting to give the painting the same grain pattern as the stock. Cheers, W
  10. Actually this does make much more sense and is the much more likely scenario.
  11. Looks to me like they've provided you with linear DPXs. I got similar results to Ben S and the Mill using Nuke - setting the input space to Linear and viewing in sRGB. Note that I didn't try and do any correction to the images. See (hopefully) attached image...
  12. The list of tasks that I gave you was less to persuade you but rather give you a starting point. First thing to do would be to find reference of the weapon you want to make (or design your own) and then start by looking up information on the following keywords on google - 3D, modelling, weapons, props, basics, polygon, maya, studio max (aka 3ds), blender. Start simple and work your way up.
  13. To do what your wanting to do with actual 3d weapons you'd need to (in as short and simple of explanation of the process as possible)... model the weapons, prepare for texturing by UVing them, texture paint them and then shade them. Once that's done you've got to matchmove the camera shot and once the camera track is done you need to match-animate the weapons (this part is a fairly tricky and labour-intensive stage) to the action within the scene. Once that is done you can start lighting and rendering the weapons so you can composite them within the shot. Hopefully that gives you a starting point if you wish to go that route. It'd be cheaper and easier to build or source the weapons for real than it would otherwise. Doing muzzle flashes and laser fire effects is a much simplier process than actually having actors carrying around CG weapons, and isn't going to put you off using VFX later on. Consider that... most of the weapons in Star Wars were existing guns with bits and pieces added to them and that in Terminator 2 they used practical props for the most part, CG was only used sparingly to acheive certain effects (and where they did use CG they planned ahead quite extensively - more so than is done today).
  14. To reduce green spill or green reflections - try to restrict your greenscreen to cover the framing of the shot (obviously take into account any camera movement) and use blacks to mask off any parts of the greenscreen not seen in the shot. Most green spill comes from parts of the greenscreen not directly behind the subject but rather from off to the side of the subject.
  15. There are plenty of potential applications for it, just look at all the various projects for the Xbox Kinect http://openkinect.org/wiki/Project_ideas and http://openkinect.org/wiki/Gallery to get an idea. Microsoft are even going so far as to release a software development kit for the kinect http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/projects/kinectsdk/. In terms of filmmaking - certainly it could be used to create z-buffer effects - focus, fog, etc. You could also certainly do very simple mocap, re-lighting or even things like body-reshaping http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXSj4pcl9Ao. It's possible you could also create stereoscopic films out of mono footage will a more ease than the process requires now.
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