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Hugh Macdonald

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  1. Have you played with Nuke at all? Nuke's 3D system is fantastic - especially for anything involving camera projection or cards in 3D... I can't remember off-hand which formats it supports input from - I'm pretty sure Boujou is one, and possibly Maya (amongst, almost certainly, others) - and, as it's all Python, it's easy enough to write your own importer for other ASCII formats...
  2. Will I get shot for saying this? I hope not.... Do check out (and ask this) on vfxtalk.com (it's mainly about the 2D side of things over there) - there are a number of people from both DNeg and Tippett who will, I'm sure, be able to help you out on this.
  3. I would agree entirely with Will in pretty much everything he said. He's coming at it from a camera perspective, and from the other side of the fence, I'd agree and say that it's very important for a VFX Supervisor to understand cameras, F stops, lighting, etc. A VFX Sup might be given the second unit to shoot some plates, too, so it's important for them to understand how things work on-set and how to work with the crew.
  4. Ah - okay - thanks - I knew it was on something somewhat better than how it was meant to look...! That's what I'd heard too...
  5. Didn't work on it myself.... I did read an article about it, though, that said that they shot the VFX shots on a much higher-end camera than the one that they wanted it to look like it was shot on - something like a Viper or Genesis.... And then degraded the VFX shots in post to match the rest of the footage.
  6. I would never say exactly "key itself", but I've worked on a number of shots where, if the greenscreen is nice and solid, I can pretty much chuck in the same bunch of nodes that I know I usually use and it'll have got me pretty much all of the way there. When I started out in this industry, I found keying to be a complete nightmare. Now that I've been doing it for a while, I've done it in so many different ways that there's usually one way that works well. Different compers will have different solutions, but any good comper will be able to come up with a solution (or be able to say pretty quickly if it's going to need rotoing).
  7. My preference on this one would be to neutralize/match all of the similar clips before the composite. This way the comper has an easier (and therefore more efficient) job comping the multiple shots. The neutral grade should be as "normal" as possible, with as much colour information retained. Then any specific grade should be applied after the composite (although it's always useful for the comper to be able to see what their shot is going to look like after the final grade....)
  8. I'm going to have to disagree on this one. If you can do the focus pull accurately in post, then I'd suggest going this route. If your foreground element is effectively planar - a single person or a row of people without anything in front or behind, then I'd really recommend keeping them in focus and doing the pull focus in post. It comes down to which problem you'd rather have... Would you rather have a track that's slipping and is a pain to match because the out-of-focus tracking markers are coming into focus part-way through the shot, and, due to the apparent size of the marker, causing your track to shift. Or would you rather have to add a slight breathing to the foreground element as you add your focus pull later. Obviously if there is a good deal of depth information in what's being shot in front of the screen, then you'll definitely want to do your focus pull in-camera, as trying to cut up a greenscreen shot to add that kind of pull in post is a huge amount of pain.
  9. Which trailer are you talking about? Online, I can only find this teaser. I know there's another trailer coming at some point in the nearish future....
  10. I've only just joined this forum - saw Juno (twice, actually!) and loved it.... Are you able to post up those stills that you mentioned earlier in the thread at all now that the films's out? Congratulations on some very very nice work. Oh, and I do think that I agree with you about going to digital projection.... I find seeing dirt (either neg or pos) on prints really distracting.... Being a VFX person, though, I've developed a bit of an eye for spotting dirt on film.....
  11. Painfully! There are some tools that will get you quite a bit of the way for a first pass - Furnace WireRemoval being the one that I use most often. If you're lucky, you'll get a clean plate for the shot. You can maybe track this into the background, create a roto around the wires, and a holdout roto around the person who's being held up by the wires. Most of the time, though, you'll have to paint up a clean plate from various other frames in the shot. Things that make it harder: 1) Lots of movement and motion blur 2) Smoke 3) Wires going over clothes. Especially when the person wearing the clothes is moving. As they would be if they're hanging off wires. 4) Many other things that will never cross your mind until you see them. In the end, there's usually a lot of painting frame by frame involved (although this is very much a last resort, as painting can cause all sorts of nasty flickering)
  12. My initial reaction to this would be to shoot it with the settings on Auto. Then, because it's going to fluctuate frame to frame, apply a deflicker to the result. You should end up with a nice smooth transition.
  13. I really can't imagine this kind of thing to be possible in-camera. In post, though, sure. Although it'll be very slow to render... What you'd need is a good optical flow solution that can do its own motion blur on images. Because of the speed of the cars, you'd almost certainly want to overcrank the camera (not sure what you're shooting on... Your other thread mentions low budget.... I'm pretty sure that the Panasonic HVX200 can shoot at up to 60fps) to get more frames to help it along.... Then, if you give this sequence to your comping software (personally, for this kind of thing, I'd use Shake with the Furnace plugin (the Kronos node, in this case)), and tell it so speed up the footage by however much you wanted. You can also tell it how much to use for its motion blur. This will give you trails as if you've done a long exposure, but with the trails moving at the speed that the cars were moving at.
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