View Full Version : seeking advice on a shot...

07 July 2002, 06:39 PM
hey people,

i was hoping someone could help me out. i wanted to comp a cg character into a live action plate where they would be splashing around in a body of water. whats the best way to do this? would i model the plane where the water would be & then comp in layers & layers of prticles? should i shoot a live action element of me splashing around in the same body of water? i know when they did the watcher for lotr they used sprite based particles. (they were also lucky because the shot was done at night...)

i am open to suggestions! thanks,


07 July 2002, 10:05 PM
Hey beej-

Guess we'd all need a little more info on what you need to do and what kind of software/hardware you've got...

Yes, shooting yourself splashing around is one easy soultion... easy in that you would have real water interaction to bring in. Your best bet would to also shoot it at night (and color correct it in post) or do something that eliminates as much of the non-water elements as possible (like making sure your background is just the sky). And, if you wore something like a blue-screen suit, it'd be easier to pull you out of the comp.

Oh, and if this is a locked shot, make sure to shoot a clean plate of your water/bkgd. You can use it to more easily key out unwanted elements using a difference matte.

You can also look at particle emitters within your compositing app (Combustion 2 has a nice set up), but it may not give you a level of interaction you've looking for... It depends on what your CG character is doing.

Since your character is already CG, what kind of particle/fluid dynamics are available in your 3D package? I'm a lightwaver myself, and I know fluid dynamics have been added recently...

Then, of course, there are expensive fluid programs/plug-ins, but I'm assuming you don't have the $$$ for that :)

Any of this helping?


07 July 2002, 10:32 PM
hey moovieboy;

i guess i was pretty vague. its still in the conceptual stage but what i was thinking was doing a shot of a cg bear salmon fishing in a water fountain. im using maya & combustion..

my goal is for to be photoreal. i know its going to be a challenge but i think it would be an awesome addition to my portfolio.

& to make it worse i want to track a handheld shot for it! i think if i do tackle it i would use a variety of techniques, 3d particles, 2d particles & some live fooage, maybe ill just throw stones into the fountain...either way ill probably get arrested. i can see it now.."code 3, assailant is wearing a bright green suit & bodypaint; repeat bright green suit & bodypaint. last seen splashing on all fours in the foodcourt fountain." my mum would be so pleased....

07 July 2002, 11:17 PM
Yeah, that's the fun with compositing. It'll probably take all those techniques and get you thrown in jail at the same time.

Now, of course, it could just be you wearing a long green tube sock on your arm to get some of the splashes and garbage matte the rest of you out.

Or find another body of water, lock down that shot and do all the splashin you want to comp into your tracked shot of the fountain... Sounds like you want bear-sized splashes, so doing it in on a shallow lake shore, maybe?...

Of course, if it HAS to be illegal, cross over to Seattle, do it there... and run like hell for the border!

Good luck on it!


07 July 2002, 02:09 AM
just thinking some you think i might be better off renting a bear suit & tracking a cg head on to it??? woo things get fiddly now..

07 July 2002, 08:42 AM
Bear suit??? :eek:

Nah, unless you want this to look intentionally silly. Having been in a few suits (Elk, if ya must know), it'd be very, very difficult to match the girth and weight of a Bear's movement unless you're well trained and and in a well-made, padded suit like the kind Stan Winston's or Jim Henson's shops would produce.

Plus, you'd look out of scale. A human eye would just "know" that the fountain and the surrounding features would make your "bear" to be about 6 feet at most... Not the towering salmon eater you'd want.

Now, you COULD go the Walking with Dinosaurs route and just film tight inserts of paws hitting water...

In general, if you're going for realism, I'd think twice about a suit :)


07 July 2002, 07:28 PM
heh that does sound pretty ridiculous. time to get out the sketchbook!

cheers b.

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