View Full Version : Need advice for a multi plane job.

04 April 2009, 02:07 PM

I need some help with a shot and was wondering if you guys could help me out.

I would like to start by saying Iím relatively new to compositing and Iím working on Shake.

The shot is a dolly out type of shot. I sketched some storyboards to demonstrate it. I can't really draw but I think it's enough to show the shot. It is basically a straight pull back from the actorís close up, then going through the whole office hall and coming out of the building's window.

Here's the link to the storyboards:

The original plate of the actor was shot green screen. It starts at close up and then zooms out (lens zoom, not dolly) from the close up of the actor's face to full wide. Thatís all the live action, everything else will need to be CG.

They way I thought about doing it was having the camera pulling back through 2D cards and then once it comes out of the building window the last plane with the building would be a camera projection of the building with all the 2D cards being the buildingís background. Or maybe even have the building being a 2D card too, but I would like a little camera sway once the camera exits the building and a 2D card wouldnít allow me that. What do you guys think? Is it a good way of accomplishing a shot like that?

Thanks for your help.

04 April 2009, 03:05 AM
The first thing that I'd go for at this point is a proof-of-concept shot without the "sway." If such a small consideration is show-stopping you, don't let it.

("To hell with the 'sway' if otherwise it works good and gets done cheap. Lots of real-world shots don't 'sway' at all.")

Try it in the way that you're thinking of, and see if it comes out good-enough.

04 April 2009, 05:53 AM
Also, be aware that Shake's "3D" system is rudimentary at best.

04 April 2009, 06:08 PM
First of all, you cant use zoom when you want to get a dolly effect. You should have physically moved the camera, or just left it at showing the entire body of the actor and then used it as a card, and created the dolly effect entirely in CG (but then you would have needed to shoot it really high rez if you intend to have a closeup). And it might still have looked a bit flat, since it will become a digital zoom.
But zoom and dolly effects are very different. A physical dolly move will give you the desired perspective change, while a zoom effect is enlarging or making an area smaller. You could also get depth of field issues, since that change during zoom.

2d cards will not work either, since you have so many perspective lines in Z axis. The only time 2d cards work (for a realistic effect), is when there is a slight camera motion with no strong perspective lines.
In order to get the look you want, You have to go 3d and either texture or use 3d projections on 3d geometry.

I think the camera exits the building is one of the least of your problems.

This is not an easy task, but if done right, could look really cool. Good luck!

04 April 2009, 07:25 PM
Thanks for all the replies guys. This is exactly the sort of feedback I was looking for.

Makaze, I would never do a zoom to fake a dolly shot if this was not fully green screen. But as itís fully green screen, the camera was exactly the same height as the actorís head and fully squared with him meaning zero degrees tilt and zero degrees pan, I thought the perspective change would not be too noticeable with the zoom. Itís just the actor and a chair, everything else is green screen. You donít even get to see the floor he is on much when you ďdolly outĒ because you are soon out of his cubicle window. Also, once the shots starts ďdollingĒ out it is a very fast movement. It speeds up gradually but ultimately itís a fast dolly out effect like the camera was on ďrocketĒ and the background will quickly speed out and the objects and furniture will be buzzing by for most of the shot. The camera just explodes back with a sound effect of things quickly buzzing by. Itís more of an effect shot rather than a character dolly or something meant to look natural. Although it should look like the camera just physically flew out rather than a 3D camera, so it needs to look realistic in that regard. Only when itís about to come out of the building window it starts to slow down. For that reason I thought the perspective shift in the actor and Z axis of the furniture would not be that noticeable. I thought about building the room walls in 3D but having the file cabinets, desks etc as 2D cards. The wall with the window the camera will go through in the end Iím not sure I could get away with a 2D card as by then the camera will have slowed down and the perspective shift from the wall thickness could look off.

Again I might be totally off here but since I forgot to mention the very important fact of the camera being moving very fast backwards I thought I would try and describe the shot and conditions in more detail.

Also, be aware that Shake's "3D" system is rudimentary at best.

Yeah I've heard a lot about it. But Shake is what I have and nothing out there that I can afford, i.e. After Effects or Combustion seem to do a much better job in 3D so I'm sticking with Shake for now. Besides this is my first "3D" comp job so after this I will have a better feeling for how I like Shake's 3D.

Great tips sundialsvc4 (!

Thanks everybody.

05 May 2009, 02:10 AM
Cool man, post the finished shot if you can! It would be cool to see it.

I have been mucking about with Nuke's camera projections in the PLE version and it is soooo handy being able to make geometry and camera map it inside the comp package instead of having to fire up maya :)

05 May 2009, 02:57 AM
Hehehe, I don't even want to touch Nuke for now. I would just spoil myself and then have to let it go when the demo runs out.
I will try to post the final shot if I can. But need to figure it out first though. :)

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