CG actors movement matched over Real actor movements : How?

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  05 May 2013
CG actors movement matched over Real actor movements : How?

Hi,

I have seen this in some of the reels breakdown and recently watched one reel, but I am unable to find the link. But it was stuff from Suckerpunch movie.

I saw that in a breakdown, it's shown CG actors wireframe overlapped over real actor. and I noticed it matches almost to movement pose of real actor. and also there is shown real actor against green screen doing same pose/movement. So how is it done? In final shot, is it entire CG actor or real actor (which was shot against green screen)? I can understand use of CG actor as for matte objects for other fx like smoke, debris etc and in final shot it can be used only real actor.

But then how was CG actor movements animated to match real actor? (if it's shot against green screen and no motion capture was used?) Is it done by keyframe animation matching pose by pose?
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  05 May 2013
Lots of patience, if you're lucky some markers on the actors (unless it's a cut out and then back in), and we some times develop additional rigs to bolt on top of the normal control rig that have matching friendly controls (positioning things in screen space instead of in an arbitrary viewport).

Cloth is a particularly annoying thing to deal with in those cases some times, and you might find yourself applying tweaks almost frame by frame in animFX (mesh animation after the animation goes through) for the blend frames.

IE: In Sucker Punch Sweetpea jumping off the plane before the castle courtyard landing was ours and was exactly the above. The long trench coat tails, luckily enough, simulated very close to the actual plate and required minimal tweaking since it was a one frame jump and they were flapping quickly enough that they wouldn't have been close to the plate's in the next frame anyway.

Some times, however, you see the before and afters but they are just for show, because if the digidouble is good enough occasionally we'll just clean the actor off the plate completely and simply use the digidouble throughout the whole sequence. DVD specials some times lie

Done plenty of the above, but those of course I can't list.
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  05 May 2013
Thanks for the reply! and so when making/modeling CG model of actor? Is photo reference taken on the set? or they are mostly 3d scan and then refined model of actor?
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  05 May 2013
Even if 3d animated model doesn't match the actor it's usually easy to fix it buy some warping in post.
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  05 May 2013
There can be other cameras from different angles called 'witness cameras' that are also filming the scene. The footage from them can be used to get a matchmove of the actor using similar techniques to camera tracking. Its pretty much motion capture but using a few cameras to solve the information by tracking surface information instead of suits with balls.
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  05 May 2013
Originally Posted by ThE_JacO: ........In Sucker Punch Sweetpea jumping off the plane before the castle courtyard landing was ours and was exactly the above.........


That was a knockout scene. In fact they all were. I didn't like the way the heroine ended up a vegetable at the end, but the CG work was so well done it made up for the sad end.
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  05 May 2013
Originally Posted by jigu: Thanks for the reply! and so when making/modeling CG model of actor? Is photo reference taken on the set? or they are mostly 3d scan and then refined model of actor?

There are different stages of what ref you get when.
The minimum are a few shots of the actor/actress with the costume before weathering shot with distant bank lighting and a heavy polarizing filter (removes most spec) so you get an undisturbed idea of the details, shapes and so on, and some reference for the colours. Additional shots of the face details if you're lucky.

Past that there's 3D scans, their colour scan is usually not very useful, but the head scans are.

Lastly, if the facility/vfx supe likes the system, and if there's money and reason to on top of that, you can have cage captures, where the head is captured from a lot of cameras on a geodesic rig synced to strobo lighting, that not only provides a ton of reference, but gets you hundreds of images for the surfacing, DVD specials of early Sony DigiDoubles can be found with enough coverage of the system. A paragraph or two aren't enough for the usage cases and methodologies.
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  05 May 2013
Originally Posted by ThE_JacO: Lastly, if the facility/vfx supe likes the system, and if there's money and reason to on top of that, you can have cage captures, where the head is captured from a lot of cameras on a geodesic rig synced to strobo lighting, that not only provides a ton of reference, but gets you hundreds of images for the surfacing, DVD specials of early Sony DigiDoubles can be found with enough coverage of the system. A paragraph or two aren't enough for the usage cases and methodologies.


Like the one for Alfred Molina in Spider-Man 2?
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  05 May 2013
You can find it done plenty times.
SM2 sure, Benjamin Button for Pitt... number of other cases, those are just some where you get to see the rig in the specials.
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  05 May 2013
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