The fabled matrix shot...
Three main things- Practice, Time, and Patience.
You'll need those to produce a nice matrix effect.
But it also helps to have a computer, Gryphon morph, Photoshop, After Effects, a tripod, and a dv camera.
First things first- with your camera on a tripod, film your actor doing his/her dive from the starting angle. After the actor has finished his/her dive (gotta be politically correct
), DON'T MOVE THE CAMERA, and get a shot of the background with no one there. go around in a circle, doing this as many times as needed. We only used two shots- the beginning and end, for our matrix effect. No Control Cinemas used seven. The more you want to spin, the more shots you should take. You'll get a feel for this with practice. A shot for every 30 degrees is about the norm.
On your last shot, do the same as you've done with all the others. once again, MAKE SURE THE ACTOR HAS BEEN DOING THE SAME MOVEMENTS IN EACH SHOT. You'll get an odd looking morph otherwise. Continue with your last shot, as if the action had been going the whole time.
Now, after you've imported all this onto a computer, go through, and find all the shots you took of the actor's dive, as well as the shots of the background. Go to the first clip, where your actor starts the dive, and cut it while the actor is in the air. this is going to be where the camera starts spinning. Save this frame, and also save the frame of the actor not in the background.
For the rest of the shots in the air, all you'll need is the frame of your actor, in about the same spot of the dive in the first clip, as well as the background shots.
When you get to the final shot, where the camera stops spinning, cut the clip where the actor is in the air, in the same position as in the other shots. Don't forget the background, and don't forget to save the beginning frame of this clip, of the actor in the air.
Now you should have all these frames, as well as background shots saved. Open up photoshop, and combine the background shots into one large picture-basically a large strip. You will use this for the spinning effect by moving the strip to create the impression of spinning. Use the tools at your disposal to make the combined pictures seem seamless. Position the first and last frames at each end of the strip. DON'T CHANGE THESE IN ANY WAY. you will probably have to alter the ones in the middle, and it's okay to slightly change the edges of the first and last frames, but don't do anything noticeable. Since the real footage picks up and leaves off on these frames, they can't all of a sudden change.
Save the pan, and get the shots of the actor jumping. Paint out everything, except the actor, with a blue or green color (for keying). The idea is that you'll be able to color-key out the solid color, so you'll just be left with the actor, which then goes on top of the pan (I'm starting to get ahead of myself, just bear with me).
Take these shots of the actor into Gryphon morph, and morph them all together. This basically adds the extra frames needed to get the smooth rotation. (If you don't have gryphon morph, I can probably e-mail it to you, or post some links from another post where it might be located.).
Now, Open the large strip of the background, and the morph in After Effects. Move the pan across the background to create the spinning, and color key the morph, so all you see is the actor on top of the background. Mess around with the color key to make it as good as possible. If you have some artifacts, or holes, don't worry. You can take care of them later.
If you want to, you can also add a motion blur to the background to add to the sensation of spinning, but that's up to you. You'll also noticed that I haven't mentioned anything about morphing the ground. The effect it makes isn't very noticeable, so I never bother to do it. It just complicates things, in my opinion. If you are really concerned, just angle the cameras so you can't see the ground beneath the actor, like we did in "The Gunfight".
Anyways, export the project to a filmstrip, where you can go in with Photoshop, and use the stamp tool to fix any holes, or artifacts from the color key, or morph. Bring the filmstrip back into After Effects to compress it into a movie.
Take the morph+background pan, and place it between the beginning and ending clips. Voila!
If you would like to see some pictures, just visit the No Control Cinema's website. You can find a link by clicking on one of their movies.
There. I did it. I wrote the difinitive matrix tutorial. As people try it more, and more, they may create different techniques that differ than what was said in this tutorial, but this is how I do it.
I should probably post a copy of this in the tutorials section. I'll do that tomorrow.
Always glad to help