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Flying take off shot - advice please

Posted: Thu, 23rd Apr 2009, 3:47pm

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infaddict

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Hi, I've read most of the excellent tutorials on flying. I'm trying to do a simple take off shot, a bit like in "Heroes" where an actor runs a few yards and leaps into the air and shoots off upwards.

The footage was shot without a greenscreen (as I'm still saving up for one) and I have completed a quick test shot. The test shot uses a background plate and above it, the footage of my actor running and jumping with his hands in the air. At the point he jumps, I drew a mask around his body and each frame, I moved the quad upwards and made small adjustments to the mask. This worked ok, but when rendered he shot into the air far too fast!

I want to be able to leave several frames "gap" between each quad movement upwards. This gives a problem where the take off footage isn't long enough i.e. the actor only stays in mid air with arms extended for less than a second. By trying to stretch out the timing a bit, the footage shows his returning to the ground and his arms coming back down.

Ideally, I want to be able to "snapshot" the frame where he takes off, then use that on subsequent frames to move him upwards. I've looked for ways of exporting as an image file and have even tried a 1 frame .avi export but I can't get it working (my footage is interlaced and I get problems with jagged lines).

Can anybody offer any advice on how best to accomplish this effect? Am I thinking on right lines to "freeze" the shot or is there a better way?

Thanks in advance!!
Posted: Thu, 23rd Apr 2009, 3:58pm

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Axeman

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Yeah, you're thinking correctly. Can't you export the clip form your video editor up to where he jumps, and then export that frame as an image as well? Then import both into VisionLab and do your animation thing?
Posted: Thu, 23rd Apr 2009, 5:01pm

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TemporalCoder

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Hi,

Is this the style shot you are describing?

watch 0:55
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKJKvyrtkkA

if so, i will try and provide a breakdown.
Posted: Thu, 23rd Apr 2009, 6:10pm

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infaddict

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Thanks for the advice Axeman, I'll try exporting from my NLE and see if I can get it working.

TemporalCoder, yep that's very similar to what I'm looking for - appreciate any further info. Found a few other similar vids on YouTube too :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crfhFP58WuI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMXio4jSVpU
Posted: Fri, 24th Apr 2009, 4:53am

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TemporalCoder

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I was planning to show a break down shot, but i can not find my files at the moment sad

so...
Filming. Camera on tripod.
1. I filmed my son jumping in the air with a slight rotation and left the camera running
2. Son walked off camera, camera still running
3. Did a quick pan/tilt into sky

Editing. (using composite lab and effects lab at that point)
1. At the point my son was at the peak of the jump, I cut to the camera tilt, so it appeared like my son had just vanished.
2. I then used that same peak frame and used photoshop to cut the background away.
3. Imported son image into composite lab
4. Animated single frame into flying sequence (rotation, scale)
5. increased brightness and contrast to give the impression of haze... don't know if that is noticable.

Then over to effects lab for smoke and gun flash.

Hope this helps a little, i will try and find the footage.
Posted: Fri, 24th Apr 2009, 5:48am

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spydurhank

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I've tried this twice with my brother's help. They're not that great but I really like the initial take off and the landing of our 1st attempt.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEoIB0ceiKs

This is our 2nd try. It needs some color correction around the mask surrounding his body but the effect works.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7IfYJ4sUSU

To make it seem more fluid, I didn't do the whole freeze frame thing. I started the mask and animation right as his knees begin to straighten out from his jump. That way his body is actually still moving as he's flying off frame.
I think it looks better that way instead of using a static stil image. It's so fast that it doesn't really matter which method you use and it takes a little more time doing it the way I did it, but in the end it's worth it I think.
Hope this helps and good luck. biggrin
Posted: Sat, 25th Apr 2009, 5:59am

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TemporalCoder

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Hi,
I completely agree with you spydurhank.
The first jump i tries, i shot a clean plate and then me jumping.
I then over laid the two shots and as you say, masked each frame, while moving the entire layer up smile
...and of course added a bit of motion blur.

I resorted to the still frame for two reasons...
1. it is a lot quicker
2. my son is dyspraxic... getting him up to jump up the air and land neatly is quite a challenge smile

The shot of him closing the door and taking off took... drum roll... 16 takes!!!
He is in fact quite proud of that.

I have avoided any filming that involves him running!

..but it's all for fun smile
Posted: Sat, 25th Apr 2009, 7:44pm

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spydurhank

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That's funny man. biggrin
My brother had a hard time understanding the concept of what we were going for in the shot, he tried... he really tried but in the end I just told him, Dude just jump up as high as you can. Heh.