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Jump through window?

Posted: Sat, 28th Nov 2009, 6:39pm

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joe billy

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What would be the best looking (and easy) way to make it look like an actor jumping through a glass window? Preferably, something besides sugar glass. Thanks a million!
Posted: Sat, 28th Nov 2009, 7:13pm

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Rockfilmers

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You can have your actor jump through an open window and use a particle system for the broken piece of glass. You would have to make the physics work realistically though, or your effect is blown.
Posted: Sat, 28th Nov 2009, 7:18pm

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pdrg

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I can't think of any way to do it digitally that won't look terrible, to be honest. Glass transmits, reflects and refracts light at different angles, and you're never going to simulate that properly without a hefty physics engine and a 3D model of the scene - and then it'll still look crappy.

Sugar glass or re-write the scene?
Posted: Sat, 28th Nov 2009, 7:32pm

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Rockfilmers

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Try smashing glass against a black background and then comp it in later. I think pdrg is right about doing it digitally though.
Posted: Sat, 28th Nov 2009, 8:24pm

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The Chosen One

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spydurhank made an example of this effect.

Here is his video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrAZa65wTuE

You could contact him on the forum for more info, or maybe he'll chime in on this topic.
Posted: Sat, 28th Nov 2009, 11:44pm

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Biblmac

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I would try locking down the camera then, filming him jumping out the window while it is open, then get a clean plate, then throw a rock through the closed window. The glass breaks and you can composite it to look like your actor is going through... this is not going to be easy in post, but probably the most realistic idea I can think of, other than hiring a stunt double.
Posted: Sun, 29th Nov 2009, 3:29am

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Terminal Velocity

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Biblmac wrote:

I would try locking down the camera then, filming him jumping out the window while it is open, then get a clean plate, then throw a rock through the closed window. The glass breaks and you can composite it to look like your actor is going through... this is not going to be easy in post, but probably the most realistic idea I can think of, other than hiring a stunt double.
I was going to say this, but then I figured, "Everyone's going to see the rock." Anyway, it would break at a much more concentrated point with the rock, rather than the localized shattering when something as big as a human goes through it.
Posted: Sun, 29th Nov 2009, 6:20am

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Biblmac

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Well you would have to key out the rock, and anyway as long as the rock is as big as the part of the body that your actor is hitting the glass with it would work, your whole body doesn't break the glass just one part. Whatever hits first.
Posted: Sun, 29th Nov 2009, 7:55am

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coldside

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But by filming 2 separate live action plates, you then have the difficulty of matching up the timing and compositing some glass shards back over the actor.
Posted: Sun, 29th Nov 2009, 1:29pm

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Rockfilmers

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Yeah, you would have to rotoscope each piece of glass to make it work. Just break some glass in front of a black screen, and comp it over. BTW, from which angle will the shot play out?
Posted: Sun, 29th Nov 2009, 3:20pm

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Paradox Pictures

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You could get a dummy dressed like your actor to throw through the window. Just only show a split second of that.

You could also just trick the viewers and make them think that they saw the glass break, by moving everything very fast.

Or you could use this http://fxhome.com/alamdv2/plugins/view/892/shatteredglass01
Posted: Sun, 29th Nov 2009, 4:17pm

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Rockfilmers

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The problem with that is you would need to throw it with a lot of force.
Posted: Sun, 29th Nov 2009, 5:09pm

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doppelganger

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I made a short film last summer where the main character breaks a car window with a small pole and it looked decent.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3SRTj9KTvg# ( the break happens around 1:44, I don't know how to link to specific times sorry)

Just get creative with angles and get some broken glass for shots after he jumps through the window.
Posted: Mon, 30th Nov 2009, 11:46pm

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Bryan M Block

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Sometimes they have someone break the glass in the frame with a nail and a hammer type of contraption in the corner of the glass that is in the frame A tech hits the nail/bolt that is in a tube near the corner of the frame and the impact shatters the glass. But honestly, I think you could do this digitally and with stock footage, etc... SAFELY. Sound effects and editing go a long way toward selling the illusion.

For example, as stated earlier, if you lock down your camera and show the "real glass" then cut away and cut back to a frame with no glass as your actors go through it- you would have a VERY brief shot to cover with digital/practical effects.- cut to them landing and being showered with glass shards (DO NOT USE REAL GLASS FOR GOD'S SAKE!!!!!) and you will probably sell your shot in a similar way that Reborn 777 did with editing and sound fx.
Posted: Sun, 6th Dec 2009, 3:30pm

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joe billy

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Thanks guys! what software should i use to create animated glass breaking?
Posted: Sun, 6th Dec 2009, 4:04pm

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doppelganger

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Seriously make some stock footage or get someone to make you stock footage. Using a program to create glass breaking WILL look terrible... unless you are incredible with a 3d program... and even then it can still look terribly fake.
Posted: Sun, 6th Dec 2009, 5:17pm

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gamesmaster369

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Hmm. It's very difficult without sugar glass. Maybe you could get a window frame, put it against a green screen and smash it (it could be sugar glass or not), and then composite the smashing window into the footage of jumping through the window pane or whatever.
Posted: Sun, 6th Dec 2009, 8:07pm

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joe billy

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Would it still composite/Key well through the glass? Like so you can still tell there is glass there?
Posted: Sun, 6th Dec 2009, 9:19pm

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lwmedia

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To make 3D glass look realistic, one would need to add a reflection map/environment map. The standard refraction index value for glass is 1.52, which would be used in the glass shader to create realistic distortion of the scene through the 3D glass.
After creating the base simulation, adding small particles would add greatly to the effect, as well as some camera shake in post.

If creating the effect digitally, it would be simplest to use a tripod while filming the actor jump through the open window. Otherwise, camera solving would be necessary.

I you like, I would be willing to give this shot a try for you. (or create a stock effect for the camera angle you need)

-Logan
Posted: Mon, 7th Dec 2009, 2:54pm

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Bryan M Block

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I think you guys sometimes get TOO hung up on realism. There are big-budget Hollywood films released every day that have bad ADR, effects that don't quite work, bad compositing (Lord of the Rings anyone??? King Kong????) and things that didn't quite go as planned. I say pick a path, do the best you can and get on with it. remember that if you do this right it will probably only be on camera for a spit second anyway- use your editing and sound effects to sell it.
Posted: Mon, 7th Dec 2009, 4:16pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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pdrg wrote:

I can't think of any way to do it digitally that won't look terrible, to be honest. Glass transmits, reflects and refracts light at different angles, and you're never going to simulate that properly without a hefty physics engine and a 3D model of the scene - and then it'll still look crappy.

Sugar glass or re-write the scene?


Glass digitally smashing is something you can do with an average computer and 3D software provided you have a bit of know how, though if you had any 3D Know-how you wouldn't be asking the question. So avoid it.

Bryan's solution is the best idea I've read so far. Though why not edit around it? Is it fundamental to your story that you see the actor going through the window? If not, work around it with a little creativity. Failing that, write scripts that don't rely on effects.

Sorry to sound so cynical!
-Matt

p.s. - Since when is timing an element difficult?
Posted: Mon, 7th Dec 2009, 6:13pm

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Fxhome Dude

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Bryan M Block wrote:

I think you guys sometimes get TOO hung up on realism. There are big-budget Hollywood films released every day that have bad ADR, effects that don't quite work, bad compositing (Lord of the Rings anyone??? King Kong????)
I agree with too much realism part. But saying LOTR had bad CGI? Despite the fact I hate that movie I have to stand up for it. So why do you say that? (I haven't seen king kong)
Posted: Mon, 7th Dec 2009, 6:32pm

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Bryan M Block

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Wes the fxhome dude wrote:

Bryan M Block wrote:

I think you guys sometimes get TOO hung up on realism. There are big-budget Hollywood films released every day that have bad ADR, effects that don't quite work, bad compositing (Lord of the Rings anyone??? King Kong????)
I agree with too much realism part. But saying LOTR had bad CGI? Despite the fact I hate that movie I have to stand up for it. So why do you say that? (I haven't seen king kong)
I said "bad compositing" wink

95% of LOTR was awesome, but there were specific shots/scenes I think in the third one that looked like an unfinished key, and you could literally see the ear tips glued onto the hobbits.

King Kong is a horrible movie. skip it and watch the original. There are scenes in there that look like 1970's TV show chroma key...just BAD compositing (or...to be generous, UNFINISHED compositing)
Posted: Mon, 7th Dec 2009, 7:53pm

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spydurhank

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Bryan is correct with the big movies and bad compositing thing... to add to his list... Watchmen, Ultraviolet, X-men origins Wolverine. "There are others" If you watch them, all you have to do is keep a close eye and you can tell that the compositing was half-assed.
Posted: Tue, 8th Dec 2009, 1:59pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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Worth keeping in mind that the LOTR movies had improved VFX when they came to DVD release.

I wouldn't call any noticable comp 'half assed', a more accurate term would be 'improperly budgeted'. No studio outputs a bad shot unless they're not being paid enough to make it a good shot. It can also depend based on which studios handled certain sequences.

-Matt
Posted: Tue, 8th Dec 2009, 4:16pm

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spydurhank

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Hybrid-Halo wrote:

Worth keeping in mind that the LOTR movies had improved VFX when they came to DVD release.

I wouldn't call any noticeable comp 'half assed', a more accurate term would be 'improperly budgeted'. No studio outputs a bad shot unless they're not being paid enough to make it a good shot. It can also depend based on which studios handled certain sequences.

-Matt
You sir are way more generous with your words than I. biggrin
They shouldn't take the job if they're not gonna get paid enough to want to make them not do a good job. confused
I like that term... "improperly budgeted" biggrin though it does still kinda sound like an excuse or a churched up version of "half-assed". biggrin
Posted: Tue, 8th Dec 2009, 4:16pm

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Bryan M Block

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Hybrid-Halo wrote:

Worth keeping in mind that the LOTR movies had improved VFX when they came to DVD release.

I wouldn't call any noticable comp 'half assed', a more accurate term would be 'improperly budgeted'. No studio outputs a bad shot unless they're not being paid enough to make it a good shot. It can also depend based on which studios handled certain sequences.

-Matt
I would think that budgeting aside, the olde production & release schedule is a huge factor, as you noted that they "fixed" or "improved" the shots for DVD release.

ANd spydurhank- yes, Wolverine...bad...and SAD. sad
Posted: Tue, 22nd Dec 2009, 3:27pm

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Fxhome Dude

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Although this might be a little late, about LOTR: the return of the king not having alot of errors, check out this page... http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0167260/goofs
Posted: Tue, 22nd Dec 2009, 4:14pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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spydurhank wrote:

You sir are way more generous with your words than I. biggrin
They shouldn't take the job if they're not gonna get paid enough to want to make them not do a good job. confused
I like that term... "improperly budgeted" biggrin though it does still kinda sound like an excuse or a churched up version of "half-assed". biggrin
It depends on your experience of the industry. Of course - in an ideal world there's an unlimited budget and the director/producers aren't demanding effects which severely challenge the budget, there are no technical issues, there is no feedback from producers who change their minds about shots which take days and everything is fine after the first render with every shot taking the exact amount of time to achieve as was predicted.

In the real world, it's a little different and whilst it's the job of a VFX Supervisor to make sure what comes in to a studio is achievable to a certain level - it's often not as simple as that.

In a sense, I object to the term 'half assed' given that if anything, a tighter budget means people have to work a LOT harder. I would know. And sure - sometimes the result isn't to the same levels of perfection as Avatar - but that's a budget thing. Studios have to make money, that's the bottom line.