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Put up bluescreen in a garage - how?

Posted: Thu, 10th Jun 2010, 5:16pm

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Sick Boy

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check this out: http://bildr.no/view/665602

I want to put a bluescreen on the 4 surfaces (not the top) in the garage, but i'm not sure on how i'm going to light it. I want people to be sitting against both the walls and i would have the camera moving.

Any thoughts?

Last edited Thu, 10th Jun 2010, 5:26pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Thu, 10th Jun 2010, 5:25pm

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pdrg

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I'd say 'think again'.

You'll have deep shadows in the corners, you'll have a 'mare lighting it (as you noted!), and spill galore - and if you're moving the camera you're going to need tracking points in there too... I think you may be making a lot of work for yourself...
Posted: Thu, 10th Jun 2010, 5:28pm

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Sick Boy

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What's your suggestion?
Posted: Thu, 10th Jun 2010, 5:28pm

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pdrg

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What's the shot you're trying to achieve?
Posted: Thu, 10th Jun 2010, 5:35pm

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Sick Boy

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It's suppose to be the inside of a Osprey V22 (i will get the necessary texture from a mod). I really wanted to introduce this scene with a overview shot with a dolly going inwards the troops sitting along both the walls.
Posted: Thu, 10th Jun 2010, 5:38pm

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pdrg

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Wow - well it'll be a tough, tough shot. I'm not sure I'd attempt it myself.

Bluescreen work is hard to get right. Really hard. Firstly, you should have a long distance between the talent and the screen or you'll get shadows and a lot of bleeding, then you will need 3D markers to motion track on. You have to light the screens flat, but you want realistic lighting on the cast. Perhaps someone else here can come up with suggestions, but I'm at a bit of a loss how to do the shot well in the shed. Sorry man :,-(
Posted: Thu, 10th Jun 2010, 5:47pm

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Sick Boy

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But if i put the lights on the topside, making the light go straight down, wouldn't the shadows be reflected down to the ground?
Posted: Thu, 10th Jun 2010, 5:54pm

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pdrg

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Well yes...but...then everyone in there will be toplit too, which may not match with your shot. And you'll almost certainly create masses of spill onto their hair/heads, so will get a dirty key. And lighting walls from such a short throw will tend to give you hotspots and shadows in the corners, which will be a nightmare to key out too.

I really hope someone here has some more ideas than I have, the best I can really come up with is to use a bigger space, a locked-off camera, a non-shiny screen fabric and curved corners. But I still think it's an ambitious shot, especially if you've not greenscreened a lot before.
Posted: Thu, 10th Jun 2010, 6:17pm

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Serpent

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I would set it up outside. You have SO much more room. If it's only one shot, pick a slightly overcast day to shoot it, and use different things to diffuse the sunlight on your actors. And use reflectors.

So you'll have space to be far away from the screen, overcast days light the screen decently enough, then you can use reflector to make the lighting pop on your actor. Just make sure it's taught and can't move in the wind or show wrinkles. This is not ideal for studio stuff, but with creative compositing and grading and stuff, you could make this look sexy. One decent success story for outside greenscreening is here:

http://www.colinlevy.com/vfx/pages/OnTheBrink.html

Keep in mind that was one of his first green screen tests and he was fairly young when he made it. Just showing you that it is possible to get a decent key.

And if I were you, I'd set up an actual dolly, use track markers, and shoot your actors separately. It will give you a higher resolution to work with and more distance between actor and green screen. But your best bet would be to find a proper place to set up, get some nice lights, and do it right. Twisted Studios, former FXHomers, shot a 12 minute or so short film entirely on a greenscreen that was just fabric draped over theater sound deflectors in their school's auditorium, lit with the schoo auditorium lights. Try something like that, a lot of people are very generous about letting you work creatively in their space.
Posted: Thu, 10th Jun 2010, 7:15pm

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Sick Boy

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Wow, Serpent. That makes me re-consider doing this at all. I think it will require more experience and time then what i may have.

Serpent wrote:

I would set it up outside. You have SO much more room.
And if I were you, I'd set up an actual dolly, use track markers, and shoot your actors separately
So basically, even if i pulled out a bluescreen outside, i wouldn't be able to do the dolly shot i was planning due to the actors needing to be placed far from the bluescreen (which will make the walls far wider then what is found in a real v22)?
Posted: Thu, 10th Jun 2010, 7:22pm

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Serpent

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I'd say to get the full dolly shot (which, if I understand your imagination of the shot, would be dolly forward into the cargo section of a military plane) where you'd have your actor to the side of the camera as it dollies past them, you'd need 10-20 feet of greenscreen to get it at a proper distance. Which honestly isn't that much. You don't have to be hundreds of feet away, just enough to avoid shadows. Which is impossible in most garages I've been in. But I don't know your garage dimensions (indoor you have to take distance of lights and camera into consideration).

Anyways, what you might want to do is just film your actors sitting down individually at the right angle on a tripod. Composite them into the plane. Do a very slight dolly movement forward in post production in a 3D composite (maybe do some artificial lens blurring, cool grading, etc.). This would be your establisher. Then you could film your actors facing the camera in more of a closeup, and do a side dolly shot in post scrolling past each soldier with the plane wall in background. If this doesn't make sense let me know and I'll draw up a diagram.
Posted: Thu, 10th Jun 2010, 7:49pm

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Sick Boy

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Serpent wrote:

I'd say to get the full dolly shot (which, if I understand your imagination of the shot, would be dolly forward into the cargo section of a military plane) where you'd have your actor to the side of the camera as it dollies past them
Exactly, but i don't want to go pass them. I actually thought moving just a bit closer to them would be fine, which makes this idea of yours interesting:

Serpent wrote:


Anyways, what you might want to do is just film your actors sitting down individually at the right angle on a tripod. Composite them into the plane. Do a very slight dolly movement forward in post production in a 3D composite
But doesn't artificially zooms in post-production lower the pixel-resolution on the footage significant?

Serpent wrote:

Then you could film your actors facing the camera in more of a closeup, and do a side dolly shot in post scrolling past each soldier with the plane wall in background.
That's exactly what i was thinking for the next shots. These would be a lot easier as i got my actors separated/togheter behind one bluescreen sheet.
Posted: Fri, 11th Jun 2010, 1:29am

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Serpent

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Well if they are composited into the shot, they will likely be scaled down a bit anyways. Artificial depth of field will help sell the effect because it can blur any slight quality loss. Just get as close as you can to your actors when filming them seperately, don't try to frame it well, as the actor will be the only thing left in your scene. Just find a good angle and get as much as you can. You can even turn your camera on it's side so you can vertically fill the frame, this is a common method to get higher res green screen footage.
Posted: Fri, 11th Jun 2010, 5:39am

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Axeman

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I'm thinking it might be easier to just build the three walls of the actual set, then composite them into the shot if necessary. Setting up three walls can't be that much more work than setting up three walls of greenscreen, and chances are very high it will come out better.
Posted: Fri, 11th Jun 2010, 8:33am

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Simon K Jones

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Also, rather than doing a big camera move, requiring an extensive, wrap-around greenscreen, you might want to move and rotate the actors and set instead, with the camera mostly fixed in place, so that you don't need such a big screen.
Posted: Fri, 11th Jun 2010, 12:27pm

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Sick Boy

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Just so i know:

What if the bluescreen gets poorly lit and i get shadows in the corners. Does this mean the footage isn't salvable in post, or just that it will take a hell of a lot time, making it usable?
Posted: Fri, 11th Jun 2010, 12:58pm

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Simon K Jones

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If you're not going to get a good bluescreen, don't bother doing it against bluescreen, basically.

Yes, you can salvage it in most cases, but it will be a nightmare and defeat the whole point of using the technique.
Posted: Fri, 11th Jun 2010, 1:00pm

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Sick Boy

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I see.

Hm...maybe i just should roto everything out in post then.
Posted: Fri, 11th Jun 2010, 1:02pm

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Simon K Jones

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The amount of resources that would take would be far better spent building a practical set, or finding a real location to use.
Posted: Fri, 11th Jun 2010, 2:24pm

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pdrg

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Personally I'd look for a plane for a day, build a set, or frankly adjust the script to match the budget...
Posted: Fri, 11th Jun 2010, 4:19pm

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Sick Boy

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Guess i may have too high ambitions on this one, but i rather try to get it as good as i can and possibly fail then make somthing mediocre.

Thanks for the advices everyone, i have to figure out what i'm going to choose of the options.
Posted: Fri, 11th Jun 2010, 4:22pm

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Simon K Jones

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That's absolutely the right attitude to have, so don't be disheartened!

However, it's also important to get the level of ambition right. If you over-reach, then that can actually cause mediocre results, and might put you off trying again, which would be a shame.

Every creative project (film or otherwise) is a constant trade-off between ambition and ability. As you say, you definitely don't want to lack ambition, but you also need to be realistic about your own ability.

Maybe the scene needs to be reconsidered slightly: what was the purpose of the Osprey? Other than the shot of the guys inside it, what other shots would it feature in? Do we see the outside of it, for example?

All these things could affect how you go about shooting the scene.
Posted: Sat, 12th Jun 2010, 10:45am

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pdrg

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Yes, I didn't want to sound too nay-say-ish, or doubt your ability or ambition, and I hope you get the shot you want smile

I'd actually go a stage further than Tarn and say the struggle is 4-way, between ambition, ability, time and budget. I'm just wary that it is easy to lose heart spending a few weeks/months on a single shot, meaning you have less time/money to put into other scenes, which is a shame. It's common for some scenes to take more work than others, but you typically get one or two money shots in a film, and typically at crucial plot-turns. Only you know if this is a key scene and worth the work in the context of the film!

Good luck, hope you get a good result - let us know how it goes smile
Posted: Fri, 18th Jun 2010, 5:42pm

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Sick Boy

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I need to bring this up.

I've been reading on other forums and it may look like i've misunderstood how one can work with bluescreen in post.

See this: http://img46.imageshack.us/img46/3016/dfrn.png

The reason i wanted to use a bluescrren inside a garage was that it resembled pretty much the real space you find in a V22. There are approximately 9 feets between each wall.

Then some guy suddenly told me that the walls on each side of the seats arent' necessary when wanting to put textures on them in post, and as long as the main wall with bluescreen is big enough and covers all the actors, i can make those two walls behind the seats in post. Is this true? What about the tracking points? As there is no sidewalls, there wouldn't be any tracking points to follow in post (this is concerning doing that dolly shoot).
Posted: Sat, 19th Jun 2010, 8:59am

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chbaum

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Since I've done my very first greenscreen test only 3 weeks ago, I can't comment on that (although it worked surprisingly well with just some green PAPER! - had problems with distance and shadows though).

But again, consider this: I often wonder why everybody is so keen on greenscreen work on every occasion whatsoever. The movies that overuse it look artificial while they're still seemlessly matching actors and "world". How are "we" supposed to achieve any of this in a satisfactory way?

Okay, the "on the brink" example has to use it, there's no way around. But the cargo hold of an airplane to me sounds like something that is much easier to stage than to greenscreen, track, match and model. WHAT FOR?

Find a friend's dad who works in a factory. Get the license to shoot, get some metal walls or cardboard or wood, paint it, let some strange stuff hang down from the ceiling, put up some boxes and benches, dress up your actors, shake the camera slightly, add the sound of the plane, put two greenscreens next to the entrance, behind the windows (if any) and at the far wall (if you need some cockpit or something). Then add the airspace and cockpit rather than the complete environment!
I could also imagine a company where they build those huge metal or concrete tubes or airvents. Dress one up inside and let your actors sit in it or something.

Organising and building something like that will take some friend, a weekend, some sweat and tears, and it won't look like a V22 (whatever that is). But it'll look like SOME airplane.

Doing it all in the computer will take you a week at best (after setting it up for another week), and it'll look artificial.

Just my 0.01$.

Best regards,

Christian
Posted: Sun, 20th Jun 2010, 6:25pm

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Axeman

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If the actors are touching the wall, or leaning on the wall, or something of that sort, then you'll need the bluescreen walls to be in the same location as the composited walls will be. If the walls are just behind them, then it doesn't matter a bit. As long as there is blue behind them, you'll be fine.

When you key out the bluescreen, that portion of the video is completely gone. You can't tell if the blue wall was 1 foot or 500 feet from the actors, because there is nothing there. So when you add in the new background you wish to use, it can be placed anywhere in the distance behind them.

But, if an actor needs to lean against a wall, or climb some stairs, etc., the the wall or stairs they touch will need to be exactly replicated out of bluescreen, so that the contact matches correctly when the new background is composited in.