Sunday, 27 February 2011

Footage Problem

I have had some difficulty getting the film footage off the camera tape and into a format I can take home and edit. It seems that that the files are either too large to fit onto a disk and are not formatted correctly to go on a hard drive. Hopefully I can resolve this problem asap so that I can get on with editing the footage.

Experimentation for final project

Over the weekend I booked out a Sony Z1 camera, a reflect media kit and a set of dedo lights. The reason for this was to experiment with some ideas I would like to incorporate into my final project.

The idea for my final project: The purpose of the project is to create a short film about yourself using the green screen equipment. I have decided to create a miniature cardboard environment (e.g. house, car etc) and portray my life using the cardboard props. I aim to film myself in front of the green screen, key out the background, then layer the moving images over the cardboard background hence creating a miniature world.

I used a friend to experiment with some of the shots I wish to show in my final film. These include driving a car, using more than one vision on myself in the same picture, and changing the background. I am going to experiment with editing this footage so that I can figure out problem areas and see whether the effect works before filming the final version. 

I was surprised at how large the reflect media screen was. This was useful as it mean means that I could get quite a lot of the body into the shot.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Stop-Motion experiment

This is a short stop motion experiment I did at the end of last year. It uses a program called istopmotion2. 

The footage is a little blurry as it was filmed using the built in camera on my macbook.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Lighting Exercise

To enable us to get more familiar with the green screen & lighting equipment, we were set a lighting based exercise. We were each to take a turn both operating the camera and also in front of the camera. The aim was to create a different lighting effect (e.g. horror, daylight etc.) for each person through manipulation of the backlights, camera angle etc. Hand held lights and coloured gels were also added for extra effect.

For the exercise we used a Sony-Z1 camera, 3 dedo lights, a keno flow and a handheld light. We were expected to put into practice the proper use of white balancing, focus, exposure and framing.

Visual Effects in 'The Black Swan'

Green Screen Studio

Green Screen Studio - Harmer Building.

We were introduced to the studio in harmer which is ideal for creating green screen footage on a much larger scale. The studio consists of large green, white and black backdrops and fitted studio lights.

We were shown how to operate the lights in order to best light the green screen. They were a lot less complicated than they looked!

Harry Potter's Invisibility Cloak

I found it interesting to learn that Harry Potter's invisibility cloak was made out of the same reflective material that we were using to create a green screen. This shows just how adaptive the material can be, and used in creative and innovative ways it can create some amazing effects.

Below is a link to a website I found which explains how the technology works:

Practical Set-Up

Once down at the CIF studio, we were able to have a go at setting up the equipment. We used a sony-Z1 camera to film the footage and followed the 3-point lighting rule using dedo's. We learnt that it was extremely important to separate the subject from the background with a backlight when when green screening, as this acts as a separation border between the foreground and background. If this was not done properly you may find the subject to have a greenish tint to to their outline once the screen has been keyed out.

We used a Reflect Media Kit (above) when filming the footage. It was interesting to learn that green screen footage can be produced with either green, blue or silver screens. Using the silver screen, a green ring of lights is fitted to the camera lens - once played back this footage gives the same effect as something that has been filmed in front of a typical green screen and can be keyed out easily.

Introduction to Green Screening

We were given an overview of green screening - its purposes, used in the film industry and the equipment needed to produce high quality green screen footage.

The lesson also involved an introduction to working with chromakey tools which are used for keying out the background colour in order to allow the footage to be composite onto another background.

We also viewed footage from some well known films that highlighted where green screening was used in order to create various visual effects! I think that it is taken for granted just how much green screen is used in the film industry, simply because the outcomes are that realistic that you would never know it has been used!