Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Learning from Past Mistakes

Last semester was a quite the learning experience for me in terms of the correct workflow for animation and VFX processes. When we we're shooting Relativity, my senior thesis, one of the more important details of the project was that we had to include several computer screens in the shot (they were hackers, so it was unavoidable). This is something that didn't come up in pre-production, although it probably should have, and so we showed up on set the first day with no plan for rotoscoping the screens.

Someone on set had the idea of taping the corners so that I'd have something to track onto in post. A good idea, especially since the tape was green and easy to distinguish from the surrounding white and black screens. What we failed to think through was the fact that many of the shots had obscured screens or characters moving through them, which makes it a much more difficult process. This could have been shot around, we just didn't think of it in time.

The other detail that we shouldn't have overlooked is the fact that a large number of the shots were handheld. This makes it a lot harder for AE to track all the points, especially when there are characters moving in front of the screens. This shot was particularly difficult, because the characters crossed both screens independently at different times.

That being said, this was by far the most difficult shot. Not only does he move in front of the screen but there is an intense amount of motion blur and shaky camera movements. On top of all that there is light changes across the entire screen, something I didn't notice till the day of the premiere and is currently on my to do list for this semester.

Definitely a learning experience for me, but it gave me a great crash course in rotoscoping which I hope to improve upon this semester.

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