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Hack 67. Create a Surreal Scene

Hack 67. Create a Surreal Scene

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haveselectedtocreateyourforegroundartworkonasheetofgreenpaperboard,

youshouldnotuseanygreeninyouractualartwork.

Someeditingsystemsarecapableofremovingonlyblueorgreen

backgrounds.Makesureyouknowthecapabilitiesofyoursystem

priortodoinganyproductionwork.



Yourbackgroundimageshouldcovertheentiresurfaceofwhatevermediumyou

areusing(ornot,ifthat'syourartisticvision).Thebackgroundofyoursequence

shouldalsoprovidesometypeofperspective,includingahorizonline.

6.8.1.1.Usingartsuppliestomakeyourimages.

Ifyouaremoreartistic,paint,color,anddrawyourwaytotheenvironmentof

yourdreams.Keepinmindthatwhenyouhavefinished,youwillneedtoimport

yourworkintoyourcomputer.Therefore,youshouldcreatesomethingthatcan

beeasilytransferredtoyourcomputer.

Ifyouhaveascanner,scanyourimageatahigh-resolutionsetting.Eventhough

youwillbeusingonlya720x480image(720x576forPAL),itisalwaysbetter

tohavemoredetailavailableshouldyouneedtomanipulatetheimage.Ifyoudo

nothaveascanneravailable,youcanjustaseasilyuseyourvideocamerato

recordyourartwork.Whenusingavideocamera,makesureyoubothlightthe

imageappropriatelyandkeepitframed.Agoodmethodistocapturetheimage

usingatripodtostabilizeyourcamera.

6.8.1.2.Usingyourcomputertomakeyourimages.

Ifyoufallintotheartisticallychallengedcategory,asIdo,youcancreateyour

backgroundusingyourcomputer.Oneprogramthatisexceptionallyadeptat

creatinglandscapesandenvironmentsisDAZ|Studio

(http://www.daz3d.com/studio/;free).DAZ|Studioisaneasytouseprogramthat



focusesoncreatingthree-dimensionallandscapesandcomeswithpre-built

backgroundsandprops.ItisavailableforbothWindowsandMacintosh.Figure

6-22showsashotfromtheFairyForestsettingwithinDAZ|Studio.

Figure6-22.TheFairyForest:abuilt-inscene



Ifyoufindyoujustcan'tcreateabackgroundyouarehappywith,takeapeekat

theprebuiltofferingsatDAZ.Manyarereasonablypricedandarequite

impressive.Ifeeltheyofferalotofproductionvalue,whenyouhavethechance

tousethem.



AnotherprogramworthmentioningisPainter(http://www.corel.com;

$399$429),fromCorel.Painterisanicecompromisebetweenrealworldpainting/drawingandcomputer-aidedcreation.



6.8.2.ShootingYourScene

Inordertoplaceyourcharactersintheenvironmentyouhavecreated,youwill

needtorecordtheminfrontofagreenscreen[Hack#70].Makesureyourgreen

screenandyourcharactersarewelllit.Ifyouhavethetimewhileshootingyour

sceneandhaveasemiportableeditingsystem,capturesomegreenscreen

footageandtesthowwellitworkswithyourbackground.Bydoingso,youwill

beabletocorrectanyproblemsbeforetheyarerecorded.



6.8.3.CompositingYourScene

Onceyouhavedesignedandimportedyourforegroundandbackgroundimages,

andhavedigitizedyourgreenscreenfootage,youwillhavealloftheelements

necessarytocompositeyourlayerstogetherandcreateyourscene.

Onethebottomlayerofyourtimeline,placeyourbackgroundfootage.Onthe

nextlayerup,placethefootageyoushotinfrontofagreenscreen.Finally,place

yourforegroundfootageonthethirdlayer.

Thefirststepyouwillwanttotakeistokeyyourforeground.Thisprocessisthe

sameaskeyingoutagreenscreen,withthedifferencebeinghowyou

accomplishthekey:



Avid

Tools



EffectsPalette



Key



RGBKey



(Selectcolortokeyout)



VideoFilters



Key



ColorKey



(Selectcolortokeyout)



VideoEffects



Keying



FinalCut

Effects



Premiere

Effects

keyout)



ChromaKey



(Selectcolorto



Afterkeyingyourforeground,keyyourgreenscreenfootage[Hack#70]sothat

it,too,becomesapartofthescene.Afteraccomplishingboththeforegroundand

greenscreenkeys,youwillneedtofinesseyourscenebymovingthecenterof

yourlayersaround,sothatyourimagecompositionishowyouwantit.

Whenyouhavesuccessfullykeyedthegreenscreenandyourforeground



footage,andplacedeverythingtoyourliking,thescenewilllookasifitwasall

recordedatthesametime.Youwillprobablyhavetomakeminoradjustmentsto

the"look"ofyourscenebeforerenderingyoursceneandconsideringit

complete.Figure6-23showsacompletedscene.

Figure6-23.Acompositedsceneconsistingofthreelayers



Whenallofyoureffectshavebeenplacedandconfigured,andyoursceneis

complete,render,sitback,andenjoyyourdream.



6.8.4.HackingtheHack

Youcanreallybecreativewiththisapproachtocreatingascene.Foryour

background,createalongimagehorizontally.Whenyoushootyourcharacters,

havethemwalkfromonesideofthescreentotheother.Then,whenyou

compositetheimagestogether,addsomemovementtothebackgroundby

changingitspositionrelativetoyourcharacters.

Createmultiplelayersforuseinyourforeground.Ifyouhavemorethanone

personinyourscene,youcanthenplacethematdifferentlayerswithinthescene

alongwithforegrounditemsbetweenthem.Addashadowtothepropsandyour

characters[Hack#71]formoredepth.

Youcanalsoapplydifferentvideoeffectstoindividuallayersoryourentire

scene.Manipulatingthesaturation,brightness,andhuewillhelpbringoutthe



surrealnatureofthesceneyoucreate.Youcanalsoresizeyourforegroundprops

orevenyourcharacters!

Don'tforget,it'syourworld;yourviewersarejustvisiting.



Hack68.ChangeaScenefromDaytoNight



Usingcolor-correctiontools,youcanmakeascenethatwasshotduringthe

daylooklikeitwasshotatnight.

Noteveryonehastheexperienceorluxurytoshootasceneatnight.Ifyoufind

youneedanighttimescenebutcannotshootatnight,thereareafewcolorcorrectiontricksyoucanusetofakeanighttimelook.



Althoughusingcolorcorrectiontochangeascenefromdaytonightis

possible,youwillgetthebestresultsifyoucanreallyshootatnight.

Therealthingisalwaysbetter.



6.9.1.UsingtheColorCorrector

Theprimarydifferencebetweenadaytimeshotandanighttimeshotistheway

colorsareperceived.Youwillnoticethatatnighteverythingtakesonabluepurplehue.Thisistheeffectyouaregoingtomimic.



Colorcorrectiondealswithcolorbyitsverynature.Ifyouplanon

playingyourmovieonatelevisionscreen,youshouldmakesureyou

color-correctusingatelevisionforreference[Hack#44].Youshould

especiallybeawarethatNTSCissometimesjokinglyreferredtoas

"NeverTheSameColor."Thisjokeisinreferencetothefactyoucan

viewanimageononetelevisionsetandthenviewitonasecondand

seeacompletelydifferentimage,color-wise.



Whileusingyoureditingapplication,locatethesceneyouwouldliketoalterand

selectit.Then,openthecolorcorrectiontool:



Avid

Toolset



ColorCorrection



FinalCut

Effects



VideoFilters



ColorCorrection3-way



MovieMaker

UsePixelan'sSpiceFXPackE1:CorrectionEffects

(http://www.pixelan.com;$14)



Premiere

Window



Workspace



ColorCorrection



iMovie

UseGeeThree'sSlickEffects:Volume6(http://www.geethree.com;$69.95)

Thereareafewkeytermstobefamiliarwithwhencolorcorrecting:



Chrominance(a.k.a.chroma)



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Hack 67. Create a Surreal Scene

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