VFX Almost done

Breakdown of visual effects for one of the shots in the film "into the light". This shows some of the work carried out using mocha and after effects and redgiant plugins, to change an unremarkable plate into life.

This breakdown shows what went in to just one part of the ‘shutdown’ sequence from into “Into The Light”. This sequence forms a continuous camera move that starts with the camera zooming into a reflection of a lightbulb in the main characters glasses/eye and then zooming out of a laptop, a mobile phone, a TV and then back to the room the action started.

This particular shot, as it started out, was not quite what I was hoping to achieve on set. The problem faced when shooting was the proximity to the white walls, using a wide angle lens and camera movement. The wide angle lens and the move meant that it was very difficult to place lights in the shot (for the previous shots) and we were running out of time. So my initial concept for this shot was that a single shaft of light illuminated the vase / dead flower, and almost everything else was in shadow, except for the screen of the TV which was ‘on’.

As you will see from the initial shot, the lighting is actually quite broad, with most things lit (also I was using a flat picture style on the Canon 7D which makes it look even more bland!). What I needed to do was get this shot back to nearer my initial vision. I know I want to relight the vase in After Effects, but not the wall behind it, so I needed to run the clip through a motion tracking phase first.

Pasted Graphic
I also needed to pin a moving image on the TV screen, so as can be seen from the screenshot above, I tracked the TV screen, the table and the flower/vase in mocha, and created three separate tracked shapes. I then darkened the whole scene down, and toned down the highlight on frame right so s not to distract from the lit flower. Also added some highlight top of frame right to give some contrast so that the edge of the TV screen doesn’t just disappear into darkness. This was then graded down to give it a dark un-distracting look.

Next, the table & flower matte was used to light the flower and be separate from the background and the TV screen was added back over the top so as to push the top highlight into the background and give a little more definition to the TV casing (so it could actually be seen). FInally, the movie that is playing on the inside of the screen was added and tracked using the tracking data from mocha. Incidentally, as poor as they may look, the green bits of tape really did do their job as tracking markers.

Finally, I added a trap code particular layer to provide the ’spirit’ dust around the dead flower and then place the comp in 2:35:1 aspect ration composition (which is how everything was framed on set).

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