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Old June 1st, 2008, 09:38 AM   #1
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Compositing to make rooms look different

Hi all,

I am planning to film a sequence which involves a cat-burglar breaking into an office block. I've been given access to the offices at work but the most photogenic corridor is in the newest building. It's 'L' shaped but not long corridors.

Now I'm pretty sure I'd be able to digitally remove doors by replacing them with footage of walls, and vice versa, and film some different details such as keypads, etc to show different details, but how could I make the corridors appear longer? This is literally an L shape, so at least I have a corner. Is this possible to do by, say motion tiling or building rooms using solids and textures in 3D space?

btw, there will be actors moving about the corridors (guards, mr. burglar) and I won't have a green screen big enough to cover a whole wall. And to make things slightly more complex there is a double door at one end which is letting alot of light in.

I'm thinking masks and duplicating footage? Is this the right way to go?

Software I use is After Effects.

Any help greatly appreciated,

Thanks
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 10:50 AM   #2
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You could make the hallway look longer with a painting of a long hallway stood-up near the real-hallway's bend. You might need several paintings, if you plan to have your camera look down the hallway from several points-of-view-- to assure that the perspective looks right in each shot.

It's much easier to make things look the way you want in the camera, rather than fake-something in post. That said, make sure you test (before your actual shooting day) any tricks you plan to rely on in post to change the look of the scene.
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 11:56 AM   #3
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If you were shooting straight down a hallway you could mask out the end, duplicate the hallway, and shrink it to fit within the mask. You should be able to make an endless hallway like this. But if you have to take out doors, and you don't even have a sufficient green screen for the performer, then you should find another hallway.
If you had photos of the side walls, you could make them 3d in AE and create your own hallway. It might look a little strange and then your talking about green screening the whole scene.
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 03:50 PM   #4
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Aric,

So if I consider, for example, that my doors composited were not in the way of my actor, i.e. composited door on the left and actor walking down the right?

That would work, right?
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Old June 3rd, 2008, 03:44 PM   #5
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it would be easier if he didn't go in front of a door, but you still may need a green screen for the performer right? If the hall is short it will look weird to duplicate over and over too many times, especially if it creates a consistent pattern, of say light or something else on the wall. It seems like you are almost building a hall from scratch by taking out doors, and duplicating it. I just re-read your post and saw that you want other people moving in the shot. It sounds virtually impossible to pull off.
I would take a picture with a digital camera and bring it in AE, if you can make the hall look longer quickly, then you could very carefully plan out the shot. Obviously you have to film it with a tripod, and I think the less distance the burglar moves, the better. Seems like all the other shots could be close ups.
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Old June 4th, 2008, 02:33 PM   #6
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To aid in the composite, getting the perspective correct in camera, scotch tape saran wrap over your view finder and draw the disappearing vectors in sharpie on the wrapped monitor. This will make it easier to align the next shot when you get there. You can also mark out where each back wall ends to get it so you don't have to fiddle with distance in post as well.

US$0.20 will save you hours in post on this effect :)
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Old June 5th, 2008, 11:33 AM   #7
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Cool, cheers. I'll give it a go.
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