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Old April 13th, 2006, 07:03 PM   #16
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Bill, everything I wanted to say has already been said. It was fantastic! The story was very clever and original and I really loved the tennis ball scene, awesome! There's so many little things in this film that truly make it so good for me. Props go out to you!
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Old April 13th, 2006, 08:59 PM   #17
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Thanks again everybody for the kind words.

Yes, it did take a bunch of hours with After Effects to get many of the effects shots done: mainly taking shots with and without the mirrors/reflecting surfaces and then stitching them together with animated masks.

The shot with the reflecting pool is actually totally faked: the night of the shoot there was too much wind and the pool was blown out so the reflection wasn't very clear. I decided to just fake the reflection by flipping and stretching the top portion of the scene and covering over the pool section with that part.

Next time, I think it would take less time and effort to just find a real vampire for the shoot... :)

Bill
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Old April 14th, 2006, 02:28 AM   #18
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Beautiful short. Good story, great pictures, neat effects.

Most people already pointed out the big stuff. But there are a lot of little touches that show the time you put into this short.

Ever time I watch a really good short, I pick out one or two things about it for me to rip off and use in my own work. I really liked the rack focus from the cross to his reaction. Got to do that sometime, the rack focus. But what made me really like this short was the "relationship." Great buddy movie. It takes a good friend to sit down and have a beer with you while you knock back a pint of A positive.

My favorite line...

"no wonder she didn't want to try the garlic bread."
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Old April 14th, 2006, 03:37 AM   #19
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Your mirror/water reflection shots were awesome! I don't watch a lot of movies and I wasn't aware that vampires can't be seen in reflections or photographs so it took me a minute to figure that out, haha (my own fault, not yours). Great work!
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Old April 14th, 2006, 11:22 AM   #20
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Very entertaining. The music was was well selected, effects were great. The first time I watched it I thought the ending was a bit thin, but watching more times, it seemed to close it nicely.
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Old April 14th, 2006, 01:20 PM   #21
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At this time, this film is one of my favourites.
The effects look very "realistic" and fit perfectly to the story. The editing is perfect, too.
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Old April 15th, 2006, 01:17 AM   #22
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Wow, look what happens when you're away from the forums a few days. This was great. You did a good job with the matte work. I think we might have you write up a tutorial on how you did it all, if you have time. As part of the idea behind the whole "contest" is to learn, it would be great to have you guys who are into effects show the rest of us how you did it.

Sometimes we know how Spielberg would do it but those of us on real working people budgets find more creative ways to get things done. This was the first and only one I have watched so far. If the rest are even close to this level, we are going to have some real fun this time 'round.

Good job!

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Old April 15th, 2006, 08:05 AM   #23
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First, thanks again everybody. It's nice to hear that the hard work was appreciated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean McHenry
I think we might have you write up a tutorial on how you did it all, if you have time. As part of the idea behind the whole "contest" is to learn, it would be great to have you guys who are into effects show the rest of us how you did it.
A semi-detailed summary is provided below. Please don't read this if you haven't seen the film yet: I don't want to tip people off to some of the mistakes I made in some of the effects until they've seen it. :)

Most of it was just done by shooting the scenes with and without the lead character and then animating masks to include the reflections at the appropriate time and space in After Effects. Of course, it all had to be done on a tripod so that the shots would align in space.

For the other shots I changed in After Effects:

. The shot with the friend waving his hands in front of and behind the lead character we shot with and without the lead there, counting out loud in the background "one one thousand, two one thousand, ..." so that the friend would be waving his hands at about the same speed for both shots. Even with this, I needed to adjust a frame or so to align them, and even with this, they're not perfect if you look closely... :(

. The ball shots used the reflection of the ball from the original shot masked over a shot of the reflection from when the lead actor wasn't there. The mask for ball needed to be created almost frame-by-frame, but luckily the ball in motion has a fairly constant shape so for the most part this was moving, rotating, and scaling a semi-fixed mask shape.

. The outdoor, car driving by shot: we shot that a bunch of times. I really wanted to have people walking by with their reflections showing in the building, then followed by the lead character running by without his reflection. However, this had to be timed right without cars driving by since I needed to add the reflection from another time and if cars were driving by they wouldn't match. We ended up with one good take of this, but the time between when the people walked out of frame and when the lead character entered was something like 4 seconds, and it slowed the movie down too much to keep that long pause in.

. The Sony Z1u camera I used has a shot transition effect that allows you to change zoom, exposure, or just about anything you want from one setting to another in an exact amount of time. This allowed me to do the "zoom out from the mirror to the aisle in the store" shot in a precise amount of time with and without the lead character there. I wasn't sure that the timing would work out exactly, but it ended up working perfectly: I had to do minimal work to get the zoom-out from both takes to align.

. The pond reflection had to be flipped and aligned to make it work (there really is a pond there, but the reflection was too windblown to make the desired effect work). I also had to animate that reflection to make it move naturally as the camera panned down from the building to the pond. I actually added the reflection with something like a 90% opacity to allow a little bit of the pond rippling be visible also, but I'm not sure that comes through much (particularly in the low res web versions).

. The closeup of the hand tapping the mirror without the reflection had to be painfully masked almost frame by frame. Good thing that one was so short!

. Glowing eyes were just adding a feathered oval on top of the appropriate eyeball at the appropriate time.

. The bite marks on his neck weren't dark enough, so I did something similar to those spots, but with a darker red oval.

. We found a fake blood recipe on the web, but it ended up looking too light after filming, so I had to go in and do color correction just on the spots where the blood appeared in the glass. I had to create an animated mask to track the glass and then superimposed the color corrected version on top.

There were also a few shots that we couldn't use because the lead character's reflection showed up unexpectedly (!). When he enters his friend's apartment his reflection appears in the door as he walks by, so we had to cut away from that early. And when he enters and leaves the store, he appears in the reflection in the glass door, so again, we cut away right before his reflection appears.

If you have any questions about a specific effect, let me know.

Cheers!
Bill
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Old April 15th, 2006, 10:11 AM   #24
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Another vote for "Love Bites"..my favorite so far!

Good story and concept, good editing, good cinematography and great acting.

Very clever and creative.

I really liked how you solved the problem with the blood bank:

You showed him walking in. You showed him walking out with a paper bag full of stuff. In between you showed a counter of the money being counted out.
Solves the problem of actually having to shoot inside the blood bank.

I don't know if you actually needed to show him drinking the stuff though. :-)

Excellent job!
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Old April 15th, 2006, 10:15 AM   #25
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my sister and I loved it

this is definitely one of my ranking favorites so far. If the rest get too much better than this I'm going to start feeling out of my league with my little puppy flick. My sister came over and I showed it to her last night. She said, "Are you going to add a comment on the vampire thread? Tell him I thought the effects were great!" And I will because they were.

Thanks for sharing how you did it.

Smile,
Kris
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Old April 15th, 2006, 02:27 PM   #26
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I really liked this one. There's nothing much for me to add that hasn't already been said. I've tried doing the rotoscoping and masking stuff, so I know how much dedication that takes. It looks absolutely flawless.

BTW, was there even a girl in the bed during the opening shot?

And thanks for sharing your secrets. I wish I knew that countdown trick beforehand (for the arm waving) -- it would've helped my short immensely.
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Old April 15th, 2006, 08:39 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Kirkpatrick
BTW, was there even a girl in the bed during the opening shot?
The opening shots were me and my wife (who also provided the audio for the date) in the bed. I recorded the audio for the lead actor at another time and place. I have some very funny out-takes of him sitting on a couch, kissing his arm and moaning and groaning... :)

Bill
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Old April 17th, 2006, 04:04 AM   #28
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Great

Great piece of work. I mostly enjoyed the music which matches the style.
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Old April 18th, 2006, 01:39 PM   #29
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No need to be kind about Love Bites.

Even without the sound I enjoyed it greatly. Concept was simple but clever. Continuity never faltered. Generally underlit, suited the context. Editing was really tight. The incredible was made credible and entertaining. Best of all, you developed the "theme" in an original (to me) direction. Now I must listen to the sound ... hope it's not all drawl and hammers.
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Old April 18th, 2006, 03:17 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brendan Marnell
Even without the sound I enjoyed it greatly...

Now I must listen to the sound ... hope it's not all drawl and hammers.
Not sure I understand this: was there a problem with the sound playback? If you saw it without sound, I'm not sure how you understood any of it?! :) If there some problem with the file, let me know and I'll try to resolve it.

Thanks,
Bill
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