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Old February 1st, 2010, 04:52 PM   #1
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Is FCS all I would need to do this?

I'm looking at getting FCS for my video productions and I'm wondering how far the special effects can be pushed on FCS or if I NEED to buy something else. I would like to one-stop-shop my Post Production but at the same time I would like some FXs in the movies.

Assume I capture various footage from my camera at 24p or faster rate at 1080p

1. Gun Shots & Light Sabers - Sort of playing with light.
2. Bullet Time - Like in the Matrix
3. Ships on the Ocean - I have a model I could film, and waves in the ocean, or even the model in water, but I would need to add the background etc?
4. Cut a Man in Half / Loose an Arm (although likely a lot of this will be on-set effect - but add the realism rather than drop frame in another view)
5. Ghosts via Double Exposure or Green screen.
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Old February 1st, 2010, 05:18 PM   #2
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I think you'd be hard pressed to find any software that would do the wide range of SFX you listed. You are really looking for after effects, shake or combustion.
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Old February 1st, 2010, 05:23 PM   #3
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4. Cut a Man in Half / Loose an Arm (although likely a lot of this will be on-set effect - but add the realism rather than drop frame in another view)
Done on set? Yikes.... and ouch!
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Old February 1st, 2010, 05:37 PM   #4
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Done on set? Yikes.... and ouch!
With a Dummy and some creative Camera Angles.
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Old February 1st, 2010, 05:39 PM   #5
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You are really looking for after effects, shake or combustion.
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I've heard of After Effects do these work well on a Mac?
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Old February 1st, 2010, 06:57 PM   #6
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FCS has the components to do all of those effects.

Motion will do compositing (not as robustly as Combustion, but in a much more seamless workflow way - which is what you're asking for), greenscreening, motion tracking/stabilization, masking and time ramps/ manipulation although I'm not sure about morphing/warping that would be required to do the Matrix effects correctly.
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Old February 1st, 2010, 10:58 PM   #7
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I would be using After Effects

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Old February 2nd, 2010, 02:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graeme Hay View Post
I'm looking at getting FCS for my video productions and I'm wondering how far the special effects can be pushed on FCS or if I NEED to buy something else. I would like to one-stop-shop my Post Production but at the same time I would like some FXs in the movies.

Assume I capture various footage from my camera at 24p or faster rate at 1080p
I'm going to go through 1 by 1 and list realistic expectations.

Quote:
1. Gun Shots & Light Sabers - Sort of playing with light.
Can be composited in Motion - After Effects is possibly more suited, and has ton more tutorials etc on this. More advanced node based/like compositing apps, such as Shake, Nuke, Combustion etc may do better at this.
Quote:
2. Bullet Time - Like in the Matrix
Bullet Time is achieved through a physical multi-camera rig, plus compositing and roto work. No piece of software can achieve it on it's own without an actual Bullet Time camera rig.

Quote:
3. Ships on the Ocean - I have a model I could film, and waves in the ocean, or even the model in water, but I would need to add the background etc?
Achievable in Motion, or even Final Cut, depending on the quality/realism you want and your original shot elements and your creative thinking. Almost any NLE will have the basic compositing ability for you to be able to do this basically, more advanced compositing software will give you additional tools to do this better.

Quote:
4. Cut a Man in Half / Loose an Arm (although likely a lot of this will be on-set effect - but add the realism rather than drop frame in another view)
This probably requires tracking and paint work. Achievable in Motion, more achievable in a more advanced specialized compositing software.

Quote:
5. Ghosts via Double Exposure or Green screen.
Very achievable in motion, final cut, or any compositing software if they are done simply. Adding effects will require tracking, which limits you to Motion or more advanced compositing software.

It's not the software however that will really allow you to do these effects, its your understanding of the key principles and tools behind compositing.

i.e Trackers, Keyers, Rotos, x,y,z and scale values in relation to framing and depth, composite modes (add, subtract, multiply, overlay, screen etc.), artificial lighting, 2.5D and 3D compositing, particles, and a number of other tools.

In general, you'll need Photoshop (or GIMP for a free although not ideal alternative) if you are going to be working with any of the above programs.
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 07:24 AM   #9
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So Craig, if I read you right I should be getting an extra "Special Effects" program and things like Bullet time should be scraped because it requires equipment I don't have.
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 06:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graeme Hay View Post
1. Gun Shots & Light Sabers - Sort of playing with light.
Creating Lightsabers in Motion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graeme Hay View Post
2. Bullet Time - Like in the Matrix
SEQUENTIAL PICTURES \\\ A GLITCH IN THE MATRIX
They do a Bullet Time like effect in their short, they describe the technique in the commentary. Morphing between the shots would have given them a smoother shot (that's what they did for all 400ish cameras in the actual effect). Motion can do this in a semi-automated fashion by putting all of the individual clips/frames together, then using the smoothcam and optical flow stuff in motion to steady the shots and "tween" the motion between the cameras. You don't need the big expensive rig to do this effect, just to do it precisely the way they did it on set in the Matrix.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graeme Hay View Post
3. Ships on the Ocean - I have a model I could film, and waves in the ocean, or even the model in water, but I would need to add the background etc?
This is all camera work and compositing (which the new motion is supposed to be starting to move towards [Shake, the source of all the cool bells and whistles in Motion, can still be had on ebay for relatively cheaply and integrates directly with final cut]).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graeme Hay View Post
4. Cut a Man in Half / Loose an Arm (although likely a lot of this will be on-set effect - but add the realism rather than drop frame in another view)
Revision3 > Film Riot > Episode 8: Smashing Heads and a Little Latin Lovin - diy, video, love
or
http://yafiunderground.com/Video/Gar...20Tutorial.wmv (shameless self-promotion)

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Originally Posted by Graeme Hay View Post
5. Ghosts via Double Exposure or Green screen.
In camera, shoot your ghost against a black screen (over-light the foreground to let the properly exposed foreground overwhelm the background and drop it into pure black).

In FCP, drop your room and main actor on the first layer, then the black background ghost footage on the next layer and set the composite mode (right-click or ctrl-click) to Screen or Multiply (I can never remember which, but one makes white transparent and the other black - I do know that overlay makes 50% gray transparent)... You can then adjust the opacity of the layer to control how much the ghost shows up in the scene... no green screening needed :)
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 09:39 PM   #11
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So Craig, if I read you right I should be getting an extra "Special Effects" program and things like Bullet time should be scraped because it requires equipment I don't have.
It totally depends on what you want - but scrapping a shot because you can't do it with equipment you own is the ANTI-THESIS of film making. Many of the best shots ever made, in both shorts and freatures, had never been done before anyone else had ever done them and no equipment available to do them at all - people just had to figure it out.

Film making is probably the most collaborative of creative arts. Don't ever scrap a shot unless, given all variables, it just doesn't make sense to do it.

In the case of Bullet time, what actually counts as 'bullet time' is a very small subset of all sorts of differing temporal effects that can be achieved in a number of ways (the simplest of which is simply having someone standing very still!).

Don't ask what software you need to achieve a shot - ask what elements you need to achieve a shot and how you ad them all together. At that point, specific software merely saves you time and money.
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Old February 6th, 2010, 03:40 AM   #12
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Or... you could do the Matrix effect like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqmhI...eature=related

YouTube - Shaolin Soccer Japanese Matrix Style


:-)
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Old February 15th, 2010, 12:06 PM   #13
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How about green-screen (or blue screen) effects?
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Old February 15th, 2010, 12:22 PM   #14
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For green screen you might want to see what can be done in Motion. Primatte is one of the plug-ins, and that might provide the best possible key. I use Primatte in After Effects and am absolutely impressed by what it can do.
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Old February 15th, 2010, 07:25 PM   #15
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Can I plug my camera (DSLRv) into the computer and FCP pick it up as a video camera and capture video directly from the camera?
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