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Old March 13th, 2005, 12:23 AM   #1
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million dollar DOF

just got back from seeing million dollar baby...instead of watching it like a normal person i'm examining shots lighting that sort of thing...

in one of the early scenes Clint is sitting in a chair the camera shows the back of his head while pointing toward the door where Morgan is standing...

going over this shot in my head has me scratching my head, morgan is in sharp focus, clint is soft and the area between the two is showing excellent bokeh, sort if like using a reverse tilt lens effect...

it could be possible that they took this scene to the post to isolate these two characters, but that would seem so un-clint like...

i'm sure when this movie comes out on dvd, this question might come up again

thanks for your feedback
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Old March 13th, 2005, 01:04 AM   #2
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<<the area between the two is showing excellent bokeh, sort if like using a reverse tilt lens effect...>>

sorry??
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Old March 13th, 2005, 01:23 AM   #3
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bokeh a japanse measure of out focus, basically how good the stuff out of focus looks, in this shot, looks really good

tilt lens is a special lens designed for architectural photography the lens actually tilts upward , but it is also used in modeling shoots to create a unique look outdoors, for example you can have the top and bottom of a model out of focus but the middle will be in focus background and all

it was wierd how they got clints head in focus, soft but in focus where the space between him and morgan was not...
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Old March 13th, 2005, 01:38 AM   #4
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bokeh I had never heard of, tilt lenses I am familiar with. Shot a number of commercials with them when they were in vogue in the '90's. I'm going to look into this "bokeh" concept more, thanks for this!

I saw the movie last week but don't have the particular shot in mind. From your description, Morgan Freeman was standing in a doorway and presumably the space in between him and Clint was the wall next to the doorway...? Thus it should have remained in focus with Morgan. If the film went through a DI (digital intermediate), it wouldn't have been too hard to soften the middle of the frame.

I would have guessed this shot would have stuck out for me had it involved some noticeable "trickery", but it didn't. I was struck by the Steadicam shot that started on a crane outside the gym, boomed down and tracked through the front doors and into a closeup of a fighter. Not because of the Steadicam step-off (done plenty of those myself) but because the iris appears to have been ridden something like 5 stops between the exterior and the interior, similar to the auto-iris on a DV camera. It's not that this is hard to achieve technically, but that it is a pretty audacious move--usually stop pulls are "buried" with one technique or another, like a pan or someone crossing lens. I've never seen a major movie (outside of what it is intended to appear "documentary" or "home movie-ish")demonstrate this radical a stop change. Pretty cool.
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Old March 13th, 2005, 02:09 AM   #5
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The credits list a color timer, so I don't think the film went through a DI process. But I could be wrong!

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1012846/
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Old March 13th, 2005, 02:14 AM   #6
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Traiditional color timing is still required, even with a D.I. There may be projected dailies during the shoot, and the final output of the D.I. still requires the sharp eye of a timer to ensure that the prints will be as intended.
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Old March 13th, 2005, 05:38 PM   #7
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I do remember the scene, and if I am not wrong, there's a slight change of focus in the middle of it, from Clint to Morgan and back to Clint.

It was also intriguing to me, as it did not seem to be a scene where they used a split-focus lens, which is the usual way to work with two figures at different distance from the lens and one being quite close to it.

Such effect usually needs a vertical space in the middle of the lens where things will gradually change focus from one to another. That is the focus gets blurry.

If I am not wrong there's not such an area in that shot.

The other way is to use a wide angle lens and get a deep DOF with a high stop that will let you get away with it. That seems to be the case for me. Nowadays that is not that hard to get using HMI lighting and ultra-sensitive negative stock.

But I might be wrong.



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Old March 14th, 2005, 12:41 AM   #8
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Iris pull

Gee Charles,

I thought I was the only one who noticed that. That stood out like a sore thumb.... but not in a bad way. I noticed it because I knew what they did. The people I was with thought I was crazy. They didn't see a thing.
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Old March 14th, 2005, 10:39 AM   #9
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Boke: http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/bokeh.htm

It's all the rage in CGI lately. DOF is one of those things where the 3d apps are just now starting to accurately reproduce how it physically works in the real world, rather than using kludgy hacks (3d camera shake, rendering to layers and blurring, etc) to fake the look.

(bo-keh or bo-ke, you may see it either way; the h on the end helps non-japanese understand the pronunciation, but would technically be bo-ke based on the kana)
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Old March 14th, 2005, 10:53 AM   #10
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I remember noticing this shot as well, but it looked to me like they just used a split diopter and split the focus. It seemed to me like you could see the focus line running down the middle.
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Old March 14th, 2005, 05:14 PM   #11
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I doubt this was done here, but in Citizen Kane, they double-exposed the film to get this kind of long depth to the frame.
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Old March 14th, 2005, 10:24 PM   #12
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great replys guys..i have to see this again, but everything sounds right...
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Old March 25th, 2005, 11:35 PM   #13
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I believe this is the shot being referred to?

http://www.the-hegemony.com/mdb.jpg

It's definitely a split-diopter lens, as you can see that the area behind Clint is not sharp until it hits a definitive line with Morgan Freeman on the other side. The fact that the book is out of focus also gives it away.

It's a pretty cheesy effect in my opinion but I'm sure Clint had his reasons.
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Old March 26th, 2005, 12:46 AM   #14
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Yup, that would be a split diopter for sure.

A more elegant approach might have been a slant focus lens, which creates a more gradual effect of this sort.

Honestly though, I didn't notice this in the film when I watched it!
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Old March 27th, 2005, 11:17 AM   #15
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So,... I guess it could be of interest to some if the GG was capable to turn from squared to lens to an angle (in x or y) Not that a tilt shift lens would not do about the same, but those are made for MP cameras and this would be for HD/HDV in conjunction with 35mm image converters. An option? Charles?
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