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Old March 19th, 2002, 01:57 PM   #1
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Matrix- How Do You Do That?

What programs do you use to does these special effects?

Example the Bullet Ripples!

I know it also involves the camera work but what do you think is the best software setup or programs? Even if I can't afford it?
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Old March 19th, 2002, 03:14 PM   #2
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There are many systems that enable you to produce special effects with video. But they all require a very steep learning curve and a great deal of skill and practice to produce professional results. Many also require a great deal of cash. Perhaps the least expensive and most versatile of the software is Adobe's After Effects which ranges from a few hundred to over $1k. Commotion Pro (and Commotion DV) provides basic paint and rotoscoping for around the same price.

From there the sky's the limit. Discreet's Combustion, Maya, etc., etc. For 3D animation many filmmakers have used RenderMan modules to create convincingly rendered characters. Most of the high-end products range from several thousand $ to well over $100k

Look around.
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Old March 19th, 2002, 03:41 PM   #3
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software

ive done lots of high end effects in my day, one thing i found out

thats is essential to know when starting in the industry is

to start small and work your way up... ....trying to accomplish matrix type

effects is rather difficult but can be done with or without idustry standard

software, but you must crawl before you walk. You can achive this with any

3d software as long as it allows you to do so....Maya wont make you of

a better animator than lightwave will,,,im a 3D max guy and would never

switch. (though Maya is one heck of a time saver.)

A bad musician never blames his instrament....
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Old March 19th, 2002, 08:54 PM   #4
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I think the most interesting effect from the Matrix was the motion freeze combined with a circular pan ("circular pan"...is that the right term?).

On one of those behind the scenes shows, they showed how they did it. Dozens of still cameras were set up in a half circle around the point of action. In place of the first and last still cameras, motion cameras were substituted. At the moment that one of the actors jumps in the air, they all fire. Then, each shot is added as a frame in a progressive series and this is all spliced in between the footage shot from the two motion cameras.

Pretty smart. But out of reach for budget filmmakers unless you have several dozen cameras sitting around.
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Old March 19th, 2002, 09:38 PM   #5
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The original bullet ripple effect is what they call 'Bullet Time'. It's an awesome effect that took them hundreds of hours to create. Basically it involved the setting up of 120 digital still cameras that were set at very high shutter speeds. The captured images were then transfered into the computer where they were manipulated to get te desired effect. The freeze pan was done in a similar way with the cameras all set around the actor in a circle.

The Matrix DVD has a section called 'Bullet Time', where the effects supervisor, I think an Australian(YAY), explains how they did it.
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Old March 20th, 2002, 03:51 AM   #6
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Although it is a very nice effect and had me jump out of my
chair the first time I saw it, it is allmost cliche now. It appears
in a lot of movies now-a-days. That makes you think, why is
it in there? The answer will probably be because they can
instead of it furthers the story. With the Matrix it truly helped
the story.

I saw Swordfish last week and it was the newest movie
I've seen to implement such an effect. Although my first
thought was here we go again it *did* help to show you
how this bomb (which exploded) was working. So it wasn't
only for effect. They only did use it one time so I am happy.

My point is, don't want to do something because it looks cool
or because you can. Ofcourse it is a very good idea to try
stuff out to see what you can do. Perhaps you will find a
place in a movie sometime for it.

Now about those ripples: they can be made in a whole lot
of different ways. It might even be possible to shoot some
water ripples and composite those in the footage, perhaps
in a 3D package... Then ofcourse you have 3D packages like
LightWave, Maya and 3D Max for example. Then there are
special effects and compositing programs like AFter Effects,
Commotion, Inferno etc.

I think you can do a lot with 3D applications. Fortuntenately
for you these are easily available now! This used to be a lot
different a few years back. Maya has a free learning edition
available (costs nothing at all), Max has a very low cost
edition too I believe and you can get a trial version of LightWave
3D to try out. And then there is always manual painting such
effects in Paintshop/Photoshop. Some people can draw things
that you've never thought as being drawn in a paint program.
Numerous lightning things you see in movies are hand drawn!

Hope this has helped some
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Old March 20th, 2002, 10:05 AM   #7
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The camera work will be tough since us consumers dont have the necessary equipment.

But yea, you can get pretty close to doing the bullet time effect using certain 3d animation software. I don't know if Adobe products can do this but that would be cool.

I have to post this link to this guy's website:
http://www.jefflew.com/

This guy, in my opinion, is the bomb. You may have already seen it before but thought I'd send it just in case. He works for ESC Entertainment which is currently doing some work on the Matrix 2 & 3.

Watch the Killer Bean 2 if you have not seen it before. He does some bullet time effect in there using Animation Master.
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Old March 20th, 2002, 03:02 PM   #8
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Debevec

Another great site to check out if you're interested in computer graphics and visual effects research is the personal site of Paul Debevec, director of the graphics lab at the Institute for Creative Technologies in Marina del Rey.

http://www.debevec.org
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Old March 20th, 2002, 03:22 PM   #9
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What an interesting site! Thanks very much, Robert. Geez, I hadn't thought of Siggraph since my days as a college student when "computer graphics" involved green-phosphor Tektronix terminals and CalComp drum plotters! They've come a long way.
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Old March 20th, 2002, 03:35 PM   #10
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Those effects are amazing,

Would there be a cheaper way to create those effects?

For instance on a couple of adverts in the UK they show an object - Human, swan (Centre Parcs advert), food (Harvester advert) - freezed framed but the camera tracking around, and then the camera stops and the object moves on.

How could this effect be achived?

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Rob - Did you see the XL1's in swordfish
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Old March 21st, 2002, 04:12 AM   #11
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Ed,

That is the bullet time effect... They use a dozen to a few
hundred 35mm still frame cameras for such an effect. The
matrix DVD has loads on information how they do it. You
get to see through the cameras eye if you will. They explain
it very good...

and yes... I did saw those XL1's in Swordfish... I see them
everywhere!
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Old March 21st, 2002, 05:01 AM   #12
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Couldn't the effect be achieved by slowing down your subject when you shoot and then speed it up in post.

I guess it would look cheap and nasty and probably not work.
Oh well.
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Old March 21st, 2002, 10:22 AM   #13
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XL1

I was recently shooting some footage for the Palms casino in Las Vegas,

and was near the set of the Real World for MTV and saw a crew member with an XL1.....I wonder if its shot with XL1? Though i did see a Betacam camera as well....

About the still motion for marix...I think if there was a camera capable of real slowmotion shooting like at 70 frames per second it would be possoble to do.
if you had your camera mounted and moving accordingly but youll still get some movment.. But might be a cool effect!

Does anyone know if the new panasonic 24p going to have real slowmotion capture? I heard its prosumer and shoots 24 frames per second.
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Old March 22nd, 2002, 08:19 PM   #14
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as far as i've seen the new panasonic 24p dv camera will only shoot set speeds, 24/30 (maybe 25? i think i read)...but it wont be true variable frame rate...

for really great slow mo dv, however, it was recommended to ME in another thread: ReelSmart Twixtor. I since bought a copy after trying the demo and it ROCKS...It works with everything too, I use it currently with Discreet's Combustion 2 software and have been playing with some settings, so far i'm more than pleased with the results.
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Old March 25th, 2002, 10:29 AM   #15
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slo mo

what exactly is this reelsmart twixtor???

What does it do and how?

can it be used for post software???

I would like to check it out if it works well, like you said!
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