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Old March 5th, 2006, 12:37 AM   #1
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Continous camera move


I am looking for some tips on creating a pseudo continuous camera move. i.e. Camera starts at a far distance (say top of a hill, showing village), zooms in to show house, moves in closer through window, navigate through house, to final subject sitting at a desk.

How would one go about filming the various elements of this to match up ? I have morphing software and combustion, but need to get the right footage in the first place. I am guessing the important thing is matching focal lengths and camera positions, but don't really know where to start, so any hints would be appreciated.
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Old March 5th, 2006, 02:33 AM   #2
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The problem is when your at the end of the 1st zoom and then you move the camera to the second mark and use wide zoom the proportions are wrong and you won't get a fluid transition.
You need to either set up a long dolly,or if the shot goes thru a window ,move the camera back as far as you can with it zoomed in fulland include only 2 dimentional item eg. don't frame up more than just the window or the wall if it's 2D( no bay window or porch,etc.)
Another is a minicopter cam to do the dolly if over rough terrain.
Also possible is a still shot maximum quality bmp and zoom it in post.
I did this once using an aerial still shot and blue screened the window in PS.Balancing the zoom speeds was a little tough,though.Good luck.
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Old March 5th, 2006, 04:29 AM   #3
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Jack's right, do it with stills. Get the highest res digital camera (with as good a lens as possible) as you can.

Take a still of the village, with which you can zoom in towards the house.

Take a still of the house, which you map into the side of the house in the village shot, and track it (affline corner pin?) so you can zoom into a window. Block the window out with chromakey colour paper then shoot the last piece as video.

Again, track match the interior video to the window and key the window so the interior appears behind the panes. Shoot the interior view so that it doesn't move straight away and you'll also need to stabilize it so it doesn't seem to move differently against the window (at least until you are "through the glass" as it were). time it with the other layers so that when you've zoomed through the window, the camera move starts nup and takes you into your final shot - I'd get this on as good a stabilizer as you can get in order to match the electronic zooms as well as you can.

This will achieve what you want (in fact an After Effects wizard friend of mine did something similar) but be warned it won't look absolutely seemless and anyone who really knows video. compositing will be able to see what you've done, but it can look pretty cool.

You need to match the point of view between the pictures, as if taking all pictures in a straight line. If the first picture is taken from a high hill, the second will have to be taken from a similar angle, albeit nearer the house. Maybe a step ladder or small quick tower will be enough, depending on the angle of elevation of the first shot.

If you can't get as really good (say 12megapix) digital SLR get a 35mm camera with a very good lens and the slowest, finest grain film available and scan it an very high resolution, though matching it to the vidoe might be tougher.

In the final result, add a little video noise simulation over the still portions to make the still portions more video-ey and blur or paint out any give away elements that make the shots look like stills (cars or people that should be moving, etc).

The biggest tip I could give is to go out and do it, try and fail, then do it again. SFX shots like this are achieved through numerous tests and experiments, developing the techniques via trial and error.
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