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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).

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Old March 24th, 2008, 12:13 AM   #1
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Faking Rain

I have a scene where I have to manipulate rain into a scene in post and have some questions.
First, the scene is between my 2 actors shot under an umbrella. It will be shot with medium close-ups only and will have some of the background showing.
I want to put some rain into the scene in post with rain the background and also (if possible) the rain falling off the edge of the umbrella.
I'm shooting in Berkeley, CA and with the weather, it's impossible to wait for rain. Thus I'm thinking that I have to put the rain in in post and emulate overcast skies (at the least) while shooting. I talked to a knowledgeable friend of mine and he said that I have to use flags to block the sunlight because if not, the background will be oversaturated and such. Any advice?
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Old March 24th, 2008, 08:15 AM   #2
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Put the two actors indoors beside a window with venetian blinds - blinds half closed. Have a production assist aim a sprinkler hose at the window so streaks come down the glass pane. And you can shoot the same set up from inside or from the outside. Then in post add sounds of INT RAIN and EXT RAIN and maybe a couple of distant thunderheads...

If the umbrella is a must, sprinker head aimed at top of umbrella, background should be a building or something other than sky that will give you away...

You can adjust the light or camera to augment the dreary day.

Good luck,
Lonnie Bell
mamas boy productions
Las Vegas, NV
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Old March 24th, 2008, 08:21 AM   #3
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post will be a nightmare and it will look fake.

go to home depot and get two of the biggest garden hose nozzels you can find. if you don't have two hoses in the location, you can also buy a hose splitter. get two people on either side of the scene to pump them straight in the air and have it fall around the actors.

for lighting, starting filming it 60 minutes before sundown. do the tight close ups first using that availble light while blocking the sky and background. as it gets darker you will have the overcast look you want. you will just need to bang them out quick and watch your exposure..
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Old March 24th, 2008, 03:22 PM   #4
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Agreed, I spent ages trying to make rain in After Effects major pain in the arse.

Go with the hose idea.

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Old March 24th, 2008, 04:35 PM   #5
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I would shoot this scene in the early morning (cooler light) and use one or perhaps two garden hoses depending on the field of view. If you want a slight rain effect the hose nozzles will control that, or........open them up for a deluge, pointing either up or down to attain the desired effect. Try it (the rain) and see how you need to set it up. Then when you get that down pat try a run through with the actors. Down pat! Shoot it the next morning.
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Old March 25th, 2008, 01:57 PM   #6
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Shooting a rain effect on a sunny day isn't such a bad idea. In fact, if the rain (in this case provided by sprinkler hoses) isn't lit, you won't see it.

Just avoid blue sky in the background. This shouldn't be so hard.

Drips from an umbrella is a nice touch, and easy to do on set.

Also, don't forget what you can achieve with sound in post. As said before, a visual rain effect in post would be a mighty challenge, but the sound of a storm added to the soundtrack will be completely effective.
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