Green Screen & Composting

The masterclass regarding green-screen and composting helped me greatly with my post work as I already had some knowledge of composting and green-screen but over the time forgot the fundamental rules of green screen marking and also the reasons behind the traditional way of marking and composting because before this class I only knew what the standard distance and colour of markers are but never really knew the reason why they are there.

 

First of all for any green screen object to be tracked during the post work it needs to be perfectly marked and for that following factors are to be kept in mind. First is what color of the markers should be used. Steve told us that why it is always better to use black and white markers as the softwares that we use to track markers find it easier to find these colours due to the contrast but sometimes even this can get tricky as if we are using the black colour it might be hard to extract it when their are hair involved in a shot. Like in our exercise Steve put a marker right behind our actors hair which in a real world scenario you would try to avoid as it can be tedious and time consuming to extract the marker behind the hair due to the same colour but keeping that in mind color markers can also be a problem if the circumstances are not correct for example using a blue marker will require two keys which can be a problem for the wardrobe and props and also some cameras dont work well with such colour transitions and leave behind a visible difference in the keying of the shots.

Another key factor that I learnt was how many markers should be used for example in a moving shot Steve advised to have atleast 3 markers making a triangle reason behind this is that even if we move if one of the marker move out of the filming frame another is added and having a triangle shape or a rectangular one allows the camera tracker to trakc points horizontally and vertically.

Also while putting the markers make sure you have a good knowledge about the positioning cause in our case we were given a challenge to remove the markers from behind the gnome’s head which in an ideal situation shouldve been avoided because if you are putting a marker behind an object you will need to rotoscope it and mask it out step by step.

With markers being set the other key factors are the lighting, the camera that is being used and also the distance between the greenscreen and the object being filmed.

 

First we come to the lighting of the greenscreen for that we need to make sure that we use to lights to light the green screen at equal distances and get them centered so they can light the green screen evenly because if the light is not being emitted evenly on the green screen it will leave behind shadows which will appear in your backdrop making it difficult to key.

Its always a good idea to have some distance from the actor and the greenscreen preferably around 2 meters as this will help you avoid any shadow being cast by the actors and also assisting in easier access to setting the green screen lights.
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The other important thing that needs to be considered while filming something on green screen is the camera. The camera that are being used should either film on 4k or ultra HD reason for this is that any camera that is having a codec that is compressing the footage will cause your green screen footage to have pixilated results which will be shown in the form of small boxes i.e pixels that will make your shot look unappealing to the eye another factor is that filming in 4k allows the post production process easy as they have more room to play with effects resizing and also framing repositioning after we track the camera.

After you have filmed the shot we take our footage in to the software to key out the greenscreen and mask out the markers and use our desired backdrop, but for that we need to have a proper understanding on which software can be used usually its one of the following

– Nuke
– Fuse
– Sony Vegas
– After Effects

In our case we used After Effects, now before we get in to the procedure on how to apply the backdrop and removing the green screen i’d like to address the problems that I faced while filming and working on post with this particular scene. First of all was the distance between the green screen and our set up was not sufficient which caused us some trouble while lighting the set up as it is always safe to have some distance which can help when it comes to the Z axis of the tracking and giving depth to your shot, but more importantly giving you enough room to light your shot.

Second was the challenge task set by Steve to have a marker right behind the gnomes head now it isnt a big problem in this case as the shot was fairly simple but having a complicated shot couldve made this task fairly difficult and time consuming as it takes time to extract a frame by masking out each frame. So going forward we were told to always make sure of where we position our markers.

On the minor difficulties was while filming the shot we had issues with the dolly which made the shot a bit shaky which going forward is something I would keep in mind as during post work it caused some issues when we applied the backdrop as it made it hard to track the shot and make the background more believable due to an unstable shot

Now when it comes to having your greenscreen removed we use a keying tool which is built in. In all the softwares that are mentioned above what that do is it extract the color that you choose from the shot and make it transparent. In our case its the colour green, We usually extract colour blue and green because these two colours are not find in our pigment and can be extracted completely.

Once you apply the keying plug in you have to play around with the whites and blacks on the shot with black showing the parts that are being shown in the color and white as the ones that have been extracted.

 

 

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Experimental Film- Brain Dead Blog #1

Its been a long time since I have updated my blogs since I was busy with other modules but now that I am in studio 3. I am happy to get back to writing blogs and reflect on my progression this trimester. Today I will be talking about the experience I gained from the experimental film.

 

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Right off the bat the experimental film was something that I knew would be a challenge that I was willing to take and for this very reason I decided to direct it as up till now I have always shied away from production roles but from the previous studio trimester I got the appreciation of production roles and the fact that not everything needs to be fixed in post.

 

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For me the most difficult part of experimental film is the whole idea of it being experimental which you need to keep in mind that your idea does not need to be clique or too obvious and that it engages the audience which somewhat I did not achieve as I was more focused on the technical side of this film. But what I would like to bring up in this matter is the fact that since the experimental film is all about freedom and deviates from the traditional way of filmmaking.

Apart from having a fresh thought-provoking idea we need to realise the audience that we are targetting for because most of the time your experimental film would be only targetting a certain audience and not the mainstream and if you are in to traditional filmmaking it can be hard to attract a huge audience and not everyone would appretiate or understand the concept so in order to have an experimental film being understood in my opinion you as a director need to have a good background and hold of the concept you came up with which can be challenging as this was the first feedback from the lecturers that we had to learn the hard way was that the idea was too obvious and going forward we will always keep this in consideration although one good thing came out for having an idea that have been tried and filmed before is that we had a clear vision and we came up with a quality product and with having a good strong visual concept it was easy for us to put that idea to be technically laid out on the screen.

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Going forward I might not be making the experimental film as it requires a lot of brainstorming and also coming with unique enigmatic concepts can be sometimes challenging although one thing that I have the utmost appreciation for and what I took away from experimental filmmaking is the freedom that you have while filming it. Which is widely used in music videos and since my future ambition is to take my production company to be recognised as one of the biggest in the country it can be achieved by using the techniques that I learned from the experimental film, for example, the lighting techniques the artistic and aesthetic nature and also the floating of different ideas being merged into one.

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I also think going forward experimental film can be integrated into my own style of film making as I am always keen to direct ideas that address the social issues and also anxiety and depression and rather then having the idea be addressed with an on your face approach I can use the subtle element that I learnt from experimental film that is how to engage the audience how to use subtext within subtext and making sure every shot has a meaning. Using lighting technique sounds and visual artistic elements to drive a story which doesnt need to be traditional. On the post side I also learn how to bring the moody feel and the editing of tight shots that gives the persona of experimental montage with the use of speed alteration of shots using of stock footages that links with the mind also using resolve to bring the contrasty look that I was going for which i would certainly use in my future music videos.

For example while filming brain dead we decided to show the two worlds that our protaganist had to witness. The real world and the surreal one. The illusion and the reality. Which was achieved by using two schemes of light the blue ambient room with the TV on showed that it was the real world on which the whole video starts and then using the red light to show his state of mind and to show how mass media control is working over  his mind as seen on the last shot where you could see his head turn into a TV and the red shade implying that he has completely been hypnotised with the effect of TV and his life has become an illusion on its own and this whole lighting idea was influenced by the music video STARBOY as in that music clip the video starts off from a wide shot of weeknd being killed by the new more determined and wreckless alter ego.

 

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Overall we were quite satisfied with the final product but going forward I think we can do a lot more improvement when it comes to our time management although we did everything that we have learnt from the previous trimesters which meant coming a day earliet to set up the lighting that we had to use and to make sure how the props are going to be handelled. Having a script ready and not using unwanted equipment or gears but going forward what I would definitely recommend is to make sure that if we are using heavy props and gear we need an extra pair of hands to vacate the location without being late and to make sure that everyone in the team is fit and able to help pack up so that at the end we dont face any issues and more importantly will always come with ideas that are achievable with minimum props as we are having a small group this trimester so would look forward to have ideas that are easy to make and yet effective.

Video link :

 

Flm 210 Blog #3 Is technology replacing good narritive?

As a post student myself I have always been very defensive about CGI and Post VFX until recently when I enrolled into SAE and came to know about the world of production and how much of a difference it can make to fix it on the set rather than in the post.

During the 80’s and 90’s era, the movies were based on the practical effects that the audience could relate to more as it got the actors involved and bring that real feel to it which the CGI often lacks. But the reason people are often skeptical and dislike CGI is that they are able to differentiate between practical effects and computer generated one which deviates them from the story.  Like in the video below you can see some terrible CGI which causes the audience to lose track of the story.

But if you ask that is Technology replacing good narrative. I don’t think so as one of the best cgi immersed films like the Marvel universe have come up with amazing story arcs and a massive story world with good script writing back stories and character development, but at the same time have used CGI in such a manner that it is believable and engage the audience for e.g in the picture below you can see how Hulk has transitioned from practical costume to CGI to a point where the character is merged practically with the movements of the actor and then been converted into a CGI character making it more flawless and believable in its world.

 

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So the reason of having good VFX in your film is by having a strong script cause no matter how good your film is if it doesn’t have a good storyline the VFX won’t save it and also to engage the audience by using VFX in such a manner that it is not identifiable cause good VFX is one that can not be identified.

So, in conclusion, I would say that narrative and the use of technology go hand in hand as you can have films like ‘Star Wars IV’ in 1977 gained the highest amount of gross for that year introducing cgi and leaving the audience awestruck with great visual effects and narrative or you can have films like Green Lantern that heavily relied on unwanted VFX but did not put a lot of effort on the story which made it a flop.

Bibliography
A Brief History of Movie Special Effects – Photo Essays. (2017). TIME.com. Retrieved 26 August 2017, from http://content.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,2055255_2247284,00.html

The Advancement Of Cgi Replacing Narrative Film Studies Essay. (2017). Uniassignment.com. Retrieved 26 August 2017, from https://www.uniassignment.com/essay-samples/film-studies/the-advancement-of-cgi-replacing-narrative-film-studies-essay.php

Blog #8 CIU 111 Inclusive Design

Universal design (close relation to inclusive design) refers to broad-spectrum ideas meant to produce buildings, products and environments that are inherently accessible to older people, people without disabilities, and people with disabilities as mentioned on Wikipedia.

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Now that is just a vague meaning to a very broad topic as inclusive design for what i think is a way to help you get your product or your message across a wider audience which needs to be authentic and understandable.

For the physical aspects of this we have the

Accessibility

Vision

Hearing

Mobility

 

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But I’d like to mention the other key factors that make an inclusive design more accessible and more acceptable to a wider audience. First of all is to get your facts right if you are going to add race make sure you don’t stereotype it get to know the culture before implementing it in your product. If you absolutely have to use symbols be it religious or cultural make sure you dont offend someone by stating the wrong fact or making it seem like its primitive or backward cause even for you it might not carry sentimental value but for the people who follow a certain belief might get offended and hurt.

 

Secondly its about having a more diverse set of people to work with you this will not only help you know about their culture but will broaden the ways of problem-solving and also with new ideologies which can help get your audience to relate more to a more global approach.

Blog#4 I survived the interviews!

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Well as having a good bit of years in the industry I have come across some interesting interviews and how I was lucky enough to nail every one of them well I wont get in to the nitty gritty details but what I did everytime I was called for an interview was the following.

– Get a trim yes you need to look sharp and for that make sure you look tidy
– Get to know the dresscode cause first impression is the bloody last impression
– Know where you are going to work you just dont want to shop to an interview without any background knowledge of what your company has achieved.
– Always keep your answer concise remember the kiss rule Keep it short and simple
– Keep your portfolio examples with you or better yet come up with a showreel with a working link as it leaves a good impression on the employer as it just summaries your whole work

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Now these are some of the main factors i keep in mind when i go to a job interview but one thing that have always helped me in an interview is to “BE YOURSELF” unless you are obnoxious then be someone else.

Blog#2 CIU 111 Importance of Social Media

Well as the heading suggest I will be discussing the importance of social media. Be it facebook, youtube, tumbler or instagram as a growing artist you need to know the ins and outs of these platform as they have made the life of an artist so much easier.

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Imagine yourself two decades back how hard it would be for you to showcase your art would you be outside doing free gigs, distributing your mixtapes or just looking for your big break by getting in to exhibition just to have a chance to show your work. With the modern age and technology you dont have to worry about that all you need to do is upload your content and the world can see it. Weather they like it or not is completely different.

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Secondly with the help of social media not only can you promote your content but also earn through ads and also by attracting clients who can seek your help for work. Now its easier said then done. But its still not impossible if I had to give an example would be my own as I used social media to promote my music and my films. How i did that was by firstly asking my friends and family to like my page and share the content I released. Which helped me expand my reach by getting known through mutual.

After that I used viral pages and also facebook ads to further my reach which at that time was an investment that paid off and it helped me get paid gigs and also client work. So personally for me this is the most important factor of social media.

Apart from this once you have got some recognition people who follow you can keep track of your new content and the daily activities or upcoming projects through this platform and stay updated.

FLM 110 Blog#2 Inglorious Basterds Opening Scene subtext

I will be giving a brief analysis on the scene of Inglorious Basterds pipe scene where Col. Hans Landa is trying to intimidate the Dreyfus family. I find this a great example of subtextual content as Tarantino plays beautifully with the expectation of the audience and get them at the edge of their seats.

Now before this scene I would like to add that Tarantino leads up to the suspense-filled scene by using the anticipation and control of Landa’s character over the farmer family which we see as he enters the house with a superficial smile and asking for permission in the dialogues as he asks the farmer to switch from french to english and when Landa mentions that its house now in the literal sense the audience is not sure the true intentions but subtextually we are told that Landa is showing that even though he is asking for permission he is the actual one in control.

There are certain symbols that catch the eye in the opening scenes, As Dreyfus takes out his pipe to smoke Landa seeks permission to take out his pipe although he doesnt need to ask and when its revealed the pipe is a sherlock homes type pipe implying the character of intense interrogation skills but in a subtextual symbolic way it says “my pipe is bigger than yours” the rather playful act by Landa shows of his cunning nature.

The conversation goes forward the thing that has a lot of subtextual meaning is when Landa describes himself and the Nazi’s as the hawk and the Jews as the rat now in the literal sense it implies that they consider themselves a superior more powerful race while Jews as inferiors and have alienated them but more importantly when you go in the depth of this conversation you are revealed of the hiding of the Jews beneath the floor which shows that rats are usually hiding in hard to find places but upon finding them the outcome is always death.

This scene was 17 pages long and had only conversation but what makes this such an interesting scene is the narrative and how the director choose to play with tension and anticipation of the crowd by using metaphorical subtext and symbolism.