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First music video with the Z6 & green screen

M Carter

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This is great! I love the surreal imagery. Clearly a lot of work went into this, and also clearly it's the kind of thing that can be done with minimal gear and crew, just a creative vision and some good artistic skill. I love the backgrounds (the clock, the gears, the woods) and color palettes. Were they drawn or photo sourced?

If I had one critique, it is that the singer's movements don't fit. He's often shot at an angle, and moves so realistically he seems a bit more like a "person with an effect." The woman is almost always shot straight on and has more controlled, surreal motions that really sell the "moving painting" effect better, imho.

Did you shoot normal video and then do the low fps effect in post? It strikes me that for the low frame rate effect, you might have been able to do a timelapse of photos and squeeze more resolution or even raw out of the Z6--not that it would matter much for the end product.

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Thanks - it was shot 24p greenscreen, in my tiny studio space. I shot it 24 to synch the vocals, when we shot it I just had a rough visual idea and had done zero tests for style, in fact I didn't decide to posterize the time for a "stop-motion" ish look until I was well into it. I edited/delivered 1080, since I relied on slow mo for most of the girl's scenes. If I'd had more time, I would have worked more on the time effects to see if I could get a better sense of synching, but this went from "can you shoot a video??" to delivered in like 9 days, much of which was spent trying to find a model for the budget!

The post work was really immense, every character shot got a color pass for the final animation color-look, a pass to make footage that then got more of a "line art" pass, and a mask pass (just keylight - the Z6 keys REALLY nicely, even right off the card - I have the Ninja but I skipped it for the girl since the Z won't send 120fps via HDMI, even for monitoring). I shot most of it with a Kessler crane with the 5' setup, on wheels, just to quickly configure shots - it's a really fast way to work.

Most of the elements were photoshop, I had a few images left in my monthly shutterstock account, and I have a big library of skies and textures, and then image-search-swiping to the rescue! Some photos, some just digital paintings, some a mix. The gears and picture frames were done in Daz Carrara, a POS aging 3D software that I've used for like 12 years. It has zero AE integration, but since this was mostly static shots using the 3D camera in AE, I just did a pass with camera trackers pasted onto planes to get track data for camera moves, which were all just simple pull-outs. (I really really have to learn some basic Cinema 4D, don't I???) (Imagine what we could accomplish if we didn't need sleep!)

Anyway, it was supposed to be "just shoot the guy and, I dunno, float some pictures in or something", but I feel like most rock covers are "why did ya even bother", but I felt this was a nice take, gave a different angle to the song, and the singer's become a good friend over a few shoots. Overall pleased with it, The Cure songs to me are sort of "dark fairy tales" and I wanted something that felt almost like children's book illustration. Hope it gets a zillion views!

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Thanks, it was a lot of fun though post really was a beat-down time wise. Still kinda torn about the Z6 or the Fuji X-T3 with its 60p/4K 10 bit and H265 bit rates, but my guess is I'll grab one by spring and still keep the Z6. Already having some Nikon glass made the Z attractive though, but if I keep getting music video bookings, the Fuji would really be handy for cleaner slowmo and efx shots.

My next purchase will likely be the little native kit zoom in the Z mount, the 16-50 - looks like that would be a great gimbal lens with the camera set to APS-C.

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Yeah, I was somewhat tempted to buy a z6 and z50 and just go with that combo for awhile.

I only have 2 DX nikon lenses (nikon 18-200, tokina 11-16) but it'd be fun to be in the Z ecosystem and adapt all my other random mount lenses to Z.

Did you buy your Z6 as body only or with the 24-70?

Honestly it sounds dumb, but I probably would've bought a Z6 around new years if it wasn't for having the buy XQD cards to run it on.

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