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Anaconda_

TV and film production has been reinvented

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The Mandalorian has reinvented how we can make films. No need to build physical sets or travel to remote locations. This is like green screen 2.0. Filming in a controlled studio, but the cameras and actors can all interact with the digital environment. Realtime keying without having to use tracking markers or anything. I'd be surprised if every studio in the world isn't already building this. We'll be seeing it in every movie and TV show within the next few years, for sure.

Here's a full article

https://techcrunch.com/2020/02/20/how-the-mandalorian-and-ilm-invisibly-reinvented-film-and-tv-production/

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It is very impressive tech! I worked on a short film a few years ago shooting a car scene with the same concept, lots and lots of 4K plates being played on big screen beyond the car. But the background was always out of focus, and we didn't do any camera moves (or at least nothing beyond very simple ones). 

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From the sounds of it, it also means you're shooting for everything in camera. I wonder if it also impacts the grade.

@IronFilm It won't be long until you can link the car to this screen and accelerate, handbrake turn etc and you'll get the screen responding to how you're driving. It's like a shared virtual reality.

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Yeah I saw this yesterday and I agree, on big budget films this is the future. The ability to get the final shot you want in camera with all those VFX is to good a tech to pass up. 

30 minutes ago, Anaconda_ said:

From the sounds of it, it also means you're shooting for everything in camera. I wonder if it also impacts the grade.

@IronFilm It won't be long until you can link the car to this screen and accelerate, handbrake turn etc and you'll get the screen responding to how you're driving. It's like a shared virtual reality.

Ohhhh that's a great point, for vehicle stunt sequences this could be a huge bonus. 

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This is so cool.

There's been lip service paid to a return to practical effects with a lot of recent features, and I think that's a step in the right direction, but imo this kind of thing achieves the same goal and it's forward-thinking and not just nostalgic. 

When you film with the background there practically, the specular highlights,  fill light, etc. look appropriate even if you're massaging the background plate in post. Not the case with green screen where it can "feel" fake even with really high end material. And the shots are composed in real time (rather than on green screen with consideration for how you'll compose in post)–what you lose in flexibility you more than gain in terms of the shot being there.

Obvious this tech isn't for everything and has its limitations, but it's super exciting to me.

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Indy filmmakers can use the technique as well with more modest ambition.  Projection backgrounds for instance. 

I've also always wanted to do front plate special effects just because I love the simplicity of the process...and that it's a centuries old concept has a certain cool factor too.  Made a werewolf movie once too where we tried to do stop motion animation mixed with live action.  Harryhausen kind of stuff.  Didn't really work, but we gave it a try.

Simple concepts with sophisticated equipment are always kind of fun.

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10 hours ago, BenEricson said:

15 million per episode. The episodes are like 22 minutes long. 

On a linear basis, that is like 60 million for an 88 minute long feature film. 

 

Not an outrageous amount 

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12 hours ago, Geoff CB said:

Yeah I saw this yesterday and I agree, on big budget films this is the future.

I think it will find it's way into a lot more applications than just big budget films.

I'd imagine in a decade or so instead of booking a cyc wall studio, you'll be able to book a similar though scaled-down setup like this. You'll be able to select from a couple dozen pre-loaded environments or load your own if you've got the budget to create the virtual set (and eventually there will be a market for the sets). Perhaps not quite self-funded short-film budget level, but much cheaper than flying a crew to 3 different locations for a commercial.

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3 hours ago, barefoot_dp said:

Perhaps not quite self-funded short-film budget level

The car scene I was talking about was a self funded short film (the director was only a teenager too!). 

But I think he and the DoP pulled a lot of strings to make that all happen.

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@kye does that one interact with the camera though. Imagine if you’re projecting a room, when you love the camera, things in the room will move in the frame at different rates depending on how near or far they are from the lens. 

The Mandalorian one is linked so there’s almost like a parallax effect within the projection that moves with the camera. 

As far as I can tell, your video only really works of the camera is fixed or the screen is very out of focus. 

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3 hours ago, Anaconda_ said:

@kye does that one interact with the camera though. Imagine if you’re projecting a room, when you love the camera, things in the room will move in the frame at different rates depending on how near or far they are from the lens. 

The Mandalorian one is linked so there’s almost like a parallax effect within the projection that moves with the camera. 

As far as I can tell, your video only really works of the camera is fixed or the screen is very out of focus. 

The secret is in the title of the video....   the three words you should be paying attention to are "$80",  "projector", and "trick" :) 

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I was pondering this afternoon whether an ardent experimenter could dip a DIY toe in to this by mounting a PSVR/Oculus/Vive above their camera to use as the tracking device to drive the background scene within the PS4/PC onto monitors/projector.

This then popped up tonight which is a different spin on it as its creating a virtual camera inside a fully rendered scene but it does prove the ability of those types of low cost VR tools to do the tracking from a human operated camera.

 

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@BTM_Pix I have actually been working on something very similar the past few weeks. I did a couple (janky/terrible) proof on concepts last week with it and it's surprisingly easy. I had it running in about 20 minutes.

For hardware I was using a Rift S, and software was Unity and using OBS to capture. Very cheap and easy. The difference was I was actually wearing the headset as well, so I could see the entire scene around me, and I was holding a "virtual camcorder" as the controller, which was sending its "display" to a second monitor for screen capture.

The biggest problem was that the headset was wired to the computer, so it would only work in a small space. It should be possible to do all of this on the Quest for wireless connectivity--I'd have to figure out how to compile Unity builds for the Quest first though.

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Another one on "poor man's process" from Mark Bone:

He goes into more detail than the previous one, so if you're filming driving scenes then this is pretty good.

This whole thing should work fine if you're going to throw the background out of focus even a little bit, because you can blur the background projection and as long as you're blurring the pixel size on the projection then it will look fine.

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