Archive for the 'miniatures' Category

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Proto4 test shoot2


This a clip from a rough shoot of one of our buildings.  In total we’ll have about 9 buildings, many of which we’ll be interchanging parts in order to add variation.

Our lift stopped working in the middle of the shot – a gear driving another gear on one of the four track gears slipped out of place, but because of the differential (which aligns the four rack gears), I didn’t notice the problem until too far in.  Our next version should deal with some of the workflow complications we noticed through this shoot.

I’ve added some different coloring to one of the front walls in this shot – just to see how that might look.  In order to do that, I first applied a lens undistort (you can see the distortion at the edges of the frame), then color-corrected the plate, with a traveling matte that followed the camera move, and then redistorted the plate.  This way, I can create a matte for the wall that has straight lines, and then, when I redistort, get the lens barrelling back into the image.

Below are some shots of the buildings and the shoot in progress.

Proto4 test shoot

So we shot some footage on our miniature set which is being built about 400 km away.  Over the next few days, I’ll be adding some more shots.  Above is one of the clips (the flicker is from the large sunlight in the workspace – we’ll be shooting in an closed off studio for the actual film shoot), with some work done in Shake to average the bluescreen, replace the background, and add the foreground flicker to the background (with a multiplier).

This is shot on our new set of rails (which are 2 meters long).  The rig will need some modification, since the rails are a bit tighter.  The lift is also a bit unstable (still), but we think we’re on the right track – using 3 differentials driving 4 24-tooth gears along 4 rack gears.  We should, hopefully be able to stabilize the motion completely.

Below are some of the photos of the shoot.

Miniature molds

These are some pictures of the molds we use for the miniatures.  Notice the use of LEGOs to frame the 2 component plastic we cast in.  The LEGOs are easy to pull off and reconstruct, rather than having to build a new frame for each cast.


This is the start of one of our windows frames (for the 1:24 scale set).  We’ll be refining this and then using it as a master for hopefully a couple of the buildings.

Home Brew Rigs

This is one of the first tests on our home made motion control system.

Contrast this with another test we made on a professional motion control unit last year:

The home made rig is as of yet pretty unstable, but the project is in progress (sponsored no less by LEGO).  Following a suggestion from Saschka Unseld over at Studio Soi, we discovered that by stabilizing just one point in the dolly shot and cropping in, you can fake the illusion of a track/pan.

Prototype Test

Here’s a test we made with our prototype system a couple of months ago.  The movement was stabilized in post, and that will be one of our challenges with the actual build – if we can create stable motion with the actual rig.

The lighting for this shot was a simple office style lamp and some ambient fill from the windows (which I then deflickered in Shake).  One of the nice things about shooting with a stills camera (rather than a moving image one) is that our exposure can be extremely long, and our lighting can be relatively low.

Images from the shoot

Thanks to all for the shoot. Here’s a quick comp of one of the motion control moves (click on image for movie):


and another one:


Both of these movies need a fair bit of comp work (dust busting, stabilizing, flicker removal, etc). At the moment, they’re also comped at 8bit, but I’ll soon be moving over to our 16bit pipeline (thanks to RAW format that we shot on).

Some images (I’ll put up a few more images on this post in the next couple of days):

comp.jpg comp1.jpg img_0003_1.jpg


Some miscellaneous photos and the set on location:

Some recent images. The walls will be painted lighter, the doors/floors/panels are all undergoing treatment,
and the furniture/appliances are in progress, all thanks to Karin. Additional thanks to Christine Bechameil and Ursula Nielsen for advice, paint, and furniture wear & tear.

miniature setup

here are some more setups of the set. from here the dirty work begins, making these pieces look more real.

miniature build

here’re some photos from the miniature build with karin ørum pedersen. thanks to the guys at samsoe & fribo for the space in avedøre:

all the walls are removable to allow for camera access and the base is cut into three separate pieces.

miniature test

A movie from the miniature test today with my consumer Panasonic NV GS400 cam. About 19 takes with different f-stops, shutter speeds, moves. click on the image for the movie:


Below – pictures with my Fujifilm Finepix S7000 (with a little bit of Photoshop work).C lick on the images for larger versions:

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