Monday, January 02, 2006

9: Money Shot

After Maggie does her bicycle kick, it cuts to a shot where Red Kicker flies off the plate and Maggie lands in a really low front stance.

I love this shot.

It took me about 3 hours to do, and it's only 42 frames. *sigh*

Why it took me so long

I couldn't figure out the best way to have Red fly off the plate. I considered just holding Red and doing it manually, but there was no way I could do that smoothly. So I moved the piano bench over, and propped him up with some lego.

I wanted to avoid any frame photoshopping, so I attached him to the lego at the underside of his foot. Couldn't get it working too well, and Red would fall constantly.

After about 10 minutes of that, I tried to position the camera lower so that you couldn't see the lego prop. I took apart my webcam frame and first tried to stick it on some blue tac. That did not work at all, I don't know what it was, but it slowly moved between each frame. Eventually, I resorted back to my webcam frame, but a much more smaller one.

Knowing that I can't escape the photo editing, I attached Red to the frame at the thigh, and filmed it that way. After a few rough starts, I was able to get what I wanted, but this only after about and hour or more of trial and error.

Why I like the shot

I think I'm getting a better sense of 24fps. I knew that I needed Red to fly back a considerable amount before Maggie drops in. Red flies back for about 8 frames before Maggie begins her descent. By the time Maggie gets into position, I think it's around 12 frames.

I was also able to get the "impact" correct. Maggie lands, her body goes down a bit from the impact of landing, and then she comes back up. It's like a "snap" of a punch.

The hair wasn't too bad either. It took a bit, trying to make sure I didn't move the whole body while letting the hair fall, and I only screwed up a couple of times. :) I only had Maggie anchored at one foot with Blue-Tac, so it was hard to get the small nuances of the hair and impact, but it came out ok.

Another reason I like it: Maggie just looks cool in that pose. I had a better one, unfortunately, but it was hard enough getting Maggie to fall into the pose. I debated filming it backwards, but it was fine as it is.

In the end, it turned out quite smooth, and I'm very pleased with it.

Thoughts on Previous Shots

Ok, that shot where Green falls off the plate? It sucks. I'm really considering redoing it. The other shots are ok, but that one is really crappy. It's just too choppy in comparison to all the other shots. It's choppy because I was scared to do frame photoshopping.

I should remember that. Just do it and have no worries about editing. I mean, I have a black background, it's relatively easy editing things out. It's just time consuming.

Other Things

I think I'll stick with Blogger. I was debating moving it because I couldn't get it to do what I want. Eventually, I want to set this journal up so that the movie will be on the first page, and everyone can read the journal as a "Making of". But that means they would need to go to each entry with ease.

By changing the archives to daily, and then adding a Prev and Next in the template (that I found frome ecmanaut's blog), I think that it may suffice. Once I figure out how to have titles in the archive, I'll be set.

Just need to fix up the template so that it's more themed to the movie. However, I'm really enjoying this journalling part. Rather extreme, but someone out there may be interested in reading it!