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Old September 21 2012, 12:14 AM   #42
Johnny's Avatar
Location: Birmingham, UK.
Re: Star Trek: Renegades

Potemkin_Prod wrote: View Post
We tried backlighting the consoles, but it was a miserable failure on camera. Too dim to be seen. So we took the CDR artwork we had and used it directly on the console, either a glossy print (too much reflection) and as a flat PSA vinyl applique which our cast members can reference. Then we took the CorelDraw art, and converted it to a layered PSD (photoshop document) and animated it, saving the animations as AVI. There were only a few of us who worked on this project; it took around two months to create all the AVIs.

Then using After Effects (I think) we mask them into place, angle them, and composite them into the video. Several of the VFX guys and our editor want us to use a green screen of the same size placed over the referenced position on the console. This would make placing the animations easier. The cast and shooting crew are hesitant to go with that approach as they like having a visual cue.

Still, I love the look of your bridge and animations! Well done!
We did consider green screen, we had chromat curtains available which would have been great to use, though even with green curtain, chromat or painted wood, there were issues with a green bleed on shots, especially a shallow depth of field, and the camera compression would leave us with a bigger green edge problem with green than we started with. And that's not even touching on the fact you have to light it separately to produce an even key.

I think AFX (or equivelent) post work on a black or referenced on-set graphic really gives you the freedom to do whatever you want with the animations, and if you hate it... you can change it without re-filming.

batboy853 wrote: View Post
here's an out of the box idea, maybe try using a blacklight for the back light on the consoles it in theory would make the colors pop out.
The issue with double-lighting on things like cling/adhesive vinyl or transparency is that, assuming you're starting off with a transparent medium then you'll be printing black as well as the colour, which means the light will pass through both in equal parts. Although admittedly the darker colours will let through a little less, however the last thing you want is a light black with a slightly lighter colour.

I tried everything from laser cut 300gsm black card with colour transparency in the button holes, to adhesive vinyl and nothing really provided the right look. Especially where there's limited ability to control natural light or access a decent amount of artificial light it becomes quite difficult.

What we did in our case got the best results for us, although it generated more work!

Some of the DSLR's (550 or above) have firmware upgrades you can install which let you record near-uncompressed footage, but it was a bit before our time. If I did it again (and I'm tempted!), I'd film on my 600... though I'd still add the lcars in post.
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