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Old February 8 2013, 07:21 PM   #89
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Re: Galileo Restoration Update - Jan 2012

trevanian wrote: View Post
Would REALLY like to see that at higher rez. Reflections and depth of field look amazingly accurate to real-world.
Match-moving has been around for years, now. Go to YouTube and search for "Blender match move" or "Blender camera tracking." Before Blender got its own built-in feature, third-party apps, like SynthEyes, could provide the motion data. Before this technology arrived, most composite shots had to be "locked off," meaning the camera could not move. Since modern movies are so dynamic and Steadicam a routine tool, composite shots need to move, too.

Of course this skirts the whole issue of when you have something physical there it gives everybody on-set something to relate to in a way that imagination can't really deliver
Match-moving does not mean there is nothing present on the set. For example, a couple of C-stands (used for lights) might mark the general location of the ship, or the door in the ship. For big creatures, such as the T-rex in JURASSIC PARK or Draco in DRAGONHEART, a production assistant with a simple prop on a pole might give the actors a common focal point for addressing the creature's face, etc. Or a spaceship might have a partial construction, such as a boarding ramp. It varies by production. The line between miniatures, composites and matte paintings has been blurred by computer technology. Sometimes it is now called "scene extension."

As for reflections, actual reflections from the location might be captured as a "light probe." A light probe is simply a chrome sphere. The camera shoots the image in the sphere, thus capturing at least 180 degrees, or a hemisphere of the surrounding area. That light probe is then applied to the CGI so that the computer object reflects the actual scene. Again, there are nuances and details to this technology, too. For example, HDR (high dynamic range) light probes can be used as full environment "light sources" when rendering the CGI. Watch the home video supplements for movies like one of the TERMINATOR movies, and you may notice someone on set with a chrome sphere on a pole. (Half the sphere might be a neutral gray.) Odds are that is a light probe sphere.

And what about all these poles and other things on the set? They can be erased in a number of ways with digital tools. Many of the creatures in the LORD OF THE RINGS movies, or the robots in I, ROBOT were played by real actors on set, interacting with the other actors. The creature and robot stand-ins are "erased" and replaced with CGI figures. While greenscreen stages are still in use, or sections of a location may feature small "flying" greenscreens, the current trend is to shoot on real locations. The technology makes it possible, and a real location makes everything easier on the actors.

The technology is amazingly sophisticated today, and available to the home hobbyist. Still, the high technology does not guarantee awesome results. The artists (and the directors telling them what to do) must still know their craft.
"No, I better not look. I just might be in there."
—Foghorn Leghorn, Little Boy Boo
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