My Star Trek Green Screen Effects Demos

Discussion in 'Fan Productions' started by Admiral Archer, Jul 8, 2019.

  1. Admiral Archer

    Admiral Archer Commander Red Shirt

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    Hey all! I've decided to share some of my chroma key effects tests from the past few years with you guys. Hopefully I'll get a lot more done in the future, but for now this is what I have. Enjoy! :)









    NOTE: The first video has been shared on this forum before, but the rest haven't (to my knowledge). All of them are at least a year old, except for the last one, which I just finished work on tonight.
     
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  2. Maurice

    Maurice Admiral Premium Member

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    Did you shoot any where the models were filmed as video, moving, as opposed to still?
     
  3. Admiral Archer

    Admiral Archer Commander Red Shirt

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    Unfortunately, no. I've had a lot of trouble getting any sort of acceptable shots done with video footage as opposed to just photographing the model. I actually kind of "cheat" when doing my effects tests. In some cases, though certainly not all, I have actually just photographed a model of the ship in a random location, such as on a table or on a flat surface, then I take the photo into MS Paint and cut the ship out of the photograph, placing it into a blank green background. Once this is done, I take it into Adobe After Effects, and remove the green in favor of space or whatever I want to put behind it. Kind of a "double composite", if you will, although I never thought of it that way until now. It sounds ridiculously hard and unnecessary, but it yields the best results I've had so far, as far as getting really good sharp image detailing.
     
  4. Maurice

    Maurice Admiral Premium Member

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    What are you shooting the photos with?
     
  5. Admiral Archer

    Admiral Archer Commander Red Shirt

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    It depends on what I have available. The last video, the one with the Probert Enterprise-C, was photographed with my Google Pixel 3 (which has an INSANE high def picture quality, with each photo having roughly 4032 x 3024 pixels :eek: ) while all the others were photographed with a Canon EOS Rebel T3i, which has been my trusty go to for nearly a decade.
     
  6. Matthew Raymond

    Matthew Raymond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Have you considered shooting the models while moving the camera VERY slowly, then speeding up the footage after you've done the chroma key?
     
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  7. Maurice

    Maurice Admiral Premium Member

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    If you shoot video on the Rebel make sure it's set to RAW or whatever the closest thing to uncompressed as you can, which is necessary to get sharp edges from a greenscreen.

    What are you compositing this in?
     
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  8. Admiral Archer

    Admiral Archer Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm not really sure how to move the camera AT ALL, except by hand (which leads to tons of shakiness). I'd LOVE to build a rig similar to the one used for the filming of the models in TNG; the rig used would go up, down, sideways, forward and back. That would be something I'd really like to do.

    I'll try that with the Rebel if I ever use it again, but my phone has much higher resolution, so I may stick with it for a while. All of the videos seen above were composited in Adobe After Effects, but I have also used an editing software called HitFilm Express to composite some of my videos. Below is a link to a VFX test I just rediscovered that I had done several months ago using HitFilm Express and traditional video effects, i.e. the camera panning alongside the ship:

     
  9. Maurice

    Maurice Admiral Premium Member

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    I'm curious why the animation stutters so much.
     
  10. Admiral Archer

    Admiral Archer Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm afraid I don't know what you mean by "stuttering"? Which video is it that features such a problem? Other than the sort of bumpiness in the flight path of the Discovery in the latest video, they all seem to play just fine for me.
     
  11. Maurice

    Maurice Admiral Premium Member

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    I mean the ship doesn't move smoothly. I just stepped through it on Youtube and there the ship doesn't move on every frame, it moves alternately on every 2nd and 3rd frame, as in 2 3 2 3 2 3.

    What frame rate and you exporting to? And are you converting it with something that is changing the timebase?
     
  12. Admiral Archer

    Admiral Archer Commander Red Shirt

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    I honestly don't remember how this one was made. It's possible that I slowed down the video because the pass was so fast, and I wanted it to last longer. I will try to avoid doing that in the future.
     
  13. Maurice

    Maurice Admiral Premium Member

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    That would do it. You should just re-render it instead of time-stretching.
     
  14. Admiral Archer

    Admiral Archer Commander Red Shirt

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    Okay, so I may have bitten off more than I can chew... LOL

    In honor of the 40th anniversary of the very first Star Trek movie (and my favorite! :D) I decided to attempt what for years I had assumed to be impossible - recreating the dizzying opening pass of the Klingon Battlecruisers. In my video there is only one ship, and there is no V'Ger cloud, but the shot is fairly similar in layout. I did, however, cheat: being unable to do the whole shot in one take, I elected to take two takes of the shot, one as it is approaching the camera, and one as it is flying away from the camera, and splicing the two takes together to make one long take. The result is , erm, unintentionally...interesting: it works sort of, but the shadows switch directions! In hindsight, I realize my mistake: I moved the direction the ship was facing rather than the position of the camera. Still, take this as an early attempt, as I will probably be revisiting this shot in the future!

     
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  15. Maurice

    Maurice Admiral Premium Member

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    How big/small is that Klingon ship?
     
  16. Admiral Archer

    Admiral Archer Commander Red Shirt

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    Tiny! It's actually an old micromachines toy from the early 90's. I had it for years, and just rediscovered it while rummaging through my grandma's attic. I'm actually surprised the camera picked up the level of detail it did, considering how small the ship is. I'm seeing details on the video that I didn't even notice in the model before. :lol:
     
  17. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Admiral Admiral

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    You could probably pull out more details if you did some shadowing with the toy, adding contrast to the piece. One simple method would be to brush it all over with black oil based painted and then wiping it. The black would remain in the low spots, creating depth.
     
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  18. Maurice

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    I thought it might be a MicroMachine.
     
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  19. Matthew Raymond

    Matthew Raymond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That would probably work for far-off shots, but there are limitations to what you can do with a model that small. For closer shots, like in the video, I think that would only serve to accentuate the relative lack of detail in the model when scaled up. With a larger model, such shadowing would probably be unnecessary, both because the extra detail itself would add shadow, and because the larger size negates the effects of subsurface scattering. Although it would still be a nice touch, adding additional texturing that would make it look more. Just depends on how much work you want to put into it.
     
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  20. Maurice

    Maurice Admiral Premium Member

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    The bigger issue is depth of field and the "softness" of the detail of soft plastic toys like those.

    Shooting models convincingly is hard, because you have to compensate for shallow depth of field (there's a formula for calculating the light levels and exposure required). Motion control solved a plethora of problems, but I only know one amateur filmmaker who's tried to build a simple version of such a thing.

    But I suspect @Admiral Archer is more having fun than trying to make something look "pro".