Image Effects DUNE: My Wonderful Work! by cecilia
Ah! Those Beautiful Boys and The Baron!

In this scene I was given two plates. The camera was locked down (and unmoving) for both shots. This does make certain things I have to do "easy". And Thank the gods for that!

First, two actors were shot (with a camera, only, ha ha) walking down the stairs in an empty set. At a certain point they stopped and remained in their positions. The second shot is of the Baron and his boys as he moves toward and among them. Now, in "real life" the actor was standing on a crane and that was on a track. My job was to remove the track and the crane and composite the Baron with his boys over the two actors walking down the stairs.

Get all that?

The First Background Plate

The Princess and a character who's name I forgot are walking down the stairs while listening to the Baron - who isn't there yet. But he will be - soon!

the walk down the stairs

This is a later frame in which they have moved farther down the set. I'm not only going to need the actors in my composite but the empty set as well. This is because I have to have data to substitute for the track and crane that has to be removed from the second plate.

Remember, the camera hasn't moved. So, I can substitute the empty, clean room set from the first plate with the crane and track from the second plate.

moving foward

The Second Background Plate

You can see the track on the ground and the crane that moves the Baron among his acolytes. Or as I like to think of them: his 'boy toys'. Eh, hem. And, my, my did I enjoy looking at those 'toys', but that's another story.....

the boys and
their backsides

The Spline Stuff

I've crudely drawn (and I do mean "crudely!) a yellow line around the areas which have to have mattes drawn. These mattes will make those areas "transparent", letting the data from the First Plate come through during the composite.

For those who are interested this composite was done using AfterEffects. This program allows as many mattes per plate as memory available. I don't quite remember how many mattes I ended up with but it could easily have been a dozen.

spline around those butts

Another frame and more crude yellow lines. (By the way, my actual spline lines were certainly not crude. These are just for demonstration only.)

My point is that during the course of this sequence there are alot of areas that need to be matted out. They appear and change as the actors move about and among each other. It took time to just look for all the places that needed mattes. And any floating yellow circle represents a separate matte. Everytime an actor raised his arm and intersected another actor, this either changed the shape of an existing matte or created a new hole which required a new matte. It sounds like tedious work, but I really find this sort of thing fun. hmmm. Looking for matte holes can be Zen, ya know!

spline around those butts

Finished composite. Click on image for larger version.

Now it looks as if the Princess and the other guy ("D'OH!") are following the Baron as he talks and moves in the room. Pretty cool? Eh? It almost makes you think a Baron can fly!!!

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