Image Effects DUNE: My Wonderful Work! by cecilia
The Floating Fat Man

More "floating". The Baron is standing on his crane. Unfortunately, the camera is not locked down. So, there are two "movements" I have to deal with when completing this shot. [1] There is the movement of the crane swinging this poor actor across the set! And, [2] the camera is moving in with this wide angle lens, which makes some distortions.

So, there were a few "hidden" difficulties.

Sure, I have to do my usual magic with spline mattes - to eliminate the crane. But on looking at the shot my boss (Tony Alderson) discovered that Feyd was "slipping" during the shot. (Feyd had to be digitally "removed" and then placed back in the shot). I mean, in film reality he's supposed to be just standing there listening to his uncle. Not strangely vibrating across the floor. weird!


The Crane

Click on the picture to the right and see the larger version. Obviously I have to remove McNeice from his crane.

Notice that there is no ceiling! I'll have to make a matte around that and insert a completely constructed ceiling. Hey! I'm an artist, not a bricklayer!

If I may quote Dr. McCoy.

It's hard to see unless you are looking at the moving shot, but if you examine these three stills - taken basically from the beginning, middle and end of the shot - you can see that everything moves it's position. And that includes Feyd. After I had made a matte around him and Tony looked at a preliminary composite he noticed that there was an obvious jiggle from the Feyd layer. This is not good. something had to be done to stabilize him.

The Solution

Making the spline mattes around both the Baron and his nephew were basic. I don't remember too many problems there. Although, at the top of the shot some of the Baron was in shadow so I had to really watch what I was doing so I didn't close in too much and "remove" parts of him that shouldn't be taken out. Don't want the Baron to lose a toe!

I made the ceiling (if I recall correctly) by using some sort of texture and saving an image which I then composited in the hole of the ceiling. This was defined by a spline matte which has to change over the duration of the shot. (Remember, the camera is moving and therefore, so is the angle of the ceiling). Now, the tricky part is matching the "grain" of the wood as the perspective of the ceiling changes. I basically did this by eye. I picked out a few "landmarks" in the edges of the real ceiling and made sure the fake image always matched up.

Now, the real tricky part! After everything else was in place I had to examine the jiggle that Feyd was making and decided that a little tweeking with scaling him was the best way to fix some of his motions at certain places. A little bit of that and changing his postions just at the right keyframes was the best way to lock him down. Tony was quite pleased.
I also created a couple of shadows: one for the baron and one for Feyd. This locked them down in the shot and makes them look like they belong there.

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