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

Again with the "floating". Except this time I had a real horrible time of it. Once again the Baron was atop his crane. Only in this shot the camera was also moving. Sometimes for a shot like this a motion controlled camera is used and the exact motions of the camera can be recorded and then duplicated with the actors present. And then the crew shoots just the background with the same EXACT camera moves.

Well, guess what! There was no such expensive setup in this case. The empty background was shot in as close an "approximation" as could be remembered. It was basically done "by hand" and memory.

This situation, of course, leaves me with an incredibly difficult shot to complete. Sure, making the mattes is easy enough but the motion of two shots will simply never match. And, believe me, I tried!

The Crane

Click on the top picture to the right and see the larger version. Obviously, the first thing I had to do is remove McNeice from his atop his crane.

The second two images are the background set shot alone - without actors. The first background frame is the beginning of the shot and the next picture is the end of the shot.

As you can see there is a difference in camera POV between the beginning and end of the shot. What you can't tell from stills is exactly how different - even slightly - from the empty set as compared to the scene with actors.
It's not a "simple pan" and it's impossible for a human being to exactly duplicate such a movement twice. Basically, the camera follows the baron as his crane moves him up and into shot and then the camera moves down to focus on Jessica and the Doctor. So we have a little "up" and a little "down and left". Sort of. You see my problem???

empty background
end of shot

The Matte

If I remember correctly, the Baron was also shot by himself as he moved about on his loverly crane. I made lots of mattes trying to find the best solution to this problem.

Baron alone

I had to make separate mattes around the Baron, around Jessica, and the doctor. And I had to pay attention to Jessica's hair as it slips in and out of the doctor's hands. Alot of small strands making themselves very obnoxious as I have to decide which one's stay and which can't be included in the matte. And, I have to make it all still look completely natural.
Click on the picture to the right to see a larger version. While this shot took weeks to tweak I personally wouldn't say it was "successful". I doubt most people would notice the problems, but I always do! But I tracked the layers as best I could. Anyway, I doubt this shot looks anywhere near as horrible as it could have looked.

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