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  • Writer's pictureDorsa Sajedi

Working on ‘Elsewhere’ VFX: Door & TV

[20th - 27th April] These are the VFX that I had to do for Elsewhere:

- TV Green-screen: Positioning our advert on the TV (so the footage that was filmed the day before would have to be shown there, as our protagonist would be watching it)
- Door Shot: Protagonist walking into “Paradise” from the real world

As mentioned in previous posts, the only other thing was the de-flicker that had to be applied on all TV shots (and a reverse shot of Eleanor), as the light's frame-rate was different from what the camera was recording. This meant that for me to do the TV shot, the de-flicker process had to be completed first (which was done by our colourist, as they had Davinci Studio).

TV GREENSCREEN

This was the shot that I wish I had gotten more practice on, as the decision to do the VFX on this shot was a little last minute compared to the other. But many helpful tutorials on YouTube helped me a lot. For example, I had never used Boris Mocha FX in AE before, which helped with the TV tracking (as the shot was not stationary). One thing I did notice when doing this was the correct tracking image we should have had on the TV instead of the plain green screen (as seen below).


Regardless, Mocha was still able to track the image correctly. I struggled with fine-tuning one of the tracking points, as the bottom right corner wasn’t doing what I wanted it to do. But I’m glad I got to experience this for future practices!

THE DOOR SHOT

This one was one I was particularly confident with. I managed to practice it on two occasions before the actual thing: The test shoot (I’m glad that we got the white muslin sheet/’light’ version and the green screen because I got to practice with both) and after our location was confirmed. I’ve attached them both (as well as the final one) below for reference!


During our test shoot, we had limited space for where we could stand. And the version I used was the green screen one… where one of us stood in front of it (to hold the green sheet up). That, unfortunately, required frame-by-frame masking… which I was looking to avoid as much as possible. The second time, I was getting closer to making it work. After keying out the bright light, which had to be as over-exposed as possible to select it from the rest of the image, I applied an effect which cleaned up the edges (key cleaner). And finally, on the third one, I was running into the same issue I encountered in all instances I got to practice the VFX on this shot: hair. But I found a cheeky fix! When I was passing it over to grade, I had exported two layers (labelled A and B: A being the main shot, and B featuring the “hair fix”). Layer B was a mask of the original footage, where I only selected the top half of the image. Since we were already planning on raising the exposure of the plate shot, the bright white light from the original footage could blend the two – and it did! I lowered the opacity on layer B while adding a feathering to the mask. Then I exported A & B in an alpha format (essentially a video version of . PNG formats that can capture transparent backgrounds). I’m proud of how it turned out!
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