Green Screen Test Shooting (1 Day at LCC)

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Green Screen Official Shooting (4+1 Days at Crixus Studio)

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Project Process

1) Proposal

The original proposal consists of two: one is a train animation that tends to be stylized and the other is a short visual effects film shot with a green screen. The former is a very personal idea and a technical pipeline I am good at, while the latter is a very comprehensive and huge visual effects production technology pipeline. I finally chose the latter because I wanted to give a full shot at making visual effects shorts, despite the time and workload constraints.

2) Test Shooting

Since most of the crew had no actual experience with green screen shooting, our first plan was to test the feasibility of green screen shooting. We rented a professional green screen studio of VFX for a whole day and shot several typical shots according to the early script and storyboard to test the quality of the material and communicate the problems found on site. After early testing, we not only got real shooting data, but also established a preliminary understanding of workflow standards with the crew members, and finally evaluated the feasibility of green screen shooting.

3) Visual effects production test

Through the playback and grouping of the shot materials of the test version, our visual effects team began to try to use different software platforms and technology pipelines to deal with the green screen image and some visual effects. The process was a brief but precious opportunity for trial and error, and I could get feedback from the whole group on an individual level. I began to think about and establish standards for different visual effects and different camera materials, what treatment methods to adopt, and how to assign tasks.

4) Script, storyboard, shot sheet

This part of the basic is director, director of photography, the producer to complete, and we need to familiar with the visual effects team, especially the storyboard and lens table, both of which determines the number of lenses in our special part and content structure, we will prepare the necessary software, plug-ins, material, etc., and the camera motion, lighting, composition have a judgment in advance.

5) Casting

Casting is after the script is completed, according to the story and character set to determine the actors. We were lucky enough to get to know a dancer in an art exhibition before, whose appearance and physique perfectly matched the image of our protagonist. The other actress was introduced through Instagram’s artist community.

6) Props and costumes

Props and costumes were made overnight, and the cast members split up to buy materials and tools from various thrift stores and markets. Since we don’t have a place to make and store them, the large props are made and assembled. Among them, we went to some film and television props companies and rented medical stretchers and intravenous drip bottles.

7) Official shooting

The official shooting took place in the east of London, and we rented a commercial green screen studio. We planned to shoot for five days, with the last one as a backup. As a visual effects supervisor, I had to sit in front of a monitor the whole time. The director’s job is to control the live performance, and I control the quality of the green screen. In addition, I had to communicate repeatedly with the camera director and lighting director about the shooting Angle and lighting and coordinate with the art director on the scene props. The most important thing is to control the brightness and uniformity of the green screen, as well as the paste of tracking marks. All camera information is also recorded with the field record sheet, which includes a focal segment, distance, height, horizontal and vertical Angle.

8) Visual effects creation

The post-production process is mainly divided into four groups: visual effects, editing, colour mixing and music. For visual effects, it can be roughly divided into the following three parts:

1. Compositing: Processing of green screen materials, mainly including green button, tracking, cleaning, Roto, first-level toning and first-level effect. Use Nuke (for complex shots) or After Effects (for simple shots).

2. CG: 3D scene modelling, material, lighting, rendering, camera animation. The main software used in Zbrush (sculpting model), Cinema 4D (Scene, material, lighting, animation) and Octane (renderer).

3. Particles: Parameterized particle effects based on biological cell texture are simulated and created using Houdini scripts.

4. Post-production: Make general compositing of all processed materials to further enhance the control of various effects, colours and perspective space relations. After rendering the film directly to the editor cut into the film. The main software used is After Effects.

9) Editing, colour mixing and music

The editing is divided into two parts, one is a rough cut by the director and finished with Final Cut Pro, the other is a fine cut and finished with Adobe Premiere Pro. The colour palette is done with DaVinci Resolve. The clipping project between the three uses industry standard XML format files. After the fixed cutting, a preview version is exported to Score Artist. After the sound creation is completed in Apple Logic Pro, it is exported to Lossless WAV or Apple Lossless to Colorist, and finally merged into the timeline to complete the film.

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