… for Visual Effects

Tip #510: 10 Tips for Shooting Visual Effects

The underlying point of these is to be sure you can work with your shots later in post.

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The CGGeek posted a YouTube video presenting “10 Tips for Filming Visual Effects.” While I don’t agree with all of them, especially because his entire video was shot out of focus, I do agree with most of them.

They are:

  1. Take your camera off the tripod and shoot with camera motion. (This, I think, needs to be taken with a grain of salt, depending upon how much tracking and rotoscoping will be needed.)
  2. Shoot at a high shutter speed for fast moving VFX shots, above 1/500th of a second.
  3. Write down the camera settings: focal length, shutter and frame rate.
  4. Use lots of high-contrast camera markers to simplify motion tracking later.
  5. Lock your camera on a tripod, then add motion later in post.
  6. Avoid pans, zooms and fast camera motion when doing camera tracking.
  7. Always shoot a flat, background plate in case you need to garbage mask your actors.
  8. Take a 360° environmental photo to show the overall scene.
  9. Use the sky as a blue-screen background.
  10. Track both foreground and background, the extra depth improves the results of a camera track.

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