Motion Control Extends Cinematic Capabilities

Motion-control systems are used in many ways for visual effects. The following list is certainly not exhaustive:

1. The ability to program model shots so that the motion of objects in an effects scene is believable, and to preview these moves and modify them as needed for approval.

2. The ability to repeat these scenes for front-light/ back-light or front-light/front-light matte passes if needed.

3. The ability to repeat these scenes for enhancement effects such as engine passes, running lights, smoke-room effects, filtration, etc.

4. Precision fly-by and extremely close approaches to objects can be accomplished smoothly and in perfect (programmable) focus.

5. Stop-motion animation can be included in scenes that have field-recorded moving camera.

6. Go-motion animation is made possible by using extremely complex mechanical systems with upwards of 50 motion-control channels to create impossible creatures in motion. This system was pioneered in Dragonslayer.

7. Mo-motion — a system wherein field recorded scenes with pan, tilt, track, boom are combined with par tially motorized rod puppets (controlled mostly by puppeteers). This technique was developed for Alien3 It also included a laserdisc video processing system capable of converting any filming rate, from 1 fps to 48 fps, back to 24 fps on the spot so scenes could be video-composited during the shooting day to enable interaction of a 16 -scale Alien puppet with live actors in field-recorded scenes.

8. Optical printers can be equipped with motion control so that optical pans, tilts, zooms, fades, diffusion, wipes and dissolves can be repeated for successive passes.

9. Animation cameras can become much more versatile, since all axes can be programmed; objects, miniatures, etc. can even be shot against miniature blue screens; and front-light/backlight repeat passes can be accomplished.

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