CG or Live-Action?

The original plan  for 5:45am was to have a computer generated young demon child integrated in to the shots. As we began the VFX post-production for the film, we realized that the results were more complicated and problematic than anticipated. Due to budget and time we sought an alternative.

Our solution – scrap the notion of a completely computer generated character and instead composite a live-action young actor into the film. This meant we had to have a small  VFX post-production shoot. 

It also meant that we needed to recreate the exact lighting conditions as our original source material. A VFX challenge!

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VFX Shoot Example – Process & Steps:

Step 1:

Shot Preparation. Create a plan of action.

Review, continuity report for important metadata. 

Lens: 28mm
Color Temperature: 5600K
ISO: 500

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Step 2:

We analyzed the original shot. Created floor plans and a breakdown of each element on screen.

We focused on lighting as a means to make a proper match. Making the light effect our character the same way it affected the scene was the core challenge. We knew that if done correctly it could help make the effect invisible – since it would help fuse the two separate elements together (footage + green-screen reshoot). 

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Step 3:

We created floor plans for the recreation of the shot, attempting to copy lighting & composition. We matched motion and pacing to original source material. As a safety we shot the action at various rhythms (this gave us more options in the VFX composite). 

The key in making the effect work, was to match the lighting as much as possible, including bounced light. The camera was also stationary since we knew the movement was going to be applied later in the composite (motion as captured through 3D camera tracking). 

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Step 4:

Cast, Crew & Shoot!

It’s worth to note that on set we had a laptop with a live-feed from the camera. This gave use a direct reference of comparison with the original footage. Having a computer present to make adjustments was fundamental in helping us attain a perfect match.

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Step 5:

Composite original footage with green-screen recreation!

Results will be available soon! – in the VFX Breakdown Reel.

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