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jeric_synergy
01-16-2013, 12:32 PM
A general VFX question:

At what point was the ball put in the player's hand in this faked video?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMujgAAyH-I

stiff paper
01-16-2013, 01:38 PM
Well... if I was VFX Suping that I'd tell them to have somebody off on camera left throwing in a real ball for him to catch at just the right moment to work with the distant swing. Then you can paint out the real ball in post until it's in his hand. CG ball from the distance. Comping. Done.

Reasoning? I don't see why anybody should need to stick a cg ball in the guy's hand. Hand shadow on the ball, ball shadow on the hand... no, that's just a pain. It's fiddly work that's hard to get perfect and there's an easy way around doing it.

It could even be somebody lying on the floor throwing the ball up to him. That way the white ball won't ever go behind any hair, for instance.

Also, it's pretty weak that they didn't even paint out the real ball when the guy in the distance hits it...

jeric_synergy
01-16-2013, 04:30 PM
Reasoning? I don't see why anybody should need to stick a cg ball in the guy's hand. Hand shadow on the ball, ball shadow on the hand... no, that's just a pain. It's fiddly work that's hard to get perfect and there's an easy way around doing it.
I was thinking more the other way: that the ball was always in his hand, and they painted it out.

Also, it's pretty weak that they didn't even paint out the real ball when the guy in the distance hits it...
Don't see that, did he actually hit it? Does it go off to the right?

speismonqui
01-16-2013, 07:30 PM
nice!

reminds me of this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=2lvRv2mnYLU#t=31s

and the "blooper" (?)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmxuRVet8gc

oh, and about your question... either the "real" ball was always on his left hand or... there is no spoon! :)

jeric_synergy
01-16-2013, 08:47 PM
Pretty good, understated acting on his part, very convincing.

stiff paper
01-17-2013, 03:35 AM
I was thinking more the other way: that the ball was always in his hand, and they painted it out.
If the ball was always in his hand then, firstly, it's shadowing the hand and those shadows have to be painted out until they "should" be there, and secondly, the ball would obscure all of the hand behind it. The post fixing would then be some poor comper trying to paint in un-shadowed fingers and the entire section of hand/fingers that are obscured by the ball. Not only that, but the guy's hand would be a strange shape anyway... like he was holding an invisible ball. Also, somehow, although he's already holding the ball, he has to make it look like his hand is open and then closes around the ball as he catches it.

Having the ball thrown in means that the ball has to be painted out from the background and, potentially, its shadows have to be painted out from the people's clothing. The fix for that is then just a question of copying the background or a bit of clothing from the frame before or after, which is (comparatively) much easier to do flawlessly.

When you were shooting it you'd try to spend some time working out what angle to throw in the ball from so it caused the least "damage" that had to be fixed afterwards.


Don't see that, did he actually hit it? Does it go off to the right?
Actually, now that I look at it again, and it isn't midnight and I'm not just about to go to bed, I think all I was seeing was a highlight moving down the bat. So they're forgiven and I'm a dummy.

And finally. This is all just how I'd approach it. It's what I think would be the best set of options for making the gag work as well as it can whilst also not needlessly punishing the VFX guys. This kind of thing is the meat and potatoes of being a VFX Supervisor, running through things over and over trying to make sure you've found all the "gotchas" (although there is much more to it, like being able to work up a bid and knowing when something looks right and why it does, so you can effectively supervise the VFX work afterwards.)

And now, for the sake of conversation, here's the bit where I bring in the "harsh cynicism" (or "reality", as I like to call it). 75% of the VFX Sups that I've worked with would get this wrong. That number does tend to improve a lot as you move up the budget and importance scale, but I've worked with VFX Sups on $70 million movies who were chicken brained halfwits and I've worked with VFX Sups on "important" TV shows who were so mentally stunted that they couldn't understand how bluescreen worked even though three of the artists had taken them aside and explained it to them on different occasions.

jeric_synergy
01-17-2013, 11:52 AM
Your point about the fingers bending is the convincing one to me: the shadows from the mic are falling on his chest, so the shadow from the ball would be going away from his hand, PLUS he 'catches' it backhanded, so no worries there about the etc etc. Plus, it's only like 6 frames.

BUT his fingers are splayed before he catches the ball, so I suspect you are correct: the ball was tossed in from screen right. Still a good snag: I'd needed 20 takes.

I once had to roto out INTERLACED hands playing a sci-fi game: that was not fun at all. :(

stiff paper
01-17-2013, 03:28 PM
My sympathies about the roto. I wouldn't wish roto work on my worst enemies.

I used to know people who actually liked doing roto work. Scary, scary people.