Tuesday, March 26, 2013
It’s been a crazy past few days. After weeks of planning, we officially launched our Kickstarter fundraising campaign yesterday. We’ve had a few pledges so far and I’m very thankful for them, but I have hunch that if God allows us to make goal, it’ll be a last minute kind of think. That’s the way God works. This next month will be a time of faith building for me for sure. We’re trying to raise $95,000 and Kickstarter is all or nothing.
Kim has really been stepping up as Executive Producer and I’m very thankful for her help. She may have even found an actor to play Blake. I auditioned her last week for the role Kati and she did a good job. Kati is probably the pivotal role in this film and has the most emotional range. I’m glad that part is cast.
At the begining of the month, Adobe ran a bio about me that I had submitted about my history with After Effects. They ran it on their blog and now my youtube subscribers has been growing, as has our facebook likes for Leap 3. Things are starting to move quickly. The script is done, budget is done, and the even the schedule. We’ll be shooting for six weeks, five days a week. Cast and crew will make $100 a day. And we’ll be shooting both in Spokane, WA and Fortine, MT.
I’ve been struggling lately with trying to figure out how we are going to pull of a sequence in which the Urban Grace crew leap off a rooftop and land on the fire escape on the next building. As I was reading through The DV Rebel’s Guide (for like the gazillionth time) I came across a paragraph on digital doubles. Basically you create a 3D model of your actor in the computer and have the model perform the stunt, then composite it into the live action scene. Hollywood uses this all the time and it seems like something out of the reach of a typical independent filmmaker – But, software has a solution! Enter Poser.
My version of Poser is a few years old and I’m not good enough at it for closeup work, but for a distance shot, I’m quite capable. Poser allows you to take a 3D figure (human or animal), dress it up like a paper doll, and animate it easily with keyframes. Basically, you tell it which poses to hit at what point in time and the computer fills in all the other details. In the case of a test shot I did for the problem sequence, I had it hit two run poses, a jump, mid air crouch, landing anticipation and landing, spread out over 75 frames. Rather than try to move the figure in 3D space, I simply adjusted the virutal camera to somewhat match the real world shot and rendered it out with a green background. The figure then performed the motions, though in one place.
Inside of After Effects, I scaled down and animated the position of the shot of the figure so that it accomplished the actions where they needed to. Keyed out the background, added some blur, noise and glow and the shot looks amazing! I may have to find more instances for this effect now.