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Post Production Techniques–Getting Started

Monday 17th January 2011

Georges Melies

On Friday the 15th January we looked at this new unit by looking back at the pioneering work of the former stage magician Georges Melies who turned his skills as a magician into developing the earliest forms of Visual Effects for Film. Many of these early ideas are still used today particularly those involving substitution of a subject by the stopping of the camera and changing the scene, miraculously the subject being filmed metamorphosis into something else. These days we do this in post production cutting from one scene to another.

Idea Development

1. Kicking a ball into space

– start with a sequence showing someone (myself) playing keep it up with a football and then I give the ball a heavy kick and we see the ball go high into the sky. Then cut to a picture of the Earth viewed from orbit and we see the ball coming towards the camera, cut again and the ball is seen to hit something in space, a satellite, space shuttle or maybe even the Moon which then shudders with the impact. Got the idea from 2001 DVD we watched Friday where the Bone tossed into the air by the early man becomes a satellite.

My first thoughts are that the only green screen I’ll need is of ball spinning on it’s own axis or alternatively I could most probably produce an image in Photoshop and animate the spin in After Effects. If this is the case then it should be almost possible to do the whole video sequence in post production, the only filming would be the initial kicking the ball sequence.

2. Billboards

– about a year ago I came across a viral video where you uploaded your image using your webcam and basically you became the star of the video. It was called “I have something great to reveal” and basically it was a video for Swedish Telecom but your picture was revealed as the hero in picture frames and on street billboards etc. Unfortunately I didn’t download a copy of the video featuring myself but there’s plenty of examples available on YouTube.

Here’s an example from YouTube:-

This is not me

It’s been done many times before but it’s still a powerful example of what can be done in After Effects. Basically I could film a typical street scene that included posters and billboards and then using After Effects change the static images for my own video sequences.

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