Tutorial 40: Advanced Techniques

Think outside the box.
Now you know what you can do, exploit the system.

The opening of Ďdrifting through spaceí cinematic, the shuttle is endlessly drifting and the camera ends up going right up to the face of Rho. The shuttle is a piece of level geometry, It cannot move, so to get the shuttle to look like it was drifting, I rotated the sky while Counter rotating the camera around the shuttle. This made the sky look stationary and the Shuttle moving. A Simple trick made effective.
Map cinedem
Ui_playscene cinedem_scene1
Note: actors will be missing
Some trick was done with the brintrain, the camera made the braintrain look like it was moving.
Map braintrain-b
Ui_playscene braintrain-b_arriving

Hand held camera in scientist sunder escape scene.
I bounced the camera up and down, with a bouncing focus and rolled it from side to side.
Map cine1
Ui_playscene cine1_scene4
Note: some of the scientists will be missing

The Hitchcock zoom From Vertigo.
Zoom in, and dolly out. Or dolly in & zoom out. Keep your subject centered compositionally and the background will give the impression of moving In or Out.

Long shots Nice long Scorcese/de Palma shots are possible, Just break up the imagery so that it there is something new to look at.
Map hephtower
Ui_playscene Hephtower1_scene1

FOCUS Moving the camera looks awesome, but moving the focus around is under used in in-engine cines. Think of you eyes and your head. When you go to a new place you have seen before You donít fly through the level like superman, you look around with your eyes and head to gather information for your brain. Find the balance between moving camera and moving focus.

FOV & rowdys One night Rich and I were looking at Rowdy walking around in his little bar area, we changed the FOV to 50 and watched him move, it looked fantastic. Normal quake vision is 90 FOV. Which is a wide angle lens, most close ups on people are done with nice long lenses, like a 50 fOV. Its easy to do wonderful compositions with foreground, mid ground and back ground. Watch Akira Kurasawaís RAN to see wonderful use of Long lenses. Scorcese does NOT like using em. Itís a taste thing, but I find that FOV is also under used in-engine cines.

In-Engine dissolves
Map commbase
Ui_playscene commiteon_scene75

There are multiple in-engine dissolves in that scene, it was all planned and orchestrated to be a seamless transition with out drawing attention to it. Now goto the council area in the map and watch the scene using F7Ö. And watch what was involved to create the illusion.

Scale When Boots looks out the shuttle window and sees the planet, thatís just a scaled down planet zooming up to the window.
Map crevicelanding
Ui_playscene crevicelanding_scene84

Composition Never use a wide angle lens on a woman. Itíll distort the features.
When framing a close up. There should not a wide space between the top of the head and the top of the frame. Even if they have tall ears, frame them out. Also, the Eyes of the character should not be below the middle of the frame. The Art of the Matrix has incredible storyboards.
A comic book movie told beautifully, and all planned out from the very beginning. Look at the structure of every shot.

STORYBOARD your scenes.

Eye lines/screen direction There is a thing called the 180 line. It is a rule, but it can be broken. But learn it first.
If 2 people are face to face, looking at each other, draw a line between them, always put the camera on ONE SIDE of THAT line. Sometimes itíll look like they are not looking at each other if you are not careful.

Pacing/Dialogue. Too much dialogue is death, especially in in-engine cines. Nuance of performance can be lost when dealing with a Poly model, but things are getting better. Imagine looking at 2 people talking for 5 minutes with very little camera cuts and no animation. Death. Move the actors around, have them look at something, turn to face each other, something.
Dialogue is obviously necessary, and especially when lotsa information is being giving about the past. Rich came up with the great idea of using tarot card to tell the story of Chaos/order during the grand mysterium scene, AND using boots telling the story to his buddies with cutting back and forth between the scenes. It helped keep a very wordy scene interesting.
Map hephtower2
Ui_chainscripts hephtower2_scene1 hephtower2_scene2
Ui_playscene hephtower2_scene1

Imagine if the dome scene was just a CU on the chief?
Map limbusdome
Ui_playscene limbusdome_scene87

There is no reason to keep a motionless camera. But donít give us motion sickness.