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Entries in fruit ninja (3)

Tuesday
Jul302013

Splinter Cell Blacklist

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 From Scott Winn, Christian Busath and a whole bunch of other really talented people you can see in the behind the scenes video, comes this little project that was just a kick to work on. 
I'll start with these exterior shots because relighting wide exterior shots is one of my favorite grades to build. The guys at CineChopper captured some beautiful stuff on this project. The first one here features our man, Sam Fisher walking up the middle of a bombed out village in Eastern Europe somewhere. It's evening and the sun is coming in at a good angle. I used a lot of tracked windows and selections to pump the focus toward Sam. There's also a selection on the bottom edge of the horizon only effecting the sky that brightens it up drawing your eye out into the distance. I've used the same technique to draw your eye out and across the shot in these others to get the focus out there on the horizon, watching for what's coming. As you click through these stills you'll see what I'm talking about.
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There was some archival footage of the presidents being sworn in that needed a little adjustment to get the VHS tone consistent. But playing some of the other archival shots plain Jane just wasn't working. They needed some drama. So I pushed them to night.
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The first close up shots of Sam Fisher needed to feel dangerous. To create the look I pulled out what little warmth was in the shot, and tracked windows to his face relighting it subtly to let one side if his face fall into shadow. There's even a small highlight to pump up the glint in his left eye. 
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The opening shot was feeling a little too blue and black in my first grade. In all the reference images there was some contrasting color in the lights. So I went back in and added some yellow to the florescents to give it a less monochromatic feel. The final shot was this interrogation shot with fairly even lighting. I brought the light forward in the room and made it more sourcey to increase the dramatic feel, but also to get your attention over on them so his fall would be more jarring. There's a few windows there and some big shifts in the color to get it matching everything else. 
These last bunch of stills include the explosion which was shot simultaneously on a few different camera systems. Each type of sensor responds differently to what's in front of it. I believe this sequence of shots come from the Red Epic, Canon 5D mark iii, and the Phantom which always captures more green in the highlights than the others. To match them, I had to go in and isolate the highlights inside the blast and tilt them back so it wouldn't feel like each shot was from a different take or a different explosion.
 My mission with the rest of the shots in the sequence was to create a consistent cinematic look that would create a feeling of anticipation. 
Wednesday
Feb272013

New Reel

I want to first thank all my clients for the great material they bring me. I love what I do, but its the caliber of photography that lets my work shine. Over the past year I've been developing some new techniques that really pull the audience in. There are several I've already been using but I wanted to push just a little further since I really believe layering subtle changes is key. So after long hours of considering and trimming and deleting, I finally got together my very favorite shots of the year in a watchable format. I still think I want to do a long version because so many things got cut. 

I love color transformation. Please contact me if you think I might be able to help you with a project!

Monday
Dec172012

Fruit Ninja

This was a Scott Winn project in association with Halfbrick Studios.

It was shot on a mix of 5d, Epic, and Fastcam cameras.

I've been really driving at getting my grading style more cinematic than ever. Color correction is good. Making shots all match is important, but above all that is this kind of intangible quality to a good grading job that changes the very substance and texture of the thing. I've been intrigued by that ever since that first time in photoshop when I figured out the channel mixer.

The first cut of the video I saw was just that first section. Scott explained some of his feelings about it and how he wanted it to feel. I went to work on it and once I nailed the color tone, I jumped in with some new techniques I've been thinking about to really sink this thing into that fictional place where great stories happen. I wanted to make it feel strong and intentional.  After I'd finished, I compared what I had with the original and felt pretty happy with it. So here they are. 

As you click back and forth through them you'll see the difference I'm talking about. The kind of fun thing about it is that they're so different they even fool me into wondering if I'm looking at the same frame most of the time. Its pretty sick. 

There was one shot that the fastcam malfunctioned on and somehow we got pink registering in the leaves of the trees and in his highlights. Scott asked me if I could get that one to work right again. You'll see it in the stills(numbers 10 and 11) . It took a few different things all happening at once, but I got the pink out and got it to match well enough to keep it. 

 

Here's the full video. Hope you enjoy it. This is the last project of 2012. I'm looking forward to 2013. I'll be releasing a new reel soon to reflect my new style. Developing new techniques always makes me excited about the future. More to come!