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INTERNSHIP AS LIGHTING ARTIST (CG) AND

THESIS ON APPLIED CINEMATOGRAPHY IN DIGITAL FILMMAKING

By

Abul Kalaam Shaik Roll no. 06051C0301 IVTH Year / IIND Sem

Department of Photography

Jaraharlal Nehru Architecture and Fine Arts University College Of Fine Arts Masab Tank, Hyderabad - 28


Jaraharlal Nehru Architecture and Fine Arts University College Of Fine Arts Masab Tank, Hyderabad - 28

Department of Photography

CERTIFICATE

This is to certify that Abul Kalaam Shaik, bearing the roll no. 06051C0301, Student of IVth Year, IInd Semester of Photography and Visual Communication has completed his Internship As ‘Lighting Artist in Computer Graphics’ and Thesis On ‘Applied Cinematography’ as needed for the Academic Requirements.

Head of the Depatment

Principal

Examiner


F o r e w o r d Welcome to my Introspective on my favourite topic that is - Filmmaking. What I’ll be sharing through this Thesis of mine is the know hows of some Interesting areas and aspects of Filmmaking which I worked on for past couple of months for a few Project Films. I take pride in mentioning that each and every word of this Thesis, is written in person and are personal experiences of my hard work. All the content printed in this book is One Hundered percent Original and Intellectual Property of mine. And No Refernces or Researched material i.e., contents, pictures and/or articles, etc., have been used or Reproduced in this Thesis. I have made detailed notes on the technologies used which are all strict Copyright of there respected owners. No content in part or whole should be reproduced or referred without consent and/or written permission. I believe the knowledge that I have shared through these following pages will be strictly used for one’s own benefit and hopefully help further to develop there own originality that is essential quality for Filmmaking. Thank You.


A c k n o w l e d g e m e n t I would like to thank all those who have Inspired me, guided me and supported me through these four special years called BFA. There are Many Many Others who I would thank, to name a few and convey my regards, who have helped me directly or indirectly in practising Photography and Visual Communication. My special thanks to my Parents for not questioning me as to why I have choosen Photography for my Graduation. A very very special thanks to Mr Kantha Rao, Alumini, Who’s been my first mentor. A special mention and regards to my Faculty of Department of Photography, CFA.


A b o u t

M e

“I am someone who is often amazed with these colorful worlds created from thin air. I am among those who always wondered what it would be like being the lord of your own creation and dreamed of being one. I am one of the few who would agree that if an artist was God, how wonderful this world would be, not to say that God ain’t an artist. I am an artist myself . I take pride in being among the few who have the gift of Greater Expression.”

KalaamPhotoghraphy

~

Abul Kalaam Shaik kalaam@live.com kalaam.daportfolio.com kreaturekreative.animationblogspot.com


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Epilogue


I n t r o d u c t i o n ‘Applied Cinematography” - perhaps this is the first time someone may be hearing of it or may be heard before but had no clear picture about what it is. As with the name, itself is self explanatory. Applied Cinematography refers to the knowledge of Camera, Lighting and Photogrphic Post-Process being applied in other fields respectively. As Cinematography first and foremost relates to Cinema - The magic of Moving Pictures, So as for my Thesis I’ll also be discussing primarily about the it’s application in the realm of Independent Filmmaking by use of Computer Graphics (CG), be it a Short or a Feature. Through out the 20th century the Intervention of the Movie Camera in the storytelling process has paved way for an altogether a new approach to involve the audience in the Story. And for ever has changed the way we Communicate. With the Camera and Sound, storytelling has by far become the most effective means of communication - Filmmaking. Camera movements help us captivate the Character’s emotions Seamlessly, Beautifully. Both Camera Motion and Light Design together bring an whole new dimention in sharing Ideas. I would demonstrate this in how Camera and Light can Alter, Enhance and Magnify the Idea behing a simple Story, through examples of my work. My Objective regarding this thesis is not talk about Motion Picture Photography and/or Movie Making on the whole which is a gigantic process but to show you the simplyfied path in approach to an Independent Film (Live Action and/or Animation). I won’t mention the obvious but will just guide the concept behind this thesis through My works using Digital Technologies which are essential for an effortless workflow. I won’t be talking about all the various stages involved in making of a Film, but will focus on the key steps that can change an Idea the way it can be shown. My motive is to show rather than just speak about this topic.


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Applied Cinematography In Digital Filmmaking

The Story A Story is basically an Idea, its what you intend to communicate through an Ideology or a subject matter which could be Real, Surreal or Abstract. Whatever it is, it’s basically an Idea. Thinking of a story is one thing and Writing it is another. The point is how do you convert the Imaginative process into an Narrative process. How do you build your Characters? How do you build Suspence? While you do all that How do you want your reader/viewer to ‘Imagine’ or ‘See’ it. Here you start converting your Imagination into Real Action, from Raw Visuals in your brain into some ‘Substance’. Thus your Story i.e., the Idea Translates into a Script. A Script for others to understand what you raw idea is and interpret it into a Movie. Thus the Visual building process has started. Your one whole concept starts dividing into Sequences, then into Scenes and then into Shots. You are soon thinking of What to show?, What not show?, The Dramatic set up, all that through your ‘Point of View’. Now that Point of View is actually the various Angles you have Imagined your Characters, Scenes and overall Story through.

Camera as a Narrator Since the Audience is a Third person, it’s essential for Script to be seen from a Third person’s ‘Perspective’. So, we are transcending from one Point of View to another and eventually the Third. Which simply means From the Screenwriter/Narrator to Director/Actor and finally to the Audiences’ Perspective. We usually don’t care about the Critique’s. In reality Audience are ‘Thosands of Eyes’ watching through a single frameset. For a seamless storytelling we need to have a Universal Perspective of a given script, which comes through unique Camera Narration. It happens while writing the script. Let’s have a look at a part of one of my scripts.....

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KYRITHEYÁN

Written By Abul Kalaam Shaik

© Abul Kalaam Shaik

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EXT. SPACE. XLS - PAN - AN UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT is spotted. The camera then slowly zooms to reveal it is a hovering space ship. DISSOLVE TO LONGSHOT - TRACKING - WIND-SHIELD shows a MAN, piloting the ship. CUT TO: INT. SPACESHIP CONTROL ROOM. CU -KWINN KWINN "This is Kwinn. This is Kwinn, operator in charge. Reporting from SC91 - the Kyritheyán; I need immediate assistance. I rep... Pauses as a countdown alarm starts in Five to One sequence. KWINN (CONT'D) ...I repeat I need immediate assistance. I've lost all vital connections to my Base. And My Crew is...." Beep sound.An virtual image of a lady appears on the holographic dashboard. KYRIX Kyrix replying. Your report failed to trans-code. No 'Proximus' or communication hubs found in proximity. You need to report in another zone. Beep. KWINN Shit. Any other zones left? KYRIX Processing. Please wait.

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KWINN Common. common. KYRIX No other zones left. Relocate the ship to probe further. KWINN Override. Repeat search for any prohibited hubs in all the zones. KYRIX Processing. Please wait. Kwinn reviews the dashboard. KYRIX (CONT'D) One new hub found. Proximus[P-45A]. Location?

KWINN

KYRIX P-45A is in '193-240-47, X-Y-Z' direction, with in Hyper-proximity. KWINN Enlist conditions for P-45A. KYRIX 30 seconds of speech or 5 seconds of visual binary can be transferred in emergency. Textual binary not allowed. KWINN Any other limitations? KYRIX You'll have one chance to report. Neither the message status nor the Base it is transmitting in the zone to, are shown. KWINN Odds. Will it give SC91's location. KYRIX No. It only reports a single message. It does not transmit or send back any other information.

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Kwinn frustratingly gets up, turns to walk away few steps and halts. CU - KWINN -FOLLOW KWINN "Bloody hell! I hate the Corp. for putting me on this mission. I hate it!" KYRIX (O.S.) 'Bad compilation'. KWINN (silently) Let me think. Let me think. KYRIX (O.S.) 'Please be loud and clear.' KWINN Are there any alternatives to receive information from Hubs using illegitimate code?? KYRIX (O.S.) Emergency codes can be authoritatively 'hacked' for specific tasks. KWINN Yes, Hacks! That's what MYLEI was talking about. MYLEI(V.O.) "You should know some Hacking Kwinn... INT. SPACE SHIP'S SLEEPING STATION - EARLIER. OSS - MYLEI AND KWINN MYLEI(CONT'D) ....or something about the core. As an 'Junior Op' (operator) you can run out of options". KWINN I think I've learned enough. I'm happy with my role on SC91.

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MYLEI I thought most operators dream of becoming a Commander like SENTHE, someday. KWINN A Commander..?? BACKTO INT. SPACESHIP CONTROL ROOM - CONTINUOUS. CU - KWINN KWINN ....a Commander?? Something spring to mind, Kwinn rushes back to the seat. KWINN (CONT'D) Kyrix. What's the criteria to execute codes through hacks?? KYRIX 'Only Commander or the Chief Operator of the ship can hack the codes'. KWINN "Damn. This is Hell". KYRIX 'Bad compilation'. KWINN Not you goddammit. KYRIX Repeat. Bad compil..... KWINN Besides Commander or Chief Op, can any other crew use hacks?? KYRIX Yes. Provided the crew member has 'System-core-key' that is passed on to substitute authority. KWINN A System-core-key?

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KYRIX It is the main binary digit 'Keyword' which enables complete liability of the ship. KWINN Any other means to procure the key with only a crew member remaining on board? KYRIX Your request calls for Secretive Information Inquiry(SII). For security reasons, access is via authentication. KWINN (sighs) At least I haven't lost my ID. Kyrix, authorize me to SII. KYRIX Please enter your IDCA Number. Kwinn types on the holographic keyboard. KYRIX (CONT'D) SII Accessed successfully. Security inquiries are classified and Un-repeated. Do you want to process your previous request? KWINN Affirmative. KYRIX Request Processed for Space Transport Regulation 345 Emergency takeover; The Commander passes on the Core-key to the crew trustees using encryption, either in Word, Oral or Sign communication, anytime during the course of the mission. This act is known as 'Smart-Fox' command, subjective to realization. Do you have any encrypted information about the Core-Key??

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KWINN (astonished) Would Commander Senthe tell me something about the key?? He was the least chatty on board. KYRIX There are possibilities. KWINN When exactly this Smart fox command is usually executed. KYRIX The commander chooses for him or her self. Previous case studies indicate that it is secretly communicated with in first 150 Hours after launch. KWINN "Shit! That's way back long". I don't remember a damn thing! KYRIX Besides bad compilation, I conclude that you may need Monitoring data of the system core. KWINN Now what's that?? KYRIX You can use the video captured to system memory from CC on board. KWINN (rejoice) "You are a Genius." Why didn't you tell me before?? I thought they were inaccessible. KYRIX The data is now accessible as it a shared component of SII. KWINN 'Thanks a billion!' Show me the archives. KYRIX Acquiring data. Please wait.

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Kwinn starts humming while Kyrix is engaged. Moments later thumbnails fill the screen with a column of enlisted files. KYRIX (CONT'D) The archive is ready for reviewing. Kwinn eagerly looks over and scrolls the list on the screen. KWINN Are they voice and face recognized? KYRIX Absolutely. KWINN Show those with Commander present. KYRIX Processing. Thumbnails are refreshed with list rearranged. Kwinn zooms, scrolls and clicks on the File 'Day 3-55-07H'. A video pops showing three crew members. Kwinn, one of them. KYRIX (CONT'D) 'Senthe, JAKYM and Kwinn identified'. KWINN (V.O.) Commander, how long's this mission? MATCH CUT TO:: INT. SPACE SHIP'S DRAWING ROOM. CUT IN - KWINN Kwinn at the desk, commander Senthe in the opposite chair. Senior Operator Jakym fetching something. KWINN Can I abort anytime. SENTHE Bad joke. Kwinn. KWINN Just trying to get some info. SENTHE Better luck next time. KWINN Okay, when are we landing??

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SENTHE "No more jokes on board". KWINN Okay. Okay. I'll be serious. SENTHE Ask me something that'll make me thing you are a smart chap! JAKYM(O.S.) Ah...Ah...he's just a kid. It'll take him years to ask you something wise, Commander. KWINN Hmm. "Can a Junior Op contact the base to know when this mission ends?" After a momentary pause, Senthe and Jakym burst out laughing. SENTHE Ha..ha...nice try again...Kwinn. Jakym occupies the third chair. JAKYM Oh ya, Commander. He's wise, gotta agree. SENTHE Not bad. But no FAUX PAS, in this ship. KWINN Are you telling me I have no such privileges. JAKYM No not as a Junior Op Kwinn. SENTHE Don't be curious, Kwinn. You'll know everything, yourself. Senthe leaves the desk. KWINN Ya, thanks for the tip, commander. JAKYM Hope you kept your ears open, kid.

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BACK TO: INT. SPACESHIP CONTROL ROOM - CONTINUOUS. KWINN FAUX PAS?? Could that be a Key?? KYRIX Do you want to verify? KWINN Affirmative. KYRIX Loading the Core Interface. You have one chance to enter. Do you want to proceed? KWINN 'One chance??' No, No, not yet. KYRIX Do you need Help? KWINN How many words does the key have? KYRIX In most cases, it's a two word binary. KWINN That's close. KYRIX Do you need further help? KWINN No. Thanks, Kyrix. Kwinn gets up and walks towards the windshield. He glances the empty space in silence. DISSOLVE TO: EXT. SPACE - ELSEWHERE - MEANWHILE. MEDIUM SHOT - UFO hovering in space. As it rotates, the Sunshine spark on it's edge reveals the alphabet PROXIMUS 45A while camera tracks on it. The next moment it's shaded by a passing object.

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Conclusion Now that you have read and followed some part of the script, you must have already build up some Imagination which comes into play. Now you might be wondering what could be the Plot, the Conflict or even the End. Okay without suspence, I’ll give you the Synopsis: “An Astranaut wakes up to find himself alone in a Spacecraft. He doesn’t know where abouts of his Crew. He should now protect the ship from invading enemies which is lost in Space and find out what happend the crew members.” After reading the synopsis you can’t say wheather my script that is ‘My Perspective’ of my own Idea above is the most Unique or not. The Imagination that you have build up after reading the script can or cannot be better. The concept is - you are given the synopsis after reading the script. If you knew the synopsis before hand your imagination would be different from that you have now. So the secret is the Imagination is sub-conscious. Camera Narration is Conscious. And the audience are conscious what they seen on screen and not what they don’t see. So the Camera Narration / Unique perspective plays Hide and Seek with the Audience and are convinced with the Narration. Simply put it - untill you knew the Idea behind the Script you were my Audience and believed in the Narration / Perspective I provided, because of the Invicible character called ‘Camera’.

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Tech and Technique So now that we have learned how to tell a tale basically, let us understand what really helped turn a raw idea into a script. Here I’ll be discussing about the tool necessary for Screenwriting....that is a Screenwritng software. The screenshot below is that of a newly launched ‘Software as a Service’ from Adobe which is simply called ‘Story’. As you can see I’m in ‘Authoring’ section, writing my script.

Efficiency But before I tell you something about this application, you need to know some necessities for effectively writing a screenplay. By ‘Effectively’ I mean how easy of use your tool is to you while you proceed to write/create something important as a Screenplay out of your invicibe Idea. The way you work greatly affects how efficienciently you work. As the saying goes ‘Delay is the Enemy Of Efficiency’. It’s important that your tool helps you in accelerating your narrative process. So the bottom line is.... It’s all about Efficiency. So let’s find out how a tool out of thin air can help your Idea materialize.

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Editability As you progress for writing it’s natural to make a number of changes. Infact changes keep happening until the Final draft and again continue in another stage of filmaking. So changes are incremental and vital in development of an Idea. Imagine you wrote a entire screenplay, printed and ready for pitching. Now you think the Dialogue in the fouth Scene could be better and wanted to change it, or say the Description of another scene is lenthy, or even say you cut to the climax very early and would want to build aniticipation by adding couple of scenes more. Sounds hectic but you think It’s doable, how? Thank God, we are’nt still using a typewriter. The solution is make it as easy as possible for you to switch between different scenes of your Screenplay, just like swithching Tv channels back and forth or see the progress of the story by comparing scene to scene, like spreading all the pieces of a puzzle before you try to solve it! So just Imagine how this would affect the way we work. Having such functionality won’t completely ease the task but would be way lot helpful. So can our application do that? We would want to answer ‘Yes’. But again having the right feature set alone won’t make a great tool. It greatly depends on how you use. Don’t worry, it comes with experience. By saying so I want to make it clear that what ever application you choose it’s capability is propotional to your ability. I’m not stating that the application is the best, but it worked best of me. It’s necessary to find 1) The right tool and at same time 2) What’s right for you. So let’s discover one such application called ‘Adobe Story’.

Digitally Doable While the software for writing screenplays have been there for a while, it was always a large mystery as to how they were used in Professional Screenwriting Market. While many have brought up various products to make the process of writing screenplays easier and convinient, they were not economical. Well if you are a Pro having a robust application is not a burden.

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My point here is ‘Open source’ - Free to use technology. I won’t debate here about free software vs. Commercial ware. I’ll simply say that Adobe Story is some thing that helped me start write some of my first plays and it didn’t cost me a penny. The scenario is different to prevous generaion, were there were technological obstructions to start a succesful screenwriting career. Adobe Story is not completely free, but it’s something that influences the way people will write screenplays. It is not too technical - something for the casual filmmaker to start turn his/her idea into a movie, the current and future generation like. Commercial screenwriting software have always targeted professionals not necessarily aspiring filmmakers. My belief is that Professionalism comes through experience, and why should some program made of 0’s and 1’s tell you to be professional. I hope that software like ‘Story’ will be a common place and make possible that one thing that the previous generations didn’t have - Choice. So I leave the choice to you, weather to use a professional application or a word processor or good old paper, remember it’s all about being Efficient.

Feature set Story makes writing screenplays enjoyable. It can help many aspiring filmmakers access the world of Professional story telling without a hitch. If you have read my screenplay carefully, you might already have got the basic understanding to format a screenplay. So you are ready to start. When you start writing in an application like Story you soon realize your already formated the play without even being professio nally taught how to write a screen play. You have already classified the scenes through Transissions and Shots. Take a look at the screenshot here. The scenes are always at your access and the colored boxes assigned identify characters present in the scene.

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Interactivity As they say ‘Simple Things Matter Much’, there are a lot such features which help make your job painless. It’s about userfriendlyness of your application. ‘Interactivity’ really make writing like playing a piano. You are not bothered about how the keys stuck the stings inside the piano but only the notes in the song. In Story you really don’t have to format, the application does it for you. As you are fastly running scenes into shots, description and dialogue, Story really heps you do the job. Say for example, the situation here in the screenshot I am showing you how the software is helping me who’s dialogue it’s going to be and then let’s me choose from the list of Characters I previously mentioned and simply click on that name. Now imagine you are writing a scene where there is a group discussion involved in heavy dialogue, what you can simply do is first run the dialogue on the page leaving the characters’ lines empty and simply come back to the relative dialogue’s character line and right click to choose your character from the list. Now you can see how each page is retricted to a set of guidelines and the way you interact helps you choose what action you want. Look at another situation here for example, I wanted to finishe the previous scene and all I had to do was proceed three lines further (triple enter) and Story instantly asks me for the transition to the next scene/shot. On the other side if I wanted to continue the scene all I have to do is double enter from the previous dialogue and it would ask me to choose the Character’s name for the continuing dialogue, just like in the previous example. © Abul Kalaam Shaik


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Multitasking Another cool thing about Adobe Story is that it’s both an Online and Offline application. The official URL is story.adobe.com from where you can also download an offline version of the application that is like a clone of the online version. The best part is it’s platform independent (works on various OS). All you need is to install Adobe AIR and an account (both free) from adobe.com. Now, why do we need to work with our scripts online? In a real film production it’s essential for one or more people working on the same project. And say if the writers are working from different places, how would they collaborate? Ya, sure there’s email, but just think how feasable would it be editing the script and emailing often in script development every time you made tiny changes and sharing them with your Co-writer. Thus the solution is to work seamlessly. < My projects in Story beta.

< In The ‘Projects’ section the red dots indicate that I’m working with my projects offline and are not synced with those online. The flexibity comes with click of a button. All I have to do is click ‘Online’ button on top right of the screen and voila all my scripts are synched showing Green dots. It means that it backs-up a copy of all your work Online. That’s all you need to know about this tool, it’s up to you to discover. So what are you waiting for go and start you Next Big Idea into a Script. © Abul Kalaam Shaik


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Visualization In our childhood we have been told many fairy tales. It was always a narrative process. With our little what so ever Imagination we had, we would Visualize what’s being narrated and enjoyed them, or even dreamed of being in one. Now if I asked you to put down your favourite tale on paper and make it interesting for an Audience! Yes for an Audience! How Would you go about it? We were basically nothing different when we were told those fairytales. We were Audiences. So how would yo show it? You no need to be a good artist to show your Imagination effectively. Expressing things is basically in our nature, just like describing a dream or a nightmare you had last night. May be you Imagined the tale in a great way but you’re unable to communicate in the same way you Imagined or more precisely Visualized. Or if you even successfully did, how would you know that your Audience would like it. Now every one has their own Imagination, good or bad it’s basically what made that old boring fairy tale interesting back in our childhood. Or it’s in the way it was being narrated....The ‘Big’ ‘Bad’ ‘Wolf’ poses as the granny waiting for the poor little Red Riding Hood to come...... which triggered out Imagination into believing how bad the Wolf was or how innocent the Riding Hood was. Either way the moral is.....It’s not what is shown but how it’s shown, or say how it’s Visualized. The key in Storytelling.

Storytelling in Pictures What we are discussng here is called ‘Storyboarding’ - A Blueprint of the Idea or even the Movie itself. The question of Perspective also arises here. It’s basically how you build a Narration pictorially, ‘to Picture’ and again convince the Audience that it’s the best Vision of the Idea presented to them. Using Visualization we are actually Picturizing the given Idea and showing that Picturized version in the theatre. Execept that we are previewing it before we even shoot anything. Let’s look one of my other Idea plotted in Pictures...

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'3B'

Sequence: Shoot Out Scenes 1-4 Date: MARCH - MAY 2010 Director: Abul Kalaam Shaik Artist: Abul Kalaam Shaik

© 2010 ABUL KALAAM SHAIK

© Abul Kalaam Shaik

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Scene 1 / Paradiso

The scene is establishment where our 'Hero' is introduced.

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Shot #1 The shot opens with a urban sun setting off. Windy sounds over the twilight sky.

Dialogue (V.O.) It was one saturday evening...

D A R PA O IS

Shot #1 Cont'd. The camera zooms out pulling through buildings of a dark street. A window of an apartment - Paradisco holds our view. We here traffic, hustle and bustle off-screen.

Dialogue (V.O.) (cont'd.) At Paradiso, Black Street.....the calm evening was changing....

Shot #2 The window - Camera tracks into the room showing our hero, relaxed in chair, watching Tv; The outdoor sounds fade into the Tv.'s volume as we move in.

Dialogue (V.O.) (cont'd.) ...into a violent night.

Date Artist : Abul Kalaam Shaik

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Scene 1 / Paradiso

The scene is establishment where our 'Hero' is introduced.

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Shot 3 Hero's watching some cartoon.

No Dialogue / Tv sound.

Shot 4 Camera switches to elevation above the Fan, panning across giving an interior perspective of the room. Tv playing, Fan spinning;

No Dialogue / Fan spinning overlapping Tv's volume.

Shot 5

Bang !

C.U. - Tv screen Shows a flag labeled 'Bang' popping of the Pistol. No Dialogue / Relative sound.

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Scene 1 / Paradiso

The scene is establishment where our 'Hero' is introduced.

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Shot 6 The Camera faces the hero, who's little off screen. Windows sliding in the B.g. No Dialogue / Relative sound cont'd..

Shot 7 Close-up; Partially silhoutted, he reacts to the humor on Tv.

Dialogue* - Hmm...what an evening........

Shot 8 He turns to looks at the Wall Clock. His face clear in room's light. No Dialogue / Relative sound cont'd..

Shot 9 P.O.V. - The wall clock.

Dialogue* - Hmmm.....6:45.

* Inner Monologue

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Scene 1 / Paradiso

The scene is establishment where our 'Hero' is introduced.

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Shot 10 Hero turns to look at the almost empty bottle on his left.

Dialogue* - Time for a drink a drink.

Shot 11 P.O.V. - He looks over to a paper on the wall with a list of phone extension numbers. No Dialogue / Relative sound cont'd..

Shot 12 Camera cuts to close up of the list focusing on reception's extension no. No Dialogue / Relative sound cont'd..

* Inner Monologue

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Scene 2 / Something's wrong.

Hero finds something unusual happening.

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Shot 1 / 2 Close-Up - Telephone.

No Dialogue / Relative sound cont'd..

Shot 2 / 2 Extreme Close Up; Telephone. - pick the receiver and dials the extension. No Dialogue / Relative sound cont'd..

Shot 2, Cont'd. / 2

Shot 2, Cont'd. / 2

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Scene 2 / Something's wrong.

Hero finds something unusual happening.

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Shot 3 / 2 Cut Away - Corridor Somebody's P.O.V. Camera: Tracks-in through the corridor. No Dialogue

Shot 4 / 2 Back to - Room - Hero The Windows in the B.g., slammed by blowing winds.

No Dialogue / Phone ringing off screen, other end. Shot 3 / 2, Cont'd. Cut in - Corridor - Camera tracking cont'd.

No Dialogue

Shot 5 / 2 Back to room - C.U. Lightening outside. Windows slamming. Nobody answering the call. Dialogue* - ''Common, pick it up''. / Relative sound cont'd.

* Inner Monologue

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Title

3B

Scene 2 / Something's wrong.

Hero finds something unusual happening.

7

Shot 3 / 2, Cont'd. Cut back to - Corridor. We notice a window on the other end of the corridor as the camera tracks further. No Dialogue / Wind whispering outside.

Shot 6 /2 Cut to - C.U. - Hero. Camera facing him Desperate. Dialouge* "Why isn't he answering?"

Shot 3 / 2, Cont'd. Cut back to - Corridor. We reach the last two doors, The window slamming. No Dialogue / Relative sound.

Shot 7 / 2 Cut to - C.U. - Phone put down. Sound - Common.

Dialogue* - "Bloody Hell".

* Inner Monologue

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Title

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Scene 2 / Something's wrong.

Hero finds something unusual happening.

8

Shot 8 / 2 Hero leans back in the chair; Winds smashing windows. Lightening.

No Dialogue / Relative sound.

Shot 9 / 2 Cut to - Close Up - Hero. Tv running;

Dialogue* 'Why isn't Jon at the reception ?' / Relative sound.

Shot 10 / 2 Cut Away - Door Somebody swiftly moves across the door outside. No Dialogue / Relative sound.

Shot 9 / 2, Cont'd. Cut back Hero reacts to look at the door.

Dialogue* - What was that ? / Relative sound.

* Inner Monologue

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Title

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Scene 2 / Something's wrong.

Hero finds something unusual happening.

9

Shot 10 / 2, Cont'd. Nobody there.

No Dialogue / Relative sound.

Shot 11 / 2 C.U. - Hero's suspicious.

Dialogue* May be I'm thinking too much. Need to chill. / Relative sound.

Shot 12 / 2 He gets up, moving the chair and walks up to the fridge; Camera: Above the fan, pans across to the fridge.

Dialogue* Hope something's in the fridge. / Relative sound.

* Inner Monologue

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Title

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Scene 2 / Something's wrong.

Hero finds something unusual happening.

10

Shot 13 / 2 ....opens the fridge;

Dialogue* Let see what we've got ?

Shot 14 / 2 .....grabs a Beer.

Dialogue* Not bad, for the evening, after all.

Shot 15 / 2 Cut to: Suddenly the room light starts to fluctuate.

No Dialogue.

* Inner Monologue

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Title

3B

Scene 2 / Something's wrong.

Hero finds something unusual happening.

11

Shot 16 / 2 Hero looks up to the lamp in frustration.

Dialogue* " Now What? "

Shot 15 / 2, Cont'd. The light dims after some fluctuation.

No Dialogue

Shot 17 / 2 Keeps looking helplessly.

No Dialogue

Shot 18 / 2 Shuts the fridge door.

No Dialogue

* Inner Monologue

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Title

3B

Scene 3 / Look out

Hero tries to find out what's going on.

12

Shot 1 / 3 Haves the beer.

No Dialogue

Shot 2 /3 Somebody again passes over, across the door in the corridor.

No Dialogue

Shot 3 / 3 Hero reacts to find....

No Dialogue

Shot 2 / 3 cont'd. ....nothing there.

No Dialogue

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Title

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Scene 3 / Look out

Hero tries to find out what's going on.

13

Shot 4 / 3 His suspicion grows.

No Dialogue

Shot 5 / 3

He heads for the door as the camera jumps outside to pan over the corridor window. No Dialogue

Shot 6 / 3 P.O.V. - Hero heading towards the door.

No Dialogue

Shot 5 / 3 cont'd. Camera pan stops here to hold our view, showing the the other end of the door. No Dialogue

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Title

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Scene 3 / Look out

Hero tries to find out what's going on.

14

Shot 6 / 3 cont'd. P.O.V. - He fetches the knob to open.

No Dialogue / Relative sound.

Shot 6 / 3 cont'd. P.O.V. - Slowly opens the door and steps out side.

No Dialogue / Relative sound.

Shot 7 / 3 Extreme wide shot Cut Away - Simultaneously we see him stepping out. No Dialogue / Relative sound.

Shot 8 / 3

P.O.V. - Wide Shot - Pan - R to L - He looks over the corridor end to end. No Dialogue / Relative sound. Artist : Abul Kalaam Shaik

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Title

3B

Scene 3 / Look out

Hero tries to find out what's going on.

15

Shot 5 / 3 cont'd. He turns to walk to the other end. Window swinging rapidly by wind.

No Dialogue / Relative sound.

Shot 9 / 3 P.O.V - Camera tracks through the corridor.

No Dialogue

Shot 10 / 3 Cut to - Somebody's P.O.V. A door opens partially, some body peeking over the hero's behind. Dialogue x: "Shit! He's going towards Mark."

Shot 11 / 3 Camera cuts to other end of the corridor. Hero walking towards the camera. No Dialogue

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Title

3B

Scene 3 / Look out

Hero tries to find out what's going on.

16

Shot 12 / 3 C.U. - Hero As he comes closer, a suddenly something move behind him. No Dialogue

Shot 13 / 3 He looks back.

No Dialogue

Shot 14 / 3 Nothing there except this room door which remains open. No Dialogue

Shot 11 / 3 cont'd Hero turns to walk back, while camera reveals a stranger hidden at the corridor's turn. No Dialogue

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Title

3B

Scene 4 / Bang!

Our Hero's Encountered.

17

Shot 1 / 4 Somebody's P.O.V. - XWS Hero comes into the camera's field of view which seems like a peep hole of a door. No Dialogue

Shot 1 / 4 continuing. The View slowly starts to track out as our hero steps in to fill the view. We conclude the frame is throgh a peep hole. Hero knocks the door. Dialogue X: "Damn it! He's at the door". X2: "What??" Relative sound. Shot 1 / 4 continuing. Tracking out continues as he puts his eye in the peep hole.

Dialogue X: He's looking through the glass X2: Take the shot!!

Shot 1 / 4 continuing. Camera instantly zooms out showing an handgun pointing the peep hole. Dialogue "Alright".

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Title

3B

Shot 2 / 4

Scene 4 / Bang!

XCU - Camera pans in from the room to hero outside perpendicular to the door.

Our Hero's Encountered.

18

Dialogue - X2: "Now".

Shot 3 / 4 Cut to - The next moment "Fire" someone cries out (O.S). Hero turns to his left in shock to see...... Relative Dialogue

Shot 4 / 4 The stranger showing at the corridor end, firing three rounds at the hero. The action holds on screen in slow motion. Relative sound.

Shot 5 / 4 Cut to - The next spilt second hero's frozen with speeding bullets towards him. Camera zooms in on the tension to hero's close up. No Dialogue

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Title

3B

Scene 4 / Bang!

Our Hero's Encountered.

19

Shot 5 / 4 cont'd C.U.- Hero Two of the impending Bullets narrowly escape our hero. No Dialogue

Shot 6 / 4 Before he could fully react he hits the room. We notice that one of the missing rounds hit the window glass at the camera/we see through it. No Dialogue

Shot 7 / 4 As he jumps in spilling the beer, which he's still holding.

Relaative sound.

Shot 8 / 4 He falls to the ground, realizes he hurt from on of the rounds.

No Dialogue

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page

Title

3B

Scene 4 / Bang!

Our Hero's Encountered.

20

Shot 9 / 4 Cut to - P.O.V. - C.U. - Tv "What's Up Doc ?" - the voice from the cartoon shifts his attention towards the desk. No Dialogue

Shot 10 / 4 XCU Desk's draw. No Dialogue

Shot 11 / 4 He pulls the draw immediately which reveals a Colt Pistol with a Cartridge. No Dialogue

Shot 12 / 4 Takes out the Gun and the Cartridge.

No Dialogue

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page

Title

B3

Scene 4 / Bang!

Our Hero's Encountered.

21

Shot 13 / 4 Something catches his eye.

No Dialogue

Shot 14 / 4 C.U. - Door The door next to the table is partially open. No Dialogue

Shot 15 / 4 He believes he's not alone in the room.

No Dialogue

Shot 16 / 4 Loads the Cartridge.

No Dialogue

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Conclusion The best reason to use a different Idea is possibly to refresh your Visualization. This time around you had more to grasp, more to see, more to ‘Imagine’. The reason is that it’s Picturized. Why need a Storyboard when you already have a script that would help the Director/Actor elicit emotion using the directions in the Script?? Well it‘s called planning. Not everything need planning but in the process of Movie Making eveything most certainly does need planning. Why would someone invest Millions on a Movie just because someone thinks the Idea behind the movie is great? You know you have to build a house but you need a Plan of the house before hand...simple as that. Basically a Movie is seen inform of pictures....naturally you would need your Idea to be seen in Pictures, if you are planning to make a Movie out of that Idea. In reality just like you shared your Idea, your Imagination in form of a script for others to concieve your concept; similarly you need to convince others that your Picturization is possibly the best, all this before you even have a real Audience. So we are simply seeing Camera Narration come into play. What it shows and what it doesn’t. To explain this I’ll again share the synopsis: “A Man living at a lodge is attacked and He has to defend himself while figuring out why he’s choosen as the target.”

Picture That Now what if I’m asking you to Picturize that Idea and not script it. Chances are that you would want it to be more Dramatic, more Intence or even just simplfy it. You simply got a clue how to make it better. Again the Question is ‘How would you know?’ Suppose I gave you only the Idea and How would I know my Idea is being translated? How fast or slow the the Screenplay is? In reality a Script/Screenplay goes through rigorous development and many rewrites. © Abul Kalaam Shaik


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The point is you wouldn’t know untill you have ‘Imagined’, ‘Written’ and ‘Picturized’ an Idea that how it’s going to be captured on Screen. By showing you a Storyboard instead of the script I have catapulted your Imagination to Picturization. The brigde is narrow long and steep through a mist. You heed to crossover. Hence I have shown you the Idea in Pictures and not in words. You have simply ‘Seen my Imagination’ put in pictures. You saw what I saw. If i gave you the Script of the same Idea, that is ‘My Imagination’, would still vary from yours, despite how tightly I have written my Screenplay and regardless of how many Rewrites I have done.

The Difference While reading a Screenplay in the previous section you were anticipating what is goin on, while on other hand when you ‘Saw’ the storyboard you are clearabout When, Where and What is being anticipated. Audience in theatre would be Seeing and not Reading to Imagine your concept. You are providing the Imagination in form of a Narrative Camera which helps the Audience to Visualize. The Narrative process swiftly translates to a Visual process on Screen. Storyboarding helps you bring that Invicible Camera from the script into Action.

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Tech and Technique Once again we have come to need of a Tool. This time it’s for Storyboarding of course. Now again I won’t go allover about efficiency and editability etc., about another tool, because by now you have a mental understanding of what all it takes for both you and your tool to do the job. Here however I‘ll demonstate more about using an application for making storyboards in simple steps and just leave it to you to discover more about building blueprints of your Imagination. So the application here would be ‘Layout’ which bundles with Google SketchUp Pro. We’ll talk about SketchUp later. For now what Layout has to offer for creating Intuitive storyboards.

Headstart First and foremost when you start Layout, go to ‘File>New from template’ and under Storyboard choose one from the three templates. I would recommend the one with the widest panels - ‘The Wider, the Better’. Get it?. So that all you need to do for starting with a storyboard. © Abul Kalaam Shaik


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Why Draw? Now you can mess around with all sort of things on your screen, just like a kid would scribble on a blank piece of paper with crayons. Okay okay I see... I’m making you nervous. May be you hardly drew on paper and probably would screw up everything on screen. No problem. Storyboarding doesn’t mean to draw like a pro.Layout allows you to place any imagery in the panels. All you have to do is find relative pictures for your script and put them in panels in sequence.

Simple Things So lets focus on somethings that can make a considerable difference in your Visualization process.... Perspective Control

Take a look at the first set of pictures above. You can see how a slight movement in lines alter our view of that shot. The more oblique the verticals are the more diagonalthe frame would be. You need to decide how rational your shot will be. Depth and Field of View Notice in the second set of pictures how I’ve exaggerated the depth by increasing the size of the bottle and the glass, giving an impression of a wide angle view to the shot. Expressions In Close-Up Here in the picture set beside, a slight change in a single line is making all the difference. Your focus should be on what’s important for that shot in the frame and not everything in the frame. © Abul Kalaam Shaik


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Back-ot-foreground Observe this panel beside, the view is fetching from the close-up of the window to the sun setting in the Infinity. Also the relative placing and perspective with in the window’s interior is helping to build the dimentionality of the shot. Excluding the farside buldings and sky would alter the shot in a different way. The point here is how to match background and foreground perspectives in frame of a shot.

Shot Divisions By now I think I’ve given some clarity to why I’ve correponded shots to panels. This way we’re heading in simpler steps in to a complicated path of shot constructon and division. How important is it to classify a set of 5000 to 10,000 individual shots of a movie production?? Well here I’m really not exaggerating anything. There are films which have fetched that far. However no one is actually going to storyboard that many number of shots, they are simply shot. The point here again is we are looking into only those that require certain planning and preparation that are not easy to shoot. And it’s those kind of shots that fetch huge numbers when shooting. This translates to more cost of production and more burden on the Editing department and more clinches for the running time which again decides the marketing factor of the movie. Storyboard alone dosen’t decide those factors. It helps us in understanding those factors.

< The shots divided across pages, layered according to scenes in Hierarchy, in Layout. © Abul Kalaam Shaik


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Arranging shots During production there is always a scope for planning and rearranging shoots and schedules. Similarly during development there is a scope for rearrangement of shots and sequences. How do you switch between some hundred shots between scene to scene, all in need to make a better dramatization of the action. It’s vital for such delicate task to be carefully executed. Like I mentioned earlier, to proceed in simpler steps, so that the reason I was talking in correlation of Panels to Shots. The screenshots here show exactly how easier it to select and rearrage shots placed individually in layers. >

Shot Establishments Everytime we cut to a new scene and/or location it’s conventionally regarded to have an Establishing shot for that particular scene. Having the sequence of shots before hand gives us the freedom with which we can choose when and hoew to place the Establishment in the scene without restricting to the norm. < The

shot here is showing everthing in the premesis which establishes the location of the character in the shot. Also the Light and shade of the shot are conveyed. Now what if we Established this before the Sun set shot and later cut to the exterior?

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< Cutting to an outdoor shot would simply divert the attention of the viewer and unnecessarily break the anticipation of the shots further.

<< Now tracking back into the room would be like a merry go round and waste of timing. Planning linearly is Important.

Rough Or Tough If the storyboard is being planned in shot to shot finalization from the beginning it would be diffult to edit later on. It important be flexible and open to chages when ever possible.Therefore always have a Draft version of the storyboard for instantaneosly divide shots and then edit sequences accordingly.

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Applied Cinematography In Digital Filmmaking

Sequencing Why is it important to be flexible and improvisational is that it helps in building better sequences and would help you visualize the same scene in multiple ways and plan out the best order. In these rough drafts here, you are looking at the unfinished shot where the ‘Hero’ comes out and looks over the corridor. In these three different rearrangements of the same situation side by side we are able to better evaluate as how the tention is being anticipated and simply have to choose the best cut. This is crucial in each and every stage of storyboard development to keep you free from Re-editing the finished panels. Drafts are always helpful in making crucial decisions and build a better Narrative compared to shot by shot finalization of the process. Also re-sequencing gives the freedom to Editing and fast forward the post production process. You are simply easying out the harduous task of making the best cut. There’s nothing wrong in deciding the cut in pre-production. Because it’s just a storyboard and there is always room for improvisation on set. So the objective is to be flexible. So that’s all is there to know about storyboarding, but that shouldn’t stop you from exploring further. So I guess you’re ready to ‘Script Visually’.

© Abul Kalaam Shaik

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Cues in Action So we have read a script, followed a storyboard and understood the process of Visualization. Are we ready for Production. Well not really, we have just understood Visualization but not completed it. Visual driven process of Filmmaking doesn’t start with the Script and end with the storyboard. It’s essential to the end, as we know by now. But what else is needed? Don’t we have enough substance to start our project? The answer is No. An Idea may basically come from one person but to Transform that into a Film you need many Eyes to look in. So Visualization occurs at many stages during Pre-to-Post Production right till the end credits on screen. As a Screenwriter or a Storyboard artist you are concerned with specific tasks and on the whole cannot look into each and every nuance of your Idea as it’s being elaborated. At times your concerned with your Character’s Arc, and sometimes the Camera angle of a shot. Whatever or in which direction your Idea goes it’s all being done in a Visual Space in which every thing happens. Through out those stages you are building many Cues like Color, Depth, Perspective, Angle, Time frame etc., which are key Ingedients that help convert the Two Dimentional Visualization into real Three Dimentional space in which the Idea is taking shape.

Visual Space So the process of bringing all those Cues for Screen like a Painting on a canvas is called Layout Design. Layouts are essential for Production Design in which the action takes place. Layouts stimulate the realm of the setting of your Idea. Layouts brings all the key elements for the camera to compose with. Art Directing Layouts turns our substance into Poetry, a visual essay which helps the Story to engulf the viewer into the Scene. So Visualization is continuing and ongoing process. Layouts specifically help in rationalizing our view of a specific Idea, that into a physical realm. Now we shall look at some of my layouts for yet again some raw Ideas.....

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Realization Here above is one of my work constituting some architecture on a Photographed back ground. The difference is you are slowly starting to realize the set up behind the story which actually in this case, you haven’t yet heared of. Now if I say something about the Idea that this above Layout is based on, you are convinced that even before reading the script or even without seeing the storyboard that the Idea can work, because what the picture really doing is it’s making you realize the concept behind that story. But I’m not going to say anything about the Idea, because I simply want both your Imagination and Visualization come into play, and not mine. What’s happening really is the Cues in picture are playing along your vizualization. To emphosize what Layouts really can do, which is one of the reasons, I have choosen to work my storyboard in in Black and White; is that they help in bring that plain two dimentional Imagination of the Script and Visualization from the storyboard into Reality.

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So we are simplifying the path from Imagination & Visualization to Realization. This all happens by classifying the tasks in the storytelling process. Simply put it, In the script stage I relied on words in a specific format to communicate, during storyboard I was using the Camera angles and timing of the action to breakdown the Imaginative process and now I’m using Cues to build up that Vizualization into Realization. It’s just that I have choosen different examples for each task to show and help you understand how uniquely each task operates. If I demonstated all the three stages till now through a single Idea/Story/Concept, you would only be seeing my ‘Perspective’ of an Idea and you would just play the role of a mere audience. The intention is to help you involve as if you were working on a film in place of the Crew or even the Cast. By now you have understood why is it important to breakdown the Storytelling process to proceed on to make something complex as a Film. We’ll now discuss those Cues involved in making the Physical realm of an Idea.

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Wavelenth and Juxtaposition In these pictures of the page you are seeing two different layouts of the same set up. The landscape is the same but the elemental composition varies which really has less consent compared to dominant color. Color is the simulating factor for this backdrop on the other hand the change in position adheres to the screen aspect which depends on the format being shot. So it’s important to realize keeping the screen provision and color scheme of the Idea to have an Impact on the watching eye. If you excluded the color or say watched the same in monochrome the composition would influence more than the ‘Wavelenth’ in the frame. So we see how Cues influence each another. To effectively communicate the essence of the picture you need to balance all the cues.

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Proportionality and structure Let look at another scenario, where we have abstract towers dominating the view leading vertically. The Sky has some detail that is actually influencing the subjects in the picture. There is also color, but no contradiction or there is? We are sure that more than one cue is playing with our eyes than a single factor. Comparitively this picture has more detail in the background, to that of the previous example which had more information in subjects than in background. That is still not the reason as to say what really is working in the picture. The simple answer is that there’s no other layout of the same picture to show what’s wrong in it. So everything seens right. The technique is if everything falls in place the Cues work in harmony pleasing the eye in Proportions. Cues alone don’t help you realize the context with in the screen rather your eyes are taking those cues to grasp the encasing world in the frameset of the Film. Cohesion Now if you again saw the same in monochrome the effect would be different, not to mention that the structure and details are still there. On the other hand, if you removed the details and threw in just color, still it would be lacking something. While all this is happening in your brain, Depth is constant. So you cannot pin-point what Cues exactly work and how exactly they works in a picture, but what you need to know is to have those Cues in Cohesion. Cues attract and repulse each other to create friction for the eye, which decides between a good and a bad Visual.

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Tech and Technique : BG’s and Layouts Phew! Now what? Let’s simply jump into know hows. As we have got some intuition as how Backgrounds and Layouts hold vital information regarding the set up of a concept and are key in realizing that concept, let figure out how anyone can create some thing for the others to realize and interpret your Visualization. I’m not necessarily talking about the skill but just asking you to use your Imagination. You don’t need to paint or create art for someone to understand what it is that you are trying to communicate. There are alternatives. But before we discuss about simpler path, let’s talk about the optional tool ‘Corel Painter’ which is an Digital Painting application. It has a feature rich set of variable Brushes that can trigger your Imagination. What else this application can offer is what I leave it to you to ponder. Or you simply use Photoshop or the free alternative Gimp for creating layouts. You don’t have to create everything from scratch, use photographs of real locations you want to shoot and visualize your compositions.

Viewing Imagination Now we have come across some important things for a script to screen journey. You basically have a story to tell have and got the shots planned. And now you need to set up those Invicible Idea. Now you got a clue in you brain how your story is going to be set. You need to tell your cast and crew how wonderfull it’s going to be...Wait a minute...’to tell’?? Well I’m sure that how wonderfull it would be explaing the lavish palace your princes lives or the countryside where the cowboys fought the Indians. All is well untill you are clear about your Idea. While you are clear about the various sequences and landscapes you Idea is based on I’m sure ther are some empty spaces which are blank, or say ‘have no clear picture about’, despite knowing the set up you are going to shoot, your actors and dialogues well say everthing, almost.

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Editing Imagination

What you need to do is find answers for your own concept to be realized Universally. For this you need to start editing your Imagination to bring it into reality. Let’s look at some examples her which help you deside the difference....

The above set of pictures clearly classify between believable and muted imagination. In actuality both are unreal. By throwing a backgroud to the picture all of a sudden you’re starting to realize that ‘This is possible’. Without telling you or showng you my conceptions, you are not conviced. Same is the case when yoo want to convey your conceptions. You need to tell how and what the sky looks like or the buildings from the future look like all in the sense of realism. For example, you are clear about the time of a scene you need to shoot and know from where to shoot, but for understanding that how you want the light to fall or how saturated the sky is Layouts are essential which stand as a backdrop of your concept and in turn support the story to transcend into the audience. You should be able to express your Narration Realistically. And the bottom line is there is no simpler path. You need to make choice and not alternative for turning your Idea into a film.

© Abul Kalaam Shaik


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Tech and Technique : Set Design So it’s all about realization now, things are getting practical, you are ready to march ahead and build those conceptions on screen. So what are you waiting for? Yes we need a ‘Visual Space’ to build first to enumerate those carefully planned scenes and execute them. Like all the previous aspects discussed it’s all about planning. So before you fund to raise a expensive set you need to plan it first. You have your Layouts and ConcptArt to help you out with, but you need to go one step ahead and build it..’Virtually’ in 3D Space. Remember I made a mention about SketchUp. This application is all you need to build virtually anything. I stick to my work that It’s wont be techncal at all and you need just minutes to grasp. And it’s free, however Layout isn’t.

It’s all about using simple shapes and lines to pre-visualize your set into reality. Before you know you are constrcting simple objects and placing them as you have thought about in the Script and/or Storyboard. The set slowly takes shape intomore realistic and believable form. Cut to the tip: It’s important to maintain order Hence it’s advisable to place your objects in layers for better functionality.

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Basic Geometry Designing in simple geomentry helps you fasten the process by avoiding all the technical and conventonal 3D modelling methods. You are simply concerned with the build of your set and not the craft of CG modelling. As I mentioned before it’s how you look at each aspect uniquely so that you can appreciate the task and how different departments of filmaking influence Motion Picture Photography. Here you are in shoes of the Production Designer. In reality everything is talked about in feets and inches during Production Design. Similarly in SketchUp you are using similar scale to build your objects. < As you can see how sketchup is guiding me wen draring geomenty, showing the physical dimentions in the status bar. << On the farther side the scale too is helping in measuring things constructed. One last tip: if you have done your homework i.e., you have planned your shorts keeping the set in mind, you wouldn’t have to model everthing. Consider only the areas the camera sees. Notice in beside screen shots, why some walls are missing, that’s because the camera is not placed with in those areas.

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Tech : Production Finally we have the Set and are ready to materialize our conceptions. There’s nothing stoping us now. But however since keeping the topic of my thesis in to consideration, I’ll primarily discuss about Lighting the Scene and Camera animationa without which anything can’t be filmed. So we are still in stages but have proceeded to production. So what do we need here...? A 3D application obviously....Again, as with the choice I leave it to you to choose your favourite 3d tool because untill now it was just a choice from Screen to Production Design and want to continue the same and I don’t want make any norms. Feel free to explore. However I want to mention about two of my favourite applications here which I think will influence the future of CG Animation. One is Cinema 4D 11.5 and the other is Open Source Software called Blender 2.5 Alpha. Both these applications offer a great way to make CG animation and even compositing work. If you are a novice don’t worry you’ll just see and follow effortlessly. And I’t won’t be too technical.

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Why not use Maya or Studio Max, something that was used in making of making of many Blockbusters, you may ask me. My emphosis is not on the sole tool I use, but how to get the task done regardless of the tool I use. It’s just the freedom of choice. To uncomplicate the process, I’ve modelled the set in completely different tool which is like a central hub and I can simply export from SketchUp to a desired 3D app, rather than migrate between two different 3D apps like Maya and Max for examlple. If you are looking for particular answers.....I felt Cinema 4D is particularly good for fast and easy light set-up and camera animations and integrates greatly with compositing apps. It’s robust.Blender on the other hand is very flexable and of course free. The UI is very dynamic. Bottom line by the end of this thesis you’ll realize that it’s not about tools but the approach through a technique that is Ultimate in Realization process of filmmaking. Let get it started.....

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Lighting for Realization Lighting is regarded as the most skillful part of Cinematography. It’s Lighting that breathes life into the sceen, if neglected will kill the scene. There are inumerable ways in the way lighting contributes to the storytelling process. It’s phenomenal and very Physical. It helps you connect and can emotionally motivate you with even a dialogueless still. What is it’s that Light has that it concieves so much power that enthralls the viewer into a beautiful landscape or emerges in the sorrowness of the character’s feel or plays hide and seek with you heartbeat, like in a thriller . Light it self is a diversified force and Lighting is a art of moulding that force. Without it there no Cinema and unless the lighting is Great, your picture isn’t good enough to conect with. In a theatre what Lighting in the film brings to the audience is something eternal. It’s a connection, a bond that even with nothing on screen it alone creates magic. Enough said, now let’s delve into how to approach a scene to Light.

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Pre-requisites for Virtual World Lighting There are some considerable steps involved in creating illumination in a 3d application. Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just note them. Ambient Occlution (A.O.) : Creates dispersion of shadows across corners simulating Ambient mix with recreational lights. The examples here show the subjects illuminated by a single light and A.O. applied (Cinema 4D). Raytracing, Global Illumination and Sub Surface Scattering are some other technologies which help in simulating reality. These primarily deal with reflectivity of objects and vastly rely on rendering techniques. To keep the section simple from techical point of view, these are not discussed here.

Š Abul Kalaam Shaik


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Lighting Tests with A.O. and Lighting Angles The screenshots here are of various renders of the same shot. In each of these renders, the Spot and Area light are juggled to bring out the dimentionality of the objects and are very real looking due to the Ambience created by applying Ambient occlution. In all instances the timescape is reflected by various light angles some where between dawn to dusk. These tests help in understanding how far it is possible to bend the Characteristic of light to generate mood lighting. The freedom lies in the approach towards the Scene. Now letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s look at the scene with Real lights set up and then tweak them to desired effect, in a finished Set with textures appied.

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Realistic Lighting Simulating realistic Lighting is one of the hardest and diffult things about Motion Pictur Photography. In reality you would need to specifically evaluate each and every light sources available to use those lights’ Intensities for adequate exposure. If the lights aren’t suffient for exposure, you need to substitute aftificial sources and make them look as realistic as possible. The more realistic the light is the more it can involve the viewer into the story. However in the virtual world you can create realistic light with any any kind of lamp objects. Also there is a factor of Ambience in Reality. A low Intensity ‘Infinite lights’ at right angles to your scene can help simulate that ambient feel. This can help blend between Realistic and Unrealistic/Cinematic lighting.

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Shadows under Realistic lighting Shadows are essential. They play an important role in simulating realistic lighting. The nature of shadows tell how harsh of soft the lights are. Real world nature of light is a mix of both hard and soft lights of different intensities with high or low ambience factor. Cinematic lighting on the other hand tends to classify broadly between hard and soft lighting. To further simulate realism Cinematographers additionally Diffuse and/or Bounce these to create characteristic lighting. All these affect all shadows. See the example below - To show Illumination of the room lamp, A Spot with visiblility and falloff options turned on is placed, that is fading into the space and an Area light for the actual flouroscent intensity is used. Now see the difference in the bottom example, the Spotâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s completly turned off, and only the Area light is Illuminating the room.

Notice the Shadows.... The difference in the Soft shadow of the Spot and Hard shadows of the Area Lights. This helps in deciding what is more suitable to the scene.You can tweak shadows between Area and Spot . Š Abul Kalaam Shaik


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Cinematic Lighting Cinematic lighting is all that which looks hyperrealistic in Nature. It’s purpose is to elicit emotion specifically to build a notion in the shot/scene. It’s other wise also referred as mood lighting which intensifies the environment. The purpose of cinematic lighting is it should be unfamiliar and unrelenting for the viewer eye. It should captivate and trigger emotional response. Cinematic lighting rarely adds another dimention to the scene, which could sometimes dominate the subject focused on. On the other hand creating Naturalistic Cinematic light itself it a challeng such that it blends in the scenc and yet have an Invicible profound effect with in the scene. © Abul Kalaam Shaik


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Shadows under Cinematic Lighting Taking this specific shot into consideraton which almost eliminates the Harshness of the shadow and increases dispersion. It’s highly diffused and increases depth perception of the field. The Hollowness is adding to the nature of the shadows and it’s interaction brings a whole new meaning to the scene. With little tweaking and control, the characteristic of both light and shadow can simulate both Sorrow and Fear responces. Comparitively the diffusion more and scattering of the shadows is more where as the lights have the opposite nature. In realistic lighting, there is less scattering of light.

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Realistic Lighting Vs. Cinematic Lighting Through the examples here you can see how contrast both type of lighting schemes are and how each fulfills to a relative aspect of storytelling with mood and dynamism. In fact variation is so vast that it’s hard to believe it’s the same environment. Let’s look at them individually... Corridor lights (Realistic) For the corridors a high intensity Spot is used, unvisible cone and fadeless. Fridge (Realistic) The light intensifies with all other lights Turned off and scatters smoothly cutting And casting shadows along the edges.

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Corridor lights (Cinematic) All visible fading soft Spot lights are placed under the hood. The light restricts to the spherical cone and does not disperse further, hyperrealistic in Nature. Fridge (Cinematic) The light mixes with that of the room’s. An omni light was placed inside bouncing of the interiors and casts soft shadows. Remember ‘Everything is a Simulation’.

Creating Ambience In the examples beside you can clearly see how adding a little ambience influences the Characteristic light of Cinematic lighting and shift the nature to Semi realism. This small influence largely helps in convicing the viewer into believing it’s a real life characteristic light illuminating the environment. The invicible details are punched out slightly giving the semi-natural look. The cues are clear and the shot is over less concealing. It’s upto you to decide as a Director of Photography, to choose what kind of characteristic light suits your Scene and Situation better and seamlessly bend realism and abstraction. © Abul Kalaam Shaik

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Influencing Factors Reflectivity and Translucency So weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll talk here about the additional factors that influence the lighting nature.The way light reflects on objects tells something about the light. Here these render, all made in Blender, tell us some thing about the light and establishes realism without the source light present in the picture. Looking at the scene through the glass window reveals that the light is not too harsh or too dim. Looking at the bottle and then the metallic reflection on the fridge reveal the intensity of the light. The comparision below shows the difference in percentage of the reflection and tricks the eye into believing in the false intensity of light.

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Natural Special Effects Here we are seeing at the special effects that help us into believe how realistic the Illumination is. All thers renders here are made in Cinema 4D, simulate physical factors for realism. There are two factors being compared here, one the Flare from the light and other the Refraction of the bottle. With little patience and lot of tweaking realism is at your will. Interior flares are tricky and hard to distinguish, it’s important to justifiy. The above comparision shows how flare should act according to the intensity of light. When the Area light is turned off, we simply don’t want the glare. Because from the camera angle you see, it’s not possible for the Spot to cast a glare. The beside two examples tell you how the wrong kind of glare affects the characteristic of light which is constant in all examples. In this chapter overall we have understood how Lighting can help us bring Imagination into Realization. © Abul Kalaam Shaik

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“The first person who changes the script from an abstraction to acetate is the cameraman.” - Haskell Wexler, ASC (from Schaefer & Salvato’s book “Masters of Light”)

Capturing Substance By far we have come a long way till now, and we haven’t yet shot anything. Like I said before, the point is to make you understand and not show stuff around. To see and understand how would you involve and approach the similar tasks. Now the task here is to shoot all that substance that has materialized, taking shape one step after another. Ofcourse we have planned everything and everthing is in place, lets simply press record. Easy isn’t it?? Well I’ll be honest, the answer is some what yes. As a Cinematographer on location your first concern would be Lighting and set the camera and then take the exposure for shooting. But there are still few things needed to be understand that of all the Craft of filmaking, it’s Photography is is one that is always being influenced by the rest of the Craft, we have seen that from the Script stage it self.

Freedom with Responsibility Even before the Cinematographer’s intervention, the camera angles are discussed in the play; the color schemes in the picture are decided by the Art deparment; untill the final cut itself the Camera-man, himself doesn’t know what going to end up on screen. But the freedom is with the one who has the Camera. Camera is the one thing that controls everything for the story. Whatever the Costume is, the Make-up is or even the Location is, a Cinematographer has the ability to transcend the Sunstance into Essense, and gives his/her best shot at it. And that’s a huge reponsibility. So what the Virtual world has to offer. Likewise with the camera, our focus is what the camera sees and the audience see what the camera sees. Again here I’ll not tlk about the obvious like when to Zoom, when to pan or when to use a long shot etc., etc., etc., because it’s all freedom, we all shoot the way we like and to follow the norm or not is upto us. Here we’ll understand some important things in approach to shoot some shots......... © Abul Kalaam Shaik


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Staging and Blocking Staging is something done in Pre-Production that helps in determinng how to stage the actors in the scene, their placement and movements, interaction etc., using the knowledge from the Script. Most directors prefer this method to shoot their scenes and do storyboards for complex scenes only. Blocking on the other hand the way camera interacts with the character keeping the field of view in mind. Staging and Blocking both together helpin camera placement and variety of angles the camera can be placed at. Without properly knowing the action to capture you can’t completely follow the drama to photograph in motion. Lets look at Scene two, the character remains most of the time in one place and only camera angle keeps switching which helps build interest. And the only shot where there is some considerable movement is in no.12. Now to summarize this lets see the panel from the storyboard first. I simply showed the camera angle and the character’s movement of direction. Then it’s easy to conclude the shot and decide where to place the camera, relative to the other shots. To understand notice this screenshot of production where the cameras (in blue) are located at relative placements to the character and when character moves to the fridge the continuous shots are around the character. So camera always follows. > © Abul Kalaam Shaik


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Camera Placement and Exploring Angles We have all that’s needed.... the camera, the set, and the lighting now the simple question is where to place it. That’s directly proportional to what’s your composition is and your subjective shot. I won’t stress on that. Our concern should be the freedom location gives us for camera placement. In most cases it’s determinable. However we’ll take a rare example where we’re looking from corners or elevations interior or through conjusted elements. In 3d, there’s virtually nothing that’s stopping you from placing the camera where you want. In the above screenshot you can see how one of the camera is hanging in the air and the other peeking through the wall behind the wall. Rigging camera angles to will is good for shooting and it helps in exploring new dimentions rare explored. So the Idea is again to be flexible and Improvisational.

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Working with Multiple Cameras One thing I like mostly about shooting in 3d is the ability to shoot with multiple cameras giving the scope and vision to see the same shot in varying compositions or simply assigning each camera to a specific shot. This way I can come back and Improvise anytime to make slight changes in camera movement for that specific shot. Also no matter how many cameras you place in the scene it’s important to maintain order. Remember it’s freedom with reponsibility. Here’s a simple tip: Name the each camera you placed in the scene with the shot no. the camera is assigned to. For example ‘Camera 2 / 2’ indicating shot 2 of scene 2.

© Abul Kalaam Shaik

current camera selected ^in theThescreenshot below. The field icon in white, adjacent to the selected camera indicates the view is showing the field of view of that camera, like looking through it’s view finder. You can switch cameras by clicking this icon for the camera you want to switch to. Alternatively you can do this through the ‘Camera’ menu. See below. In Blender, you can do this through ‘View’ menu.


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Camera Animation Camera Movements escalate Visual storytelling to a new level. Simple camera movements help us understand the momentum within the scene and holds our attention to the action in the picture. So animating the camera becomes essential. Using camera motion for movements is not as easy as placing a camera for the shoot. You need to know why and how you are using a Track-In and Zooming to the situation. Now again we just need to know and won’t talk about that. But if you observed the storyboard closely, you’ll see that the camera vastly remains static for the first two scene and slowly gains momentum as the tension raises with the story progressing. So the camera is ‘acting’ accordingly. Camera plays to timing, action and emotion dramatised in the scene. To know how the Camera moves in the scene is critical for holding the story’s structure till the very end. Lets look at an example here for shot 3 / 3, viz., a POV of a stranger in suspence entering the corridor. For this I need to put myself in place of the character and see how to simulate that Hitchcock’s classic shower shot, not in the same sense though. Here we need little suspence / anticipation and not much exaggeration. Look at the comparision here: The camera’s motion path is ‘Keyframed’ (Points of key action along the duration of the animation), swiftly as it turns around the corridor, while in the farther example the curvature in motion is altered to show a long turn. By keeping the camera close to the wall along the turn, we can show that someone is swiftly moving in, while looking over. That slight difference in motion, means a lot. Keyframinging: It’s essential to keyframe motion for believable animation. How to key frame..

Seleted Keyframe to change motion.

1)Berore you do anything, click on ‘Automatic Keying’ (middle red button) option. 2)Drag the cursor (green bar) along the time line /frame no., and perform some animation like moving/scaling some object. 3)Click on ‘Key’ botton to insert Keyframe. (Those small ble bars indicate inserted keyframes alond the timeline). Repeat steps 2 & 3 along the time different frame no.s at regular intervals. Playback to see the effect. © Abul Kalaam Shaik


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Influencing Factors Filmic Motion / 24fps There is considerable difference in how the camera moves in a 3d application and in real world. We have to simulate film like rational motion to transcend the viewer in the scene. For this there is one technical aspect and the other an artistic aspect. Artistic side: Moving camera like in the real world, for this C4D offers a very realist approach cinematic feel of motion through the ‘Edit Menu’ of the view port. First choose the camera’s Field of View (see pg.84) and click on the desired option for the camera movement you’re trying to mimic and keyframe the motion by see the Cameras FoV along the timeline. This is similar to looking through the viewfinder, while operating the Camera. The technical side is simple to employ but is a major Influence for all that we have been working for and that is ‘24 frames per second’ of motion to be captured. For this we can simply put 24 in the frame rate option in the render settings, common for any 3d application. We are not discussing any technicalities of 24 fps, to keep it simple. Just remember 24 fps for filmic motion. Depth-of-Field

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Depth of field is one of the powerful tools in the camera to work with. In C4D, the camera has a ‘Depth’ Tab under which you can add and focus for realistic DoF to the scene. Also we need to turn on the Dof option under ‘Effects’ in Render Settings dialogue, where we’ll find additional options to control the amount of depth in the shot. < Look at this eample to follow the depth-of-field set up. Also you can animate focus shift similarly like in the Camera animation example (page 85), using keyframing.

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Camera Shake The physics of real life help us bring natraulism to the scene. One of those interesting factrs to mimic is the Camera shake. A small confusion in working with in 3d is that camera shake is referred to as motion blur. But there is a difference. Example: In Blender, the blurriness is shown clearly on the lamp in the rendering of the shot. Here the camera is moving in the corridor and the lamp is static. So the resulting blur is from the camera movement. Motion blurr referrs to blur produced by the movement of the object. >

Motion blur and Hand-Held Motion C4D clearly distinguishes between Camera shake and Motion blur. To demonstate that I’ve put up a complex animation here where you see both the objecta and the camera are keyframed along some duration in dynamic motion. The Camera follows the object along it’s path. For these kind of action we need to simulate rapid hand held naturalistic camera motion. < For doing that Add a ‘Cinema 4D Tag’ by right clicking on the desired Camera and choose ‘Vibrate’. This presents a dialogue where we have some parameters to alter motion of the camera naturally. Just keyframe along the timeline making changes to the camera movements to see how affective the result is. © Abul Kalaam Shaik


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Cutting Down Okay now that shooting is done what is it that’s remaining for the Cameraman to intervein further. Well Imagination to Realization is the answer. We have shot some substance to materialize it for viewing on screen. But what’s missing is ‘Order’. Our realization is in pieces, and we need to strich them for unveiling our Story on Screen. By now you have understood what I’m talking about..‘Editing’.

“ Editing is what makes a Movie a Movie” courtesy - Cutting Edge: The invicible art of editing.

But I’need to make a clarification, by saying Editing I vastly mean to make changes and making presentation in a particular format. Like I’ve been saying from the beginning it’s about making a choice. Here once again we won’t be discussing about the Craft of Movie Editing, but largely focus on the finishing aspects of process of Realization in Post-Production stages. It won’t be too technical either. This section will be a carry forwar of the previous one in which I’ll show some intuitive ways to cuuting down the cost of production. So there it is by saying ‘cutting down’ I mean to summarizer the material we have shot. We’ll concentrate on some ‘Compositing Techniques’. The Idea here again is to be flexible and manage your footage willingly. We’ll see how some steps in post can helf influence the Photography of the Picture further. So it’s still editing but we are not making the final cut of the picture.

Compositing For Ease Compositing simply means layering one picture over the other for desired effect. It’s basically like replacing a back ground in Photoshop. Compositing is most often used in movies these days and for more than one reason and not necessarily for VFX. Compositing soon will be a common place in the post production of movies regardless of the Budget or Genre of the picture. It’s wise and useful to understand some common aspects in compositing the final shots of a picture that will help in redusing the cost of production weather it’s a live action or animated feature. So we’ll instantly jump into understanding some Compositing workflows.... © Abul Kalaam Shaik


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Summarizing shots for Compositing Let’s first see what’s there for us in the box to start with working on Compositing stages of the picture. We need to know first which shots to composite and why, and the clue comes from the type of shots produced from production. We’ll clearly understand the process through examples. On the top right we have the list of shots rendered and on the right above we are seeing the Shot 10 / 2 exported from from C4D. Basic Compositing - Shake or Nuke, doesn’t matter. Now before I proceed further, there’s something about compositing applications that they are ‘Node Based’ something that most people find confusing, and I was one of them. The point here is to be less technical and not confusing. I assure you that, through the live examples demonstrated here you’ll come to an understanding how easy it’s to start compositing with any node based application. Let’s look at this example of Shot 16 / 2, which is rendered in three stages or say ‘layers’. While you can export all the elements in a scene in individual layers through a technique called ‘multi-pass’ which if I started to explain will sound too technical. So to keep it simple I’ve rendered the shot in three clips.... (1) The frigde in the room in the fluctuating room light (movie file). (2) Same fridge with it’s light alone (Still image). And lastly (3) The running fan in the top viz. in the foreground to the camera’s PoV (movie file). Now in Shake, I’ve stacked clip 2 on 1 and brought that pair and put it under clip 3. That’s it. This is Node Compositing for you. © Abul Kalaam Shaik


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Applied Cinematography In Digital Filmmaking Now we’ll see the same in Nuke... We have the same set up and similarly stacked the clips. I’ll breakdown what’s really happenning. First the Still clip (2) is composited over the movie clip (1) using ‘Primatte’ node, common in both Shake and Nuke for most of compositing tasks. But if you observe closely the still clip (2) is not blending perfectly over (1) in Nuke. The diiference is there is a ‘Screen’ node is used first to composite clip (2) over (1) in Shake, before adding them to the Primatte node to composite with clip (3). See below that clip (2) is directly connected to the Primatte node in Nuke. Nuke clearly shows Foreground (fg) and Background (bg) inputs for Compositing mattes, viz. good.

The conclusion is Screen node works with Lightness and/or Darkness values in a picture and Primatte primarily works with ‘Channels’ like ‘Alpha’, ‘Green’ and/ or ‘Blue’. We use Green and Blue channels for compositing with live action footage shot and Alpha channel for Computer Generated Imagery (CGI).

Using Alpha Channel - We need to keep the visibilty of only the Objects you want to export with Alpha channel, from a 3D application. Here for the below shot I have turned on the visibility of the Telephone and Bottle for each render using alpha channel and then later on switched visibility to render background sepeately.

Why use Alpha Channel? - Now we know how to composite, let’s see why the need to composite. For Shot 16 / 2 we have the character in the shot who is abscent in the Rendered footage. Now by using Alpha Channel for the fan I could easily divide by shot in Fore and Bacground elements to intuitively place either a live action footage of an actor shot against a blue/green screen or a 2D animated Character in between the fridge and fan in foreground. Cost effective factor: If I were to render all three clips in one go in C4D itself, the total render time would exceed 3 hrs for the resolution I choose to work with. By rendering the fan with an alpha channel, the still and light fluctuating footage, each seperately I cut the time by nearly 2 hrs. © Abul Kalaam Shaik

< Turning On the Alpha channel in Render settings.

^ Turn On ‘Comp’ in Primatte settings, for the alpha clip (Shake).


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3D Compositing Here we’ll talk about how we can integrate the camera from production with the compositing one. Now you may ask why add a camera to an already finished composition from production. Well It’s all about flexibility and like I said it’s ‘Editing’... First we’ll see a variation of the previous Nuke example where we have added a camera to the set up. By adding there specific 3D nodes... namely 1) Geometry ‘card’ Node, 2) Steamline Render Node” and 3) “Camera Node”; we are back in 3d. Now lets understand what each of these nodes. 1) The Streamline Node tells nuke to use 3d and 2d elements for compositing. Simple. 2) Geomentry node ‘card’ simply transforms the 2D image composite into 3d space as a Plane. Now it’s a 3d element. 3) Camera Node simply adds a camere for the 3d space.

^ Adding Nodes through context menu by Right clicking in the graph editor.

Notice that the Camera Node is independent and nothing is added to it. This means it’s acts individually from the production camera. You can place in the camera from production to. Now we can throw in additional camera movements, simpler to add in composting than in production. Now the best part - We can even bring the entire 3D Set into Nuke, and rearrange compositions. So the example of the set up above was to make you utilize the best features of the tools you’re working with and better ‘Integrate’ and plan shots with freedom of choice with tools. The example is just to know the possibilities.

^ Here we can see the set imported and ‘Relighed’ through ‘3D>Geomentry>ReadGeo’ Node and ‘3D>Lights>Environment’ Node (Nuke).

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Using Compositing Camera Now again we are talking about the editability and fuctionality for improvisation. To differentiate the possibilities let’s consider the same situation of Shot 16 / 2. The camera was static during actual production and now that the take is done how can it be enhanced photogenecally, be it slightly? By now we havealready got a picture how it’s possible to twist the frame further. By simply clicking Tab will switch you to the 3D view of the scene. Now you can use combination of alt/option, ctrl/ command with three mouse buttons to navigate the view and alter camera movement. Notice the slight rotation in the camera. Here we can simulate the actual depth in the field of vie of the production camera by increasing the distance between th clips. However the compositing camera needs to work closely with the Field and Point of interest of the original framing.

I’ll further break down the scene to show how cost effective it’s to add Depth of field in post. We’ll take another set of separately rendered clips of the Shot 2 / 2, which is rendered through a different angle, or say improvised angle from that of the storyboard; Here the Phone Animation and the Still bottle are seperately exported with Alpha channels. Now the phone is placed close to the camera and the point of focus is near the bottle where the receiver is in the hand of the character.

Phone Bottle DoF

Now by using the compositing camera it’s simple to add and shift focus/DoF from the nearest phone to the center as the receiver is being picked up by the character. This practice Cut shorts a lot of time in renderending in post.

After adding DoF.

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Proxies for the Editing and Compositing Remember in the script writing stage where I was discussing how multiple Writers can contribute over an Idea seamlessly through technology. Same is the case in Post and technology plays a prominent role. In the production pipeline there is always a need to work Interactively and Progressively to save time. Now imagine a movie where there is lot of compositing to be done, and where there is a need for the compositing department and editor to know the shots’ presice timing. As by now we have closely understood why there is a need to be precise about duration of the shots and how they affect the cost of production and render times in Production and Post it’s important for seamless transition between Editing and Compositing. For this we need to understand a situation where the editor can’t work without the finished composite of a shot and the compositing team needs to know the length of the shot in the final cut so that rendering is done keeping the duration of the shot in mind. But again they both cannot work on the same shot at the same time. For this we need ‘Proxies’ which are low profile mirror copies of DI which simply hold information about the time and technical aspects of the shot worked on. Working with the same Digital copies of the Dailies, across diffrent departments in post relies on a efficient workflow. • For Shot 8 / 2, of around 5 sec. Duration, is rendered in two seperations including one alpha clip, to Final Cut Pro. • In FCP having decided the cut and length of the shot for each separate clip (now we have 4 clips - 2 alpha and 2 plain) I send the shot to Shake by using ‘Send to’ in the context menu of the timeline which creates a ‘Shake Composition Clip’ on the next track, over the Shot being exported and also creates a ‘.Shk’ file which is preferably saved at the same location of the imported files. • In Shake, the same Shot is imported from the location I rendered the Shot in C4D to, except in parts as I made some cuts in the FCP. Notice the Alpha channel clips on second track in FCP, appers left side in graph editor in Shake. • Now, after some compositing a ‘Proxy’ can be rendered back to the Editor to determine further editing and save the updated proxy for Shake which again is used untill the final composite of the shot is Rendered out. • Lastly, FCP updates the Shake Composite Clip with the rendered Composite/Shot in the same track and location, that’s created while exporting. It’s not that simple but you got the Idea. • Similarly the Grading department uses Proxies for creating Color Correction profiles to later on assign them to finished Composites. © Abul Kalaam Shaik


Applied Cinematography In Digital Filmmaking

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Understanding Formats Finally let’s talk about ‘Formats’ which is the plays a key role for the entire production and influences howfast or slow the progress of rendering in post is. Here I’m particularly talking about the ‘Resolution’ that is the physical no. of picture elements (pixels) per Height and Width of the frame. It is crucial to decide this early on because, Twice the resolution, four times the burden on rendering. So remember the Equation. And also that if you are not working with adequate amount of resolution, no matter how hard you work on the Lighting and Animation on whole, it would affect the Quality of you Realization. Let’s see what I’ve choosen for my project. In Cinema 4D I’ve gone with 1024x576 ‘Square’ pixels of Resolution which technically is highest resolution between Standard Definition and High Definition. This is because I wouldn’t lose much quality if I were to downscale the resolution for viewing it on Standard Tv or DVD which requires 720x 576 of resolution of less. So you can see my resolutions is way lot higher than DVD quality. Also if I want to project my movie in Theatre, I wouldn’t have to lose much quality either. Because when I imported the rendered shot in Nuke, one of the proxy formats is ‘1K_Super_35’, 1024x775 pixels (4:3), that is close to my resolution of aspect 16:9, which again won’t stretch the screen vertically resulting in Black padding up and down of the movie. But nonetheless, projectable on a 35mm screen. So that’s how I planned my resoluting format according to my requirements. © Abul Kalaam Shaik


Applied Cinematography