Current Centre Parcs Advertisement

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billyh
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Joined: Dec 2 2000

Hi

Does anyone know how the current Centre Parcs advert is filmed/videod/edited?

The effect where the action is frozen and then the camera appears to orbit 360 degrees around the frozen scene.

I don't expect to be able to reporduce this on a DV500/Premiere combo but I'm just interested.

Billy Hepburn

Rookie
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Joined: Sep 27 1999

Howdy, I haven't seen the ad myself but from your description I believe it must be the same technique used in "Matrix" as well as a few commercials.

Anyway, the shots are made using a combination of several still-cameras & video-cameras placed around the axis of the object(s) you want too shoot. Then you can show the different stills as a sequence, making the frozen-object-moving-camera look.

Usually some software morphing is also needed to make the transition between the stills smooth enough...

Personally I think this technique is best used for commercials and music-videos and best left-alone for narrative purposes...
But hey, that's just me...

Alan Roberts at work
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Joined: May 6 1999

Morphing isn't needed to get decent motion. Place 50 Nikons in a circle at 7.2 degree intervals. Put the object to be photographed in the middle. Shout "Action" and fire the cameras off for a single exposure all at the same time. What you now have on film is 50 exposures on 35mm which will give you exactly 2 seconds of video (one photo frame per field) or 4 seconds of movie (one photo frame per film frame) without having to do anything to them. Moake some or all of the cameras video or film cameras, and you get the freedom to use any shot from any camera anywhwre in the production. It just costs money. No other trickery.

tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

Which is why you never see 360 degrees Billy. You'd see the other cameras and their tripods, though of course that's pretty easily digitised out these days.

But it's an interesting original thought someone had isn't it guys? It almost takes us right back to movie photography beginnings where a series of stills were taken on different cameras as the horse galloped past.

tom.

Colin Wilsher
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Joined: Jul 9 1999

Have not seen the ad in question but agree it does sound a bit 'Matrixy'.
The video rental version of Matrix had an interesting feature at the end 'The making of Matrix' where all was revealed etc..

Forget putting 50 still cameras round a subject, use video cameras - then as well as moving round in a freeze frame you could wizz around a slo-mo (and back again) - but then again, why would you want to?

Colin

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Alan Roberts at work
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Joined: May 6 1999

Tom, I have seen a 360 degree effect. Not impossible, just point the cameras up or down enough to avoid each other. The original kit covered an arc of about 130 degrees, but there are obviously several sets of it out and about. Now the technique is well known, we must expect to see variants of it.

As far as replacing them all with video cameras goes, there isn't really much point as I see it. The main requirement seems to be to get into the sweep from movie footage, and get out the same way, so only the entry and exit cameras need to be movie. The trick works best when an instant is frozen, but I bet someone's busy right now building one with lots of movie cameras, providing he's convinced someone else to pay for it . Synchronising a bank of video cameras is a lot easier than doing it for film or still cameras, but that's just about the only justification I can see.

billyh
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Joined: Dec 2 2000

Thanks for the ideas guys but I'm still not sure about the camera's in a circle thing!

One of the shots in the ad is of a swan on the water and I'm sure that there can't be a circle of cameras around it (because of the water) and the time that it would involve having the swan fly into the right area etc!

I could be wrong however!

Anyone else who has seen the ad got any ideas?

Billy Hepburn

William L
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Joined: Jan 20 2001

Some bread might help get that swan in the middle of the cameras

It looks impressive, but they never seem to do these tricks at 25fps, more like each pic covers 2 frames.

Harvester advert is same, cam pans round stationary mid-air vegetables. Presumably even advert budgets couldn;t stretch to one pic per frame.

neat trick though, probably get used in pop videos next

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Abit KT7 Raid, 900mhz 256 ram, cheap OHCI firewire card

Colin Wilsher
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Joined: Jul 9 1999

The point about doing it with video cams instead of still cams is that, (1)as Alan pointed out, no need to sync them all up for 'one' exposure (2)you can wait for your swan to get into the right spot, (3)not limited to just moving round a frozen object, you can have the action continue in slo-mo while you move round it - with a bit of imagination I'm sure you can see the possibilities.

If you really want to try it find a location where there is a natural hollow (or man made location like a stadium or theatre in the round)and locate all the cams higher than the subject, pointing downwards so as to not be in each others shots as Alan mentioned.

Still have not seen the ad, what channel does it come on mostly?

Colin

[This message has been edited by Colin Wilsher (edited 22 January 2001).]
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Rookie
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Joined: Sep 27 1999

William L wrote: "...they never seem to do these tricks at 25fps, more like each pic covers 2 frames."

Now, wouldn't it make sense to use morphing-software to smooth things over, if you can't afford to have enough cameras for the setup?

Rookie

billyh
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Joined: Dec 2 2000

Since had another look at the advert!

There are two scenes filmed in the middle of a large expanse of water.

This would surely rule out surrounding them with cameras unless you had a flotilla of boats which were all edited out later on.

Also another of the shots is a squirrel within the trees and again I'm sure that the branches etc would rule out being surrounded with cameras.

C'mon somebody must know how they did it?

Billy Hepburn

tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

Billy, there's no magic involved, just lots of cameras arranged radially around the subject. The trick is to make the actor do his bit at the centre of the circle of cameras.

tom.

soltisolti
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Joined: Nov 10 2000

They used this system last night in the Superbowl to see if the ball had broken the plane of the goal line. It had and it was a TOUCHDOWN.

Solti

Solti

pcwells
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Joined: Jun 10 1999

quote:Originally posted by billyh:
...Also another of the shots is a squirrel within the trees and again I'm sure that the branches etc would rule out being surrounded with cameras.

Are you sure it's a tree, and not part of a trunk shot in close-up in a studio?

Not that I'm ever cynical when watching nature documentaries, of course...

Cheers,

Pete

FerrymanR
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Joined: Nov 22 2000

>Not that I'm ever cynical when watching >nature documentaries, of course...

Didn't you know 'Congo' was shot at Howlett's wildlife park near Canterbury.....
Amazing what you can do with NLE!
R

Julian
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Joined: Aug 24 2000

"Also another of the shots is a squirrel within the trees and again I'm sure that the branches etc would rule out being surrounded with cameras."

Also the squirrel was flying through the air and then froze. i think it was all done with computers and not a circle of cameras.

tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

Er - Julian - computers are clever, but not that clever. Cameras shoot the pictures.

Julian
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Joined: Aug 24 2000

Oh... right.

By the way, Jurasic Park was a good film, where did they find those dino's to film?!!! (Heard of CGI)

julian

tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

Good point Julian. I think they breed them at ILM and then film them on Silicon Graphics Zenit work stations.

tom.

Chirpy
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Joined: Sep 7 2000

Julian,

>

They borrowed my pet Rabbit and 'beefed' it up a bit

Chirpy's Big Breakfast can be heard on Radio England International. These are repeat shows (he's retired now) played Monday to Friday 8am-12 noon and repeated in the evening from 8pm-midnight. Also, Sunday 8am-12 noon. (Click link to listen) www.onlineradio5.com/2013/06/radio-england-international.html

pcwells
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Joined: Jun 10 1999

What happenned to the good old days of glueing combs to the backs of newts.

Pete

Chirpy
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Joined: Sep 7 2000

What's a comb???

Chirpy (slaphead) Finch

Chirpy's Big Breakfast can be heard on Radio England International. These are repeat shows (he's retired now) played Monday to Friday 8am-12 noon and repeated in the evening from 8pm-midnight. Also, Sunday 8am-12 noon. (Click link to listen) www.onlineradio5.com/2013/06/radio-england-international.html

buckers
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Joined: Nov 10 2000

They used this in a Rolling Stones video about 2 or 3 years ago. Also a wierd canvas-stretch morphing effect in the same video.

Not a RS fan so I can't remeber the title but I'm sure a RS fan will post and tell.

In the Matrix, didn't they sometimes stagger treggering of the cameras to achieve a slomo effect as the view rotated around the subject ?

I assume the Swan in Centreparcs was in a small blue-screen tank, as in Perfect Storm ?

If not, it would be quite easy to make up a semi-circular gantry for outside use ?

Adam

Julian
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Joined: Aug 24 2000

Beefed up pet rabbits, newts with combs glued to their backs.......

I off to write a screenplay!

Julian

[This message has been edited by Julian (edited 01 February 2001).]

ChrisBitz
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Joined: Jun 8 1999

If the centre parcs advert had the budget to use CGI, You'd have thought they'd have also had the budget to use stills cameras that all had the exposure set to a similar level!

If you look at the shots carefully, you'll notice that every frame has a different level of brightness/exposure!
Almost as if they used loads of different cameras for the circular shot!

I'm also not convinced that all the rotating shots move more than 180 degrees, but then again, I haven't seen it that many times....

billyh
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Joined: Dec 2 2000

I've manged to tape the advertisement (by sheer luck rather than planning) and I would now go along with the circle of cameras theory.

It is obvious that the first scene (windsurfer) and the last scene (swan) have the same "backgrounds" suggesting blue screen.

Looking again at the other scenes the backgrounds don't appear to be as contrasty as the rest suggesting that again these could have been shot in blue screen.

Still a very effective advertisement!

Billy Hepburn

Louis
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Joined: Jan 30 2001

As far as this effect goes, by far the best example of this is in the film Buffalo 66, written,directed,and staring Vincent Gallo.
Also this is the best film in the world EVER!! ti is about 3 years old now, check it out.

Andy Martin
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Joined: Aug 30 2000

I recall seeing a cheap version of the 'cameras in a circle' idea which used a large wheel type construction (about 8 to 12 ft diameter). A continuous strip of unexposed 35 mm film was located in the inner face of this wheel so that the end of one piece met the start of the other end. The inner face was then covered with a circular cover which had tiny pinholes cut into it every four perforations of 35 mm film (35mm motion picture format). All this intial procedure had to be done in the dark! Finally, the 'wheel' would be erected (either vertically or horizontally) and some action would be performed within it. At the point of action, the scene would be illuminated very briefly by a flash bulb. The resulting film would produce a 360 degree continuous image(in 35 mm motion picture format)of the action which had been photographed. The inner perforated cover of the wheel had effectively created a series of miniature pinhole cameras which had each photographed the action from a different point of view. The resulting images of dogs or children jumping through the wheel and water in mid flight were very unusual at the time.

scottishcam
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Joined: Feb 12 2001

Just for info. The Centre Parcs video was commissioned to a company called Bates UK ( www.batesuk.com ) who called in an American company called The Big Freeze ( www.bigfreeze.com ) Check it out to see how this effet was really done.

Cheers,

Pat.

Alan Roberts at work
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Joined: May 6 1999

Thanks Pat, and for those who don't bother to look at that site, it describes exactly what I described a long way up this thread, lots of cameras fired under sync control - no morphing needed.

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dcurtis
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Joined: Feb 26 2001

www.timeslicefilms.com

This guy invented the technique back in 1980, not sure if he did centre-parcs but he has done loads of ads, tv, film etc. Quicktime examples to download from his site...

davideo0
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Joined: Aug 18 1999

Pat
The *.mov examples on the site are quite stunning and I fully understand now how the basic procedure works but there are one or two examples where a figure moves among the "frozen" figures while the camera apparently dollies around them. I can't see how this was done.

Perhaps the foreground "frozen" figures were simply posed with the moving part of the composition and the background "frozen" figures were blue screened or similar.

Any thoughts?

Alan Roberts at work
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Sounds about right. Standard overlay tricks can look very good, remember the recent advert in which everyone and everything is going backwards except the main character who's going forwards?

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James Iles
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Joined: Mar 16 2001

There are such units that exist with all the motion cameras and still cameras built in. By using the correct lenses they need not be very far apart from each other making the unit relatively compact. The part that takes the pictures are alined making up part of a circle. It can then be put on the bow of a boat and the film crew can then go in search of a swan, they could wait around for a bit, then get the right distance away (this depends on the lense and could get complicated) then at the press of a button you have the effect. As for 360 degree work, often you may believe it to be 360 degree but directors and editors are very good at getting audiences to believe they've seen something happen. In order to do a 360 degree shot it isn't really that difficult if you do all the preparation. However, the more complex the shot the more expensive it becomes and often the more involvement there is in post production. But there is one device I saw that was shaped like a hoop and you jump through it. It takes your picture at 360 degrees making it look like your floating whilst going all the way underneath and over you. The camera chambers were small enough so as not to be noticed by the viewer since they were being dazzled by the floating person.