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Author Topic: "Floating" Room Set. How To Shoot It?  (Read 3572 times)
Gary Ferguson
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« on: October 07, 2006, 02:36:49 PM »
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The idea is to illustrate the particularly high ceilings in a development of new apartments with shots of a couple sitting on a sofa that's floating about a foot off the floor, or the couple at a dining table that's likewise floating about a foot off the floor.

I recall once reading a tutorial that showed a car floating above its parking space. I think it was composited from a shot of the car in the parking bay, and then the camera was raised on its tripod (or am I imagining this?) the car was driven away and the shot re-taken. Any ideas where to find this tutorial, or thoughts on how to achieve this shot?
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Chris Sanderson
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« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2006, 05:23:28 PM »
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I think I would use collapsible 1 ft. risers rentable from  any good set-building or staging company (It may look better as an 18" or 2' rise). These risers normally fold out to accommodate a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood. I would shoot with pov just above the riser level with models and setting on the risers in the room. I would then move all the risers and kit out of the room and re-shoot the shot 'empty'. Camera must not move & the trick will be to keep the lighting the same with a period of a couple of hours (?) between shots. Obviously some careful compositing will later be required - added shadow detail on the actual floor beneath the floating set should complete the illusion.

Chris S
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Christopher Sanderson
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Gary Ferguson
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« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2006, 04:56:58 AM »
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Chris, thanks for the reply but I'm convinced there's a simpler way using Photoshop.

Somthing along the lines of photographing the sofa/couple from a lower position to give the correct perspective, then remove the sofa/couple from the room and raise the camera by say eighteen inches without changing any other setting, then re-shoot. Afterwards select the sofa and place it floating on a new transparent layer in the empty room. I'm hoping someone has done something similar and can advise on issues like how best to construct the sofa's shadow.
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macgyver
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« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2006, 01:39:31 PM »
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Either way gary, can you share the results with us when you are done?  i am curious to see how it goes.
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photopat
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« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2006, 02:19:56 PM »
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Since you're going to use people in the shoot. I'd suggest using something like a chroma background
for the shoots with people so you more easily can "cut" them out for the compositing work.
Then shoot the room without sofa and no chroma background.

I would also try to raise the sofa (and dining table with chairs ) as Chris recomended or just use wood or something that can hold the sofa up.
Then wrap the "wood" or whatever you use in the same background as your chroma background.
maybe even just make 1 foot extension on the sofa legs and wrap those.

The reason I think you need to raise the sofa is that the couple's legs sitting in the sofa will not look as if the sofa was floating in the air if you do not raise the sofa.

If the sofa is floating the feet's will probably be at a lower point than the sofas legs..

The same goes for the diningtable idea....

Patrick
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dwdallam
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« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2006, 02:08:16 AM »
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You can also use a black background behind your "floating subjects" and then cut them that way. The most important aspect of this excercise is to have the camera in the exact same position when you move the couches and other subjects out of the room. Otherwise, the perspective will be off. Even a few inches will be noticible to the human eye, since it is very keen to these differences.

Example: Use a black backdrop in back of the subjects, and also under them. You will need also to put these black drops on all sides and anywhere else you want subtracted from the frame. All your doing is masking with black backdrops, just like you would do in Photoshop, but with real materials. After you get everything masked off, take the images. Now, make sure you do not move the camera at all. Remove the couches and backdrops and retake the images. You now have two sets of images ready for compositing.
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2006, 08:12:37 AM »
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Use a tripod with a geared center column. Lower the center column, take the shot of the "floating" object(s). Raise the center column, remove whatever is supposed to "float", and take the shot that will be used for the background. Don't move the camera or tripod otherwise, and use studio strobes set up the same way for both shots for the lighting. If you have to use natural lighting, have a crew on hand to remove the couches or whatever between shots as quickly as possible. Lighting differences between composited elements is one of the easiest ways to spot a cut & paste job. Composite the shots in Photoshop.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2006, 08:16:13 AM by Jonathan Wienke » Logged

med007
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« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2006, 11:42:19 AM »
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Quote
Use a tripod with a geared center column. Lower the center column, take the shot of the "floating" object(s). Raise the center column, remove whatever is supposed to "float", and take the shot that will be used for the background. Don't move the camera or tripod otherwise, and use studio strobes set up the same way for both shots for the lighting. If you have to use natural lighting, have a crew on hand to remove the couches or whatever between shots as quickly as possible. Lighting differences between composited elements is one of the easiest ways to spot a cut & paste job. Composite the shots in Photoshop.
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Hi Jonathan,

Hope you are well and safe! Look after yourself.

Glad you can provide a solution so fast! In you method, to add 2 details. The central column needs to be lowered exactly the distance the people are meant to float above the floor. Also the lights have to be lowered that same distance so that thelight  flux is that which would be at the effects virtual distance above the floor.

Asher
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Gary Ferguson
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« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2006, 11:02:54 AM »
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I put this idea to the client, who rejected it as too whacky. Oh well.

In the end I illustrated the tall ceilings by showing a five year old trying to retrieve her helium balloon that had escaped to the ceiling leaving the string tantalisingly out of her reach. The caption was "lofty ceilings don't suit everyone...".
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