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Good guides, formulas etc for shooting forced perspective

Steven Bradford
 

Hi all!
A director friend of mine is looking to do a short with forced perspective this summer, and he is wondering what might be out there in the way of technical guides, formulas etc for doing this. He wants to do something similar to the classic hobbit/leprechauns in the distance lined up to interact with a closer actor bit. There's lots of behind the scenes stuff videos and general articles on  it out there, but I'm looking for something that gets more into the nitty gritty calculations and formuals etc etc  so we can pre plan what size stage is needed, etc etc.

Thanks in Advance!
Cinematographer / instructor
Seattle WA

Rob Leitzell
 

Hi Steven--

I've done a fair bit of this sort of thing.  I've always found that extensive reading of the Cinefex archives (now available in iPad form) is very useful, as you have perhaps already discovered.  Beyond that, though, I generally find that whatever I'm trying to do in a particular shot is distinct enough from other people's earlier work that I need to reinvent at least some part of the wheel.  The usual pCam formulas and such are helpful in doing so, but by far the best advice I could give you would be to find someone with at least a general ability in 3D software to do quick mockups.  I've been using my stumbling-in-the-dark-level awareness of Cinema 4D for over a decade now to line up shots like this, see about what scales could work, think about focus split problems and the like.  Certainly the biggest factor, outside of compositing software, in making these problems easier to attack then they were in the past.  I'm also happy to answer any specific questions you might have down the line, on or off-list.  

Best wishes,
Robert Leitzell
DP NYC/LA ... but a Seattle native!
rleitzell.com

Mark H. Weingartner
 

If you can find a copy of Zoran Perisic’s book
Visual Effects Cinematography there are some nice bits in there about perspective that can be useful.





Mark Weingartner, ASC
DP, VFX Supervisor, and Stereographer
Los Angeles based
vfxmark@...

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Whiskey makes the sun go down
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http://www.schneiderentertainment.com/links/WEINGARTNER%20Full%20Client%20Resume.pdf
Represented by Schneider Entertainment Agency

Steven Bradford
 

On Feb 18, 2018, at 8:04 AM, rleitzell@... wrote:
The usual pCam formulas and such are helpful in doing so, but by far the best advice I could give you would be to find someone with at least a general ability in 3D software to do quick mockups.
Thanks Robert! I was thinking about how pCam could be helpful, but also this director has his own copy of Frameforge for pre viz which I believe allows one to set a camera imager size and lens length. I thought that might be easier, if it works, than having to learn Cinema 4d for the project, though he’s pretty sharp, and one doesn’t have to use it to make full renders with lighting and shading that could work.

Steven Bradford
Cinematographer/Instructor
Seattle USA