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How To Camera

category: gfx [glöplog]
Amiga demos are better because of chunky-to-planar.
added on the 2016-04-06 11:26:53 by yzi yzi
kusma: Quite so, this is possibly where I read about it: http://accidentalscientist.com/2014/12/why-movies-look-weird-at-48fps-and-games- are-better-at-60fps-and-the-uncanny-valley.html Not exactly research-grade, but it does refer to some papers that cover the underlying anatomical/neural ideas. Interesting food for thought anyway.
added on the 2016-04-06 23:30:56 by absence absence
The accidentalscientist post is what I've mostly used as a reference as well, but still indeed it isn't exactly a scientific publication. There don't seem to be many other writings or anything in the exact subject, let alone ones that have citations even that good. Still I think the reasoning checks out in my opinion.
added on the 2016-04-06 23:46:53 by noby noby
Really interesting stuff. While working on Soleu, I had a lot of input from an architect, and one constant comment was that I didn't really use the cameras to explain the space. This probably comes from me being used to just pursuing to do stuff that looks cool, instead of actually wanting to explain the scene.

For example, the camera that runs from 0:31 to 0:38, was criticized a lot because I don't previously give the information of where the camera is during that shot, but I just wanted something that looked 'nice'.

Probably in the future I'll approach this using the idea that Blueberry said (switching between overview and close-up), if I am to pursue a fly by style again. Also, I now want to try to fine-tune FOV and try camera noise/movement ease, so thanks for all the information :)
added on the 2016-04-07 09:59:23 by shash shash
Its not just camera or framing - its also a matter of editing. For example, if you cut two beautifully framed pictures in a sequence directly after another and both have the same field size (distance) it may look weird. And its not solved by just switching between overview and close up all the time :D

Additionally there are a lot of other traps you may blunder in... "crossing the line" or "180 degree rule" (Achsensprung) for example. Here is a classic.. The Lamp is looking to LEFT - to see where to jump. Cut. Suddenly the lamp jumps to the RIGHT, since the camera crossed the line. This is weired because the whole Lamp-Scene was shot from the other direction before. And also the distance or field size is always the same. (I know it was already done wrong in the original Nexus 8 - this is an amazing 8k remake by the way :D)

So there are a lot of editing techniques. And this is another proof that you have chosen one of the most complex art form in the world... You have to know a lot on very different but also very difficult fields: code, colours, storytelling, music, dramaturgy, framing, editing, team-compatibility...

And of course all the rules are there to be broken!

So you are ELITE - face it :D
added on the 2016-04-07 11:04:37 by dirtie dirtie
The Editor - Nobody knows what we do... so, a homage to every editor out there in those dark rooms creating art with moving images.
added on the 2016-04-07 11:14:28 by dirtie dirtie
Since the topic of editing has come up, and since editing and shooting go more or less hand in hand, here's some books about editing, shooting and cinematography:

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Grammar Of The Shot
, defines vocabulary, explains some techniques, contains a lot of stuff specific to movies (i.e. how to take shots of humans) but still enough general background to be interesting in our context. 3/5.

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Grammar Of The Edit
. Goes back to back with the one above with some redundancies between the two. Same concept otherwise, but for editing (i.e. cutting, choosing material, flow, structure). 3/5.

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In The Blink Of An Eye
. Amazing book on editing. It's more an essay about the role of editing and the intentions behind it, along with some amazing stories from Murch's career, especially the totally ridiculous way Apocalypse Now was made. I had to re-watch the movie after reading the book. Contains enough practical insights to take away as well. 4/5.

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Cinematography
by Blain Brown. I'm currently halfway through and loving at already. If you want to read just one book, this one might be it. Covers shooting, editing, lighting, composition, cinematography, colors, etc. Pixtur recommended it in his post as well. Might not be as in-depth as the others, but has a broader perspective. 4/5 so far.

Concerning editing, I'd like to share a story abductee told me about the way Point Blank was made: They had a tool that recorded shots ("kamerafahrten_mach_tool.exe") and used that to collect all the shots that they thought they might need. Afterwards, they did the editing in AfterEffects, where they could not change any camera parameters anymore. Just manipulate time (go forward/backward, stretch/compress), and cut. So in a way this was exactly how movies are made: First "photography", then "post-production". I think that taking away degrees of freedom can sometimes be beneficial for the creative process: If you can change anything at any time, there are too many choices. If you have to work with what you've got, you'll become creative and the result might become way more interesting. And, as in real movies, you can always go back and re-shoot things in case you notice that you can't make it work during editing.
added on the 2016-04-07 12:05:45 by cupe cupe
This is a very interesting thread. Thanks for opening it!

Most of the basic recommendations have been given and the links to articles and books cover most of the stuff... but maybe there are one or two more things I can recommend:

-Never cut to a camera that is resting and then accelerating

And then a more general tip - tweak until perfect... I think I'd be surprised if I knew how much time I put into animating the cameras... in Could this be I think it took me almost as much time to animate the cameras than it took me to make everything else... including assets, particles etc. :)
added on the 2016-04-07 12:30:48 by 1x 1x
Perhaps one of the problems (for me at least) is that cameras are done near the end, when there's less time available. You have months to tweak an effect or write code, but then you decide to make a demo with it late in the day and time for everything else becomes very short. Particularly cameras suffer for that.
added on the 2016-04-07 13:07:21 by smash smash
I still feel the same about 48fps movies like everything going faster bennyhillish, even if 60hz seems fine to me in games/demos.

Maybe one day we will get used to 48fps films and looking back at old movies will feel so jittery.
added on the 2016-04-07 14:50:22 by Optimus Optimus
Btw, on the Amiga joke, it's interesting how a similar feeling of "lower is better" exists in lowres/lowcolor, for example VGA 256 colors, some dudes prefer original Doom because of high pixel aliasing in the distance and also the colors bands of light diminishing, creates and earie atmosphere of what lies in a far corridor. Also, color quantization in VGA demos with 3d gouraud/texture scenes. A friend coder was observing the recent indie game trend of mimicking 2d retro graphics and wondered if the same would be a good idea, making 3d games with deliberately "emulating" 320*200*8bpp DOS era 3D with affine mapping and color banding. But yeah, turns out to be it was a limitation of the era we all got nostalgic about.
added on the 2016-04-07 14:59:19 by Optimus Optimus
Regarding recommended reading: I drifted from the cinematography book to (carefully) reading the three parts of the "incredibles" blog posted above. Especially the last part when they cover storyboarding. Thinking about my next release I'm trying to reverse the normal demoscene process described by smash and starting with a script, then storyboarding. Then proceed by briefing the musician, then blocking out the scenes and cameras and finally doing the effects. Let's see how that goes.
added on the 2016-04-07 22:09:51 by pixtur pixtur
pixtur: in my [limited] experience I've found that typically when trying to match a storyline from the beginning the process becomes very sterile and frankly boring; it never works out for me (but I'm not a very organized person in general). That said, I have a feeling a compromise between the two where effects ("subjects") are developed first to get a feel for the "mood" and general look of the production, then an appropriate amount of time™ is dedicated to the script, storyboarding, etc as you describe. That's something I could see working a lot more successfully. For me at least :)
added on the 2016-04-08 01:37:04 by ferris ferris
storyboarding only works if the others like to work under that structure as well... and more importantly: stick to it!!! so far imho the 'soundtrack first'-tactic seems the most satisfactory way of doing this as that pretty much determines the structure and subsequently for parts and cameras and 'limitation'.
I know that a limited form of storyboarding is used by several ZX Spectrum people. Maybe in less detailed way compared to movies, not so much shot by shot, more of a scene by scene. It is often understood as a way to get better progression of the demo and to improve the flow. So, it is used as a way to improve composition based on the effects that are available / are being developed for the demo.

I definitely prefer to have soundtrack first; recently I also tried experimenting by taking one person's soundtrack, then building demo around its structure, then asking another musician for a remix that would be specific to your demo - this way it is easier for the musician to change things (less attachment) and it gives you some flexibility for situations where effects/transitions do not work out as originally intended or maybe where you need to change emphasis a little.

Writing music at the same time as the demo, working realtime together with the musician is also great and is a very intense experience. Highly recommended.
added on the 2016-04-08 07:46:26 by introspec introspec
Also Amiga-Crews have some storyboards:
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Here is the production.

Storyboards make things a lot easier and transparent to all members in the team - important is that the whole team agrees to do the production like that.
added on the 2016-04-08 10:05:05 by dirtie dirtie
This is how to camera.

Also, for you, maybe this is how to camera. :)
added on the 2016-04-09 02:20:38 by Photon Photon
It would be cool if storyboards could be added to demozoo (as image upload?)!
added on the 2016-04-09 14:09:13 by Salinga Salinga
Demoscene extends cinematography. As such it Can use The same functions or overwrite them intentionally.

You are likely worse in making Demos of You just disregard what it extends.

Worse for interactive media that already extends and partially overweites noninteractive media that includes cinematography.

But here You should Focus in hoe to extend and how to overweite.

Learnibg cinematography in pouet is not The Best location. There Are better More specialized addresses for cinematography.
added on the 2016-04-10 15:15:13 by ollj ollj
For followcam functions check out second life Script wiki. They try too lerp a camera to follof an object that moves through 3d Space.

The problems of camera controls and movement have nee solved nicely within second life.

Torley linden has Videos explaining and linking to functions for a followcam and interactive camera movement.

Uses quaternion rotations and should easily ne translateable to glsl.
added on the 2016-04-10 15:22:46 by ollj ollj
Thinking about second life. It could be used for rapid prototyping on framing camera movement through a set.

Or just using The souce engine editor, using garrysmod, to experiment with conventions of cinematography.

Of every musician woul follow The conventions of Music, there would still only ne baroque Music, so constrained that The tempo for all baroque Music is a uniform static constant Value.

Overwrite conventions for progress whole honouring what You extend.
added on the 2016-04-10 15:30:06 by ollj ollj
The movie "paprika" is a predecessor to "inceprion" that plays much More with camera positioning than other Movies.

Actors constantly move over The camera or otherwise use it or get played with cinematographically.

Paprika goes as far as breaking The 4th wall by complaining " You just stepped over The action line" down to explaining The 360degree rule within The movie.

Cinematography in paprika is used to disorientate More than in most horror Movies.
Paprika is very inspiring and easily better than inception while both are quite similar Movies.

You may just have missed it just because its anime. But watch the intro song sequence of paprika to be amazed by its framing.
added on the 2016-04-10 15:40:06 by ollj ollj
Www.redit.com/r/pcmasrerrace gives the quote "24 fps look more cinematc" all the respect that it deserves: None whatsoever.

It educates that your functions should converge over time in less than 1/60second just because most displays are powered by 60hz electric current and simple factors make more sense.

240 fps are awesone. 120 fps are better than 60 fps. 30 fps are nothing but a pathetic compromise. 24 fps are a laughable arbitiary dumb convention that has to go away.

Get over your own biases and nostalgia. 24fps is outdated since we use LCD displays.

Interpolate for 60 fps and end this dumb debate.
added on the 2016-04-10 16:02:10 by ollj ollj

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