Behind the scenes - Building a miniature set & filiming - Get Charley

Ok fine. time to get creative. Here is a vid of what Im doing for a set in my project Get Charley. I going to use greenscreen to put the talent in the set. I will shoot only stills of the set and use compositing to place the talent behind the furnishings. just getting started but here goes...

Below is the color palette I shall be looking to use in my current project. The darkest color will be my "blacks" and the lightest color will be my "whites" or as close as I can get so I can then play w/ the colors in post. I will desaturate the colors and dull them to give a bleak look.

I will prolly add some green to the overall color in post to give it a cooler blue color as opposed to a warmer blue ( closer to purple ) .

I will have some red and oranges as contrasting colors to highlight a few items. Im using the color wheel and color theory to plan my coloring attack. I will keep close to a cool blue in most colors and have orange colors as contrasting colors which are opposite on the color wheel.



Ok's round 2. Painting the floor and the walls. Im looking for a dull, distressed look and Im gonna get it. I will ultimately shoot stills of the set for use in the project. I shall use the Gimp photo editor to adjust most of the colors to get the look I want.

Im figuring I will first shoot the walls with the objects against it, then do some shots w/ the furniture in the middle of the room and then get pics of just the furnishings so I can use layers to have the talent pass between the objects in the room. Im thinking I will add the pictures onto the walls using Gimp. Im planning on having the pictures on the walls being odd and have them come to life detailing parts of the story. However, here is me having fun playing w/ paint. now I need to get the dried paint from behind my ears and clean the carpets, cuz I stepped in some paint on the floor and tracked it into the house.:lol::lol::rolleyes:
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Ok ... im still workin on it. I have the walls and floor painted and Im in the process of painting the furniture. My next hurdle will be to install some lighting inside the set and create "windows" to let light in. I want to have light spill into the set from outside the windows.

Im thinking of having a single bulb hanging in he middle of the room for when the light is on inside. Im planning on having the place be near a seaport or dock in an industrial part of town. ( sound FX ) The setting will be the middle of winter where the days are cold and cloudy during the day so the set will be dark and dimly lit at best. I shall also have the TV set work and show some video stuff.

My plan is to have the talent move about inside the set. Im planning on shooting stills inside the set from several directions and handling camera movement via pan & zoom in my NLE. I also shall play w/ perspective to give some surreal illusion of a 3D space.

I am making the set so all four walls can come down to allow for coverage from multiple angles. To allow for the most effect and depth of field from dim lighting on the inside, I will use long exposures to collect images. Below is an image I took at a downtown Houston Pub using this technique. ( I fully understand the below pic is blurry and has little if any DOF , so I shall adjust in my new project )


I shall shoot from multiple angles, having the furnishings inside the set removed and place them back in for some shots to allow the talent to move between the pieces. I am wanting to have the talent move about the set as in real life. Cooking, doing dishes, eating, watching TV and having the door open to the outside. I want to sell the idea of the talent being inside this surreal set, sooooooooo let's see.

Next update will have some tests of the lighting & windows w/ light spilling inside.

I have yet to decide if I want to add the pictures on the wall in the real set or do it all in post. Im also bordering on doing some Cy Twombly / Jean Michel Basquiat'esque art designs on the walls in lieu of pictures on the walls.
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Guys, I have a question relevant to this topic and I hope you will help me. ;) To make the set is moderately easy compared to making the character. How do you make it so it stands, walks, moves and so on?! Clay figures are not good because when touch them harder or something, you can accidentally deform them. Unless using hard clay or something. Green screen doesn't look as realistic and I don't see it as an option. So, do you have any ideas/suggestions/tips? I'd really appreciate your help!

Thank you very much in advance!
Here are some lighting tests. I shall have to stitch elements together from several shots w/ different exposures to create the set , like HDR Photography so I can bring out aspects of each element, making some dark, some better lit to bring out the mood, so the below pics are not exactly what I want, but getting there. I want key elements to be well enough lit to show textures and details and other areas to be very dark.

I darkened the room to block out on reflected light, but I see that I do want some reflected light from the direction of the camera. I want very directional lighting to create a mood. More to come...


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Crownom, YES, you might want to try drawing the figures by hand or play w/ photography and video mix and match to create your own way. LOTS of opportunities. I like how Tim & Eric do "Tom Meets Mayor" they are using only static photos of the characters, I see how one could draw them and animate the figures more to allow them to move more and come to life.
Im seeing some areas for improvement. I want texture and detail to come out in more areas. I did edit some colors & light onto the couch and played w/ the window some.. Im thinking of stitching some together. this take is with some reflected light. Doing 15sec of exposure 80ISO f8.0

I placed a 25 watt bulb in the big window, a 60 in the smaller one and a 100 behind the cam. I set the dimmer switch fairly low too.


Im still planning on more furnishings, drapes over the big window, adding some junk into the house and toys for her child. Time to go to work. Im working Fri & Sat nites so it shouldnt keep me from creating.

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Any suggestions on how to make hand drawn people as much realistic as possible? :D

You cant....well you have to "give them life".

I read somewhere that an artist is no better at art skills than anyone else. They can "see better" and put that to work in their art. It is our jobs to let others "see" what we want them to. Perhaps you might focus your talents and skills on bringing something out in what you are doing. Let us connect emotionally with the characters. Let us hear them as if they were "real" . let us see their emotional responses...etc..etc Then they come to life.

The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by-and-by break their mainsprings and pass away, and he knew that they were only toys, and would never turn into anything else. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it.

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

"I suppose you are real?" said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive.

But the Skin Horse only smiled.
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Here is some more work / play on the set. Im getting some of what Im looking for. I am crushing the blacks more than I want. Im using 3 pics stitched together. Im figuring that I will stitch together 3 or 4 pics total and then add in all of the furniture with each item being shot to get best exposure., texture & focus. Im planning on shooting just the walls and adding the furniture in later to allow for lighting control and allow for the talent to move between the items.. Onward thru the fog !