Camera Moves Up Through Ceiling

sfoster

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I'd like to do a VFX shot where someone gets into an elevator, then the camera moves up through the ceiling to the next floor and watches them exit the elevator.

Does anyone know of any tutorial or method to accomplish this ?
 
Is the camera looking downward or level forward?

When downward you can just move the camera upwards (with a jib) and cut to the next shot that starts facedown and moves up as well.

When it is level, the perfect way is having and actual hole in the ceiling and floor that can block the the lens, so you have a moment to cut for the first to second shoot.
And the perspective of the ceiling and floor are moving the right way. (Adding 3D stuff to fake it will be cumbersome if you're not an expert.)
So if you have a hole in the ceiling for a staircase, it might be the perfect place.

If the camera is not completely level, but looking down a bit in the first shot and looking up a bit in the second shot, you might be able to fake it by placing a piece of ceiling and floor in front of the camera. Just make sure the camera angle is in such a way you can see the real ceiling and floor.
(And make sure there is enough space to move the camera beyond it, so the movement stays fluent, instead of having it slowdown and speed up again in the edit.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
The camera is looking straight ahead at the elevator. it's parallel with the floor.
and i definitely can't cut a hole in the ceiling
 
I meant placing fake ceiling and floor in front of the camera.
:lol
But when the camera is level you might not get away with that.

A hole in the ceiling would be at a staircase, or a office ceiling with plates you can remove to service the electricity and airconditioning.
A hole in the floor would be a staircase, or just a 1 or 2 or 3 step stairs.

BTW, I never tried this, so maybe faking can be done with a straight camera. Try it in a simpleway with a piece of wood :)
 

sfoster

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Moderator
A fake hole, aka just having a piece of wood or something near the ceiling could possibly work.

You lost me on this part
"A hole in the ceiling would be at a staircase, or a office ceiling with plates you can remove to service the electricity and airconditioning.
A hole in the floor would be a staircase, or just a 1 or 2 or 3 step stairs."

I'm not really sure what you mean by it.. I need to be facing an elevator and usually stairways are off to the side down a hallway or something.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
Photoshop. Create what you need the camera to see, cut to / from it seamlessly and you're there.

I thought photoshop was just for still images, interesting.

Yes if I could do a seamless cut that would do the trick, but that's sort of my question isn't it? How do I do a seamless cut between these two floors.
 
A fake hole, aka just having a piece of wood or something near the ceiling could possibly work.

You lost me on this part
"A hole in the ceiling would be at a staircase, or a office ceiling with plates you can remove to service the electricity and airconditioning.
A hole in the floor would be a staircase, or just a 1 or 2 or 3 step stairs."

I'm not really sure what you mean by it.. I need to be facing an elevator and usually stairways are off to the side down a hallway or something.

Sorry: trying to keep it short, but that doesn't work ;)

You need a fake hole or a real 'hole': the real holes are often staircases, high thresholds like short stairs or ceilings with hatches or plates like this:
http://soffitto-plafonds.nl/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/01-02_pl_047.jpg

In Photoshop you can create visual elements to use in Premiere of AE.
It might work, but the perspective of the floor and ceiling might be off.
(The only way to find out is testing it.)
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
Sorry: trying to keep it short, but that doesn't work ;)

You need a fake hole or a real 'hole': the real holes are often staircases, high thresholds like short stairs or ceilings with hatches or plates like this:
http://soffitto-plafonds.nl/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/01-02_pl_047.jpg

In Photoshop you can create visual elements to use in Premiere of AE.
It might work, but the perspective of the floor and ceiling might be off.
(The only way to find out is testing it.)


Ahh okay. What you're describing is called a "drop ceiling"
That could be a nice touch although I don't think I could get the camera through one of those cells if it were on a crane.

I saw a tutorial teaching this exact thing on Youtube. I went through and couldn't find it. It was using After Effects. Not sure if this helps, but it does exist.

Damn!! too bad you couldn't find it.
Does anyone know a movie that has this effect? Maybe that keyword would help me in a tutorial search.
 
From what I understand what you want its just a fancy transition.

So you film first camera moving up to ceiling, 2nd shot moving floor to desired height. In post you layer them up one on to of each other putting something inbetween to act as the building floor, crop the format and do a post camera move going up. There is better more technical ways of doing this to get a better result where the perspective will change below the floor. But this method is pretty easy and straight foward. It may require some tweaking with frame holds and stuff to get the timing right but if filmed with enough in the handles should be ok.
 
Can you hide a cut by using an object hanging from the ceiling? For example, the camera goes up until it moves behind an exit sign (for example), at which point the screen is completely black. Cut to next shot, starting behind a trash can (for example) and moving up. You can add a third shot in between of pipes/wires/vents/whatever is in the middle of the ceiling using the same technique.
 

sfoster

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Moderator
I'll try to do a test shot of that. Moving up to the ceiling seems like it could work. Starting out on the floor might be problematic - to block the view at first and then move up means the first floor shot won't actually be on the floor - but maybe viewers won't be able to tell.
 
I could do this effect for you. Just shoot the shots without moving the camera from its position and it can be done with different masking and motion effects (maybe a small amount of CGI, depending on what you're going for) nothing complicated.
 

sfoster

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Moderator
I could do this effect for you. Just shoot the shots without moving the camera from its position and it can be done with different masking and motion effects (maybe a small amount of CGI, depending on what you're going for) nothing complicated.

That would be awesome - so just two shots on a tripod.

It's for Divinity - I was stressing out for a while about doing the transformation on location, since I have to come back a year later and it might have changed. I thought about going through all the trouble to build and store a set to avoid that.

Then I realized I can do the transformation in the elevator. It opens on one floor, we see Gauss. Doors close and camera moves up through the ceiling. Elevator doors open again and we see Divinity.

How much work is the effect? I ask to see if we could do a test run first.
No second chances since I won't be gaining/losing 90lbs a second time. So of course the final footage used for this effect would be a year away.
 
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I could do this effect for you. Just shoot the shots without moving the camera from its position and it can be done with different masking and motion effects (maybe a small amount of CGI, depending on what you're going for) nothing complicated.

I'm skeptical about this tripod based approach, since in the shots the perspective changes radically from 'frog view' to 'bird view', people will notice it's faked. But mussonman is ofcourse free to make an example to proof me wrong :)

Unless, you want to go for a comicbook like shift from one frame to another where the frame just moves downward and the next frame moves in from the top. It's not a 'cinematic' transition, but more like 'motion graphics'. If you do this, you'll need to incorporate it in the style of the whole project, otherwise it will be a strange standalone transition that shows the actual borders of the frame.
It would mean you need no masking, no motion effects. It's just a Ken Burns move.

A suggestion for the more cinematic in camera approach:
In the shot from the floor it could be an idea to have something like a large rectangular flowerpot blocking the camera at it's lowest possible position. This way you still need to add some 'floor' where the camera moves true as transition, but it kind of 'explains' or justifies the actual perspective when the 2nd shot gets revealed.
 
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since in the shots the perspective changes radically from 'frog view' to 'bird view',

Where is this statement in the post? I thought he said the camera was just looking straight ahead at the elevator.



Sean, do you have an example of the type of shot you're looking for? Is it something like the first ten seconds in this video?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cf21za9iuCo
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
Sean, do you have an example of the type of shot you're looking for? Is it something like the first ten seconds in this video?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cf21za9iuCo

I do now! Yeah that is the type of effect I'm looking for :yes:
Looks like a key to doing this shot is having a wide enough image that you can see the floor/ceiling in it.

Might be hard with the location i was originally thinking of but i can find a new location
 
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Well, it can be done without such a wide image. It can actually be any size you want. In which case, this effect is very easily done, though it would take longer for me to explain it rather than just doing it.

You wouldn't even need to do all the stuff that guy in the tutorial is talking about, you could just shoot the footage and move on (possibly take a few photos for reference, though not necessary)
 
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