VFX Fake Windows

Hello folks !

Currently working on my fantasy film I wanted to make my film look like it was winter time somewhere in the 30's .

I found perfect indoor locations , it is lacking windows though .

I was thinking if I can build some fake windows and put a green screen , then key it out and put some nice arts like in the movie Hugo .

Have anyone tried it and have any tips to share ?

Thanks .
I think it would get rather tricky with any camera movement, but it's still do-able. The main problem I foresee is that the image you use as your background would be 2D (so things that are in front of and behind each other wouldn't move properly as the camera's perspective changes).
It would certainly present some challenges, but totally doable. As CF said, camera moves will complicate things, but even those complications can be handled with proper planning and adequate software. I would think it could all be done directly inside After Effects though. Similar, in fact, to how the shots from the windmill during the opening sequence of Van Helsing were done in fact.

around 3:30-8ish in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKl2Qo3fwhI

Nuke or Fusion would be great for this too
Was on a film recently, where we did exactly that, though with picture frames. Didn't even use blue or green, simply put tracking markers on the frame.

I'm not sure what the deal is during post, but it seems relatively straight-forward.
It just occured to me that there is software (or maybe an AE plugin) that turns a 2D image into a virtual 3D environment. I don't recall what it was, and I've never used it, I just remember being really impressed by some test-footage that I saw IT-member FrankLad post once.

I gotta rush out the door, but if nobody else finds it, by the time I return home, I'll see if I can locate a link.
My advice is to keep the camera still and then just composite images for the window and whatever's outside. If people walk in front of the window, use a green screen. If not, there's no need for the green and you won't have to worry about the color spill.

If the camera has to move, make a 3D model window frame and use motion tracking. If you have a static image for the background, you can cut the different depths into separate images, and then place them at varying distances in 3D modelling software. As long as the stuff outside the window isn't the focus, it will end up looking okay.
Thanks guys! I am going to do some tests today but I think I will indeed shoot it on a tripod and just mask around the actual window and add the picture .

I'll try not to overdo it and just use it for couple of shots to get the idea across .

So many ways you could try and do this its dependent on what your filming tho. Is there camera moment, are the actors moving about?

In my head a a super low budged way a doing this that requires quite a bit of post is to cover the area with a reflective surface (perhaps a board covered in tinfoil? preferably a mirror..) in post cut this out and use as a reflection.

To recreate the background you need to track the footage then film the outside as a panorama if you can then matchmove on top pushing it back and overexposing it (as you cant hold exposure for inside and out). Finally add some fake light coming into the room from the window.
I've done this. Take plenty reference pictures ... similar landscapes through windows to match colour dropoff/tone etc...

And take lots of reverse pics of the scene to use as window reflections... and dirt/smears etc...

If you can get a window to look right, then the landscape is easy... :)
Keep the light on the green screen consistant. You can add markers if you want.

Adjust the shutter speed of the camera so you have less motion blur. This should make the key easier if people or objects are moving in front of the camera.

If the window is going to be a light source in the scene, make sure to adjust the lighting accordingly in your shoot.

Play with the lighting and the distance of the green screen from the window frame to minimize spill.

Remember to make sure nothing else in the shot is the same or similar color to green screen. If something is a similar color, make sure it doesn't cross the green screen and use a mask to keep it from keying out.

With that in mind, in post use a mask or junk matte to minimize the key area to just around the window.

If your actors are blond you may want to use a blue screen instead.

Hope all goes well.