THE SMA FORUM ARCHIVE
Posted by Dungbeetle (Guest), on 2001-03-17 11:34:06
# of sets?
NOTE: the following messages have been transferred from the original SMA.com Message Board
User ID: 0339064 Feb 21st 4:38 PM
What is the round about number of sets that you usualy use? How many are inside, and how many are outside? whats a good way to save on material and space? I am cramed in my little apartment!!!
User ID: 0701364 Feb 21st 6:32 PM
Every production is different. My half-hour on prehistoric Australia had 30 sets, all but 1 exterior. I did a 5 min film (called Cell Animation) that mostly happened in a small prison cell. But then I built a section of corridor with a row of cell doors. Then a street scene with row of shops(see www.bullfrogfilms.com/catalog/ca.html for photo of street set) I ended up with 5 main sets, and 4 more made by re-dressing the existing sets with different furniture and graphics. I re-use interior sets by repainting, covering window with poster or door with bookshelf or fridge etc. It means doing all the shots set in one place, before converting the set. Also, it helps to make walls that fold or come apart and store flat. CGI has a huge advantage here - everything fits in that beige box!
User ID: 1725214 Feb 21st 9:07 PM
I didnt think of re-designing one set, how ever I did think of using the reverse of one set if possible. Shooting all the scenes that are in one room at once, really forces you to concentrate on your organization. I think that will be my 1st problem:o)
User ID: 8701433 Feb 25th 8:30 AM
The number of sets is usually dictated by the storyboards, and how many scenes there are. Of course, some scenes are of the same set, depending on your story. I also like to build my set with "wild walls", a term borrowed from live-action filming, where you can remove any wall of a set so that you can maneouver your camera around to get certain camera angles. This gives you a lot of creative freedom when designing your shots.
If you're cramped for space, you may want to cheat the perspective of your set(s) by implementing forced perspective miniatures, which I occasionally use to good effect. This technique will simulate considerable depth in a small amount of space, but prohibits you from making any fancy camera moves (like tracking shots). Forced perspective miniatures look great in one angle, but if you move away from that angle, you will start to see the distortion of the set. Plus, it limits the action of your puppet(s), in that you can't really get the puppet to walk parallel to the set, because the puppet isn't itself forced perspective. You might get away with it by building a series of puppets (of the same puppet) that are graduated in size (small, medium, normal size), and use editing to make it look like it's getting bigger by cutting away from the walk cycle to a reaction shot of another puppet, then cut back to the set with a bigger puppet.
I really good reference manual to forced perspective miniatures is the 1977 issue of Cinefantastique on the making of the visual effects for Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind. They used a great deal of forced perspective miniatures in that film. Good luck!!
User ID: 1014104 Feb 25th 3:00 PM
We should not forget about Rear Projection or Front Projection techniques to insert a background onto your miniature set....you can use a slide projector. As you all know, this can save time by eliminating the need to paint all the backgrounds.
These background projection techniques may be a little advanced for beginners but it can be a cost effective option to try & achieve everything in-camera. I'll have to dig into my library.I have a book by Zoran Perisic, "Special Optical Effects", which has very heavy emphasis on everything you wanted to know about Front Projection. (Unfortunately, I think this book may be out-of-print / I'm not sure)