Stop Motion Animation Forum Archive











Posted by stevencg, on 2004-10-07 19:19:59

under water set

I need to create a underwater scene. Does anybody have any suggestions?

Posted by Strider, on 2004-10-07 22:30:45

(to be read in the voice of the robot "#5" from the movie Short Circuit): NEED MORE INPUT! MOOOORRRREEEE IIINNNNNPUUUTTTTTTT STEPHANIE!!!!!!! Give us a few hints.... is it in a pool, a lake, a river, an ocean, or a muddy swimming hole? Do you need characters to be swimming? Maybe some fish and seaweed? A submarine or a ship? Do you feel that you need bubbles or glittering water to help give a watery effect? Why do people always ask these impossibly open-ended questions and then expect us to cover every possible contingency, as if we can read their minds? It's like saying "Hello... I'm constructing an object... got any advice?" ;-)

Posted by Nick H, on 2004-10-07 22:36:11

One way is to do it on a "dry for wet" set. Have a painted backdrop with a lot of "atmosphere" - the further away things are, the more bluish or grenish and lacking in detail they are. You can use a combination of light and paint colour to help add that murkiness to a 3d model set, too. Light the foreground with more contrast (brighter, warmer highlights, darker shadows), further back use less key light and more soft blue-green front fill light. A ripple light effect would help too. There is a rotating drum with wave shaped holes cut in it that goes in front of a light for doing this on stage. For stage or live tv it has a motor that rotates it. For animation you would have to mark off little increments on it and turn it a little each frame. You could make your own. Because the side of the drum nearest to the light is going one way while the side further is going the other way, it creates a nice complex motion of criss-crossing light patterns. Two overlapping flat disks rotating in opposite directions would probably do something similar. Look at underwater photos for reference. Make model seaweed or coral or whatever to dress the set. Or put some real underwater footage in the background, then shoot your puppets against bluescreen or greenscreen. Either way, if your puppets swim in 3 dimensions, they will need a flying rig or support rod that can be painted out. (Photoshop, Mirage, some paint program with layers is good for this.) If it's a bluescreen shot, you just paint it out with blue before keying the puppet over the background. If the fish or whatever is animated in the set, you have a clean background shot in a layer underneath, so you can erase the rod and reveal the background shot behind it. What do you need to see? Sea bottom? coral? Kelp? Sunken treasure ship? The crew of the Nautilus? Oh, I see that while I was guessing away, you've beat me to it Strider. "How do I make an object?" Come on, Stider, don't be so unhelpful, that one's easy: ;-) Look at a real object, then get some material and make one something like it. :7 See, nothing to it!

Posted by stevencg, on 2004-10-08 16:30:42

i am planning to create a scene of a lake. i am not going to incorporate alot of detail. I was planning on using water in a take and placing a character behind the tank with a backdrop. I can most likely create the riple affect from the computer. I would assume that the only light scource will be from the top, however i have to experiment.

Posted by RoccoGioffre, on 2004-10-08 17:18:29

Some very nice suggestions from Nick H... Steven if you're going to be adding a ripple effect on your computer, I'm assuming you have some kind of compositing software such as AfterEffects, etc. If your subject is moving toward or away from camera and your background is relatively vague, another good trick is to shoot some extra backgrond without the puppet/model so that you can do a lap dissolve to simulate murkiness and depth.

Posted by catizone, on 2004-10-09 06:11:27

For a ripple effect, you can also make two different horizontal ripple patterns (clear ripples on a black surround), and slide one over the other a frame at a time. If you make them right, it can be very convincing and doesn't take the time needed to get the exact computer effect you want. Slot gags like this were a sort of staple in cel or fx animation stand work. Sometimes simple is best. You can shoot it as a second pass or use a 45 degree glass to superimpose it into the scene. You can "blow it out" exposure-wise if you want, or keep it subtle. Best, Rick