Shooting multiple plates with camera movement

Curious which way do you guys prefer. to shoot the plates with a static cam and do the perspective warp/tracks in post? or just shoot all the plates with camera movements and try to match them?

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Could you provide a few details? Cuz, well, it all depends.

still very early stage of the preproduction. but most likely there will be a drone pan up shot of various vehicle plates and the road background plate. also another shot with few plates and a camera panning following a vehicle. :sweat_smile:

Oh. Drone? Yeah. Drones don’t fly the same way twice. Ever. And nobody hires a drone to not move. A lot. Coordinating vehicles and drones in multiple passes is not a concept I’d personally entertain. Cars, cars reflecting into each other, occlusions, possible collisions after compositing…not a fan of that treatment. Cars are tough to warp. There’s 4 contact points with the ground and likely each car would have to be full roto and warped and rebuilt shadows and reflections. Gross.

Cg cars should be the option. Or lock the camera.


i get what you mean. but director really wants to do a moving cam… its tricky to match plates with different cam movement right?

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Yes. That would require extensive planning and possibly rehearsals me thinks. I could be overthinking it. Can you scribble a board without providing details?

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sure man! thanks so much for taking your time. here’s a rough look of the shot. so the car on the other lanes will be plates. along with the people in the background.

Okay. Yeah, that could be tough. Remember, with massive camera moves like this, translating/scaling/repos aren’t gonna really help you as much as you think they will. A big factor will be moving cameras via time warps. As in, you don’t only have an alignment problem, you have a temporal problem.

So, if I were you, I’d shoot this in 2 passes with legos or anything miniature…dinosaurs, whatever…any kinda toy or prob you have lying about. And shoot 2 passes with your iPhone or whatever ya got lying around. I think that could go a long way in arming you with some if the little niggly things that are sure to pop up in this shot!

The more linear the move the better…the more profile the shots the better. The longer an object is in frame is hard.

I get it. This is a tough shot to pull off…Crowd, covid, cars, drone.

Shoot a janky test. Do it with salt shakers if you must. Don’t forget every darn car is a bloody mirror as well!

Good luck and keep us posted!

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thanks for the advise! appreciate it. fingers crossed!

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the way you have this drawn doesn’t seem like a drone shot to me, unless the creative brief is calling for a long, seamless continuous shot. (or maybe it’s meant to be much wider than drawn?) Something that might be an option is a camera on a repeatable head. It won’t have all the different axis of movement available to something like a drone or full blown moco, but its much cheaper, easier to set up. That way you will solve for a lot of camera / perspective / timing issues right out of the gate. other issues @randy mentions will still be there of course (reflections of camera, crew, etc) and be careful to shoot these plates as close to together during the day as possible (you’d be surprised how much the light will change in an hour or less!) but that can be solved with some good ole fashioned elbow grease. ( or a great vendor :slight ) HTH…


Oh right I totes forgot about shadow direction. I once got screwed hard by having 2 plates shot 15 minutes apart due to a super high overhead shadow changing directions…in 15 minutes. Good times.