Virtual Production Shooting

Hi Folks,

My first Virtual Studio job is coming soon.
Any concerns should I before shoot?

Any tips appreciate!

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I am no expert and we were shooting it on a smallish (budget) stage in Auckland,

but no one seems to talk much about moiré in these behind the scenes.

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I’ve done only one virtual background job featuring people in the foreground, working at a desk. Everyone had a monitor that needed screens replaced. The camera moves were very wide and sweeping, and most with talent covering up the tracking marks. Lights would also reflect heavily on these screens, making it even harder to find usable tracking info. So, I thought – perfect case for a 3D camera solve, right? This was nearly impossible.

The 3D camera tracks kept getting very high errors, and I couldn’t remove or add enough to make them work properly. So I tried SynthEyes. Same thing. When I looked closely, I could see what the issue was – the background was ever so slightly out of sync with the production camera. There were slight slips at the start and stop of every shot. Sometimes the background was moving for a few frames after the robot arm had stopped. :smiling_face_with_tear:

I eventually was able to brute force the tracking using a bunch of jumped 2d tracks and averaging. But this was a real doozy. Not ideal.

Every job is different. This may not be the case with yours. If there are similar tracking needs – I’d ask for a test shot. Other issues – the reflectivity of projection screens seem brighter than they should be, so it’s not going to look 100% realistic. And yep, like PlaceYourBetts said, there’s moiré. This may change as the tech gets better. Best use cases so far are for driving shots with camera inside of the car, or pick up shots. The softer the background, the better it looks.

There might be a way to get FBX data from the production. Some software will offer it as an option. But I haven’t gotten anything like that yet, and wouldn’t expect it to be perfect. It’s a brave new world.

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