Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Production on a feature is simply "advanced pre-production". Many people (especially those who only do production) think that shooting the movie is making the movie. It ain't.
You make the movie in "post-production". You simply gather your materials for making the movie while you're "in production". And it is 100% counter-intuitive what you need to do on-set in order to get the stuff you need when you actually make the movie, months later. Also, your most expensive single days occur when you're in production. So it's understandable to think that shooting the movie is making the movie. It's just wrong.
So say I. So say we all.
But that's not what you're here for.
What you want to know is how you should photograph a person so they can be slapped onto a UV wrap of a human model in 3D. Here is Nathan Vegdahl's advice:

Photograph the person standing, feet apart, arms outstretched, palms toward camera, looking right intocamera. Long lens to reduce edge distortion. Use as diffuse and omni-directional lighting conditions as you can. Outside on an overcast day, for example. Basically, the less directional lighting the better. You don't want the lighting in the texture competing with the lighting in the 3d render.



JB Bruno said...

First time on blog - some good advice. Thanks! For sci-fi, your description of production as advanced pre-pro may be closer to correct, but I think it has some truth, though it misleads a bit. I usually tell directors that the movie is made three times; once, when it is written, second time, when it is shot, third time, when it's edited. We're close to saying the same thing, but some might misinterpret your comment as suggesting that production is less important than post, which would be misleading and bad advice.

Andrew Bellware said...

Hoo! I'll go ahead and say it -- post-production is more important than production! ;-)
Of course, I'm the one who just got my M&E's kicked back at me. ;-P

JB Bruno said...

Lotsa ways to skin a cat, Andrew:). You obviously have been doing something right. No doubt in the digital era your way of thinking is becoming the norm. A guy I worked with who is a DP and does post (as well as other things) has this perspective. http://indiekicker.reelgrok.com/?p=109

Andrew Bellware said...

The reason I say that production is just "advanced pre-production" is because what we're really making are the deliverables to the distributors (well, in the genre world that's what we're doing, in the art-house world we're just making a screener for a film festival -- ooh! Dig! ;-)
It's all about the DM&E's!