o m e E x a m p l e s o f
D i g i t a l E n h a n c e m e n t s
Opening Chicken Sequence: Dynamic Moving Footage from Locked-off Source
year, before I ever started the official reconstruction/reincarnation
of Hell is Texas, I did a test. I digitally "enhanced" the
opening sequence with the source from my old transfer -- 3/4" tapes
transfered to DV via a DSR-30. The results were so encouraging,
I demoed them for a couple of friends, and even presented the sequence
(and a "how-to" demo) for the IMAGE filmmaking group in Palo Alto.
(Which went over very well.)
because the source was soft and only a composite signal, these digital
composites were actually very forgiving. When it came time to redo
this sequence with my pristine new transfer to D-1 (then DV), sharp
edges and crisp content made these shots quite a bit more difficult.
In fact, even with the help of Richard McBride on two of the shots,
we spent about 10 times the original time getting them right.
end result was almost identical to my first pass: a much more dynamic
sequence than the original rough cut. We obviously couldn't afford
camera rigs and complex moving close-ups on location, but luckily
I had shot other locked-off footage, for use in the montage before
the cars peel out and start racing toward one another. These shots
originally went unused -- they didn't work so well in the opening
moments, but later I realized they were perfect camera angles for
shots of the rushing cars on the road. All I had to do was make
first shot -- the "hero" vette shot looking over the hood and through
the windshield -- was the most difficult of the three. In the actual
plate, Charley is putting the picture of Ellie back on the visor
and then shifting into first to peel out. I used the "shifting moment"
as a shift into third gear instead. The car is isolated with a matte,
painted by hand in Photoshop. It is hard-edged except for the area
where Charley moves, which is a little soft to allow for that movement.
background is made up of three main plates: a huge painted canvas
of the horizon and road, which is slowly scaled down toward a constant
point on the horizon where the road converges. Also, a clip of right-to-left
panning yellow fields is skewed and dropped in in the upper right,
with a soft blend fading it into the background matte painting.
Finally, a bit of detailed road is scrolling by the lower left edge
of frame, in the shadow of the vette on the road.
touches, like a wobbling Lens Flare filter on the hot-spot on the
hood, really help sell the image. Also, a bit of reflection -- again
the yellow fields blurring by -- in the side of the car. And a few
layers of the DigiEffects Earthquake filter to give it the proper
second and third close-up shots are similarly achieved, though only
moving road and reflections were needed, as well as a bit of yellow
field in the mustang one. In all three shots it was the timing of
the camera shake and the speed of the road that were critical to
the general success of the shot. And then little details like blurred
tires and moving reflections that cement and polish the illusion.
see a QuickTime of these three clips in motion, select
this QuickTime Movie (432K).
Hell is Texas ©1999 by Puppy Dog Head Productions. All Rights Reserved.
668 ©copyright 2000 by r zane rutledge. all rights reserved.