Questions about fliming miniatures/ models

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    • #171235
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Ok I’m looking to start doing this. My old camera crapped out on me and I need a new one. I’d like to keep it under $800 if anyone has any idea’s. I’ll be doing mostly space ships and some mount scenes.

      Also are there any good books on the subject?

      Any other advice?

      I know this is very general but I’m not looking for in depth explanations. Just general advice.

    • #39675
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      What about books on the subject? I googled a few but I’m not sure what is good and what is crap.

    • #171236
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      When photographing small models, the big problem is getting decent depth-of-field (having everything in focus). It helps to put the zoom to its wide-angle setting. Then use lots of light, so you can stop down the lens to increase the depth-of-field.

      I remember reading that someone made a background of aluminum foil, spray-painted flat black. Then they poked pin holes in it to make stars. (They had a brightly lit white wall behind the foil background.)

      You might be able to find relevant articles in back issues of American Cinematographer: http://www.ascmag.com/magazine_dynamic/archive.php

      However, nowadays that sort of thing is usually done with 3D computer animation. You can get Blender, which is freeware 3D animation software available for Windows, Mac, Linux, or Unix:
      http://www.blender.org/

      Have fun! πŸ˜€
      Ken Hull

    • #171237
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Thanks for the info. I don’t want to do any kind of animation. Part of the reason I’m doing this is to bond with the kids and let them help me make the models and then film them. We plan to make some fairly big models to help with the depth of field much like the Star Destroyers.

      What about a suggestion on a reasonably priced camera? Could I use something like a canon GL1 or GL2? I want to be able to use the same camera for shooting live action scenes too. After all a movie can’t be all outsides of spaceships and space flights.

    • #171238
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      A GL1 or GL2 would work fine. I use a Panasonic DVC30, which is somewhat like a GL2.
      The important thing to remember is to put enought light on the model so you can get decent depth-of-field. It would probably be a good idea to use sunlight. And using flat, not glossy, paint on the models should look more realistic. If you still have a problem with things looking too shiney, Krylon makes a dulling spray, which some of the larger photo supply stores sell.

      Ken Hull

    • #171239
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Ken Wrote:

      A GL1 or GL2 would work fine. I use a Panasonic DVC30, which is somewhat like a GL2.
      The important thing to remember is to put enought light on the model so you can get decent depth-of-field. It would probably be a good idea to use sunlight. And using flat, not glossy, paint on the models should look more realistic. If you still have a problem with things looking too shiney, Krylon makes a dulling spray, which some of the larger photo supply stores sell.

      Ken Hull

      Do you have any samples of your stuff? Just interested in knowing what a camera like these can do.

    • #171240
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Unfortunately, no. Any samples of model photography would have been before I got into video. They would be on 8mm or 16mm film, and I have no idea where such footage might be hiding. πŸ˜•

      Ken Hull

    • #171234
      AvatarSpencerStewart
      Participant

      A little off topic from the cameras, but in post, or if you have a camera that can record faster than 30 fps, play the video back in slow motion. Not super slow, but with a reasonable adjustment of speed, it gives the objects more sense of momentum and weight. You probably have heard of this trick before, but I’m just putting it out there. Try it out and see what you like.

    • #171233
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Spencer Stewart Wrote:

      A little off topic from the cameras, but in post, or if you have a camera that can record faster than 30 fps, play the video back in slow motion. Not super slow, but with a reasonable adjustment of speed, it gives the objects more sense of momentum and weight. You probably have heard of this trick before, but I’m just putting it out there. Try it out and see what you like.

      I know some editors will let you adjust play back speeds too.

      I had heard of this but have not yet put it into practice. It should take me about 2 months to get what equipment I need to start doing test runs.

      We could turn this into a sort of tips and tricks thread if anyone else wanted to add something new or their own experiences bases on what ever is posted.

    • #171241
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Ken Wrote:

      When photographing small models, the big problem is getting decent depth-of-field (having everything in focus). It helps to put the zoom to its wide-angle setting. Then use lots of light, so you can stop down the lens to increase the depth-of-field.

      I would actually move the camera as far away as possible and zoom in, since at a further distance, you have a larger depth of field (remember, DOF is not linear, note how you have ‘100’ [or some similar number of ft/meters] next to inf. and ‘1’ a bit away from ‘2’). This doesn’t require stopping down the lens to increase DOF, and allows you some leeway to move the camera in and out to change your depth of field easily

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