Wednesday, 6 March 2013

The Parallax Effect

Reflecting on the concept behind by final shot, I have been looking at some Parallax 2D to 3D effects. I decided to compose my final shot in an orthographic flat front view, so that I could accurately place my actor inside the cocoon by taking a direct centred shot of my actor in front of the green screen. This was to eliminate any possible perspective issues, but could potentially leave me with a flat unexciting piece of footage. Luckily, an earlier concept art experiment in After Effects gave me some inspiration to apply a 'fake' 3D pull. After looking at render layers in Maya, I had the knowledge that I could perform beauty passes on Separate groups of geometry determined by their distance from the camera. This would make the parallax effect easily achievable.

After sharing this idea with a tutor, I was introduced to a fan made 'Walking Dead' opening credit sequence (link). The creator of this fan film had taken the original comic book frames which inspired the series, and created a moving sequence. Note how the flat 2D frames have been divided into layers, which move at slightly different speeds. This emphasises a certain separation between the elements in each composition, adding a illusion of depth.

The same treatment has been given to this still from the television series 'The Pacific'. (link) Again as the subjects pull back and forth at different speeds, our eyes are tricked and we almost start to peer around the figures in the composition. This is a very interesting optical illusion.

Unfortunately, the previous two videos had embedding disabled by request, so incase the links are unaccessible, I will also include this video which elaborates quite well on the parallax effect, and should demonstrate the points I spoke about with the previous videos:

This video also talks about various different pans used in documentary film making dependant on how many subjects are in the shot, and also about optimising the effect with depth of field adjustments and different camera moves such as the dolly zoom.

Through this study, I hope to include the parallax illusion in my final shot. The gentle shifting of the layers within a composition has a sort of hypnotics effect in my opinion, really drawing the viewer in to the image. I plan to include this luring optical illusion in my final shot.

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