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Infinite Dead Ends

Posted on: August 20th, 2014 by Bart No Comments

There’s plenty of occasions when you put lots of work into a project only to find that for one reason or another, the job fails to take off.

It goes without saying this is extremely frustrating but you know, who’s to say that some of that work shouldn’t be made available for investigation and discussion?

I was recently working with Matt Wood DOP and Mike Gordon VFX guru on an idea to do a live action clip inspired by the Pink Floyd record cover for Ummagumma.

In the following statement, Mike Gordon eloquently details the planning behind such a tricky endeavour. If you are in any way allergic to “post talk”, best you step slowly away from your screen or else suffer the fate of “infinite tech regression”.

I’ll hand it over to Mike now…

“After many experiments, the infinite mirror corridor was created using the 3d camera tracker in Adobe After Effects.
The “mirror” on set was simply a frame with tracking marks that, when the camera move was solved, was cut-out, revealing footage of the “next room”, as though a reflection in a mirror.
This “next room” plate was positioned back in 3d space so that when the hand held camera travelled towards it, the cut-out frame revealed it in all its shifting parallaxical (sic) glory.
The next camera solve (travelling in the next room) had to match the last frame and velocity of the first one and that was pretty much done by eye and hand keyed.
To continue travelling, these steps were repeated, taking care not to get lost in the maze of nested pre-comps!
Lastly, to sell the fact there was a pane of glass between us and the next “room”, a transparent layer with water marks and dust was placed in the same plane as the wall. There’s no such thing as a perfectly clean mirror!
To sell this further I would have scaled up the dirty “mirror” surface as the camera moves through the frame to enhance the feeling that we are passing through these dirty marks…forever!”

Did you get all that? Here’s a short test we did to see if the idea would float.