ARTC 4440 / 5440, Spring 2014
Advanced Digital Video Art
Heather Elliott-Famularo

Assignment #2:
DoF Test & Gathering the Plates

Source Tapes & Log Sheets Due: Wednesday, January 22


This assignment is to gather the “plates” you will need to do the technical lessons in FCP and AE. Plate is the term used for footage that is shot to be used for visual effects. This can be a foreground, background or other elements - with or without actors. (Elements are all the different images used to make up the final shot). You will create these shots, log them, and digitize them. You will also do a short exercise to better understand and demonstrate Depth of Field and Aperture. Animation students: You may also want to gather some renders for this exercise.

Technical RULES / Requirements:

  1. You must use a Tripod when shooting. (or stabilize your camera somehow i.e. no shaky, hand-held shots!)
  2. You must use the Manual Focus when shooting.
  3. You must White Balance your camera before each shot.
  4. Each shot should last 15 seconds to 5 minutes depending on the speed of the action.
  5. Complete a LOG SHEET while you are shooting, and hand it in with your “tapes” (.movs) (Download HERE)

Suggested Techniques:

List of Required Plates:

  1. Depth of Field Exercise:Set up several objects/elements/people in the DEPTH of your scene (closer & farther from the lens). Have some paper and a pen ready to write your camera settings down. (THREE SEPARATE SHOTS)

  2. Background shot: Choose an interesting location (landscape, cityscape, etc.) and shoot a 5-minute background (not moving shot, nothing happening in the foreground)

  3. Shot to "clean up": Find a situation/place where it is a good composition... Except for one thing that should/could be removed. This could be power lines, antennae, trash on the ground, unwanted objects, etc.

  4. Abstract shot: create a Special Effect. This might be a close up of particles, fluids, etc. Examples are: boiling/bubbling fluid, color die/food coloring moving through water, powder spraying out, water spraying out, etc. Be careful to keep the background as clean as possible (white sheet is best)

  5. Narcissistic Shot:Chose a location – somewhere in your house, outside, etc. Choose an actor (or yourself), and move him/her throughout the scene (you should mark the floor so you stay in the shot. Use f/16 if you are going to move in Z-depth.) Consider creating a “dialogue” between the characters, changing costumes, etc. The camera MUST stay completely still, so use the remote, or just keep it rolling the whole time, knowing you can edit out. The actor can explore the room, enter/exit, engage with him/herself, etc.

  6. Fast Motion Shot: shoot something that moves fast - running, jumping, dropping, rolling, etc.

    1. Shoot it TWICE: once at normal shutter speed (1/30), once at the highest shutter speed (1/2000, etc.) – adjust shutter speed

  7. Night Shot: shoot something at night / in the dark – low light, where lights play a role (you can create a set or use natural scene)

  8. Time-lapse Shot:shoot AN ENTIRE TAPE (60-minutes) of one event that changes slowly over that hour (sunrise/set, clouds, snow, busy intersection, city life, light changing from a window in a room, someone doing something, etc.). Let it roll.

  9. In-camera effects:Choose one of the in-camera effects on your camcorder, and shoot something using it.

  10. Elements:shoot FIVE different “elements” in front of a white wall (try to light the wall evenly so there are no shadows). You may also use CG elements (an animation loop, etc.). There are also two green screens (one in 202 and one in 244) that you can use, but be sure to place the object at least 8-feet from the greenscreen. Shoot one at a time or some together (should be 5 different shots)


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