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WiP: Creative Geography_2 May 3, 2008

Posted by William J. Meyer in Jack's Post-Production.

OR: “…through the door, or out the window!”

New Zealand

New Zealand Again

A matte painting

Certain shots in the movie are completely performance-generated in that they did not exist in any other stage of the film other than post-production. Such shots only came-to-be because of something the actor did which sparked an idea in the edit suite (my living room). In this case, during a scene in the kitchen Liz (Cerissa) looks out the window. Innocuous enough. In the rough cut I figured that would be a good opportunity for an insert of the environment in which Jack built the house. So during pick-ups we shot Jeff and Georgia’s kitchen window as a substitute. However, rather than Liz mysteriously looking into the Lyons’ backyard, I’m working on a matte painting in Photoshop (see above) to insert between the panes. Jack and Liz’s verdant countryside is based on several photos that Georgia and Jeff took on their honeymoon in New Zealand. But I wanted to give the insert some life (other than the ubiquitous flock of birds!), so I thought about adding a swaying tree in the foreground. More pictures after the jump!


To that end, I first rendered a tree in Vue, but even with the wind attribute active, the tree was too close to the camera to successfully sell the effect, but then I remembered…


…that during pick-ups Jeff and I had shot this treeline. At first I actually considered masking out the leaves (coffee-induced crazy thoughts) but then suddenly…


…BAM, I thought I’d take the easy way out and use the Vue render as a hold-out matte on the live-action footage of the swaying tree and…


…in this manner create two trees at different coordinates along the z-axis in a 2.5 D comp of the scene in After Effects…


…and then I added a little hand-held vibe to the After Effects camera (using the ever-popular wiggle expression) as well as over-exposing the sky (don’t want the comp to be too pretty), matching grain, and adding a little glare on the right hand side. I’m toying with the idea of adding a reflection on the invisible glass of Cerissa, but that might be visual overload. In any case, I’m happy with this geographical opportunity afforded by the performance!

-William, Director



1. Anita - May 18, 2008

I don’t think you need the coffee to have crazy thoughts….

This is beautiful work; you didn’t already have enough to do, eh?!

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