I've got a question regarding shooting rain for an element plate for a scene in a short film. (film was shot S16 and finishing to DVCAM)
The sequence involves a group of people coming through a door way and looking at the rain falling around them. The people are standing on a covered porch and the camera is positioned in front of them. We couldn't afford to shot with real rain as we were in a remote rural area with not much water around. What we planed to do was create the rain digitally and as well as a "real rain" plate that we would shoot in a studio. This was on the advice of the animator doing our CG
Everything was going fine until we couldn't recreate realistic looking rain in the studio. Our main problem is that the water that was coming from our hoses wasn't coming in droplets...more continuos streams of water...
Has anybody had experience in this area? What should I be doing or should have done?
Thanks for your help
>Everything was going fine until
we couldn't recreate realistic looking rain >in the studio.
Typically you'd use a kind of sprinkler system that is very high overhead. It helps if the water has a long way to drop before it enters frame. Not sure how you'd do that on a budget. Go up into the greens...? Even if you can only get a decent bit of rain that's a couple of feet wide you can clone that digitally to cover your frame.
I'm assuming you'd shoot against black...?
Of course you'll want to match the focal length, aperture, camera angle and focus of the shot you're adding rain to. You'll also want the rain to fall no farther away from the camera than where the actors are, otherwise you'll have the appearance of rain falling 20 feet from the camera when there's an opaque wall only 10 feet away. You'll probably want to get some rain falling closer to camera, out of focus, to create some depth.
Mountain View, "Silicon Valley"
Art Adams wrote :
>Of course you'll want to match the focal length, aperture, camera angle >and focus of the shot you're adding rain to…
I wonder if matching is so critical with something as visually ethereal as rain. I recall years ago shooting smoke for stock shots to be saved for an FX house. Simply a variety of FX smoke shots for archive with a variety of image sizing and focal lengths.
Perhaps the shots can be much tighter and the rain FX created with some overhead misters and small fans. Scaled down to much tighter shots and smaller droplets. Just a thought...
Do remember, large or small, rain must be backlit to be seen with a dark background. Each source is seen by the rain so for evenly lit rain one must back light all four sides of the frame unless, of course, the back light is significantly motivated from one direction.
>I wonder if matching is so critical
with something as visually ethereal as >rain.
It might not be. I have no experience shooting rain plates so I'd err on the side of caution. I've definitely seen fake rain in the past that just plain didn't look right because the perspective was wrong. I'm sure someone here knows better than I.
In the end, it's not a true film experience unless you can get away with something.
Mountain View, California
>Perhaps the shots can be much tighter and the rain FX created with >some overhead misters and small fans.Hi,
Just for the mechanics of it. Try a couple - or however large your frame
needs to be - maybe 10 - shower heads and put them on ‘C’
stands and point them up not down (will help dispersion) and tune their
positions and adjustments till your happy. Get the inexpensive steel heads
at the home dept., department. They adjust well and will clamp to a ‘C’
Don’t forget plenty of hose.
Caleb Crosby, s.o.c.
New Orleans/New England
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