How do they film mirrors?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by SpookTheHamster, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. SpookTheHamster macrumors 65816

    SpookTheHamster

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    #1
    This is a really simple thing that's bugged me for a while, because every time I think I've worked it out I see a piece of film that ruins my ideas.

    Simply, how do they do shots in films from behind the actor where you can see the actor and their reflection? Or any shots where you can see that it's obviously a reflection (ie, not just shooting the actor from the front as if it's a reflection)
     
  2. AliensAreFuzzy macrumors 68000

    AliensAreFuzzy

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    #2
    I'm pretty sure they just don't shoot it straight on so that the camera just isn't in the reflection
     
  3. Much Ado macrumors 68000

    Much Ado

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    #3
    I think they're usually angled from one side, so you don't see the camera crew...

    __________
    ......x
    ....x...x
    ..x.......x
    x............x

    I do know that in Terminator 2 when Sarah Connor is seen in the mirror reflection when operating on the Terminator's head, that is actually her twin sister, and the 'mirror' is just a window into an identical room. But that was an old film, so times might have moved on.
     
  4. SpookTheHamster thread starter macrumors 65816

    SpookTheHamster

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    #4
    That's what I thought, but in some films the angle is just too small.

    And what about reflections in curved surfaces?
     
  5. Antares macrumors 68000

    Antares

    #5
    Shhh...that's part of the magic of movies. But if you must know, there is no mirror actually there. It is always the actor's identical twin perfectly matching the actor's movements. If the actor doesn't have an identical twin, they will never appear in a scene that involves a mirror. Does the truth blow your mind?
    Curved surfaces are a bit more tricky. That requires optical illusions, prisms and for the actor to have identical triplets.
     
  6. speakerwizard macrumors 68000

    speakerwizard

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    #6
    its so easy now days to track a fake reflection to a frame on the wall and film the 'reflection' separately, shake or even motion would do a great job.
     
  7. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

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    #7
    You forgot the exception of when the actor is playing a vampire, in which case no twin is needed.
     
  8. NAG macrumors 68030

    NAG

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  9. Prof. macrumors 601

    Prof.

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    #9
    My dad is a cameraman and that's what he said. They also shoot from above the actor/actress.
     
  10. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    #10
    And failing all that, digitally removing cameras doesn't have to be that hard. Dress the camerman up in green and cover as much of the camera as you can.
     
  11. jb60606 macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    ususally at a very narrow angle. If not, and the shot is dead straight, they'll usually use a body double facing the real actor (best example is Terminator 2 w/Linda Hamilton and her twin sister. They show it being done in the bonus DVD.), or edit the camera man out of the video.
     
  12. richard.mac macrumors 603

    richard.mac

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    #12
    i dont get green screens. does it have to be a particular colour of green? what software do they use to remove a green object? arent green screens also used to add computer generated backgrounds and characters.

    as for the mirror i would assume they would pick the most acute angle where the camera cannot be seen in the mirror so no extra work has to be done to edit it out. if the camera is right behind the actor looking into a mirror i would assume they would use computers to edit out the camera as most movies these are have parts edited by computers.
     
  13. .JahJahwarrior. macrumors 6502

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    #13
  14. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #14
    It can be any color they want. A lot of movies use blue as well. They use green because it is the easiest to block out. You don't see many people wearing bright green clothing.
     
  15. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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  16. szark macrumors 68030

    szark

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    #16
    I'm not an expert, but I think that blue screens are mainly used when doing film effects compositing (blending multiple segments of film together without a computer) and green screens are mainly used when doing digital compositing (blending multiple computer-generated or digitized film images together).
     
  17. Hummer macrumors 65816

    Hummer

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    #17
    I'm sure any bright neon color will do mainly because of the intense hue.
     
  18. OLD ELPASO macrumors member

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    #18
    In theory, you can "key" out any colour. Blue and Green are the most common, for many reasons, one being that green is used because it is easy to use natural lighting. Blue requires a little more artificial light to make it a smooth background.
     
  19. riscy macrumors 6502a

    riscy

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    #19
    Ah, so thats where we get the BSOD in Windoze from - horror movies ;)
     
  20. apsterling macrumors 6502a

    apsterling

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    #20
    Or, you could say that the Desktop is composited over the BSOD. :p

    They usually use an angle, and I believe they messed up in Fatboy Slim's "Weapon Of Choice" music video, sufficiently that you can see the camera in the mirror door shots.

    EDIT:

    It's on the left-hand side, a black square that follows the area, a bad edit of the camera out of the video, perhaps.
     

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  21. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #21
    You can use any color you want, but red, green, and blue would be the most easy because they are primary colors. If you used purple, for example, you'd be trying to remove a mixture of red and blue which would be a PITA.

    Red isn't used because flesh tones have a lot of red in them. Blue isn't used as much because digital sensors aren't as sensitive to blue light and blue can be a more commonly found color than bright green (such as in people's eyes). Green is the color the human eye is most sensitive too so consequently the image capturing devices we create are also very sensitive to green which makes for an easier job for chroma keys. Highway signs are are green w/white letters because that combo of colors can be seen at the greatest distance by the average person.


    Lethal
     

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