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Creating a Stadium Crowd Scene

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Creating a Stadium Crowd Scene
on Nov 19, 2009 at 8:58:32 am
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Creating a Stadium Crowd Scene
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I was..was....
by Paul James Chatman
... speechless. I knew it was populated crowd shot thingie, but everything else: the net, the ball, the keying of the actors, the final shot, the...the... ...everything!!

Spectacular! I was waiting to see the part of what products you used, so I can land them myself (of course, having a brush doesn't mean you can paint).

But you made it look easy, and this clearly was challenging just by looking at it. And it was all done in a week, huh?
Cool. But maybe just hire some extras next time.
by Michael Finn
Of course, I'm assistant director--what do you think I'm going to say!
by brian gonda
Very inspiring and very slick...sets a standard that I want to shoot for.
by Nancy Tagaloa
Thank you so much for sharing this piece. I will save this to my inspirational bin!
by Mike Cohen
You would never know the final shot was an effect.
Populating an Empty Stadium
by Victor Ingrassia
I knew w never actually landed on the moon!
This real..
by Rafael Amador
This reel it doesn't only show an incredible job (that shocks a poor video editor as my self), is really didactic. Almost a tutorial for people involved in graphics and compositing.
Congratulations for the commercial and for the reel.
A bit more on 'behind the scenes'
by Eugen Olsen
Thanks, Tim – I appreciate the abundance of compliments ;) This was a particularly challenging job as it landed on our table after another postproduction house did a spectacularly sub-par job in the crowd duplication. What would’ve been ideal is if I’d been on set while the shooting was going on to alleviate our rotoscope department and at least get some references of people in the stands – however, we simply got the plates, a few green-screen shots of crowds, and a one-week deadline!
I soon realized that the greenscreen plates were mostly unusable, and picked three passable plates – they wouldn’t hold up when one examines them up-close, but they were good enough to make a jumble of crowd-like pixels… I put a few interns onto the rotoscoping (using Combustion and Mocha) and started assembling crowds from the plates. I used color-warper to give more variation to their clothing, then offset, flipped and moved them around to create the blocks overlaid onto a good reference frame of each of the stands. The blocks of crowds were nested into groups (often being 20+ layers), then copied, their timing offset, and compiled into larger blocks. The main issue was to get the scaling, positioning and timing offset to make sure they don’t look too ‘loopy’ or out of proportion. I then had to color correct, blur and grain them extensively to match into the stands, especially in the shadows and direct sun(as we were mastering to HD). Of course, most of them just needed a 1-point track to pin them to the background, but there were a few tricky two-point and match-by-eye tracks for a couple shots…
Another shortfall of the crowd plates, is that they were all cut off at the knees – so I had to create a wall and fence along the bottom of the stands to obscure this oversight. This was simply done in Photoshop and blended into the plates (I’m giving away all my fudging and cheating here…) Finally, there were a few shots where the goal net had to be replaced by a 3D net (no amount of keying or rotoscoping would’ve cut it in the time we had). The net was simply a cloth animation in 3D Max, and the matchmoving of the goalposts was done by eye. From there, I had got all my mattes from my roto-slaves as g-splines and straight B&W mattes – the feathering was controlled by motion blur and splines in Combusion… After sending the rest home, I sat on Combustion for another 20 hours straight (argh!) compiling all the layers, tweaking the motion and lens blur, final color grading, and mastering. Loads of fun.
The ‘making-of’ was done in our spare time – I did some screen captures of a few composites being assembled, a bit of rotoscoping, my 3D guy doing his cloth simulation magic, and the rest is editing!
Thanks for watching (and enduring the read…)!
by Tim Wilson
This is one of the most dramatic "making of" pieces I have ever seen. The work itself is unbelievably good, but I was absolutely floored by the presentation. You did a SPECTACULAR job of breaking down those last few shots.

You have done a wonderful job showing how the finished spot was made. Can you tell us more about how this "behind the scenes" film was created?

Again, this is a truly special piece. Thanks so much for sharing it!
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