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Old 05-11-2007, 02:21 PM   #1
David
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Default Disguising wires

Hi folks,

I'm going to be filming some models hanging on wires in front of a backdrop. I was just wondering, if there is anyone who owns Derek Meddings' book 21st Century Visions, does he reveal how he disguised the wires so they couldn't be seen?

Cheers,
David
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Old 05-11-2007, 06:31 PM   #2
hwels
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They used to spray paint in the color of the backdrop, but that didn't always worked ...
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Old 05-11-2007, 08:02 PM   #3
Dave
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I love taking pictures of models, great chance to be a bit artistic. If you're having trouble with wires, try sticking a rod into the backdrop and hang the model on it.

I prefer taking ground based shots myself, with a cheapo digi-camera, halogen security light, sky backing and sand 'n' stuff. Blow some dust into the odd shot and hey presto! Here's a couple I took a while back for a bit of fun:












How big are the models you are photographing David?
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Old 05-11-2007, 08:37 PM   #4
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Love those 'quick shots', Dave! The dust really helps bring them to life.
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Old 05-11-2007, 09:41 PM   #5
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Dave

I have to say superb models and brilliant photography. You really capture the vehicles well and the Anderson style!

Keith
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Old 05-11-2007, 09:48 PM   #6
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excelent stuff guys,got any more?
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Old 06-11-2007, 07:19 AM   #7
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Of course, another way of hiding the wires is to hang the models upside down, then turn the cameral upside down; most people look for wires above the model, not below
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Old 06-11-2007, 09:08 AM   #8
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Going back to the wire question, on the older Anderson shows they used to spray anti flare and powder paint onto the wires. It meant you could wipe it off again easily. They used to use modified Rent-o-kil plastic bottles to puff on the powder paint. One of my most treasured obscure piece of Andersonalia is one of those original bottles complete with black powder paint still in it given to me by Ian Scoones. There's a quite well known publicity shot of Harry Oakes using one of these powder bottles to 'paint' out the wires on the TB3 launch sequence.
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Old 06-11-2007, 11:22 AM   #9
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Nice pictures Dave, good job.
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Old 06-11-2007, 11:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DX-SFX View Post
Going back to the wire question, on the older Anderson shows they used to spray anti flare and powder paint onto the wires. It meant you could wipe it off again easily. They used to use modified Rent-o-kil plastic bottles to puff on the powder paint. One of my most treasured obscure piece of Andersonalia is one of those original bottles complete with black powder paint still in it given to me by Ian Scoones. There's a quite well known publicity shot of Harry Oakes using one of these powder bottles to 'paint' out the wires on the TB3 launch sequence.
How cool is that? There is also a film snippet somewhere in one of the Extras on the Network set that shows them doing just that to the wires suspending an Eagle.
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Old 06-11-2007, 12:21 PM   #11
Air Terrainean
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DX-SFX View Post
One of my most treasured obscure piece of Andersonalia is one of those original bottles complete with black powder paint still in it given to me by Ian Scoones.
And Ian very kindly gave me a similar spray bottle with orangey red paint used on Martian Invasion. Lovely guy, last heard of living in Bulgaria.
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Old 06-11-2007, 02:28 PM   #12
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So he was the mysterious Century 21 bottle thief forced to leave the country!
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Old 06-11-2007, 04:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Of course, another way of hiding the wires is to hang the models upside down, then turn the cameral upside down; most people look for wires above the model, not below
I did this for many years prior to using PC manipulation.

But no need to turn the camera upside down - you just turn the print upside down !

Keith
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Old 06-11-2007, 04:19 PM   #14
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Just turn the print upside down? Woah! I feel like such a dork for standing on my head all these years!

(Sadly, I didn't catch this myself when I first read the idea of turning the camera upside down. So yeah, I am something of a dork...)
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Old 06-11-2007, 04:50 PM   #15
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There was one clever way to make the wires disappear. They hooked one end to the model, the second went to the rim of a disk mounted in a power drill check. The drill spun the wire around at the top (like a cone) and the motion blur made the wire invisible on camera.
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Old 06-11-2007, 09:55 PM   #16
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If it's just for photos, Photoshop is your best bet!

FB
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Old 07-11-2007, 08:17 AM   #17
David
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Hi Guys,

Great photos Dave!

Thanks for all the tips. I'm actually going to be filming the models, rather than photographing them, which makes it a bit more tricky. It's actually for a student project. I'm thinking of doing it on Man's first mission to mars, but from NASA's view point. What I mean is, I'm going to pretend that NASA have asked me to make a docmentary using SFX to show the public how the mission will work.

So this is a great opportunity to finaly make use of my huge interest in miniature FX, and pay tribute to Meddings with things like a fullers earth dust trail!

I've been on the NASA website to research, and in my opinion, the rockets they plan on using to fly to the moon are pretty ugly - not like the Saturn V or space shuttle. Maybe I'll modify them slightly

It's still another six months before my deadline, but I'll let you guys know if I get any interesting shots, etc.
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Old 07-11-2007, 05:28 PM   #18
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That's the problem with real spacecraft... they don't look all that cool. Of course, they don't need to, but for the mass public raised on SF movies, the expectation versus the reality is, well, different. It turns to disappointment when the real ships don't look like something (or act like something) seen in a favourite tv show or movie. Worse, as you get toward the fringes of the public like conspiracy theorists, the misperception of what a spacecraft "should" look like creates all sorts of problems.

Anyway, sounds like a fun project you'll be working on, and a great tribute to the sfx that inspired so many of us here! Have a great time with it!
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Old 07-11-2007, 10:55 PM   #19
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Strings and mirrors, strings and mirrors....

They're great photos Dave. I especially love the first one and Fire fly
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Old 08-11-2007, 02:49 PM   #20
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Wow! At first glance, I thought those were screencaps! I just read you took those.

Great Job!!

FB
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