Can you guess what’s real and what’s added in post?

Feb 15, 2017

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Feb 15, 2017

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Visual effects are all around us in movies and TV shows today. Compositing different elements together, to create a final sequence that didn’t actually exist. It’s also become a lot more common with still images, too. But it’s often given a hard time, both in stills and the movies. The usual argument against them is “I hate visual effects, they look fake”.

In this short film, compositor Roy Peker challenges that claim, and he challenges it extremely well. For me, good visual effects is like good Photoshop. If you can’t tell that anything’s been done to the original image or footage, then it’s been done well. I’m not going to spoil this one for you. You’ll just have to watch it.

So, how many did you spot? Did you spot any of them at all?

The video describes just what visual effects are extremely well, in very simple terms. And while we don’t need things like motion tracking or camera match moving in photography, a lot of the other things still apply.

As the video shows, it really doesn’t have to look fake when it’s done well. Whenever I show somebody an image, if I’m complimented on my Photoshop skills, then I know I need to work on it some more. Because if they can tell I’ve Photoshopped it or composited something, then I obviously haven’t done a very good job.

It does tend to be a lot harder to pull off with still images, though. With video, you can hide behind 24 frames per second. Things are often only shown for small amounts of time, and a lot can be hidden with a little fake motion blur. With a still image, we can scrutinise the work for as long as we want and pick out every single fault.

You’d be surprised just how much visual effects and compositing goes on that you don’t even realise you’ve seen. So, pay close attention next time you’re watching your favourite TV show.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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3 responses to “Can you guess what’s real and what’s added in post?”

  1. Stefan Kohler Avatar
    Stefan Kohler

    Ok. this is awesome :-)

  2. suruha Avatar
    suruha

    I figured the logo on the truck was added, but, not the others. This was cool! Thank you!

  3. Tzetzi Avatar
    Tzetzi

    Come on guys…
    Put the vfx to good use. Dont show it off like nerd pornography. Tits and ass is fine, but create value with it.

    Vfx is not about the artist. Never was, never will be. The film should be inspiering enough for you as an artist to devote yourself upon without the, or if any, need of a credit. Its the cause you work for. Not the narcisistic show off at the end. You need to symbolise film with pyramids. All piramids last eternal and are created by inspiration and great devotion to a higher goal then ones ego.

    What you just created is teasing porn.
    And you cut just before the cum shot, but had the ego to added a super long credit roll to show off the artists. Really? You think you can play it safe and deserve a credit roll? To not make art, neither porn… But have a credit roll.
    Something just does not sit right with me.

    Its like a five nerds who have attention lacks decide to do something darry but cant out of social fear for being labeled…
    Honestly. If you trully want to change the world, you wouldnt care about showing the cum. Going that extra mile, not being afraid for social judgement, and cutting the credit roll. You dont need it

    Grow up!

    Make a good use of your time and labour.

    Dont just tease the world and add a credit roll. But inspire the world, move the world, make them go out like they have just seen Avatar again.

    Be that artist

    Artists will allways be the slaves of the movement to change the world. Thats the right goal. Changing our world for our kids.

    Artists dont deserve credits untill they have achieved this goal.

    Michelangelo achieved this goal.

    How about you?

    Do you deserve to be called an artist…?

    Or a conartist.

    Because the vfx on this video was ok. Just OKEY. Nothing special, nothing new…

    Did you even consider rgb noise on your composits? A Seperate noise frequency on the different color channels?

    I bet you did not, bc its too much work, and the final product isnt even that inspireing.

    You guy’s, failed.

    Please create something better. or dont be so narcisisyic about.

    The world has enough posers, enough show off, enough un-fully-grown-ups.

    Just not enough world changers.

    Be a world changer, or quit your profession and go into millilary.

    What ever you devote yourself in, please have a higher purpose then your own ego pleasement.

    Just cut the credit roll and end the film with one VFX house name.

    Combine it.

    Dont show off the shy and immature artists.

    Show of your team, your company, your group as a unified, ego-less structure.

    But not the induvidual artist when no one of them has changed the world.

    Thats just unprofessional.