Board index Other Hangar talk

Creating Movies with Flight Gear

Talk about (almost) anything, as long as it is no serious FlightGear talk and does not fit in the other subforums.
Forum rules
Please refrain from discussing politics.

Creating Movies with Flight Gear

Postby crossrad » Fri Feb 03, 2017 5:18 pm

I am interested in making an aviation drama movie, using a flight simulator such as FlightGear to provide the plane, and chroma keying the actors into it. I have made this quick example to show what I mean: https://youtu.be/QJf8xp6W0es - this isn't intended to be good in itself, just to demonstrate the concept. I can't find examples of this approach on this forum or YouTube, although it would seem to me to be the logical thing to do. I would be interested to hear from anyone who has attempted a similar project.

The advantage of using an open source simulator is that there is the possibility of customising it for this purpose. For example outputing direction information from the simulator to control the lights in the studio so that the sun on the actors matches the position of the sun on the plane in the simulation. Also with the graphics, it is often noticable that polygons are being used to represent curves and it might be possible to increase the number of polygons to make it more realistic? In general I would hope to disguise the graphics by using a shallow depth of field for filming the actors, and apply a camera blur effect to the simulator footage which should mostly be very soft focus. One problem I have noticed is that the interior of the planes is often inconsistently bright compared to the outside. Videos of actual planes often have the outside blown out; i.e. overexposed, when the instuments inside are too dark to read.
crossrad
 

Re: Creating Movies with Flight Gear

Postby Thorsten » Fri Feb 03, 2017 5:49 pm

This sounds like a fun idea...

There's *potentially* a lot of things that can be customized in terms of running effects, different lighting,... over FG runtime. The main question (as every so often) is - who does it?

Also with the graphics, it is often noticable that polygons are being used to represent curves and it might be possible to increase the number of polygons to make it more realistic?


If you're talking about 3d models, not without replacing the model in question by a more detailed one. You'd best be served by shooting your movie in an area specially populated by a 3d artist of your project, doing custom hires models for you.

Videos of actual planes often have the outside blown out; i.e. overexposed, when the instuments inside are too dark to read.


I guess you can see why it's not really practical to set up a simulation with instruments too dark to read...
Thorsten
 
Posts: 8922
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:33 am

Re: Creating Movies with Flight Gear

Postby patstan » Sat Feb 04, 2017 3:29 pm

I like the idea!
patstan
 
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:27 pm
Callsign: patstan
Version: 3.0
OS: Windows 8

Re: Creating Movies with Flight Gear

Postby curt » Sat Feb 04, 2017 3:54 pm

That's a really awesome demo movie! I love it! As Thorsten suggests, there's no instant way to make existing FG models suddenly more realistic. Perhaps a few graphics effects (things liike turning on cockpit shadows or rembrandt?) could help in some respects. Also, you have the choice over carefully setting up shots or picking clips that avoid showing artifacts you don't want. That's perfectly legal because special effects area all about trickery and illusion. Outside of that, what you really need is more detailed models and textures of the things you want to show and that's just a lot of detailed modeling work that someone would need to take on. But maybe if that effort is focused in a couple key areas of the model then you could dramatically increase the realism with less effort. Sort of a like a movie set ... you don't have to worry about the parts that aren't in the shot.

Your video really caught my eye because I've been experimenting with the "opposite" of this. Instead of inserting a real shot into the computer generated scene, I've been experimenting with inserting computer graphics into real video. In my case I've figured out how to draw my real aircraft's flight path into the action cam footage taken from the nose of the same aircraft. (It is a 1900mm skywalker that cruises about 20 kts, but it is fully autonomus.) To really see the effect you have to skip forward about a minute into the video after the first circle is completed. In my video the aircraft knows it's location and orientation. I know the camera offset from the aircraft. I've carefully measured and computed the camera calibration and lens distortion parameters. After that it's pretty 'basic' math (the sort you'd find in a computer graphics book) to take a real world coordinate and compute which pixel coordinate it projects onto. It's kind of fun and mesmerizing to watch how repeatable (or not repeatable) my real world circle tracking is.


It's probably a lot tougher to attach an imu to a camera being used inside and get good orientation/position data for every movie frame, and do that with perfect accuracy to make the blending seamless, but I can imaging the fun shots you could do if you could make your real camera mobile and do all the blending automatically ... but maybe that's stuff for big hollywood budgets.
Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics
University of Minnesota
curt
Administrator
 
Posts: 1039
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: Creating Movies with Flight Gear

Postby crossrad » Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:34 pm

Thorsten wrote in Fri Feb 03, 2017 5:49 pm:
You'd best be served by shooting your movie in an area specially populated by a 3d artist of your project, doing custom hires models for you.



Getting other people, with key skills, such as 3d artists and also people from the aviation world to critique the script, will make the success of this project much more likely.

Thorsten wrote in Fri Feb 03, 2017 5:49 pm:I guess you can see why it's not really practical to set up a simulation with instruments too dark to read...


I am thinking of setting the time to dusk so the outside and the plane are dark and limitations of the graphics are less noticable, the instrumentation lighting can be on, and the sun will be low in the western sky and can be consistent with dramatic lighting on the actors.

Thanks for your feedback, sorry for the delay in replying, I hadn't ticked "send e-mail on replies" in my profile :(
crossrad
 

Re: Creating Movies with Flight Gear

Postby crossrad » Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:42 pm

curt wrote in Sat Feb 04, 2017 3:54 pm:But maybe if that effort is focused in a couple key areas of the model then you could dramatically increase the realism with less effort. Sort of a like a movie set ... you don't have to worry about the parts that aren't in the shot.


Yes, by concentrating on close-ups, difficult parts of the plane can be avoided, and it will also be less in focus.

curt wrote in Sat Feb 04, 2017 3:54 pm:I've been experimenting with inserting computer graphics into real video.


I think this is similar to what the 3d motion tracker in After Effects does https://helpx.adobe.com/after-effects/u ... ement.html, which is to analyse ordinary 2d footage, work out internally where the camera must have been and its focal length, and then by setting up a virtual camera for the 3d objects, those 3d objects will appear to be fixed in the scene. You have gone one step further however because each circle in your graph line is a position point for a future time, so well done!

curt wrote in Sat Feb 04, 2017 3:54 pm:It's probably a lot tougher to attach an imu to a camera being used inside and get good orientation/position data for every movie frame, and do that with perfect accuracy to make the blending seamless, but I can imaging the fun shots you could do if you could make your real camera mobile and do all the blending automatically ... but maybe that's stuff for big hollywood budgets.


I don't think I really plan to have the camera moving about inside the plane, so the camera is fixed relative to the actors, except that flight gear does model the camera "wobbling" with turbulence. So the actors will be filmed with static cameras and the position in the plane footage where they will be chroma keyed will only move a little due to such a wobble, and can be tracked with motion tracking of a feature in the plane footage close to where the actor is supposed to be.
crossrad
 

Re: Creating Movies with Flight Gear

Postby KruseOneNine » Sat Mar 25, 2017 8:08 pm

Hmm that is an interesting idea. You can get a lot of nice angles and frame shots.

Post back with a piece of your work sometime.
KruseOneNine
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Mar 25, 2017 8:01 pm

Re: Creating Movies with Flight Gear

Postby crossrad » Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:11 am

Sure thing - https://youtu.be/WOC8mHw_yOU shows the pilot working real yokes that I have got now, and on http://www.hemelmoviemakers.org/aviatio ... eying.html you can see the rig I have created to hold them, and link the pilot and copilot yokes. I just need some stools for the actors to sit on, so the chair doesn't get into shot at any stage.
crossrad
 


Return to Hangar talk

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest