On camera early effects. Dissolves, fade-in fade-out

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All Darc

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On camera early effects. Dissolves, fade-in fade-out

PostMon Nov 23, 2015 5:22 pm

I'm creating this topic to try to find information about the direct câmera effects on earl films.
Even up to the 80's Stanley Kubrick prefered câmera effects, avoiding optical printer effects, to create dissolves and fades, since there was noticeable quality lost when such effects was made on lab, as was necessary to create dupes.

We all know that George Méliès was the pioneer in câmera tricks, like dissolves, fade-in-out, edition, black background and double exposure. We ubnderstand most of this tricks well, like double expossure, record in front of a black backgorund or with a black helmet and in front of a black screen, to simulate a decapted man etc.

But it's a bit difficult to imagine how he could create dissolves direct on camera, when a scene dissolve into another, or to simulate a transformation, like in the clip bellow:

https://vimeo.com/ondemand/wizard" target="_blank

To get a good dissolve the first shot needs to gradually fade out, and the second shot need to gradually fade in, in a way that the combination of both combined appear to have a resultant natural exposure. But how could Méliès control the exposure well in the câmera?
I supose he could count how many rotations he did with the crank, to revolve the film to the exact position. But how could he control the exposure gradually decreasing and increasing, respectivelly for each required stage of this trick.

Even in films like Metropolis, with a lot of câmera effects, it's difficult to imagine.

If somebody have information about that, please let me know, shre with us. :)

Another câmera trick that I can't explain if how they could graduate a filter, to create the effect of the transformation in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde 1931. The effect used colored make-up for the áreas that would get darker during transformation. A red filter was slowly graduated to blue, and the red became dark to the blue filter.
But how ca a filter be graduated during a shot ???
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martinola

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Re: On camera early effects. Dissolves, fade-in fade-out

PostTue Nov 24, 2015 12:07 am

I'm not sure about the Melies camera, but the old Bell & Howell 2709 had an accessory Lap Dissolve mechanism built in.

http://filmmakeriq.com/2012/05/a-closer ... ma-camera/" target="_blank

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Martin
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FrankFay

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Re: On camera early effects. Dissolves, fade-in fade-out

PostTue Nov 24, 2015 8:08 am

All Darc wrote:
Another câmera trick that I can't explain if how they could graduate a filter, to create the effect of the transformation in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde 1931. The effect used colored make-up for the áreas that would get darker during transformation. A red filter was slowly graduated to blue, and the red became dark to the blue filter.
But how ca a filter be graduated during a shot ???


It shouldn't have been too difficult to paint or stain a graduated transparent tint on a piece of glass or celluloid and then move it in front of the lens. It could either be a rectangle or a wheel.
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All Darc

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Re: On camera early effects. Dissolves, fade-in fade-out

PostTue Nov 24, 2015 10:02 am

I imagine something like that, but a painted gradient of two dyes could generate distortion, reduce picture detail.
Unless it was a specially lab made crystal, glass reel, with a very precise gradient. But it would be much larger than the câmera gate, otherwise we would affect differen portions of the frame while it was changing the the spectrum "allowed to enter".

The trick was also used in the silent Ben Hur, but in the reverse form, while the wounds of the sick woman was healed.


FrankFay wrote:
It shouldn't have been too difficult to paint or stain a graduated transparent tint on a piece of glass or celluloid and then move it in front of the lens. It could either be a rectangle or a wheel.


Thanks a lot. :)
But The George Méliès's dissolve effects are the big mistyery for me. After all his câmera, just like Lumiere's câmera, was somehow primtive, even compared to the 1920's silent movie câmeras.

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martinola wrote:I'm not sure about the Melies camera, but the old Bell & Howell 2709 had an accessory Lap Dissolve mechanism built in.

http://filmmakeriq.com/2012/05/a-closer ... ma-camera/" target="_blank

Regards,
Martin
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All Darc

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Re: On camera early effects. Dissolves, fade-in fade-out

PostTue Nov 24, 2015 10:37 am

Hey... What câmera is that:

Image

Is it a câmera with two gates and two film reels?

Is it to produce two negatives instead of use two câmeras or outakes ?

Funny... coupkle years ago I was imagining why nobody had created, during silenbt film days, a câmera with two o9r three film strips, to creat several film negatives without need to use several câmeras, avoiding the problems of best take or best angles.
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Jack Theakston

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Re: On camera early effects. Dissolves, fade-in fade-out

PostTue Nov 24, 2015 2:39 pm

That's William Friese-Greene with his color camera circa 1908. Because of the parallax, the camera was inadvertently filming stereo, too.

Funny... coupkle years ago I was imagining why nobody had created, during silenbt film days, a câmera with two o9r three film strips, to creat several film negatives without need to use several câmeras, avoiding the problems of best take or best angles.


There were actually a number of these made by different outfits, but all had their drawbacks, technically and practically.
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Re: On camera early effects. Dissolves, fade-in fade-out

PostWed Nov 25, 2015 9:39 am

Jack Theakston wrote:Because of the parallax, the camera was inadvertently filming stereo, too.


Yes indeed! I'll only add that Méliès himself was one of those who used a two-lens setup, so that he could ship one negative to New York and keep the other negative (identical but for the parallax) in Paris.

The good people at Lobster Films demonstrated this fact spectacularly by combining foreign and domestic prints of a few Méliès films and screening them in 3D. More info here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Infernal_Cauldron
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Re: On camera early effects. Dissolves, fade-in fade-out

PostWed Nov 25, 2015 5:24 pm

But, as was expected, the shutters weren't in sync, so everything goes in and out out of phase.
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Early reflex

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Re: On camera early effects. Dissolves, fade-in fade-out

PostTue Nov 15, 2016 2:55 am

Jack Theakston wrote:That's William Friese-Greene with his color camera circa 1908. Because of the parallax, the camera was inadvertently filming stereo, too.


A bit late, I admit, but I must object. One has either a stereoscopic or an alternating camera. To my understanding, image pairs need to be taken simultaneously for stereoscopy. Friese-Greene was not after stereoscopy but a process that would deliver motion pictures free from flicker. He couldn’t stand the interruption between two successive frames. When one examines his twin-lens camera one finds two shutter actuating cams on a drive shaft. Each of them can be set individually rotationally. That mechanical refinement is pointless with stereoscopy. He wanted to find out whether it would be possible to so distribute exposure and film shift in time that he could blend from one frame to the next in projection. It would have been something like shift-clack-clack-shift-clack-clack, and so on. Unfortunately he entered a dead-end street although he went slowly enough, four or five exposures a second.

I have had this discussion with people in England involved in Friese-Greene’s heritage. A replica has been built and still one doesn’t accept the facts.
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All Darc

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Re: On camera early effects. Dissolves, fade-in fade-out

PostTue Nov 15, 2016 7:13 am

Very interesting.
Once I imagine how would be if a moving image could be capture without the fraction of time where no frame are being exposed. The image in high would look the oposite of the stroboscopic effect, with a lot more motion blur instead of sharp.

Aftewr created this topic I'm still in search of how George Melies created disolvs in his old primitive camera. His dissolves was far from perfect, not even, like the lightr variation was adjusted by hand or something like. There are only a few of his films where dissolves were created using dupes, but the image quality degradation of image was too much.

Another doubt is about SUpermam (1978) "titles flying" effect. I imagine that for a single frame they just needed move the camera during a long exposure toi create the "trail effect". But even motion control would need a lot of exposure steps repeating the same moviment, since the trail was long and the moviment of the titles was so much fast, in a way the trail of of frame would reappear still in the area of the trail of another frame.
In theory they could create it using many motion control shots, but since the final titles have about 4 minutes of many trail titles all around, it would be to expensive, so I imagioned they probably used something more simple. Maybe a camera with prisms and 3 or 4 film reels and shutters adjusted in such way to one frame shot have some intersection (of time) with the other frame from other film reel. But it's still complex... Could the trail effect be created in a special advanced optical printer like a expose while the frame it's getting zoom???

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I love imagine, try to find how old film effects were created before computer era. It's like Sherlock Holmes mystery.

Early reflex wrote:
Jack Theakston wrote:That's William Friese-Greene with his color camera circa 1908. Because of the parallax, the camera was inadvertently filming stereo, too.


A bit late, I admit, but I must object. One has either a stereoscopic or an alternating camera. To my understanding, image pairs need to be taken simultaneously for stereoscopy. Friese-Greene was not after stereoscopy but a process that would deliver motion pictures free from flicker. He couldn’t stand the interruption between two successive frames. When one examines his twin-lens camera one finds two shutter actuating cams on a drive shaft. Each of them can be set individually rotationally. That mechanical refinement is pointless with stereoscopy. He wanted to find out whether it would be possible to so distribute exposure and film shift in time that he could blend from one frame to the next in projection. It would have been something like shift-clack-clack-shift-clack-clack, and so on. Unfortunately he entered a dead-end street although he went slowly enough, four or five exposures a second.

I have had this discussion with people in England involved in Friese-Greene’s heritage. A replica has been built and still one doesn’t accept the facts.
Keep thinking...

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Early reflex

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Re: On camera early effects. Dissolves, fade-in fade-out

PostSat Nov 19, 2016 3:26 am

Well, All Darc, I think you’re bringing in a new subject. Motion blur or artificial trailing is something within each frame.

In general, the longest exposure time per cycle is available with a Mitchell 16 camera that has a 235 degrees shutter opening angle. The Fujica AX100 Single-8 camera has a 230 degrees shutter. With almost all cameras we have an even distribution of the single exposures over time. Friese-Greene’s stuttering motion seems to form the exception.

I cannot comment on the trailing effect with those titles. From what I understand longer single frame exposure appears to be the case while something was moving, the camera or the projector or a zoom lens with trick machinery, be it motion control, be it the Oxberry or similar.
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Re: On camera early effects. Dissolves, fade-in fade-out

PostWed Nov 23, 2016 2:24 pm

I found a few articles about Superman titles effect. I need to carefully read it, but there was not only about long exposure during câmera moviment, but also something moving the lenses to make a moving exposure.

But in the oppeninmg credits of Superman 2 it was difterent, like it was made in a optical printer combining multiple frames exposure in a single one. We can notice that the "tail effect" looks segmentewd and not like in Superman 1.

The travel of Supemran's spaceship around the galaxies it's another achievement of creativity in a era without CGI effects.

I also have 2 another doubts about Superman FX . :)
They used a blue screen for shots that were suposed to show Superman flying far away from thecamera. But Superman clother had blue and so they used a spetial costume with altered colors, like when you change the hue adjust on TV or Photoshop and blues becames cyan and reds became magentas. His face also got some special make-up. So the greens and reds were no problem for the blue screen.
The colors needed to be correct before final composition, after got the mattes needed for it. But how could they correct the colors like a HUE adjust, if film and labs can only change coloers to looked more yellow or more blued or more dedish ? Maybe they changed the dyes used in film manufacture, I don't know...

And why they did not scotchlite screen (used for frontal projection) to create mattes?

Sorry, I know such complex questions are a bit insane to ask here in this forum. I should ask to some veteran on ILM company.
Keep thinking...

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