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Guerrilla Diaries: Using the Jib

A post-apocalyptic scene shot in a car park. A jib crane shot allows you to create great parallax shots and make the most of your layered images.

Justin, our director of photography, knew we were working in 3D so he was free to use a camera move for the first time. He chose a vertical move, and used the Jib crane to make a shot that gives you the option to play around with depth and distance in your comp.

In filmmaking, a jib is like a boom mic, but on a see-saw pole, with a camera on one end and a counterweight on the other. Separate monitor and controls allow viewing and remote camera operation. It needs to be used sparingly, but in situations like this where Justin wanted to create parallax and a change in view, it provides us with many creative possibilities that we hope you’ll explore.

Parallax is the difference in the apparent position of an object viewed along two different lines of sight. Put simply, things nearer us seem to move faster as we pass by than things in the distance. An example is the sort of effect you get looking out a train window.

Whereas in 2D layer compositing you might need to estimate how something in the foreground moves in relation to something further back, in 3D compositing it can be almost automatic. The elevation in Justin’s shot gives us something to work with.

As we said, crane shots tend to be used sparingly, usually to establish scenes or say something about the character in their landscape. Can you think of a way you could use this kind of shot in your own work?

Since what you’re doing with this week’s episode is essentially building set extensions, let’s see what the Blaine Brothers have to say on the subject next, and how they’ve used this effect.

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Visual Effects for Guerrilla Filmmakers

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