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  • Cloud Tank – reflections

  • Graham Quince

    August 25, 2018 at 8:27 am

    Wow. Just wow. – Free FX for amateur films – FX blog

  • Kalleheikki Kannisto

    August 25, 2018 at 10:47 am

    Thanks for the videos. Oh man — those results are out of this world. I’d be happy with much less. Which is what I would get anyways, since I’m limited to 100fps + Twixtor at this time unless I rent a high-speed camera. Guess I’m gonna have to make this a “weekend project” as well 🙂

    Kalleheikki Kannisto
    Senior Graphic Designer

  • Graham Quince

    August 25, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    Don’t forgot the waterproof motion control rig.

    The shots flying through a tunnel of paint and moving around the vortex are hypnotic. – Free FX for amateur films – FX blog

  • Graham Quince

    August 27, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    I ordered a couple of inks and they arrived yesterday – so I’ve had more fun with the water tank. I set it up indoors this time, with a little distance from a clear white wall. I tried a few lights, but didn’t have any LED lights to hand with enough power.

    I used the ProCam 5 app which gave me more control over the camera.

    I did try Steve’s suggestion of adding salt to change the density to get billowing earlier, but looks like i didn’t add nearly enough.

    Here’s a brief video I’ve just put together:

    Experiments with a Cloud Tank

    As you’ll see, I wasn’t draining the tank each time. Maybe I’ll get good enough at this to make some stock shots, but for now it’s about learning the medium. Also, I forgot each time I had a clean tank to set the focus manually, so the auto focus kept screwing things up! Still, it’s a lot cheaper than paying for a high speed camera.

    Thanks again for everyone’s advice. When I next get a chance, I’m itching to try dual layers and also smoke rings. – Free FX for amateur films – FX blog

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  • Steve Bentley

    August 27, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    Some of those orphans that stream off the orange and take on a life of their own are classic! Very nice.
    Watch out for the reflections from ambient light (and you blocking the light) bouncing off the front glass. (we can see you!)
    I saw the green screen versions – once you have your matte (the checkerboard) version you don’t ever need to make a green screen version. That will only degrade the edges more – the matte is the matte. just archive the footage with an alpha channel for use later.
    Re salt: I might not have been clear enough – add the salt (and yes, more than what’s in your salt shaker) to some water and then fill the tank to about 1/3. Then put water with no salt the rest of the way up the tank. Its better if the salt water can be colder than the water above it and if you can rig a system where some thin polyetheline plastic can be put on top of the salt water, then the clean water is added on top and then slowly pull the plastic out – this helps the 2 waters not mix ( I sound like a Fremen). You can also try a little camphor in the upper water (pre mix just a pinch) this will lower the surface tension of the upper water and help prevent mixing too.
    You can alter “gravity” by either cooling or warming your ink. Warm will tend to make it rise back up in the tank and cold will make it fall faster.
    You can also squirt clean water with a second syringe and that can add a “front” for the ink to curl around. If you’ve ever see time lapse of clouds in the mountains, you know that there is no difference between liquid and air.

  • Mark Whitney

    August 27, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    Hey Graham,

    That looks really encouraging. If nothing else you can get some interesting organic stuff to use as luma mattes.

    The blog link to the Red October was interesting & most I hadn’t seen. I actually worked on the miniature shot of the Russian Bearcat just before parachute drop shown. Semi long story but our 4-5 days of high speed bluescreen work were for naught & what you see in the final is the model stuck on a C-Stand arm at the edge of the Salton Sea.

  • Graham Quince

    August 27, 2018 at 3:59 pm

    Hi Steve,

    You’re quite right about the green screen. I only added in the background to demonstrate that it was keyed out. I’d never export that with green in the background.

    I’d fashioned a cardboard surround for the front, with the phone inside and off centre. Didn’t spot until editing that underneath the surround was showing up. I also totally missed that I was creating a line of bubbles on the inside of the glass, each time I a bucket of water in. Eventually spotted it and started wiping it down.

    I think I’m also going to have to invest in some lights. And yes, a boat load of salt ☺

    Hey Mark,

    Wow thank you. I love that movie and that’s a really cool insight. To be honest, I’d assumed that shot was footage of a real plane.

    As I mentioned in my blog post, I’m not happy with my final version, but I learned about some features of Element 3D which were new to me. The counter measures were most disappointing (as stills they always liked fine) and probably what started my brain ticking over about cloud tanks.

    Graham – Free FX for amateur films – FX blog

  • Mark Whitney

    August 27, 2018 at 5:54 pm

    Ya, I did a few shows with this group that specialized in miniature work before digital matured. The main guy actually developed a formula to “miniaturize” water come to think of it so that it reacted as if at scale when shot high speed. To say these folk were into detail is putting it mildly. Fun group to work with but sadly no longer with us.

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