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Author Topic: Building models for filming  (Read 28260 times)

Umi_Ryuzuki

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #25 on: January 10, 2017, 05:55:35 PM »

"Traditional" model building or 3D printed?


Hi Martin,
Traditional scratch building.
I will make molds of each piece so that we can out fit the two Kagero, and possibly
provide parts to a person building a Shimakaze.

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John,

Are the models going to be RC, or will they be filmed using motion control cameras and
then matted into the environments?

John W E

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #26 on: January 10, 2017, 06:05:08 PM »

Hi there

Would it be possible to put a few photographs on?  to show the setup of the models on gimbals?   

This also reminds me of when they filmed Hornblower Series - on there I think they got a Russian/Polish Company to build the models and they were in the region of between 4.5 to 7.0 meters long - I am sure there were about 11 models made.   Model Boats did an article on the models and it would be somewhere in the region of year 2000 cos I am sure the series of Hornblower started in 1998?   

So any pics of your set up would really be appreciated.

John
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John Stedman

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #27 on: January 10, 2017, 06:49:09 PM »

The current plan is, for most shots, to keep the camera static and do all the movements with the models. This usually looks best because the audience needs to perceive the lighting angles and shadows changing authentically as the ship alters course, moves in the swell, or when its momentum or inertia is affected by rudder movements, engine power changes, gun recoil or shell impact. We would only use a camera dolly, crane or Motion Control rig if the Point Of View was logically changing for the viewers during the shot, such as if the viewpoint was supposed to be from another moving ship or an aircraft, for example.


All the filming of ship models would be done on a Model Mover in a dry studio. The film of the seascape would be sourced from archives, probably using sequences of the actual (or similar) ships photographed in the 1930's or 40's. This would provide authentic bow waves wake and turbulence. We would use Motion Capture techniques to match the movements of the models to those of the full-size vessels. Then we would employ a computerised Travelling Matte process to fit the model ship into the real waves. Some CGI would be needed for cleanup. Special Effects such as smoke, explosions, shell splashes and suchlike will probably be sourced from real footage, but it might be necessary to use Particle Effects CGI to a limited extent. It depends on budget, really.


We're still at the Feasibility Stage of Pre Production, and we don't have clearance to release any images of our prototype tests and camera tests yet. That's not likely to happen until the project is Greenlit, which won't be until the Production Company has all its ducks in a row, with budgets set for all departments. As soon as we can publish photos of our work we certainly will.
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unbuiltnautilus

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #28 on: January 10, 2017, 07:47:55 PM »

Were you involved in the documentary on The Raid On St Nazaire of a few years back? That used big miniatures of HMS Campbeltown in a similar manner that you describe.
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John Stedman

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #29 on: January 10, 2017, 08:45:38 PM »

No, we weren't involved in the St Nazaire documentary made in 2007 and narrated by Jeremy Clarkson, or the Commando St Nazaire documentary made in 2010 which featured some of the veterans. They are both fine pieces of work and worth seeing again. The St Nazaire raid was originally on the schedule for the series we're currently working on, but it was felt that it was too soon after the other two productions. However it is possible that we will be including the Dieppe Raid, an extraordinarily brave operation by Canadian forces, and one which by highlighting problems with amphibious assaults probably saved a great many Allied lives on D-Day. This idea may eventually form part of a series which looks at 'hit the beach' attacks before, during and after the Second World War. There are some amazing stories to tell on this subject, including of course the long series of costly assaults conducted by the US across the Pacific from 1943 to 1945. The clock is ticking on such ideas, because none of the surviving veterans is less than 90 years old now...
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John Stedman

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #30 on: January 11, 2017, 09:49:54 AM »

Today we are sorting through a collection of archive film which was taken of HMS Hood at sea in the 1920's and 30's. There's a great deal to choose from, because the ship toured the world 'Showing the Flag' and many professional photographers were around to record this, mostly on 16mm film. A surprising amount of this in in colour. There are some issues with fading and scratching, but today there is software that can restore such damage quite easily. Some of the sequences show the ship in remarkably violent sea conditions, often with waves sweeping across her Quarterdeck. Not for nothing was she often referred to as 'The Royal Navy's largest submarine!' It's been decided that the aesthetic of the series we're involved in will be designed to put the viewer into the scenes as if they were there as it all happened. Perhaps on 24th May 1941, in the Denmark Strait...


One sequence we found stood out. It shows HMS Hood head-on, moving quickly towards the camera, which is at quite a low angle just above the wavetops, probably on the deck of an attendant Destroyer. Hood looks very imposing and threatening just by her presence. This was probably taken during a battle exercise. Coming disturbingly close to us, Hood begins a hard turn to port, and the shape of her bow wave changes as she meets the waves at a changing angle. Looking closely at this, it's apparent that, despite her size and mass, the Battlecruiser did not 'corner on rails': there are many varied undulations and movements of the ship apparent as the turbulent ocean 'pushes back' against the momentum and power of the huge ship. It's important to us that these subtleties are accurately brought to the cinema and TV screen. Fortunately, there are now ways of doing that. And I think that this may provide us with the shot that depicts 'The Mighty Hood' beginning her last ever turn to port, as she changes course in an endeavour to open up her rear main arcs. With her Boat Deck already ablaze and her Spotting Top wiped out, the ship presses on with the battle, heeling into the turn when a 38cm shell from KM Bismarck penetrates the aft magazines, and...

To check if this will work, today we're doing a Motion Capture analysis of the 30-second movie clip, frame by frame. That means that our computer operator has to look carefully at 600 images, and line up markers with a dozen identifiable fixed points on the hull and superstructure. We've also got to stabilise the image, since it was filmed from the moving deck of another ship, but fortunately there's a clear horizon line to help with that.Then, during the camera test tomorrow, we'll program the Model Mover to make our 12' miniature move in a studio move just like an 860' capital ship in the ocean. I want our film to convincingly show the behaviour of a real ship, but with the bonus that we can then use all this to tell a story. And the story is fundamental. It's got to be a human story, above all, that the audience can relate to.

The Screenwriter wants to show the 'Battle of the Denmark Strait' in real time, and although the ships will be on screen through most of this, we'll also be having scenes on the Compass Platform of HMS Hood, where we will meet Admiral Holland, Captain Kerr and the young Ted Briggs. These three characters will have been introduced in earlier scenes, so we'll know something about not just their duties, but also their strengths and weaknesses. Now their actions will help the audience to comprehend something of the chaos of the gun battle and unbelievably rapid sinking. And on Bismarck we'll see their counterparts, victors with just three days to live.

Ted Briggs was one of only three survivors from HMS Hood's complement of 1,418. He went back to serve in the Royal Navy and subsequently lived a full and productive life. I had the honour of meeting him on several occasions. In July 2001, while standing on the deck of a ship in the Denmark Strait, it was his hand that released the remote control grab that placed the Memorial Plaque and Roll of Honour next to the shattered bow wreckage of the newly-discovered HMS Hood. Quite a story.
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Capt Podge

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #31 on: January 11, 2017, 02:58:44 PM »

This is absolutely fascinating. Hope the efforts being made make it to the big screen - we've not had anything of this nature for quite some time now.

Regards,

Ray.
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John Stedman

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #32 on: January 11, 2017, 03:46:02 PM »

Quite a few people have been asking us why we didn't just build a Radio Controlled HMS Hood and film it in some real water. I imagine that some Forum readers are thinking the same thing. So I'll try and explain. The problem isn't really the RC ships. It's the water. H2O simply doesn't 'scale' properly. Look at almost any movie from the Hitchcock era, and it's obvious to anyone that the ships are miniatures, simply because the water is not behaving like a real ocean would. When planning 'Titanic' 20 years ago, James Cameron was relieved when he found that the Atlantic was 'like a millpond' in the area and on the night that the iceberg showed up. He might have had a massive budget, but money doesn't solve all problems, even in Hollywood. If he'd had to replicate a big stormy sea, he confessed that he wouldn't have known how to do it realistically.


Many filmmakers have tried to make water look more massive by running their cameras faster than normal, producing a slowed-down playback. The iconic 1960's TV series 'Thunderbirds' was done that way. Standard speed is 25 Frames Per Second, but most professional film cameras can manage three times that. However, movie cameras are optimised for 25FPS, and can get erratic, unstable and lose reliability if run faster. Image quality can drop alarmingly. You can buy special high-speed cameras, but they are very expensive. Even hiring one is costly: be prepared to sell a kidney. Two, maybe.


But even if you go this route, which slows the projected image down on the screen, your problems aren't over. Go and look at the largest pool you know, then go down to an ocean pier and check out the water there. The water looks and moves in a completely different way, and the open sea has an infinite number of 'moods' that a lake can only dream of. I've been to Malta, to the largest film water tank facility in Europe, to see if this can really create a believable 'sea scene'. With its 'infinity edge' giving a visual blend into the open Mediterranean, it's fairly convincing illusion when the winds are at 'gentle breeze' level. But when things creep up the Beaufort Scale, the distant sea loses all its similarity to the inland lake. And audiences for warship movies usually want to see big iron-grey monsters crashing through huge waves, with tons of spray flying, to create a suitably dramatic atmosphere.


So why not build a much bigger model and put it in a real ocean? That was tried quite successfully on 'Das Boot' (The Boat), a highly regarded German production that was broadcast worldwide as a TV series and was shown in cinemas as well. To do the nautical scenes they built a VIIC U-Boat in 1:5 scale. It was over 40 feet long. You won't be surprised to learn that this film became the most expensive German movie of all time. Anyone want to try building HMS Hood in 1:5 scale? It would be 172 feet long. Clear your workbench!


And there's a problem with Point Of View as well. Most boat kit catalogues are keen to show you a 'seagull's eye view' to emphasise all the deck and superstructure details you're paying for. But in a movie you usually want a POV that's below main deck level, down near the waves. It's more ominous to show a capital ship from that angle. However, to get that viewpoint at 1:72 scale your camera axis would need to be just three inches above the water surface. On screen, it simply wouldn't look right, because the physics and appearance of the out-of-focus foreground water would be unrealistic. And in the movies, looks are everything!
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John W E

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #33 on: January 11, 2017, 04:13:14 PM »

hi

ok you have me hooked here and its really fascinating this - I heard through the grapevine that they were going to remake The Sinking of the Bismarck. but I often wonder why the Battle of the River Plate has never been redone properly.   Personally I think its just as good a story behind it for moral boosting, during the war, maybe you could answer this question?


john
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roycv

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #34 on: January 11, 2017, 04:41:49 PM »

Yep! you have got me hooked as well.  As an avid fan of the CGI re-enactments of air battles and naval actions mainly on cable TV I look forward to seeing your productions.
I am not sure about those shots, sorry, of being behind shells travelling to explode on a ship though.  Always interested in the tactics of battles, sea or air though.
Will your film show projected movements as far as trying to out manoevre the enemy?
Very much enjoy reading the background information.
regards Roy
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DavieTait

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #35 on: January 11, 2017, 05:42:32 PM »

I heard they are looking at remaking Das Boot.... please let this one be WRONG as how the hell you remake an absolute classic like that and make it "better" ( which is very subjective ) is beyond me , the "remake" of The Dambusters is no closer starting and personally I hope it NEVER gets made. It would have to be funded by the US film studio's and they will demand US actors and changes to the script to rewrite history to make out the Yanks had a part in the raid which they absolutely did not.
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John W E

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #36 on: January 11, 2017, 05:51:38 PM »

U-571  %) %) springs to mind - what do you think Dave?
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #37 on: January 11, 2017, 05:53:49 PM »

Very refreshing to hear from a professional who clearly knows what he is talking about. Following the discussion with interest.

Colin
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John Stedman

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #38 on: January 11, 2017, 06:03:20 PM »

'Battle of the River Plate' is an interesting movie because it was all done with real ships, although these mostly weren't the actual ships involved in the engagement just off Montevideo. The filmmakers were fortunate that these vessels were all still available and seaworthy. Another bonus was that because British Intelligence sources and some of the media had been forewarned that KM Graf Spee was going to be scuttled and blown up, there were plenty of cameras around to record the demise of the German ship. I believe that all of the footage of he burning Graf Spee in the movie is real, and that no models were used at all. But the engagement didn't really have the pathos and dramatics, or the political and public consequences that the Hood - Bismarck story had, for a number of reasons.


Firstly, the long reputation of HMS Hood was without peer. The British public at first could simply not comprehend that she was gone. In mid 1941 Britain found itself alone and at real risk of losing the war. People had visions that the UK could be starved into surrender, as Germany had effectively been in 1918. To the British media and many of its politicians, KM Bismarck looked like the harbinger of an oncoming unstoppable force. Winston Churchill, always at his best in a tight corner, realised what many did not: that the Royal Navy might not be the most modern in the world, but it had strength in numbers and strength of character, and he knew its officers and men would single-mindedly do whatever was necessary to 'Sink The Bismarck'. Revenge was the driving force. It's a very powerful one.


Secondly, morale collapsed very quickly on Bismarck after Hood was sunk. It wasn't just that their ship was crippled by the damage to her bow. Everyone on board knew what they had done, and what the likely consequences would be. The saying goes 'If you pull a Lion's tail, you'd better have a good plan for dealing with his teeth'. They fully expected they would be hunted down by the Royal Navy, who would kill them all without mercy. It was one of the first cracks in the confidence of the Third Reich. It all turned into a form of Greek Tragedy, which is one of the most effective drama strategies ever invented. The Berlin regime had bred warriors who obeyed orders, the British had favoured those who showed initiative, and the contrast between these attitudes could not have been greater.


Lastly, the sinking of Bismarck was a very significant strategic turning point in the Second World War. The Kriegsmarine never again asserted its surface ship strengths in any meaningful way, leaving the naval initiative to the U-Boat forces. The loss of one of its two top ships drove a wedge between the Berlin hierarchy and the KM, without which the 'Battle of the Atlantic' convoy conflict would have potentially been far more damaging to the UK. If Britain had had no choice but to surrender before 7th December 1941, the US would have lost its opportunity to base airpower in England, Stalin would probably have taken a far more aggressive stance towards the West, and Europe would probably be an entirely different place today.


Personally I see close parallels between this and the Falkands War of 1982, in which I served. There, the UK wanted to divide and conquer the three arms of the Argentinian military junta, so they sank the cruiser Belgrano in a move to get the enemy Navy to withdraw its forces from the conflict. It was a completely successful (if controversial) strategy which owed a great deal to British study of the Bismarck history.


So overall, the Hood - Bismarck epic was without equal in its naval significance in the Second World War, and the Churchill Government played its hand with considerable skill. The media played its part in turning public gloom into determined optimism. And Britain's allies realised that the UK was far from beaten.


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unbuiltnautilus

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #39 on: January 11, 2017, 06:22:30 PM »

I think two of the most compelling naval actions of the twentieth century, were the Battle of Coronel, followed by the Battle of the Falklands 1914. I am biased just a bit, it was our first pyrotechnic display between 1989 and 1995!
The moment that stands out for me is when Von Spee is approaching Stanley Harbour, upon seeing the spotting tops of the two Battlecruisers sitting in harbour, he knew he was doomed. They were able to outpace and outshoot his squadron, there was no option but to prepare for battle.


Then the British crews were allowed to finish breakfast, no rush!


The Battlecruisers finest hour.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #40 on: January 11, 2017, 06:32:15 PM »

A lot of people buy into the legend that the Bismarck was some sort of super ship and better than anything the Royal Navy had but in fact she was a very flawed vessel and in many respects inferior in design to the Rodney which basically took her apart.

She benefited from her overall size and wide beam which gave her a lot of resilience but her armour belt was thinner than the Queen Elizabeth class and the KGV class and her deck protection inferior to the much earlier Rodney. She also suffered from having primary, secondary and tertiary armament when contemporary foreign designs were adopting dual purpose secondary armament with much wasted weight. Basically she was an updated WW1 Baden design which was all the German designers had to go on when she was constructed.

The final engagement would have been more conclusive if it had not been for the fact that Rodney was only carrying armour piercing shells when it took place, her high explosive ammunition had been landed in anticipation of her refit in the USA from which she was diverted to intercept Bismarck. The AP shells just drilled holes in Bismarck without setting off the magazine explosions that Admiral Tovey wanted. King George V played a marginal role in the final battle as she stood off while Rodney did most of the damage and her 14 inch guns were still suffering from constant breakdowns similar to those of Prince of Wales. Fortunately these problems seem to have been largely resolved by the time Duke of York encountered Scharnhorst.

Colin
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #41 on: January 11, 2017, 06:35:39 PM »

Re Coronel and Falklands, the RN ships were outfought as they were largely manned by scratch reservist crews which could not match Von Spee's well trained armoured cruisers. At the Falklands the battlecruisers almost ran out of ammunition trying to hit the Germans and Admiral Sturdee was strongly criticised for the way in which he fought the battle.

Colin
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unbuiltnautilus

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #42 on: January 11, 2017, 06:47:17 PM »

ahh, critics eh?
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #43 on: January 11, 2017, 06:52:08 PM »

Critics? There is plenty of reliable documentation on these issues but not everyone reads it!  ok2

Colin
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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #44 on: January 11, 2017, 07:03:34 PM »

Quote
It would have to be funded by the US film studio's and they will demand US actors and changes to the script to rewrite history to make out the Yanks had a part in the raid which they absolutely did not.


Joe McCarthy (pilot, AJ-T, first aircraft to bomb the Sorpe) was American...


Lance
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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #45 on: January 11, 2017, 07:08:33 PM »


but not everyone reads it!  ok2


not everyone has the time!


Jim.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #46 on: January 11, 2017, 07:17:12 PM »

No excuse Jim!

Colin
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BFSMP

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #47 on: January 11, 2017, 07:21:31 PM »


I believe from reading many moons ago that there were a good few yanks out of the133 crew involved in the raid.


At the onset of the war, quite a number of American citizens had leapt the border into Canada, joined up and served with the RCAF, and the RCN, and as such probably a few more of the RCAF crew members on the raid and subsequent sorties that 617 performed were American crew.


Jim.
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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #48 on: January 11, 2017, 07:25:02 PM »


No excuse Jim!

Colin


 Got more pressing things to do, Colin....washing dishes, clothes, sleeping, lol............


Old age and singledom ain't all it's cracked up to be.


Don't even have time to go out and find a goody comely lady, lol.


Jim.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #49 on: January 11, 2017, 07:43:42 PM »

I take your point Jim but this is where internet forums, and indeed social media come a cropper.

Somebody states that Bismarck was a wonder ship with magic armour and people just believe it without checking and repeat the claim which then becomes an accepted 'fact'.

Never believe what you read on the internet without at least doing some checking before you perpetuate the inaccuracy!

Colin
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