Apple "Shop At Home" Parody

Project completed- Here is the final video:

Hello all!

I had the idea of creating a WIP thread for my current video project. This will differ from the usual sort of thread, in that I am not interested in covering the progress of a single model, but rather the project as a whole. It is my hope that I may be able to show you at least part of the journey from idea to finished movie, and that you may learn some things along the way, and perhaps I can learn some things from you!

For me, the greatest challenge in creating a film is getting through all the technical challenges that will be presented to you during the course of production(of which there are always many) and still retaining, in the finished film, the ideas and feelings which you had imagined it would hold when you first started.

And with that idea, I will attach the script for this current project as a PDF, so that you may see my original intention, and when the project is complete you may gauge how closely or how far I was to achieving success.

Basic info: Currently, principal photography is scheduled for Wednesday, August 7th. It will be shot inside on a DIY green screen setup. I’ll be documenting how the green screen background and lights are setup for anyone interested in that. Until shooting begins, I’ll be preparing the 3d models and shaders.

I’m using two models available on Blendswap. The first is by matpompili, you can find it here:

The second is by natholas, here:

Currently, I’m adjusting the materials of these two models (althought they don’t require much adjusting) to better fit the look of the film. I’m also studying how best to light the models, using the work of Apple product photographer Peter Belanger as a guide.

I have lots more to say, but I will leave off here for now!

A WIP shot of the ipad:

apple_channel_revised-apr_1.pdf (8.71 KB)

And as promised, here is the script for the short film, attached as a PDF. Pardon any crude language that may pop up, I sometimes leave little notes in my scripts to help guide me.

Here is an update! The majority of our footage was shot on Wednesday. There are a handful of shots still needed, but they are very specific insert shots that I can create by myself in my room.

Here is a frame from our master shot on Wednesday:

I also shot three HDRI probes for our cg elements. Here is a tonemapped version of one of them (excuse the ugly watermarks).

Today I am beginning the editing of the raw footage. There are approximately 70 clips to sort through and organize. Essentially, I will be cutting the bulk of the film into the final edit (without effects added), and then I will begin work on the 2d and 3d effects.


Looking forward to see the finished movie.
Please consider a short making of movie as well :wink:

Good luck

wow i am following along, that isvery interesting to learn how tto go about such movie clip! thanks for sharing!

jakerlund- Thank you! I will consider making a behind-the-scenes video for anyone interested. Most of the Blender works is focused on object tracking, and matching the lights to the real-world footage.

doris- Thanks! I had hoped this thread might be of interest to someone! I enjoy seeing seeing the progress of everyone’s models and texturing, but I also really enjoy seeing how people approach projects that require many different types of skills and problems which need to be solved. It is also great to get input from people who may have much more experience than I do. I’d much rather hear “You should consider doing that this way…” at about the time I’m doing it, instead of after the entire movie is done and they’re watching a BTS video!

Anyway, I’ve finished condensing down the shots into the usable footage, and today I’m cutting the various shots together. Hopefully by Sunday night that work will be complete, and Monday I will be bringing shots into Blender to begin the CG integration.

Pictured above is the first shot I’ve started working on. I had the actor hold a small green paper prop to mime the actions of texting on a small phone, so that I would be able to more easily place the cg phone under his finger. Tracking markers were used to aid in object tracking. I will add the raw shot to this post as soon as I have some breakfast!

Edit- Here’s the original shot:

This is pretty awesome, and I’m interested to see how it turn out. Good luck!

I’ll be interested to see how your tracking comes along… I’ve never done it in blender. Looks to be a funny project.

Thanks, und3c1ph3r3d and harleynut97! I’ve never done object tracking in Blender, either! Only camera tracking. But it seems simple enough to learn as I work without screwing up the shot (famous last words).

Here is another update before I go out of town for a couple of days. I’ve completed all the chromakeying for the sequence, with just a few tweaks to adjust later on in places where a finger or head dips out of the garbage mattes. The video looks to time out at around 3:30 in length, and 90% of it is chromekeyed footage.

Let me know how these images look on your monitors. I’m using an old, tiny CRT monitor from 2000, with terrible contrast and burned out areas. Needless to say, I have to estimate my settings at times. Do the images looks too contrasted, or too saturated? Are the colors off in some other way?

As I’ve mentioned, I’m rendering with Cycles. However, since I don’t have much rendering power, I’m cutting corners wherever I can.
The counter we are standing at in the wide shots is rendered out as a single frame (1920x1080 took almost an hour at 5,000 samples, to remove noise sufficiently), then saved as a PNG with alpha enabled and placed over the footage in After Effects. Then it’s just a matter of duplicating the chromakeyed layer, rotating it in 3d space and placing it over the counter’s surface. Then just mask off the edges where it should not reflect, and set the blending mode to a suitable one (in this case, I believe it was Overlay or Soft Light). Also drop the opacity so it’s not too strong.

As you can see, there is a bit of difference between the colors of the wide shot and the medium shot of Mary. I’m trying to tweak this to make it less obvious. Mary’s hair is almost going strawberry blonde in her medium shot. I believe this has to do with using greenscreen on long blonde hair. Since she was wearing a blue/violet dress, greenscreen was obviously better suited than blue. But in the future it is something I will take into consideration, since green is obviously very close to yellow.

I’ve looked at it on 2 non calibrated monitors, her hair looks good to my eye. It doesn’t appear overly contrasted to me anyway. You got yourself a beautiful actress, by the way… Your new Apple Minis will be flying off the shelf soon :slight_smile:

Thanks, harleynut! I have high hopes!

colors look vibrant but not too much. i like it. … i guess the iphone mini will fly more to the ladies, given i see the tortured face …lol

Sorry for the delay, I was out of town for a few days and just got back last night.

Thanks, doris! Yes, I think the extra small keys may make texting more frustrating, for men especially. Perhaps they will come out with a new feature to solve this!

Thanks for the feedback, everyone! I will probably borrow a monitor later this week to tweak the colors a bit, just to bring down the saturation of the image. I’m looking at it on my laptop and I think it could use a little less color.

I recall when I first got into video editing, I realized the way I grade images for video is different from grading still photos.

Today I’m continuing work on the iphone 7 model, as it is mentioned in the script. For those of you who haven’t read the script, it’s basically just an iphone that has been designed to look like it came out of the 80’s. It supposedly has all the features of a modern cell phone, but it’s still bound by 1980’s technology. Therefore, apps come on floppy disks, it has a physical keypad, and overall it’s big and heavy. I’m trying to model it so that it looks like an old macintosh desktop was turned into a phone.

I’m not much of a modeler, but here is the phone as it currently stands. I will be continuing work on it tonight, but let me know if you have any thoughts as to improving it!

fundesign! ah yes, i remember these macs, they were the first i used … lol… one point to improve is the inner square of the screen, the one that is set inwards. it has sharp vertical borders but soft horizontal borders… i would go with sharp all around, or with a small bevel that looks sharp from further away and catches an extra light…

Good catch, doris! I don’t know what I was thinking when I was modeling the interior monitor a few weeks ago. Here it is as of 15 minutes ago:

Sorry for the screengrabs, I didn’t feel like rendering to be honest. Most of today was spent rendering out the easy-to-composite shots and inserting them into the timeline in Premiere, and working on some of the insert shots which require more time and individual attention. I started at about 2 this afternoon, and it’s now just after 4 AM.

Tomorrow I’ll be continuing work on the insert shots, as well as finishing the modeling for this iphone 7. I’ve decided my deadline to upload is next Tuesday, so we’ll see the movie completed soon!

I’ll keep track of it, James! The idea seems fun and technology of process interesting. Can I ask you what scale the old Ayy!Phone is?

Blend On!

I’ll be waiting in line to buy that new I phone7… at least I’ll be able to see the numbers:) Look forward to seeing your video… deadlines are made to be broken, my recommendation is don’t sacrifice anything quality wise, to meet some self imposed deadline.