Properly executed, morphing offers endless possibilities for transforming one person into another. But this special effect also has its pitfalls. Using a promotional teaser for the latest product from Holo-Light, we show you how to create this special effect successfully .
Holo-Light, experts in mixed-reality software, requested a 40-second advertising teaser for their new product “Holo-Stylus 3D”. With this pen you can create things in 3D space. The purpose of the teaser was to portray the versatility of the Holo-Stylus while highlighting the main user groups: artist, mechanic, business woman or engineer – for all of them the Holo Stylus opens up new possibilities to be creative. The challenge: the film should be emotive and not too technical, yet it should communicate the subject matter clearly.
4 protagonists – different in type and range of application – use the holo-stylus either in a creative manner or to ease their work flow. Like a dynamic and entertaining teaser, their activities merge smoothly into each other. Morphing makes it possible! A great special effect – an image is transformed into another image by means of targeted distortion.
To ensure a flawless post-production process in which the individual parts merge seamlessly into each other, the shoot had to be prepared meticulously:
- select music
- create animatic (filmed storyboard) for internal visualization
- develop choreography for all motion sequences and define music length
For morphing, it is important that all actors perform the movements of the choreography in an identical manner and at the same speed – at least as much as possible. In addition, the cameraman must repeat the same camera move. That’s why we operated slowly and in tricky places the music was played at correspondingly reduced speed. In this way the movements of actors and camera could be synchronized. In addition, we shot 50 images per second to be able to adjust the speed in post with as little loss of quality as possible. After all, nobody can be 100% on point.
To create a clean highkey look we filmed in a white infinity cove. An additional advantage of that was that the actors could be repositioned easily. There was, however, very little or no depth information. That is why we had to apply tracking markers for the subsequent installation of the 3D elements.
Good preparation is a must to realize morphing properly. Pre-visualizations are an advantage. To film with a neutral background (green or white) saves a lot of time in post-production. Using single “real” and not digitally processed effects – in this case e. g. the flying scarf – achieves a more realistic look.
“Your commercial teaser gives me goose bumps. Just amazing and perfect.”
With a morph effect, there are almost endless possibilities to transform one person into another. Often the effect does not work properly and you have to find another way to achieve the effect. This discovery phase is most time consuming, since for one second of morphing up to 1000 keyframes are possible.”
Director & Graphic Artist
“Two days were scheduled for the shoot. One day to rehearse the choreography and make the necessary preparations. One day for filming with a Steady-Cam and Sfx final. Due to the good cooperation and preparation of all participants on the first day, everything was in the can after just a few hours!”
Retouching & 3D Artist