Acta Materialia Volume , 1 October , Pages Author links open overlay panel G. Laplanche A. Throughout the 20 th century, there was a regular flow of twinning films, most of which relied on these familiar visual effects techniques — perhaps most famously when a young Hayley Mills played identical twins in The Parent Trap Then, in , came a matched pair of twinning films that upped the ante and doubled the stakes.
Both films made a bold leap by using motion control to introduce camera moves into their split-screen shots. Luckily for us, when dissecting the revolutionary visual effects of Dead Ringers in Cinefex 36, Don Shay demonstrated a little more understanding of the twinning process than Here Come The Waves reporter Fred Offman did back in The most difficult of the motion control setups was a reverse tracking shot of the twins walking towards camera.
To compensate for normal arm and body sway, Film Effects of Toronto had to develop matting sequences that constantly shifted the split from side to side. And since diffused splits of varying widths were required — depending on background light levels — different splits were dissolved in and out as the scene progressed. From start to finish, the shot required four separate split-screen mattes — each with an average of four dissolves.
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From Back to the Future II through Multiplicity to Adaptation and beyond, filmmakers have experimented with ever-more elaborate ways of duplicating the talent. Read all about how they did it in this excellent article at FXGuide. These recent refinements mean filmmakers can now do proper justice to that staple of science fiction: the clone story.
In the second pass, Rockwell performed as Sam 2, aligning his shoulder with the marker and using his body to occlude that of the double.
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A third pass allowed for the removal of extra lighting, cameras and floor markers, and the shadow cast by the C-stand and opposing action. All this talk of clones brings us neatly back to Orphan Black and Intelligent Creatures. In the end, however, motion control won the day, as described here by the Intelligent Creatures team:. Before production began we considered many different techniques from simple handheld camera moves to repeatable slider rigs, but ultimately it came down to a full motion control system.
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In fact, we shot the scene from the pilot where Sarah meets Katja on two different motion control rigs before settling on what became the go to rig for the series — the Super TechnoDolly. The first of its generation, the TechnoDolly is a robotic camera system, essentially a smart Technocrane.
It allowed us to create movements of unlimited length and complexity, and more importantly, repeat those moves with incredible precision. We shot the entire scene with Tatiana playing Sarah alongside a stand in actor to work out blocking and eyelines. Then we repeated the scene with Tatiana alone following carefully placed eyeline markers. Finally, Tatiana changed over to Katja and we did the whole thing over again. The passes were later combined in compositing using Digital Fusion to create the seamless effect.
The TechnoDolly proved adaptable enough in operation to give the director flexibility on set, and — crucially in a show where ADR needed to be kept to an absolute minimum — it was near-silent in operation.
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With each episode the challenges grew. The one main request was that once an episode the clones would touch. Sometimes we had as many as three clones in the room all interacting with each other, delivering dialogue and making eye contact.
We used the Super TechnoDolly for these really complex movements in order to maintain image integrity and repeatability. In the penultimate episode, we had one clone pour wine for two others, and another hug one in a deep embrace. As the episode continued we saw clones strangling each other, head butting, and eventually shoot the other.