Helle everyone,

I would like to acheive a ray light effect like this : http://www.goodwp.com/large/201110/20338.jpg

But i'm not sure for the best method. I think about adding smoke to my room but i'm afraid having flicking. does anyone know a good solution ?

Thanks

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I tried smoke in a room, but could not keep the smoke levels the same.  They did it in Robocop 2, but they had sensors, and a computer to control the smoke levels.

I would add it in post production, painting it on a layer on top of the background image.  I did that for my film L'Animateur, using software called TV Paint Animation.  http://www.tvpaint.com/v2/content/article/solution/fx.php   (Look at the 3rd image from the top on this page - that is centre blur being used for light rays on their logo for TV Paint Animation 10, with a moving centre.)  La meme page en francais - http://www.tvpaint.com/v2/content/article/solution/fx.php?lang=fr

 I used Centre Blur to create rays from a few pale yellow dots, and I animated the dots so the rays coming from them would change over time.  Photoshop could do it the same way, but you would be loading and saving one frame at a time.  I think you could do it in After Effects as well.

You can also do it in-camera.   Put a sheet of glass in front of the camera, at 45 degrees, so it reflects what is off to the side.  Have white paper ray shapes pinned onto black velvet in the place that is reflected in the glass.  The camera will see the set through the glass, but also a reflection of the rays.  You can move them a little out of focus if you want, so they don't look like cut paper.

EDIT:

Didn't see Nick's paragraph below the picture! Never mind!

If your camera is going to be static, I'd do it live on the set. 

Paint your ray art on a piece of black matte board, then bounce it in with a piece of glass or partially silvered mirror placed at a 45° angle in front of the camera lens. By playing around with the distance at which you place the art, you can give it a nice soft focus. If you jiggle the art a bit on each exposure, you can give the resulting effect a nice ethereal look. 

Thanks for the 2 solutions. The glass whith black painted board look like a good solution. To see if a fully understand, i made a quick drawing, am i right ? 

The Only problem with that ( and that's a big one, it's the fact that the rays have to be in the same direction that the camera) and that won't be my case.  Maybe i can do the same by putting the glass in front of my lights ??

Yes i can do that in post prod, but i will really prefer to have it live.

Thanks

I believe that they are talking about a beam splitter, deschaud. The glass is directly in front of the camera's lens, at a 45 degree angle to the lens, the camera sees through the glass to the set/puppet, and also sees the refection in the glass of objects placed to one side of the camera and set. Gosh, I think I just confused you more...Let me try again. Imagine a straight line between your camera and set. In the path of that line, place a piece of glass at an angle that catches a reflection to one side of that line. Place the object that you want a ghost image of to be reflected in that OTHER path, and Voila! The camera will see a solid set, AND a ghost-like reflection. Having a piece of black cloth draped behind the object you want ghosted in will insure that only the object is reflected into the scene. Just like a window reflects the environment, and is transparent at the same time. Think about the name 'beam splitter'. It's the way that transparent ghosts were added into old movies waaaaaay before computers. It's also, to my eyes, the way that Stanley Kubrick faked some of the moon landing shots for NASA!!!!

Your diagram isn't quite right. Try this:

Here's a picture of my (very messy) set-up. The two pieces of yellow card stock against the black background are creating the sunbeams. Only the one on top is in frame in this set-up. They were hung on wires that could be twanged a bit during the exposures so the beam would shimmer a bit. 

The partially silvered mirror is in between the camera and the set. The image of the beam bounces off the mirror and into the lens. The image of the set goes through the mirror and into the lens. So you're creating a "double exposure" in the camera.

As for the rays looking like they're coming into the camera, that's just a matter of perspective and the density of the ray art. You can fake the perspective, and by varying the density of the paint or whatever (imagine my paper cut-outs as painted art) you can make the rays gradually fade in or out.

Whoaa, thanks a lot for all of this : explaination, diagram and picture. I get it now :))
I think that could work pretty nicely.
Is it possible to see what it's look like in your movie grecodan ?

Me?! Miss an opportunity to plug my films? Koff! Silly question.

Here's a link to an early test:

http://vimeo.com/10340783

And here's a snap from the same test (The final shot has a few dust motes floating about to help bring the beam to life. If I were to do it again, I would use a painted sunbeam, yellow/white paint on black cardstock, so I could vary the density like I mentioned above):

Cool, i really like how the light react when he put his hand on the sunbeam. Do you do the dust in post prod ?

Yes, the dust was done in After Effects. I tried a shot where I animated little grains of salt against a black background, but it looked pretty bad.

if you are going the post route, the trapcode suite has a very nice plugin for making light rays like the one in your photo. 

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