In the article titled "Virtual Viewpoint," Asa discusses the importance of selecting the right lenses for shooting in-camera visual effects within volumes. Joining him in this insightful conversation is Director of Photography Brett Dantons.
Prior to building camera systems for virtual production, Bailey was a "traditional" shooter and he has a selection of vintage glass at his studio in North Wales where he tests and trains his camera (tracking) crews, "old glass is a great way to to sharpen your teams lens encoding skills " said Bailey.
"Honestly, IC-VFX is quite forgiving when it comes to lens data and encoding to get a good result on an LED stage, the real challenge is when you are shooting AR (Augmented Reality). When shooting the virtual world in-engine, and the physical world in-camera, everything has to be spot on. If your AR characters, virtual sets, or props slip around when you move your camera, check your lens calibration. This is usually the case with simulcam set ups where you want to either shoot or pre-viz VFX on-set, or in broadcast virtual studio situations. It's important for the rest of the crew to understand this too, as it may require adjustments between set-ups, we even have a second camera set up ready to go, so the main unit can keep shooting, meanwhile we'll wrestle with the troubled lens, off set" said Bailey.
The article focuses on the advantages of using "characterful" lenses, highlighting how they can surprisingly minimize moiré and effectively enhance the final frames by bringing together lighting, distortions, and imperfections to achieve the best possible results. Asa and Brett both emphasize the significance of selecting lenses that contribute to the overall aesthetic and visual impact of the final product.
During the discussion, Asa shares valuable insights into the time considerations when encoding different types of lenses. Notably, he points out that anamorphic lenses typically require a longer encoding time compared to traditional spherical lenses. However, he also emphasizes that all lenses can be utilized effectively within the realm of virtual production. Asa further expresses his fondness for shooting with vintage glass and endorses the concept of harnessing any lens in the virtual production process. He highlights the importance of incorporating mechanical gears and capturing accurate distortions for recreating real-world characteristics within the virtual camera, ensuring seamless synchronization and post-production.
On-Set Facilities is proud to represent Asa Bailey and congratulates him on his feature in British Cinematographer magazine. Read the full release at British Cinematographer here.