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PostPosted: 05 Sep 2001, 12:10 
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Hollywood Hopeful
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I'm sure it's been asked before, but I was unable to find a cool FAQ section...

I'm endlessly impressed with the Invisibles craftsmanship and I'm interested in submitting some homespun entries, but I'm curious about the best way to start. Are they usually generated from distributed studio stills, or from screen grabs directly off the DVD/VHS? Are you painstakingly manufacturing all the backgrounds, or using multiple screen grabs to fill in some of the tough spots?

Also, what's the policy on extras? I've noticed sometimes they're invisible and sometimes they're not. Is it mostly a matter of how tough they would be to replace, or is it based on how much or little they telegraph to the guessing public?

Thanks! I look forward to more details.

(edited for clarity of Forum topic)

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: jameson on 2001-09-06 14:13 ]</font>


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PostPosted: 05 Sep 2001, 16:34 
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Your best bet is to grab right from the DVD, so you can get something at a nice, high resolution (for editing). You should grab a few frames before and possibly after the shot you want, so you can get a little of the background (to copy or stamp over the body parts). The more you can copy from what is really in the background as opposed to painting from scratch, the better.
If all else fails, grab an old Invisible, and flip it horizontally and send that in. It will keep the Boyz guessing.


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PostPosted: 05 Sep 2001, 18:01 
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One of the Boyz
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Some day, I'll probably put together a little How-To section to help users create their own Invisibles. For now, here are some tips...

S-P-O-N-G-E is correct. Your best bet is to use screen captures from DVD. This might require some extra hardware and/or software, so it might not be a possibility for everyone.

Using DVD captures, you're able to (as you mentioned jameson) take mulitple screen shots to help out with the backgrounds. Even using multiple shots though, the background frequently has to be wholly or partially painted in, which can be difficult and tedious.

Also, there is not really any easy way of filling in the collars, sleeves, etc. of the clothing. This must be drawn in each time, using samples of other areas of the clothing if patterns are involved.

As for the rules on whether extras are "invisibled out" or not, that's simple: There are no rules (other than removing all non-extra characters). Usually I only remove the characters, and leave the extras intact. But sometimes I just feel like getting rid of everyone in sight.

So there you have it. I may post some more tips later. Feel free to ask any other questions on creating Invisibles.


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PostPosted: 17 Sep 2002, 01:53 
It's been a year. Have you gotten around to making that tutorial yet? Some of us could really use it.


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PostPosted: 17 Sep 2002, 09:42 
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Boy, it has been a year, hasn't it? This is one of those things that I just haven't gotten around to yet, but I'll try to see if I can whip something up in the next few weeks...


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PostPosted: 10 Dec 2002, 23:02 
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Do you use Photoshop for the editing? Wouldn't a gradient and/or color burn & dodge tool be easy for the collars? I once had to create a gargoyle with spread wings and the shading in that was probably just as complex as a collar-fill, but quite easy compared to drawing the freaking claws a pixel at a time.


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PostPosted: 11 Dec 2002, 12:29 
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Yes, I do use photoshop for all of the image doctoring.

I don't really use the dodge&burn or gradieant tool much. In theory, the dodge&burn would work to lighten and darken stuff, but then you have no control over color. So I primarily use the airbrush tools, along with creative use of the selection tools.


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PostPosted: 19 Dec 2002, 05:02 
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Nipples wrote:
S-P-O-N-G-E is correct. Your best bet is to use screen captures from DVD. This might require some extra hardware and/or software, so it might not be a possibility for everyone.


Such as? Which particular programs can you just grab scenes from DVDs with?

On a primitive level, if you paused a DVD then did a screen dump and edited it, would that work?

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PostPosted: 19 Dec 2002, 10:39 
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I can really only speak about the Mac. StudBoy could give you the scoop on the PC.

For the first couple of years that I was creating Invisibles (I started creating them about two years before the site actually went up), it was impossible to get a screenshot of a DVD playing in the computer's internal DVD drive. Even using a screen capture utility (and I tried them all!) the actual capture would just have a solid color where the DVD image was, because of some sort of encryption or whatever. (I'm very technical.)

So I had to buy a video capture thang (Iomega Buz, but there are many others) that would allow me to hook up an external "regular" DVD player to the computer. Then I could run the DVD through Premiere and the DVD image would show up fine in the screen captures. The problem with this was that I was limited to a relatively small capture size, and the quality of the captures was pretty crappy.

Luckily, the new Macs have changed all this. Now you can play a DVD in the internal drive and use a screen capture utility (already on the Mac, simply an OSX version of the utility I was using on the old Mac) that takes gorgeous full-screen captures of the DVD.

So I don't know how many people have noticed, but the quality of the Invisibles has improved dramatically over the almost two years that the site's been up. This is partly due to my learning tricks and getting better at PhotoShop, but it's also due in large part to the much better capture quality.

This has also allowed us to create Invisibles at a decent enough resolution to appear in magazines and other places where higher-resolution images are needed.


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PostPosted: 20 Dec 2002, 04:23 
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For a PC, there are quite a few software DVD players that you can take screenshots with, in my case I use Cyberlink PowerDVD. Just pause the shot, hit the button and Voila! a screenshot. Biggest pain is that it takes bitmaps at 1M a piece and I have to convert them all to jpegs.


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PostPosted: 20 Dec 2002, 17:39 
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Gren wrote:
Nipples wrote:
S-P-O-N-G-E is correct. Your best bet is to use screen captures from DVD. This might require some extra hardware and/or software, so it might not be a possibility for everyone.


Such as? Which particular programs can you just grab scenes from DVDs with?

On a primitive level, if you paused a DVD then did a screen dump and edited it, would that work?


If you have WinDVD on your computer (it usually comes with Windows), there is a capture feature built into it (but, as Studboy in his ubiquitous wisdom mentioned, it is saved as a bitmap, not a jpeg). Just dial down the playback speed to make sure you get what you want and hit the "Capture" button (it's the one that looks like a camera).

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PostPosted: 21 Dec 2002, 04:14 
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In the words of Mr.Burns, Excellent! Keep using this quote too often :x

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PostPosted: 26 Dec 2002, 00:21 
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Hollywood Hopeful
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It's incredible what we can do with digital images! I'll never forget, back in '92, when Nipples & I were working at the same company, I walked into the graphics room to watch him taking some people out of the background of a digital image that was to be used in our company newsletter. I was simply amazed! You can do that?? Only ten years ago now.

heh, hey Nipples, remember what RAM cost ya then? :-)


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PostPosted: 27 Dec 2002, 10:02 
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Nirky, great to hear from you! Man, ten years ago...unbelievable! I forgot about that newsletter, I guess the foundation for the Invisibles was being laid way back then. If only I had left their clothes in there!

Hope Seattle's treating you well!


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PostPosted: 13 Jan 2003, 06:09 
Thanks a lot for these tips !
I actually discovered your site a week ago in a french magazine and made some of my friends know it. And we will maybe make some contests between us each week !!
But, actually, the things are not very easy because we have not a special culture of all these movies and we are French !! lot of the movies you use are not well known in France. :-?
However, maybe with some experience...

I would like to say that your work is fantastic : some of the pictures are really magic !! 8) I use Photoshop a bit and I know that represents some time to have one good picture, I think I will soon try to do my own invisibles (do I send it to you (and how ?) if they are good ?)...

Finally, I'd like to congratulate the person who had created the Star Wars one in the 'user-created #4' : it was really really fun ! :D

Bye

Raspoutim


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PostPosted: 13 Jan 2003, 12:03 
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Which French magazine did you see Filmwise in?
You can always send invisibles to submissions@filmwise.com
Thanks for coming to the site.


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PostPosted: 13 Jan 2003, 12:04 
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Thanks, Raspoutim, I appreciate the comments! Please try some of your own and send them along.

And yes, the Star Wars image (courtesy of Ken Chen) has become an instant favorite!!


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PostPosted: 13 Jan 2003, 16:36 
The magazine is 'Entrevue' which previous name was Interview, I think. It is a magazine pretty much like Maxim or FHM : girls, jokes and articles without any interests :wink: but with some interesting urls :D

The new invisibles are available ! and we work hard to find them with my friends but it's difficult to do a search on Google to find !!! Actually, rcpause managed to find one but it was totally hazardous : the link with the movie was that a worker died during the making of the film and the main keywords were worker and movie !!!

Finally, I will say another time that you do a great job : doing 8 pictures a week although you are only two and have a job (if I have well understood) !! Bravo !

Bye and C U soon

Raspoutim


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PostPosted: 22 Jan 2003, 07:54 
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I sincerely believe there are two Nipples.

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PostPosted: 22 Jan 2003, 07:57 
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Unless your James Bond or a dirt mall psychic.

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PostPosted: 22 Jan 2003, 08:36 
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James Bond? I thought it was the Man with the Golden Gun.

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PostPosted: 22 Jan 2003, 08:40 
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S P O N G E wrote:
James Bond? I thought it was the Man with the Golden Gun.

Yeah yeah... I forgot the guys name... Scaramunga? or something.

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PostPosted: 22 Jan 2003, 12:01 
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Odd Todd wrote:
S P O N G E wrote:
James Bond? I thought it was the Man with the Golden Gun.

Yeah yeah... I forgot the guys name... Scaramunga? or something.


Scaramanga. Krusty the Clown has a third nipple, too.


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PostPosted: 31 Jan 2003, 15:57 
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Arbogast wrote:
If you have WinDVD on your computer (it usually comes with Windows), there is a capture feature built into it (but, as Studboy in his ubiquitous wisdom mentioned, it is saved as a bitmap, not a jpeg). Just dial down the playback speed to make sure you get what you want and hit the "Capture" button (it's the one that looks like a camera).


I have WinDVD (made by InterVideo I believe), and I was unable to find a "Capture" button. Do I have an outdated version or something? Any help would be appreciated!

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PostPosted: 31 Jan 2003, 17:52 
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From the Intervideo site (referring to WinDVD 4):

WinDVD allows you to take snapshots of your favorite scenes during a movie's play back. The images are automatically stored as bitmaps on your hard drive. To take a screen capture all you have to do is click on the Capture button or press "P" on your keyboard. WinDVD 4 also includes a Capture browser to manage your favorite images. It also includes a rapid-capture capability to easily capture images in a series.


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