Topic: Experimenting with depth and scale

SlothPaladin, from the Sets, Props and Figs Inspiration thread wrote:

I really want to start a conversation or thread or movie about ways we could add depth, scale and enormity to our brickfilms, if this shot had been in a film I know ways I could make it look way bigger, sadly the way MOCs are displayed and photographed is about showing everything rather then deceiving viewers into thinking they are even bigger.

The more I think about this, the more interesting this feels to me. I'm afraid I sort of skipped over this when you originally posted it, many moons ago.

Brotherhood Workshop has a technique that I often try (and fail) to emulate where he'll only create part of a set, and through filming a frame might look incomplete, he would tighten it up in post-production. It probably isn't that rare a technique - I often try it myself, to varying degrees of success - but it doesn't seem to be talked about all that much.

Essentially, what I'd like this thread to be is a place where we can open the dialogue suggested by SlothPaladin - using cinematography and carefully constructed sets to create a greater sense of depth and scale. When I say a dialogue, it would be great if one of the ways we could engage in this discussion is by actually creating examples of our own, whether they be just still frames or animation tests.

This is not to say that digital set enhancement (most notably green screening) isn't great, because it is a fantastic tool, but I think a lot of us (myself included) have become over-reliant on it, and not always for the better.

So if you have any techniques for creating faux-expansive sets, or any ideas, and wouldn't mind sharing them, I guess this is the place to do so!
"Nothing goes down 'less I'm involved. No nuggets. No onion rings. No nothin'. A cheeseburger gets sold in the park, I want in! You got fat while we starved on the it's my turn!" -Harley Morenstein

Re: Experimenting with depth and scale

Great topic, I look forward t following this discussion and learning stuff.

I think that using Forced Perspective is the best way to make your films look like they are on a larger scale than they really are. This is the process of actually building things smaller the farther away from the camera they are. Unfortunately, even I don't use this very much. With LEGO, it seems to be fairly difficult, because the studs never change size, so your audience knows that the thing in the back is probably a tiny building on a stud, and it's not really too far back.

The problem I find with building only part of the set, like you showed in Brotherhood Workshop's picture, is that you get inconsistencies with the set building. If I were doing an airplane set, I would probably want to build the entire thing at once and make it modular so I can do many camera angles, but what he is doing is only taking a fragment of the set, one wall, and animating from that. That causes lighting inconsistencies and set-building inconsistencies if you aren't extremely careful, because you're not filming on a larger set, so a lot of the shadows and reflections and such are missing from the shot, in contrast to if it were actually mostly built, it would have all those minor things which adds to the overall look (if you were scrutinizing the shot).

"Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." - 1 Corinthians 10:31b