Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Shooting liquid pours and ink chambers, part of Practical Motion Background Workshop.
We're going to go ahead and switch things up at the end here and do some liquid. Ink chambers, different combinations, I've got a wide range of things, so what I'm going to do here is just explain the general setup and then we'll start mixing. The goal here is to go ahead and get slow fluid motion. It might be a good time to switch your camera over to 60p if you want to go ahead and get this. You can always blow the shots up a little bit if you need to. This will give you more frames to work with and really slow that motion down. And what we're going to do is take our liquid chamber here and start to drop some material into it.
I highly recommend when you do this, be careful. Giant pool of liquid right by electrical lights, so don't start moving too quickly. Take your time, be careful, turn off the camera. Move with gentleness. You don't want to pour a giant bucket of water on your camera gear. So I'm all set and I'm just going to start to mix the pieces together here. All right, in this case I'm using some printer's ink. This is just a refill ink cartridge available from your office supply store. And let's just roll the camera here.
I've already filled this with water, and I've got a small amount of ink. Now don't overdo it here. You don't need to squirt a bunch in; just put a few drops, and you'll notice that I'll put them at different distances. Then let the action unfold. Okay, I like that. It's a little soft so I want to do one that's crisp. A fork. We'll just drop it right into this object here and I'm using a macro lens, which will make this easier and we're just going to fine focus.
That's pretty good. The camera is a little close so I'll pull it back just a tad. I have a nice in-focus object in the middle of my bowl. Now we're going to mix in another color here so we don't have to completely reset. Roll the camera, and I'm taking some blue food coloring. Now, you can use ink as well, but food coloring also does a nice trick here, and let's just drop it in a few places. And remember, let the action unfold.
That's looking pretty good. And to get a third shot out of this, I'm going to mix things up a little bit and drop in some Alka-Seltzer. And as we--it gets a little bit dark here, we're going to make a few adjustments to the camera and open that up a little bit. Now, at this point the water has gone pretty purple, so I'm going to reset and get some different liquid in there. I've swapped out for a different source here, just a smaller vase.
We'll keep experimenting here with different types. And what I'm going to do now is take some dish soap that's been colored with food coloring to give it a little bit of color that's going to mix in with the water. By experimenting with the different materials, you'll notice that different densities will mix with different behaviors. This is producing a nice slow-motion drip. I'll put in a larger surface object here.
We'll do the classic here of mixing vinegar with oil. Before we pour, let's just check focus. There we go. Go ahead and gently pour, and you'll notice that the two liquids interplay nicely with each other but don't actually mix. And drop in some Alka-Seltzer. Now, as it gets a little bit dark here, we're going to make a few adjustments to the camera, and let's add some more color.
So I hope you had fun--well, I had fun-- playing in the studio and that you're inspired to go try some of these techniques yourself. Now, I'd like to head into postproduction where I'm going to process this material and start to build some looping backgrounds, and there's a couple of ways we could do this. We're going to go ahead and use Adobe Bridge to get organized, but you can use any software tool you want. Once that's done, we'll jump into Adobe After Effects and start to build the motion graphics backgrounds. We'll also use other tools though, so don't worry. We'll take a look at Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro to create these backgrounds, by simply stacking layers and using blending modes.
As long as your nonlinear editing tool or motion graphics tool supports layered files and blending modes, you're all set. This technique is really straightforward. So, thanks for hanging out on the shoot. Let's go ahead and jump into some of the post-production.
This course was created and produced by Rich Harrington. lynda.com is proud to host this content in our library.
- Selecting a camera
- Using a turntable to rotate your subject while you film
- Lighting the scene
- Choosing a frame rate
- Creating dancing shadows
- Shooting "through" objects
- Making a loop
- Building the composition
- Retiming clips
- Rendering the background