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Creating Camera Pan Space shots for Star Wars Openings

smudger9

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I have been editing Star Wars TV shows into movies for several years. One thing I have always struggled with is making the opening space pan shot immediately after the opening crawl. Its a relatively basic shot.... from the background starfield down (or up!) to the opening space shot.
However, its something that I've never been able to achieve to a high quality. I end up using the push transition on FCP along with some basic frame-by-frame layer masking and individual frame adjustment in photoshop. Very time consuming. I've tried Apple motion but its very basic and the interface is infuriating. 
Is there a better way of achieving this.... I'm considering After Effects but I'm unfamiliar with adobe editing software. I guess what I ultimately want is a program that can render a 3D space scene with good quality rotoscoping.

Here was my most recent opening pan. The result was okay, but it could be so much better.

password: smudger9

And this is the shot I need to pan into for my next edit.
 

TM2YC

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You need to own the source for the edits you make. I didn't think Mandalorian was available to buy yet?

The way I've done oldskool pan downs is to make a flat 2D image of the original SW pan down, from top to bottom, like this (by taking multiple screen shots and pasting them together):

50605780862_b0fe344f0b_c.jpg


Then use that to replicate the exact speed of the pan down by making the image transparent and moving it up a little, frame by frame, so it matches the gradual increase and decrease of speed (use the stars as fixed points to line up with).  It'll take time but once you have that perfected, it should look identical to the original pan down.  Then simply replace the still image with whatever you want and the same "camera" movement will be applied to that and can be reused for other projects.

Doing more complicated moves up, down across and panning is another story.  But that's how you do it 1977 style.  I used that to make this:


(password: fanedit.org)

Although with that I created a 70-second animated matte first, then panned down onto that.  So even when you're looking at the crawl and the still starfield, there is actually a stardestroyer moving below but I haven't panned the camera onto it, if that makes sense.
 

DigModiFicaTion

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@"TM2YC", I forgot how awesome your opening scene looks in your Rogue One edit!

I use a similar approach of creating a static 2D image that has an extended vertical starfield. To get that gentle ending to the pan down I put smoothing on my final key frame which creates a gradual stop rather than a hard stop when the final key frame approaches.

As pointed out, you'll need to wait to apply all of these tips to anything Mandalorian as it isn't available for purchase, yet (hopefully).
 

smudger9

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Thanks for the input. I decided to actually learn how to use Motion in the week and I think I now have a decent workflow for the pans using 3D space and camera movements.

I’m happy with the result, however, my challenge has always been rotoscoping a ship over the top. Motion's rotoscoping is very basic.

 
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