Classic Film Techniques

August 13, 2009

In our conversion of The Magic Tree House, there is a sequence of shots that the visuals are being re-done. One part of that sequence is when we are on the surface of Mars following the Sojourner rover, but we ran into a hitch. There were two goals we were wanting to achieve for this section, which is to have the rover exit from the lander, and to end with an impression of the rover exploring the surface of Mars. Since the audio commentary was to remain unchanged, we were fairly constrained in what options we had to visually tell the story. To keep the number of shots to an absolute minimum so we could fit it in the already predetermined sequence length, we had to look to using some film techniques we weren’t sure would translate to a dome.

Needing to show passage of time to make sense for the following shot of the rover driving off into the martian sunset, we lowered the sun over a series of dissolves, while still keeping the same camera dolly in.  The reason we felt it’d translate well for the dome is that with the continued motion forward we can continue having parallax motion with the rocks and boulders to show distance, and the growing length of shadows combined with the sky’s hue and saturation change, can help to really create some immersion. Check out the video below: