American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 96

An additional angle reveals more of the CG background that CBS Digital created to
complete the scene.

decision included the fact that the size and
scope of the cul-de-sac set, and the large
houses on it, posed logistical and cost challenges at the practical location. Additionally, the first season called for extensive
night-exterior work.
Because of these reasons, Sprenger
notes, "Fox had the concept of doing
virtual sets. I admit I wasn't completely in
love with the idea at first. But the CBS Digital process allowed me to be very involved.
96

April 2017

I would go to CBS and look at the digital
model, give them notes on sun position
and lighting, and we would look together
at different lighting scenarios that we
could match on stage. We would choose
certain times of day that would have the
most ideal lighting for certain positions on
the set, and that would factor into how I lit
the greenscreen and where I placed my
lighting. And because of the live-view
capability, I had a reasonable representaAmerican Cinematographer

tion of how it would all tie together. Once
we had their previs system in place, I essentially was able to shoot the greenscreen
the same way I would shoot a normal
scene, and the operators and directors
could see the [virtual] set."
Weiss says CBS Digital's proprietary
virtual-set platform, known as Parallax, has
been used on several shows, with The Last
Man on Earth being among the first to put
it through its paces. At the time season
one was in production, the system relied
on ceiling targets for virtual 3D camera
tracking, but Weiss says the company is
now transitioning into an optical tracking
system with infrared cameras. The Parallax
system also includes a virtual lens
controller, which Weiss says permits his
team to replicate "depth of field, rack
focusing, lens breathing, and other things
that are obviously very important to the
cinematographer. We wrote a plug-in that
records all lens data coming right out of
the lens controller, and we feed that into
our depth-of-field program, and this
allows us to match exactly the timing and
depth of field of the real photography with
our CG background."
Building the virtual set, Weiss
explains, began with a detailed Lidar scan
of the practical set, from which "an accu-



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Cinematographer - April 2017

Contents
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - Intro
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - Cover1
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 1
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 2
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - Contents
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 4
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 5
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 6
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 7
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 8
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 9
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 10
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 11
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 12
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 13
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 14
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 15
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 16
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 17
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 18
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 19
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 20
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 21
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 22
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 23
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 24
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 25
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 26
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 27
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 28
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 29
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 30
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 31
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 32
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 33
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 34
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 35
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 35A
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 35B
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 36
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 37
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 38
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 39
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 40
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 41
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 42
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 43
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 44
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 45
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 46
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 47
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 48
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 49
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 50
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 51
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 52
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 53
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 54
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 55
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 56
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 57
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 58
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 59
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 60
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 61
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American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 63
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American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 65
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American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 67
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American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 70
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American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 72
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 73
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 74
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American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 96
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American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 100
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 101
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American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 107
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - 108
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - Cover3
American Cinematographer - April 2017 - Cover4
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