To do the whole film, I calculate that it will take about 20 of these storyboards, each one containing 20 scenes. A very methodical approach like this is needed during the conversion process as it can get quite complex at times and economising time is very important.
The opening scene is basically an "Exposition" where we have Vincent Price's talking head explaining each character's background while simultaneously setting up the scenario. It's a nice device to get the audience interested straight away. Like a lot of these old classic movies, the narrative structure is very linear as we get to be introduced methodically to each character. I like the simplicity of this sequence because we are drawn into the movie immediately.
The scene is being set then.
There was no real 3D potential for this white on black opening credits. In the end, rather than leave it as it was, I opted to add a distant grey rectangle behind it so that the words would appear to float above it. At least there was a little bit of 3D interest in that.
The very first scene proved to be a tedious affair. I spent some time on tests trying to give Elijah Cook Jr's face a bit of depth to it and make it appear as though it was floating. Unfortunately, as there is no point of reference in the black background, nothing really stands out. So 1247 frames of conversion later and we have a pretty underwhelming opening shot with no real 3D effect.
Vincent Price introduces his guests for the evening
This scene was a very important one to get a decent looking 3D effect. Price's voiceover sets up the film's scenario so I wanted to show the standard of the 3D that could be expected. It's also a visually strikng moment, with Price's head floating in front of the haunted house. I spent several hours on this one. Quite a lot of the timet was spent trying to bring define the structural edges of Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House as well as small details like the fence posts. As this scene of the house appears a few times in the film I want to get it looking good right from the start. It was tricky because the house also needed to be set in the distant stereo window and so it couldn't have too much seperation. I wanted it to look natural too. Vincent Price's talking head zooms out from the house giving a nice sense of perspective and depth. 1200 or so frames later and Price's head zooms back in towards the house and disappears into a circle which wipes into the next scene.....all very tricky to do and I had to use several different methods to convert this scene.
Looking ahead, the next set of scenes shouldn't take too long to convert as they are very similar. That means that I should be able to re-use depth maps and save a lot of time.
Ruth Bridges, one of the guests arriving in a Hearse.
The guests arrive at the House on Haunted Hill (Ennis House in real life)
The Titles proved to be very awkward to do once again. As the conversion software doesn't do a good job of foreground titles (there is a lot of warping on the straight edges) I decided to do the same approach as I did for the 3D conversion of Carnival of Souls. I masked out the original titles and put in new ones. That meant doing 3 to 4 runs on each scene that had titles included. The steps were...I had to create the depth map, then animate the characters, mask out the titles and finally superimpose new ones. I'll be glad when the titles are over and the setting moves into the house. That's where the fun starts...I'll be using a parallax of 40 to really boost up the 3D.