Dr. Manhattan Suit for "Watchmen"

Lighting Effect and Motion Capture Suit for Billy Crudup while performing the Dr. Manhattan character in the Zack Snyder film "Watchmen"

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In September of 2007 I got a call from Global Effects in North Hollywood to engineer a power and control system for the motion capture suit that they were making for Billy Crudup to wear in "Watchmen".  They had dozens of feet of 3528 blue LED tape (new at the time, and about $150 per 16 foot roll!) and Global needed a battery supply, independent intensity adjustment of six zones on the suit, a battery level monitor, and a means of turning the suit on and off.  From an earlier project for Warner Bros called "Ben 10: Race Against Time", I had hacked a remote control I got from All Electronics to turn a creature suit on & off, and it worked well so I repurposed it again for "Watchmen" and it was a great help.  

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brandon wrote 05/08/2014 at 19:47 point
new tronguy

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brandon wrote 05/08/2014 at 19:48 point
dr Manhattan guy

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meshula wrote 03/08/2014 at 20:42 point
Extremely awesome suit, that's an awesome way to achieve the practical lighting for the character :) I wonder if it was hot in the suit?

I thought you might be interested in this - - I didn't work on this myself, but I helped come up with the fractal pattern. The pattern serves a similar purpose as your fiducials, except the idea is that it's supposed to work at multiple distances.

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meshula wrote 03/08/2014 at 20:38 point
If the line was perfectly vertical, it's cascading charge leakage on the CCD. Means the gain is too high in your camera. You're probably shooting something dark, and the meter is trying to bring up the background and the LEDs are blowing out because as point sources they don't contribute much to the metering.

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Mike Szczys wrote 01/26/2014 at 15:38 point
Sorry I missed you at the Gathering Allen. Ivan did give me your card though.

This project is incredible. I always have trouble taking pictures of LEDs. There's often a weird (lens?) effect traveling vertically in the image.

Was this a concern? Or was this only used for motion capture and not for any actual visuals? I ask because it sounds like the blue LED strips were used to light the costars in a scene.

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