Audio effects & blue screen to make miniatures life-like

The clips below were shot at my desk. They demonstrate special effects techniqes that can make miniatures seem like the real thing.

The blue-screen in the above clips is of secondary importance to the audio effects. The car was recorded on a metal cutting board with a microphone attached so it picked up the actual sound of the toy. That .wav file was then imported to Zerius Vocoder software where it became the ‘modulator’ file. The sound of a real racing car became the ‘carrier’ .wav file. The software then transformed the tiny car sound into that of a full-size car. The same could have been done with the diesel but the toy locomotive’s metal tracks already sounded authentic enough that all was needed was to pitch-shift the sound down in Audacity for it to sound like a real train. More complex vocoding with speech may require more stages of processing. Points to observe and discuss:

  • Advantages of miniatures over live sets or animations.
  • Blue (chroma) screen.
  • Uses of moving vehicle shots in movies.
  • Audio special effects applications.
  • Other ways of making small look big (& vice-versa)

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