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How do you achieve those shots where the camera seems to pass through a window or glass object?

Internet Filmmakers' FAQ

Editing is key as well as being able to open the glass. I have done a similar shot by marking a path to follow on the ground, I shoot up until I am just about touching the glass and stop, I then open the window or door, back up, follow my path and begin recording once again and push the camera through the opening, once again stopping. Then, go outside the glass if possible, and line up with my marked path and continue out some more. Once in editing I find the proper frames to splice it together. The hardest part is staying on path which is why I like to use painters tape placed on the ground to help me. I have found that placing a small dissolve one that lasts less than a second when the camera "passes through the glass" helps add to the effect.

Answer by Joshua Chesarek, Phenious Productions  |  Last updated 01-Oct-2005


Older Comments

J├Ârgen K  |  05-Jun-2006
The described method is correct, but at a professional level the glass is actually never there, but rendered in post. Even in a low budget film you can have that option if you know somebody who does 3D and compositing who could do it for you. That way you can use a continuous shot. It also eliminates the risk of seeing the reflection of the camera in the glass. A cute trick pertaining to this technique that will have some viewers wondering "How the hell did they do that???" is to have a second camera man waiting inside the window to grab the camera. So if you shoot some kind of steadicam outside, the guy inside will just grab it and continue the movement for a long and continuous shot inside without any breaks. This is even a cool shot if you have the window open (and would then have nothing to do with the question posed). Good luck! ;)