Anamorphic

The Making of SCOPE

April 8, 2018

I’m sorry to break it to you, but SCOPE wasn’t real. Here’s how I created all the parts of that video, plus a warning about promises and expectations regarding anamorphics.

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Tito Ferradans here with updates on SCOPE. If you haven’t figured out yet, SCOPE was, unfortunately, an April’s Fools video. I am not making my own lens yet, but I’d like to address some related topics. Here’s what we did:

First I wanted to come up with something exotic. Everyone wants to go wider on anamorphics so I figured I’d start there. 30mm 2x stretch is super wide. So I wrote my pitch and ran it by Ari a few times, tweaking things here and there. Our main concern was that folks would get super upset once they figured it was a prank. After that I went back to school to use their space and lights to shoot my presentation. Huge thanks to Ari and Renata Batistini on that process.

Then I moved on to create compelling images of the lens. We see plenty of cheap renders out there, all static, all one-image, generic type of thing. To beat that I teamed up with my buddy Paul H. Paulino, texture artist whose work you’re familiar with (Black Panther, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2) and we started making the lens.

I did all the modeling based on a mix of references, but the key visuals came from LOMO. All dimensions are accurate to the fraction of millimeter and even the glass inside sort of makes sense. That also helps selling the illusion. From there Paul took over with the textures and we came up with the set together, based on my desk at home, which would make it more believable. It shows up in almost every video.

After this I consulted with another friend who works in animation – Fernão Morato, who also helped me build some of the things in this channel and shows up in a few tests – and he gave me pointers about the virtual camera. Then I hit render. Each of the four shots took about twenty hours to render.

The last thing left was to shoot the actual footage. For that I was planning to use the LA7200 paired with a 28mm on full frame and fix sharpness with diopters, but luck struck and I ended up using an anamorfake Samyang 24mm f/1.5 paired to the Letus AnamorphX 1.33x PRO, which turned out to be the widest combo I’ve ever tested, with an equivalent hFOV of 18mm on full frame, which is wider than 30mm 2x would be on S35. I wasn’t pleased with the amount of flares, so I bumped them up in After Effects, and that was my unique look, comprised of various parts from various pieces.

Now that all of this breakdown is complete, here’s a few words of warning which motivated me to make this video: We’re seeing more and more promises for anamorphic these days. Most of them from unknown folks with no known background designing lenses or relevant presence in our community. My target with SCOPE was the “we want to believe” way of thinking, and that is a dangerous feeling online. There are more bad than good deals around, and with prices skyrocketing, I’d recommend being extra careful with the promises you buy.

The last thing to cover is price. Some of you got really upset that I said $4k is affordable. So I went to check with experts and pros if $4k was too much for a cine anamorphic prime. It was almost unanimous that it would be too cheap or, even worse, fall into the spot in which it’s too expensive for users to buy yet too cheap for rental houses. Because of that I wouldn’t expect anything like SCOPE for less than $5-8k. Making an anamorphic lens consumes a ton of money and time and the market is just not big enough to make it a safe investment.

What did you guys think of the prank and its insights? Do you still hope for a sub-$1K perfect scope? Let me know in the comments below and hit like and subscribe before you go! Oh yeah, and next time I say I’m making a lens, I’ll be ACTUALLY making one. I’m Tito Ferradans and I’ll see you next week.