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I was watching the SFX clips from Hollow Man (2000) and I noticed that in the scene where the invisible soldier washes his hands the faucet handle turns. In the green suit scene, the actor comes to the sink and turns the handle. In the movie we see the whole handle turn.

Now, if you think about it, the actor's hand is covering up the handle, so how can it be visible in the frame?

  • 2
    Film the scene twice once with the actor and once without? – Joe W Oct 14 at 0:58
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There are several different ways a lot of these scenes could be done. Here are at least three that I know of:

Clean Plate

Everything is set up and the camera gets a clean picture of everything. Then when the actor goes in with their green screen they can be painted out or rotoscoped out. IE, they layer the live shot over a static shot and cut out the green screen to reveal the layer below.

3D Recreation

In a shot where an actor might interact with something, they might have a prop that the actor interacts with, and then in post they create a CGI object and put it in it's place.

Strings/Motors/Other Practical Effects

Another way that certain shots could be completed would be to have it done practically. IE, a string is attached to the faucet and it's pulled and the string is rotoscoped out. Or they could have it attached to a motor that they control off-screen.


The takeaway is that there are probably countless different ways these sorts of scenes could be shot, but I've done my best to highlight what I think are the most likely.

  • Ok, if they are using strings to move the faucet, then there is no need for the actor in the green suit to turn the handle is there? – Tyler Durden Oct 16 at 1:48
  • @TylerDurden the intention was probably to shoot the scene as if someone was there, but invisible. so they might have shot the framing as if they could see the person, and that's easier to do when a real life person is there in a green screen suit – DForck42 Oct 16 at 15:52

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