List’ll fix it

Overnight I rendered out what I have so far using the H.264 codec at 100% quality. This morning I woke up to a .mov file 3.15 Gb in size and 4.56 minutes in length. It took just over three hours to render, which isn’t bad for processing over 6,300 frames and 41.79 Gb of data. These figures will undoubtedly increase as audio and extra scenes are added. Watching the footage back I jotted down a list of changes that needed to be made. Some were minor and some were more tricky. The aim was to complete the list as well as attend my supervisor meeting, shoot and edit the remaining scenes, edit all the audio and have the User Evaluation prepared by the end of the day. I held out hope for time standing still..

List of demands

The first thing and what appeared to be the most time-consuming was to remove the feet in the table sequence. The fact that I missed this during the shoot and the editing until now was that the exposure was quite dark but when played back in a sequence there is noticeable movement in the lower right quadrant of the frame. I took the first 45 frames into Photoshop, boosted the exposure and used the Polygonal Lasso tool to remove and replace the offending sock from each frame. Thankfully frames 46 onwards don’t suffer the invasion of the size 15, otherwise this would have been more of a draining task.

Sock begone!

The next thing I noticed was the lighting flickered quite badly in the side reveal of the patient. This occurred as a result of one of the floodlights slipping ever so slightly during the take. I only noticed after the shot had been disassembled. While I initially thought I could get away with leaving this in as it was an interesting ‘artefact’ of the stop motion process, it was too distracting to the eye. After spending a lot of time on this shot earlier in the editing process, I had to bite the bullet and use the masking technique which has worked well so far to freeze the first frame. Then I added two masks to cut out the animated parts monitor & tape reels).

Fixing the lighting problems

I then took a break to go and meet Richard for my final Supervisor Meeting. On the way back I cycled around and scouted a suitable church to shoot the wedding scene. It had to be close by as I would have to carry the big fella there. Luckily, and as I mentioned before, Edinburgh is chock-a-block with churches (there must be seven at least within a mile radius from my flat) and I decided on Gilmore Church. I noticed all of the churches had their doors closed so I would have to put up with this slight story inaccuracy. I’m not sure if the church on Gilmore is still ‘operational’ as I have never seen its door open, so I couldn’t ask permission to take the photos. After walking there with the heavy machine and equipment I decided to take the shots and if God himself has a problem with it then I’m sure I’ll find out.

The happy couple

I’ve put this shot off as long as I did because I knew it would draw attention and strange questions from passing public. I can’t blame them, I would too. I asked my girlfriend to come with me just so I wouldn’t look super strange and I could laugh at the absurdity of the scene with someone as opposed to laughing on my own which wouldn’t help my case. I planned the shots I needed and the props before we left so as we could get there, shoot and leave. My timing couldn’t have been worse as a nearby secondary school was unloading its horrors exactly the same time as we were beginning to shoot. Miraculously they didn’t come near us and I managed to get the shots in about fifteen minutes or so.

puzzled

I didn’t have time to set up the aperture or shutter speed and am ashamed to say I shot these with the camera on auto. I was afraid of getting home and seeing on the bigger screen that I was out of focus or it was underexposed. At least this way I could be guaranteed that I was getting the shot that I wanted.

Editing the wedding photos in After Effects

Audio

Although I had hoped to get most of the audio loaded into ProTools to edit and have done by tomorrow evening, I hit a major snag. I forgot that when I upgraded to Snow Leopard that I also had to upgrade my ProTools to version 8.0.3. This meant that my mBox1 hardware that runs PT became obsolete. The last time I used it for an assignment I borrowed a mBox2 which worked perfectly. I don’t have that option this time.

I decided the only way was to either use Garageband, which I really don’t like, or Soundbooth which I have never used before. I opted for the latter in the hope that it would be as intuitive as the rest of the Adobe suite. It’s a bit tricky to get me head around, and like learning any new software just getting the basics right are proving frustrating. It is quite a step to the side from ProTools and I feel a little lost with this. But it does seem to be geared towards editing audio for video, and I see that After Effects links up with Soundbooth so I will persist with this.

I’m going to post this blog now but shall by no means be calling it a night!

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