Editing Blog Notes, Visual and Audio

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Editing Blog Notes:

13/03/14The Visuals.

We decided on editing all of the visuals in Adobe After Effects CS5.5 and CS6. We were using both CS5.5 and CS6 because we changed between using CS5.5 on my computer at home and CS6 at school. As the CS6 project files did not have any backwards compatibility we ran into a slight problem at the start of our editing process.

We started editing on my software at home, which was CS5.5. When we first transferred the project onto CS6 we had troubles sourcing the video files. After researching into our problem we realised that it is prevalent for many people and found a source for our solution.

We were initially editing on the IT computer also, this computer was very slow and had very long render times. We decided to move location within the school and work on an Apple Mac in the media studies room.

Once we relocated we were able to fully get into the editing process. We brought up our animatic of our film on a separate computer and had the storyboard in paper copy.

We first started looking through all of the footage we gathered over roughly 16 hours of filming and began marking our favourite shots. Once we had gotten quite far into the shot list we were raring to get started. We worked chronologically when placing our videos into the timeline as this seemed like the most practical way to edit. We first placed down all of our raw footage into the timeline and then began trimming and changing the timings of our shots.

Once we had done all of our timings of our clips we now had to start thinking about different editing techniques we would use to create the visual aesthetics we wanted.

Vignetting:

In our first shot we wanted the hands to emerge out of the darkness with the help of the light from the match. It was impractical to change the settings on the camera so that we could create this as we would have to quickly change the aperture just as the match is lit, so we had to do it on after effects.

In the raw shot the hands are visible even before the match is lit. In order to hide the hands we turned down the brightness of the entire video until they werent visible in the moment before the match is lit. We then introduced a vignette that would manipulate the brightness of the video inside it. We wanted to enhance the brightness of the clip within the vignette so that the flame is able to light the frame.

We created a mask and linked it to the video clip and them key framed the brightness and contrast so that it increased as the match was struck.

A brightness vignette of the first shot.

This effect is used in Shutter Island and was our inspiration for this shot. We used a black backdrop around the hands to make it seem as though they are shrouded in darkness. We also introduced a similar effect in the following shot as the candle is lit.

Other than the vignette and some basic colour correction most of our editing involved animating in text in interesting ways that can link it to the actor and the movement within the frame.

Swipe Transition:

This was quite a simple transition to animate. We wanted to link the Jazzhands production title credits with the diary as it is the pivotal prop in the film. We added a sideswipe effect and manipulated the speed and feathering of the sweep so the book revealed the text perfectly.

14/03/14Flame Overlay transition

We had planned to implement this effect prior to filming as it required some preparation. I have previously experimented with film burn transitions and this helped me learn the process of animating it well. The transition uses a clip of a large flame consuming the frame whilst the shot changes underneath the flame. In order to animate this we created an opacity dissolve transition between the two storyboard clips, in which we changed their opacity to fall from 100 to zero and vice versa for the following clip. As the clips underneath dissolve we have the flame clip fade in over the top and allow the shot change. We needed to prepare this because we needed to film some stock footage of paper burning so that we could use it for the transition.

15/03/14Ink Reveal:

This was another text reveal we knew we were going to implement before we started filming.

This animation required us to draw a mask around the ink frame by frame. We had to go through roughly 100 frames in order to create this animation. We set the alpha matte of the mask to add, this means that when the text is inside the mask it is revealed. This meant that because we traced around the movement of the ink the text will be revealed inside the ink.

As we have never done this before we had to do a few practice goes on a separate project to get it perfect. We then experimented with some feathering and bevelling to finish it off.

In order to enhance the realism of this text we decided to motion track the movement the camera made as there was quite some shake. We chose a tracking point within the frame and then applied the X and Y coordinates to a null layer, we then copied the keyframes of the positions on the null layer and pasted them onto the text. After testing we realised this didnt work as we chose a keyframe on the edge of the frame, where there was more movement than in the middle. We were not able to find a suitable tracking point close enough to the text for this to work, so we had to animate some of the larger shakes by hand but make do without for most of the camera shake. Although the shake is barely noticeable in this shot when watching it with the entire video.

Gaussian Blur:

This is quite a simple but effective way to link the text with the camera work.

We introduced the effect Gaussian Blur to our Casting By Leo Romero text. We had planned to use the Gaussian blur even before filming as I included it in my help pack for our group. We used the Gaussian Blur to embed the text into the video and have the text follow the rack focus. We key framed the Gaussian blur so that the focus followed the cameras focus change. It worked very well.

FRANTIC ENDING:

When editing we experimented with using a frantic collaboration of different shots in the last two seconds of the film. We thought it would work with the crescendo in the music and the very busy visuals would work with the very busy music, we found that it did not work well so we decided to go for a more simple ending, where it cuts to black.

16/03/14

Editing the Audio:We decided to edit our audio in Final Cut Pro 10 as the entire group was more fluent with this software than with After Effects. This meant the whole group could have more influence and say with the outcome and editing process of the audio.

We gathered a large collection of audio from artist, Kevin Macleod. His music was royalty free so we were able to use it on a commercial level. We used a base song which had a soft piano, we though this worked as it seemed rather sinister to use such a romantic instrument over such harrowing images. We then used The House of Leaves to enhance the tension. This audio was a rising of strings and created a crescendo within the video. It worked well in my opinion.

Conclusion:

Overall our editing went very well and our extensive preparation made it very easy for ourselves once we were on the computer. We didnt find ourselves missing any shots or needing to reshoot any. We were pleased with our colour correction and with our original text animation, some of which we have never seen before. We are not