Tom Ramcigam (magicmarmot) wrote,
Tom Ramcigam

Yeesh-- okay, I had to stop. Final test render on The Big Scene-- I think I'll need to go back and make some corrections on the first pass then comp in the effects again.

The gunshots are cool, but I've discovered that at 30 frames per second, the muzzle flare from an important gunshot needs to last two frames. And those frames need to be different. And things that are close are brighter than things farther away. It means four keyframes per layer to define two frames (n+2 keyframes always define n consecutive segments because you have to mark a beginning and end). And the layers, hoo boy.

Sound is something like 17 layers deep. That can get hard to manage, so a couple of times I rendered down a particular mix to a single file. I'd rather not do that if I can help it because of my intense dislike for intermediate files, but in this case it was very often a sound effect that could be saved.

I think the latest Vegas has the ability to group tracks and nest them, which would be absolutely wonderful for those times when I'm doing a dialogue stem, or an effects stem, or a pure sound design stem: each of those would be in it's own separate group, and I could mute or solo that group at will. As it is I spend a fair amount of time shifting tracks around in Vegas so I can do things like match dialogue or effects to events. Some of it is fumbling with the process and the workflow; it's a boatload of stuff to keep track of.

Neat thing discovered: Combustion has some deinterlacing tools in its arsenal. This is really useful for when you're doing some sort of tracking effect and the interlacing of a standard 60i camera messes with that. Well, done properly, it's also a method to try and get a "poor man's film look" by a process called interpolation, where an algorithm makes educated guesses about the data that's missing and filling in the blanks.

So I did a couple of tests using some of the settings in the deinterlacing tool. I selected "retain frame rate" and "interpolation", and rendered away. What I got back looked beautiful: the detail was nice and sharp, the images had no weird comb-effect look like normal interlaced images, and it looked a lot like film. A lot like... something played in slow motion.
What it had done was to take each separate field of the video-- that's 60 fields per second-- and interpolated the missing information from that field into its own frame. So instead of getting a conversion from 60 fields to 30 frames, I got 60 fields to 60 frames. And it's a beautiful slow-mo effect; everything runs at half speed.

Not what I was trying for, but a phenomenal find.

I still have some more settings to try. I think I can get it to do a 60->30 conversion, but I hope it won't compromise the image quality. I suppose that's what tests are for.

And when I start the render and I watch the progress in the little preview window, I can't help thinking how damn pretty the movie is. That's just cool.
Tags: filmmaking, prey, vfx

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