Thursday, 7 March 2013

Final Edit

For my final edit, I wanted to add a title sequence. I felt that although my approach was intended originally to be rather realistic, the whole idea of a robotic bug attack could quite easily be the plot of a 50s science fiction exploitation movie, so I decided to have some fun with the concept.

Firstly, I found a reference image:

Although this is actually the cover art for an 80s EP, I like the classic 50s style of the font. I tried to emulate this font free hand using a Wacom tablet in Photoshop. I had the brush stroke pressure settings on, but the transparency turned off, as I wanted hard solid edges. From the black silhouette font, I selected the pixels in the layer menu and added a purple gradient. With the pixels still selected I created a new layer and added an external green stroke. After colour adjusting the layers I duplicated and merged both layers and knocked the brightness of the new layer down. I then moved this new black silhouette layer bellow the current layers, and slightly altered its positioned to create a drop shadow. I then saved the image as a Tiff and imported into an after effects composition containing an image sequence of the establishing shot (already colour graded to fit with the current composite shots which had been slightly graded in after effects.

Within after effects I added a slight scaling to the font to add a slow zooming effect. This was with the intention of brining out the title from the foreground. To bring the title out even further I added a slight fats blur to the image sequence layer bellow. As the scatterize effect causes the title to disperse, the fast blur is knocked down and the scene comes into focus. The scatterize effect is intended to represent the font dispersing into a swarm of insects.

Here is the final render:

Note also that I spent a significant amount of time on layering the sounds. The general rule of thumb with sound editing is that if you can see something in the shot, it should have a sound. This makes everything seem physical and real within the scene. I wanted to ensure I followed this rule to create a full immersive sequence. I am pleased with the inclusion of of classic sci-fi sounding intro motif during the establishing shot. This strange pitch bending piece of music warns us that something bizarre and alien is arriving. I feel the intense 'woosh' effect occurring as the title disperses synchronises very well with the action. I feel that it was important to give my particle effect clouds the buzzing insect-like sound to establish that the purple lights are in fact tiny bugs. I also like the sound I was able to find which worked really well with the egg almost hatching at the end of my film. It was actually created by a member of the 'freesound' community who recorded himself twisting and crunching some celery. Finally, I love the distant deep echo that occurs right at the very end after the shot has faded out completely. It sounds like a small drum has ben dropped deep within the cave. I can't quite explain why  this sound works so well, it just seems to round off the sequence successfully, this final distant sound and then nothingness.

One unfortunate floor with my footage happened when importing my footage into After Effects from Final Cut Pro. Because I'd exported the shots as 25fps Targa sequences, I thought that when imported, After Effects would recognise this and set the compositions at 25fps. I later discovers that when re-importing the Apple pro res clips from After Effects into Final Cut, the clips were shorted and didn't drop in perfectly into the rough cut. I realised at this point that my After Effects preferences had been set at 30fps and frames had been dropped in Final Cut. Unfortunately, as far as I am aware I could only amend this by re-importing the footage and re-compositing all my elements. I always tried to work to 25fps with the Maya timeline and and my image sequence exports, but unfortunately, a mistake in After Effects means my footage has dropped some frames.

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