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Some Tips on Shooting Movies with Outside Editing


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#21 BiggsTrek

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 12:24 AM

I did a short "mirror" shot at the end of UPM-2-2, but the camera is constantly moving (slowly) throughout the 5-10 seconds of the shot. So obviously I had to match the position of the mirror but also the angle of the fake reflection.

Is this the same kind of thing? If so then it was fairly easy to do once I wrapped my head around what the reflection should look like...

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#22 sisch

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 12:34 AM

Yep, sounds fairly similar to me, Biggsy...

yay for Killian making a video tut - this is great, thank you! :)
I hope I'll be able to bend my head around it!

#23 Killian

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 01:16 AM

Locking a Chromakeyed Scene to a position in the foreground

Sound is really, REALLY crap (skips a lot; tried recording it thru the built-in audio on Cam Studio (my screen recording software) rather than a seperate narration track afterwards, but it's awful; not using it again, that's for sure; I'll reup it with a proper track tommorrow if you can't get the gist from the screen captures). For fans of The Fast Show, the middle section makes me sound like Rolly Birkin!

(I was very, VERY drunk!)

Still, it will give you a rough idea what it's about and how to do it (hopefully); at least you should be able to get a handle on what I'm on about!

The biggest issue with locking positions in a tracking shot is the more the foreground moves,, the more travel you'll get with the locked shot (as demonstrated in the video); with a slow pan like Biggsy mentions, it's easy enough to keep the background centred.

On longer pans, though, if you can find a position as close to the leading edge of the shot as you can when you track across (i.e. if going from left to right, lock the background shot as close to the right edge of the scene as you can), it will help to minimise the movement. There does, however, come a point where no matter how much you try, it's not possible to prevent "fly away" on a particular shot, unfortunately.

I've found that you will need to experiment with the size and position of the locking point to get the end result; sometimes, the smaller the locking point is (and/or the higher contrast the locking point has), the less "travel" you get on your background shot. And, ultimately, don't try to be too ambitious with the shot, or you'll end up ripping your hair out!

Edited by Killian, 14 November 2008 - 01:53 AM.


#24 BiggsTrek

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 01:58 AM

I'll just show off this little shot at the end of UPM-2-2...

http://biggstrek.goo...GenDMirror2.wmv

[Edit: I just realized this has sound... so you're hearing Nahton doing an Announcer line!]

Edited by BiggsTrek, 14 November 2008 - 02:12 AM.

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#25 sisch

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 01:25 PM

I think I got what you were trying to say, Killian - though I understood hardly a word of what you said! :)

I experimented with the sweeping shot again - but can't get it right, because the viewscreen comes into view only in the middle of the whole scene - and try as I might, I'm not able to get the greenscreened footage to stay put. Too much movement, I guess... or I'm still doing it wrong. :P

#26 Killian

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Posted 15 November 2008 - 02:36 AM

Redid the Picture Lock Video Tutorial (in order to destroy that awful first attempt :P)

HERE is the new one; you might want to pause it when viewing through it as it's only short and flies through really fast, but hopefully it's clearer than the last one (used Magix to screen cap it this time; much better and no sound).

#27 Nero

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Posted 16 November 2008 - 05:48 PM

Great Tut's here Killian.

Quick Question : Is there a difference between shooting Green screen and Blue screen , when it comes to special effects and such ?
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#28 Killian

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Posted 16 November 2008 - 06:51 PM

It really depends on the predominate colours in your foreground shot; if your foreground shot has a lot of green and/or yellow, don't try to greenscreen it (the chromakeying process will kindly wipe out half of the colours in your costumes and props and leave you looking like half your set and actors are invisible! Either that, or you need to drop the fade and threshold so much you will have a thick, very noticeable green line around all the foreground actors/props).

The same holds true for blues/purples on foreground shots where you are bluescreening; I wouldn't recommend using it on that.

The basic rule is, if there's a lot of green in your foreground shot (the one you are looking to composite onto another film strip), then use bluescreening, and vice versa.

For shots against a dark background (i.e. starfields, space, etc), I tend to find that green works slightly better than blue does (if you get the telltale "line", due to your foreground focus being so far away from the camera at the top of the shot, it's not so noticeable).

When using Magix, the rule is really to shoot relatively short distance shots with little to no movement for your initial composites; if you make the focus of the foreground shot too far away, it becomes almost impossible to clean up the keying fringe around it without wiping out half the detail. The closer the focus is to your camera at the top of the shot, the easier it is to clean the fringing.

Then, as you get more confident with your abilities to clean the shot up, start using longer distances and faster movements.

And don't try to create a 6 strip composite for your first attempt, or you will spend days trying to clean it up and end up being carted off by the nice people from the local sanitarium... :P

#29 Howitzer

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 10:57 AM

This is some incredibly useful information Killian! I'll certainly be using this for reference when I get back into production of my next movie.
Excelent stuff :)

Howie.

#30 Nero

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 05:03 PM

Ah thanks for clearing this up Killian , so am guessing that once your done with your initial shots , its just a matter of layering them according to what you want in the foreground and background right?

P.s - Is there some sort of green-screen prop or is my mind playing trick on me ...again :)
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#31 Killian

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 05:50 PM

Easiest way is to get a Greenscreen backdrop (or make one of your own), coupled with a greenscreen floor for Tarison's 6er, 11er or 19er bluescreen sets (I made my own, but there are probably some floating about on the mod sites; if not, they are easy enough to make; if I can do it, I'm sure anyone can ;)). For more complicated shots, you can make green or bluescreen versions of particular sets, but that's really going deep into it and shouldn't really be necessary for anything other than the most effects-laden work (and not even then).

For simpler, close-up type shots, you can texture a backdrop prop or floor prop as the requisite colour and shoot against them (just be careful of your angling; as you are probably aware, it can look as if you've framed all the background set out, but you then find out when your doing your PP work that there's a bit of the background set poking through, or peeking into the edges of the shot. It's easy enough to fix by zooming in your OE program, but it's good practise to get used to the framing limits with the camera without having to rely on "fixing it up in post" all the time.

#32 Nero

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 09:55 PM

Ahh Yes , thanks indeed Killian , I was filming certain scenes in Project Zero , and couldn't help thinking , "wouldn't that be great if X would go by Z" and so on and so Fourth, i have decided to go back to the drawing board with this one , unfortunately it will mean that PZ in pushed back into 2009 but anyway back on topic , Thanks the for massive help
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#33 Killian

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 09:49 PM

Well hopefully there have been some useful tricks and tips on this thread. Carry on asking specific (or none-specific) questions, if you have a query. I'm pretty sure there are enough OE editors around these parts who've used Magix, Vegas, Ulead, WMM, etc to give pointers to someone who has a poser ;)

#34 Killian

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 11:41 PM

In conjunction with the show this evening, feel free to ask questions in regard to ANY outside editor ere... tech questions, "how to" questions.... anything you can think of. There's a lot of experience in using OE now in the community, so don't suffer in silence! Ask away and you might well be surprised...

#35 sisch

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 09:23 PM

For some great "How to" videos, go to Overman's ZS Dissection Lab - he regularly adds new tutorial videos!

You learn a lot about how to do special effects - plus if you're using Vegas, you might learn some new things about the program. :)

And of course, if you have any questions about Magix or Vegas - feel free to ask them here - I will answer as best as I can!

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 09:35 PM

I was wondering what you two connoisseurs of Magix export do. Do you do avi. or wmv? Because exporting just 17 seconds or so is like 150MB, which for a 25 minute movie is stupidly space consuming. Any advice?

#37 sisch

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 09:56 PM

Size does matter.. :biggrin:

Lately, I don't care how big the files are anymore - I always export at best quality. Which means for wmv these settings:

Video: 1280x720; 25 Frames/s; VBR Quality 100
Audio: 44100 kHz; Stereo; CBR 160 kBit/s
Interlace mode: progressive

I also choose in advanced settings
variable bitrate - quality
I-Frame-interwall 1 (might be keyframe in english)

For AVI I use:
Video: 1280x720; 25 Frames/s; Indeo video 5.10
Audio: 48000 Hz, 1536 kBit/s; Stereo, PCM
Interlace mode: progressive

advanced setting: keyframe 1, quality 100

If you work with the highest resolution TM is offering naturally, you of course should exchange the 1280x720 with 768x432.

Naturally, the files are quite big - but after exporting them to the bestest quality I can get for personal use, I use a divx encoder to make them smaller again for upload. :)

I know this is somewhat excessive - Saving Grace is in it's best quality around 600MB - the version that is linked to TMU is about 217MB.

To make the files somewhat smaller, you could experiment with changing the VBR quality for wmv... I wouldn't change the keyframe setting though - that takes a lot of quality away.

#38 Killian

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 09:57 PM

For myself, I tend to use wmv pretty much exclusively. Sure, it's not as good quality as AVI, but it's a lot smaller and easier to work with ;) Of course, using MS or IC you're pretty much limited to using the avi that produces (unless you want to go to the trouble of re-rendering all your footage as wmv, but that's something I really wouldn't recommend you try :P)

AVI is more space hogging, it's true, but you are gaining a much better quality product at the end than using wmv.

Also, take into consideration your final footage resolution; for starters, you shouldn't be exporting TM footage from the game at ANYTHING less than Highest quality to work with (there's no space issue now TMO has gone so there's no excuse for using anything less than the best you can get); for MS or IC, I can speak to how their rendering systems work, so will bow to the greater knowledge of the oracles of those programs.

When working with TM footage, I personally tend to stick pretty much to 768x432, purely because that's the resolution that TM produces natively on export (as Sisch mentions above), so using this keeps a uniform look (keeps the size down, and it scales pretty well on full screening). Of course, upping the resolution, you need to be very careful when using multiple strips of film to ensure you make them all match the right resolution and screen ratio or the finished product will look wrong.

Ultimately, you are the final arbiter of your rendered footage; if it's too big, drop the resolution to an acceptable level that doesn't loose too much in the export; play with the settings til you find one that suits how you want it to look and save it as a preset so you can easily find it and apply it again.

One final word of advice; don't forget, it's not just the visuals that create a huge file size; look at all your audio as well. One track recorded at very high definition will increase your final movie size significantly, so don't just think visually; it's the whole thing that contributes to the final file size, so always check your film, audio and especially any visual effects you have (as these can very easily hog masses of space and render time if you aren't careful).

(Below is my general rendering setting window as it's set to render for TMU uploads; tweaking the encoding settings makes a HUGE difference to the render quality and the file size, so have a play but always remember what the settings were BEFORE you changed them, in case it comes out whacky ;))

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 10:01 PM

Thanks Sisch and Killian! I shall copy these figures (and stuff) next time I export and i already knew that size does matter, but not in exporting terms. :whistling:

Been most helpful you have :thumbup1:

#40 sisch

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 10:05 PM

Funny that you mention it, Killian - I just now experimented with exporting from Vegas, and got the best looking results using wmv - not avi; although in Magix the avi files look better (plus the sound on the avi files is much better - in Vegas, too).
I think that's strange. I experimented with mov, too, but the files get even more insanely big, and my system stutters while playing them.
I might be doing something wrong, though - in Vegas, you have even more options for codecs than in Magix... it's slightly confusing. :biggrin:




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