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Old September 7th, 2006, 03:01 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl Thurston
All our material was shot 24p. It was a blessing to work in that format with all the rotoscoping required for the puppets.
I didn't think to ask earlier, and please excuse my ignorance Earl, but why was it easier to rotoscope in 24p? - simply fewer frames to deal with, or something else?

You know (and I didn't say so before) but I thought of watching THE RED BALLON as a child after viewing your film. I know it's corporate and everything, but it's also very sweet and hits the exact right tone (and the rotoscoping is excellent)!

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Old September 7th, 2006, 04:01 AM   #17
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Thanks Earl, its exactly as I figured.

You made it look easy and seamless.

When I work with hand puppets, it's all real time, and all our sets are built five feet off the ground so all the puppeteers can huddle underneath working the puppet overhead. Puppets average 18" high with one hand for the head and mouth and one hand controls one arm and hand. Each puppeteer has a headset mic so all audio is in realtime also. When we have a number of puppets at once it gets very crowded underneath with pieces of script pasted everywhere. Oh, and BTW, we rig up monitors underneath everywhere so they can see - but the image is backwards - left to right for them - so they have to mentally reverse it - that's why they make the big bucks.

The most fun is when they take one of my scripts and make it come alive with their ad-libs and humor. It's really magic. Kevin Clash who plays "Elmo" and Marty Robinson who plays "Telemonster" and "Snuffalofogus" keep me rolling on the floor all day.

Jim also taught them never to come out of character on the set. So I find that when talking about a scene between takes I find myself talking to the puppet - it seems so natural.

I just love to write for puppets in corporate films because they can get away with murder and say things you could never say with real actors.

Anyway, great job. I loved the music also. I've never used smartsound but you gave me a good demo - thanks.

aloha,

Keith
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Old September 7th, 2006, 11:02 PM   #18
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Great production Earl, well done indeed!

It might sound small a comment, but I even liked the titling. It's usualy a sore spot for most productions and can ruin even the best of efforts. But from start to end you did a great job.
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Old September 8th, 2006, 05:13 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Daniel Patton
It might sound small a comment, but I even liked the titling. It's usualy a sore spot for most productions and can ruin even the best of efforts. But from start to end you did a great job.
I agree wholeheartedly. The title fonts were great and this is a sticking point for me as well. There is no good reason not to have great titles with any production.
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Old September 9th, 2006, 02:16 PM   #20
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Hey Earl,

Outstanding job! Well done. I was wondering, though, why you chose to shoot in 24p if you had planned all along to go to video and or the net? From all the posts I've read they say only shoot 24p if you plan to filmout? I'm assuming it's because of the roto work but in your opinion, what would it have looked like in comparison to 30p?
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Old September 10th, 2006, 06:58 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Nealy
Jim also taught them never to come out of character on the set. So I find that when talking about a scene between takes I find myself talking to the puppet - it seems so natural.
Heh heh... I know what you mean. A few people commented how I continued to refer to the containers as "him" and "her".

Those are great anecdotes, Keith. Really makes me long for working for them. :) (Even with all that hard work -- sick puppy, aren't I?)
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Old September 10th, 2006, 07:04 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Patton
It might sound small a comment, but I even liked the titling.
Thanks, Daniel. One thing I learned in my old desktop publishing days of the 90's was to use restraint. Back then, the big fad was fonts, so people used dozens of different ones in everything they created. I realized jobs looked much more professional if you just picked one, possibly two, and used them consistently throughout the whole project to give it a unified "look".
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Old September 10th, 2006, 07:10 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Scott Harper
Well done. I was wondering, though, why you chose to shoot in 24p if you had planned all along to go to video and or the net?
Thanks Scott! Indeed, the rotoscoping work was a major reason for choosing 24p. But I'm also quite comfortable working with that frame rate, having used Super-8 and 16mm film for animation in the 80s. I've developed a sense for pacing at that rate, so it felt like old hat. :) And it really has no negative repercussions when converting from 24p to 60i once everything's done because people see 24 fps material on TV all the time.

I really consider the HD100 as a digital film camera more than a video camera (though I do pop it into 4:3 SD60i for some projects, mainly when it's being intercut with the GL1 as an alternate camera).
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Old September 10th, 2006, 07:23 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Vincent
I didn't think to ask earlier, and please excuse my ignorance Earl, but why was it easier to rotoscope in 24p? - simply fewer frames to deal with, or something else?
Yes, that's mainly it. After Effects does a really good job of interpolating between keyframes, but that's only when the object moves at a consistent rate. So, for example, if it's a motorized item moving across the screen, you generally only have to keyframe every 5 - 10 frames. After Effects will move the mask accurately for all the frames in-between.

But with these puppets, which were operated by hand, there is much less consistency in the movements. I would start keyframing on major moves, then have to go in and tweek the in-betweens. Some shots ended up with keyframing on every frame (e.g. for fast or erratic movements). So, having only 24 to deal with helped a lot.

The other issue is that interlaced video (60i) is the worst thing to keyframe. This is because After Effects normally only displays one of the two fields, meaning the object can be in an unexpected position for the hidden field. Plus, in an earlier project I did, the keyframes interpolated at a 30fps rate, whereas the underlying video updated every 1/60th of a second. Looked very wrong. The general advice is to treat 60i as a 60 fps composition, which is a 2.5X increase in the number of frames to deal with.
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Old September 10th, 2006, 07:38 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Harper
I was wondering, though, why you chose to shoot in 24p if you had planned all along to go to video and or the net?
ADDENDUM COMMENT: One other reason I just remembered -- the underlying premise for this project came from Encorp's TV commercials, which were all shot on 35mm film at 24 fps. So, I was also trying to maintain some consistency between the two projects.
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Old September 10th, 2006, 09:56 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Harper
I was wondering, though, why you chose to shoot in 24p if you had planned all along to go to video and or the net?
24p is an aesthetic choice, too.
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Old September 10th, 2006, 11:48 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Nate Weaver
24p is an aesthetic choice, too.
Would it look different on a DVD or the net as opposed to a transferring to film to be shown at a festival?
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Old September 11th, 2006, 12:24 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Scott Harper
Would it look different on a DVD or the net as opposed to a transferring to film to be shown at a festival?
In a temporal sense it would all look the same.
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Old September 11th, 2006, 06:17 AM   #29
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Fantastic Earl - just downloaded the full res version and it really is impressive.
Another inspirational use of this camera (and the 24p/25p is pretty remarkable) This would slot into a TV schedule without anyone blinking an eye....ah, reminiscent of the days of Degrassi Street we used to get over here when I was a kid!

Did you tend to hold the mic placed in the middle of the actors or was it passed (via the boom) from 'mouth to mouth' so to speak? Currently getting to grips with scene files (knee/black stretch/RGB rotation et al) putting myself through a self taught learning curve (struggling a little at the moment) but I'm concerned that the sound I record is spot on i.e. actor on the left - voice appears in the left channel and not the right foxing the audience a little.
Did you use much foley? Was there any audio dubbing carried out?

Many thanks, keep up the good work.
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Old September 11th, 2006, 10:40 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Scattergood
Fantastic Earl - just downloaded the full res version and it really is impressive.
Thanks very much, David. :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Scattergood
Did you tend to hold the mic placed in the middle of the actors or was it passed (via the boom) from 'mouth to mouth' so to speak?
Assistant Director Barry Wong also doubled as the boom operator, which was something new for him. Wherever we could we avoided having two people, who were a distance apart, speak in the same shot. But he did his best to redirect the mic in situations where they were closer together (at the cash till and Kim and mother in the basement).

The three scenes with widest separation were when Kim comes home and talks to her mother in the kitchen, Kim and mom in the living room, and when Kim intercepts the guy on the street. All of those were covered by careful editing, so only the primary subject of a given shot was miked. L-cuts and J-cuts allowed the voices from each take to intermingle.


Quote:
Originally Posted by David Scattergood
I'm concerned that the sound I record is spot on i.e. actor on the left - voice appears in the left channel and not the right foxing the audience a little.
Voices are typically recorded mono on-set, and then rebalanced into stereo during post. It's much easier than trying to add stereo balancing to all the other duties during filming.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Scattergood
Did you use much foley? Was there any audio dubbing carried out?
Foley was one thing I ran out of time for. I did a bit, but you'll notice that sometimes the container characters make noise when they move, other times they don't. The backpack scenes are also missing a "rustling sound" while moving. Those are things I'll fix up for next year.

We didn't do any ADR for the human characters (though in hindsight there are a couple of scenes that could've used it, we just didn't have enough budget left). All of the container voices were recorded at SoundKitchen Studios in Vancouver. The session took about 2.5 hours, each performer did their part alone, and we used no playback -- just voiced from the script.
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