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Old October 3rd, 2007, 03:02 AM   #1
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Short video for Children

This was the last of 3 videos I did for a church's 'Family Sundays' Tis was totally done on a whim as they were originally going to have me film their "actors" in big fruit suits. I (stupidly) said maybe we could put their faces on actual fruit. I made a test and showed them with my face on an apple. They like it and we pressed on. Keep in mind that I never did anything like this before, but I thought I could pull it off. Below is the final result. If you click on my youtube profile (elknib) you can see the other 2 fruity fables videos also.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xDC4laNejY

What do you think? I think they are oddly funny. And I also think they got a steal as I totally mis-quoted the project and only charged them $300 for all three videos. While I'm relatively happy with how they came out, lost my shirt in the process.
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Old October 3rd, 2007, 06:44 AM   #2
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Nice work Travis!

You must share your secrets! The pear and grape looked very realistic. The strawberry is a little tough to see, I think due to the texture, but man, the rest looks so cool! :)

How long did these take you?

Eric
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Old October 3rd, 2007, 11:52 AM   #3
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I film the actors faces for all three 'episodes' at the same time. 3 hours total

The first one I edited took forever. I had to work out how do to everything and then the 'cherries' had to be done multiple times. I'd guess: Edit time was 18-20 hours.

The second one didn't take as long, but also didn't turn out as well as I would have liked. The animated 'cherry tomatoes' didn't really do it for me. Edit time: 14 hours

The third one went the smoothest although the strawberry was a little difficult with the texture. I couldn't just CC the guys face like the other fruit. I had to key parts of it out. Similar to the Pineapple in the second one. Edit time 8 hours.

After doing these three I've gained a lot of knowledge that would make doing them over quite a streamlined process.
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Old October 3rd, 2007, 12:16 PM   #4
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I had only watched the third one initially.

Just watched the first one, that looks like an editing nightmare. :) A couple of thoughts come to mind. What pitch shifter did you use for the cherries? They usually have (the better ones) a number of Formant settings, for singing, speech, bass instruments, rhythm, etc. That might get rid of some of the echoey/ripply sound in her voice. Shifting up is always difficult because it has to interpolate the gaps. At 4:26, there's a cut to the cherries and the faces are all missing initially. It's quick, but it's noticeable if you're really watching the conversation. Did you notice that?

The second one is gonna give me nightmares tonight with that juicer story and the strawberries falling in the blender! The animated tomatoes look pretty good too. Why does the audio fade out during the end when the music comes up and it fades to black? Since I watched #3 first, I have a feeling it may go into #3 there, but it was a little odd.

What software did you use for this? And did you run a colorizing plugin or a color corrector tint or lightness overlay or something to get the faces on the fruits? So many questions. The effect is really great with all of this!
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Old October 3rd, 2007, 11:54 PM   #5
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The echo/choppiness was unfortunately intentional. I showed the client a rough cut and they thought it should sound like more of them were talking at once. I really didn't record the actor in a way that allowed me to do much with it other than duplicate the voice tracks. Pitch was done in vegas along with everything else CC, masking, and so on.

Honestly I only just now watched the second one the whole way through on youtube. And the audio does seem to cut out on the actors track. Funny as the original doesn't have that problem. Mysteries of youtube I guess.
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Old October 4th, 2007, 12:11 AM   #6
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Ahh, a harmony plugin would give you the multiple person effect without duplicating anything. Just apply it, set the number of people and pitches you want and you're done. :) The echoey sound isn't from the duplication, it's from the way the pitch shift you used handles shifting up. The interpolation algorithm isn't the right one for speaking.

Yes, the mysteries of YouTube are many. :)

So how did you get the faces colored and all?
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Old October 4th, 2007, 12:55 AM   #7
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A combination of HSL, CC, and some slight chroma keying. I mixed up a recipe and saved it as a FX package, then slightly tweaked as needed for the different colors/textures of the fruit.

A harmony plug in eh? I'll have to get one of those.
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Old October 4th, 2007, 01:04 AM   #8
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Ah very cool. I'll have to look into those plugins. The pineapple looked like possibly the most difficult to work with. It seems that they all worked best if they didn't turn their heads and just moved their eyes and mouths.

Too bad you only billed $300, but I doubt they would have paid if you had billed what it would have really cost for someone with your skills to do it. Even at say $30/hr, it's $1,350 for 45 hours. I don't know what you normally charge, or the going rate, etc, but that would probably be about the absolute minimum anyone would charge to do a good job. The nice thing is, you learned a lot, it's all done now (finally!) and you can show it to other people and you figured out ways to speed it up. So now if someone says "what would it take to do that for our sporting goods store?", you can say "3 episodes will take 20 hours to edit", instead of just trying to come up with a good guess, and getting burned on a higher profile job. :)

Yeah, the Waves pitch shifting plugins work great, but they're pricey! There are others on the market, I just can't think of the names offhand.
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Old October 4th, 2007, 01:12 AM   #9
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I like how you're thinking, A sporting goods store would be another perfect application for this kind of thing. Especially with a solid script. I forgot to mention that the fruit ones had none. They sorta knew where it needed to go and I would coach them as to what to say at times and have them redo some lines if they talk over each other, (I was using 2 cameras at a time)

I'm so going to pitch this to a local sporting goods store or two.
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Old October 4th, 2007, 01:27 AM   #10
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Yeah I got the feeling it was a bit off the cuff. The banana had a few sort of 'I'm not really into this' lines that had me cracking up. :)

I need to work on my sales pitching. I think a sporting goods store would be a really cool idea though. I debated posting that idea. ;)
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Old October 4th, 2007, 09:33 AM   #11
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Hey, we can both do local sporting goods store commercials till we couldn't stand it anymore and probably not cross territories or tv markets. I say we both do them, and start a sub-culture of talking athletic equipment.
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Old October 4th, 2007, 01:15 PM   #12
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Yup, unscripted equipment at that. ;)

I guess the only person right for the football would be Stewie from Family Guy though!

http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/...tewie_evil.jpg
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Old October 4th, 2007, 02:57 PM   #13
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Hey, great job! I haven't been able to listen to it yet, but based on what I see without audio, it's pretty awesome.

One suggestion - if you could do something to keep the actors heads really still like resting their chin on a table or something like that, it would help a lot. The reason I say this is because the faces all look very convincing.... until they start moving (more than just the mouth and eyes). Since the fruit is sitting still, all of a sudden it looks like the faces are moving behind the fruit instead of in them.

Just a thought.
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Old October 4th, 2007, 02:59 PM   #14
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Hey another guy from PA. You two should do the sporting goods videos together.

Dale can bring the duct tape for the actors' heads, and Travis can hide the scripts. You'd make a heck of a team! :)
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Old October 4th, 2007, 10:54 PM   #15
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We actually had them stick their heads through cardboard cut outs, but some of them still didn't quite get that I needed them to be still. I didn't really press the issue as they weren't professional actors just volunteers. Not moving your head would be a requirement were I to do it again.
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