Ode to Action - A VFX heavy GH1 action short - prehack at DVinfo.net

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Old December 17th, 2010, 12:48 PM   #1
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Ode to Action - A VFX heavy GH1 action short - prehack

YouTube - Ode to Action

Principal photography was shot just a few weeks before the hack came out, so the majority of the film is shot in 720p/60 prehack on Steadicam Merlin + Arm & Vest. Used a mix of a Canon FD 24mm f/2.0 and the 14-140mm stock lens. I was the lone camera op, so I had to attempt pulling focus/keeping distance/steadicam-ing and shooting with the 24mm wide open whenever possible. I devised a method of one hand controlling the merlin, then pulling it to my face and establish contact through the EVF to reduce shake while I attempt to pull manual focus. Massive fail on most parts, but was able to pump out a few usable shots.

For the major/quick moves, had to rely on the autofocus of the panny stock lens. I had facial tracking on the majority of the time and it held up quite well. I used a Fader ND to try to keep the DOF as shallow as possible wherever I could, but was forced to stop down to keep focus during some of the more intense action sequences.

Compositing was done in After Effects, using a gratuitous amount of what I've learned from free tutorial on the net (particularly VideoCopilot.net) as well as Action Essentials 2 stock footage. Edited in FCP and Color correction done in Color. I used a lot of secondary color correction and color range maps to keep whites white while pushing a Hollywood orange/teal tone to everything else. I'm not sure if it was the 4:2:2 transcoding or Color itself, but this held up pretty well. Trying to pull anything out of the blown out sky resulted in some rather bad macro-blocks, but that was expected. Wish I had time to perform a complete sky replacement, but there were too many shots in the final edit.

There was a good amount of Rotoscoping done using After Effects RotoBrush, and the 720p footage held up very well for this purpose. Definitely painful vs. keying, but given that we shot the entire short in one day, I was happy with what the final composite despite using such a low bit-rate mpeg4 4:2:0 codec. And either this is a testament to the sharpness of the GH1 or AE's tracking programs, but AE tracking held very well for license plate removal in the majority of the scenes. When it failed, I would switch out to Mocha for the track.

Overall, a fun project to shoot and composite against. Very much looking forward to 4:2:2 out of the AF-100 =D
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Old December 17th, 2010, 11:08 PM   #2
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Nice work!
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Old December 29th, 2010, 12:32 AM   #3
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Thanks Sareesh!
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Latest: Ode to Action
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Old January 4th, 2011, 01:36 PM   #4
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Okay, that was really cool!!!
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Old January 5th, 2011, 07:32 AM   #5
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That was good stuff! I watched it without sound the first time only cuz the laptop I was using has sound problems lol and visually it looked great. Sometimes after when you do hear the sound it ruins what you see, thankfully when I watched your project again with sound it did not ruin anything... that's always a good sign!

Does the camera you used have the same type of sensor problems as the canon dslr's people seem to be using these days? Did you experience any of them, and did it really matter for you in the end?

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