A week and a half left to hand in and everything is going according to plan. Most of the compositing was done with 2 weeks to spare, which was in keeping with the original schedule, so I’ve been doing the odd re-render to clean up a few things. I noticed that some of the 3840 particle renders that I had composited, didn’t look quite as good as some of the others, due to the fact that I had reformatted the size to HD before putting it together with all the other nodes – rather than having the whole scene as 3840 until the end of the pipeline and then reformatting before writing out the file. I didn’t think it would matter, but there seems to be a minor difference.
I also found that the purely CG scenes, the music notation in particular, seemd too ‘clean’ in comparison to the other shots, so I graded the colour to match the opening shot and added some grain to make it more like the camera shots. As for the molecules shot, I re-rendered the shot with z-depth and changed the flares slightly, so they didn’t look as ‘out of the box’ as the original preset did.
Tweaking the Edit
I haven’t needed to do too much for the edit, mainly because I’ve been replacing the scenes as they’ve come in. Recently, however, I have really been focussing on the timing of the glyph shapes with the music to be as accurate as possible. Clealy, I accounted for some minor timing issues as I key framed the whole piece way back in the beginning along with the collision particles and used them as a basis for the rest. The timing has been relatively good, however, so I’m quite happy with the small amount of lag here and there.
Titles, Credits and Additional Sound
I added in a few foley sounds to the mix for effect – a wave sound to match the beach scene, as well as changing the equalisation for that shot as well to make the sound more ‘tinny’ like it’s coming out of the headphones. I tried to mimic the idea of the ‘detuned’ sound you get when a car drives past, but it messed up the soundtrack too much so I settled for a car sound driving past to put it more into the scene. In addition, I added some fire sounds to match the bonfire and finally I created some additional new music for the credits – this amounts to a simple series of notes on a synthesiser (from the original melody) that matches the glyphs at the end. I re-used some of the glyphs from the film, but placing them on a black background and with some added godrays, they essentially feel like new shots – and combined with the music it has ended up being reminicent of something like ‘Close Encounters’, which I quite like, as it gives it an other-wordly feel, and it’s quite funny!
The scariest moment of the whole project is when you play what you have in front of your fellow classmates, especially if they know what they’re talking about. It’s a worthwhile process. Thankfully, there weren’t too many suggestions to changing the whole thing, but useful ideas concerning grading and colour, by and large. One shot that seemed to be out of place was the beach shot – the girl in the shot is wearing headphones and was originally designed to show sound bleeding out of them but unfortunately without the VFX they’re hard to see (the VFX didn’t look good), and I don’t know if it was exaggerated due to the addition of the ‘radio’ type equalisation I did on the sound to bring the audience out of the previous perspective. Also, the fact that the words ‘and sound’ seem to come in a scene after the previous text makes it a bit disjointed. So, I tried bringing in the glyphs again to the shot, but it doesn’t look good. I’m now toying with the idea of trying to do a last minute replacement shot, so I’ve hired out the Go-Pro with the prospect of trying a few things: possibly on the head of the guitar for a ‘down the neck’ shot; clamped to a pair of headphones, relating to the original idea somehow; or fixed to a little handheld radio that’s being carried around. We’ll see what tomorrow brings after a crash course in using a Go-Pro.
I have also put together most of the slides for next week’s presentation. I have had to look back at the original programme of study reports to check on the consistency and evolution of my project. Essentially, have I produced what I set put to produce in the beginning? That, and many other questions over the nature of the methods etc need to be addressed. This will be the last one, and it’s a bit longer than the previous presentations, but there’s plenty to talk about.
Well, it wouldn’t be a proper finish if I wasn’t trying to cram in something at the last minute! Last night I tried a few alternative versions with the GoPro – headphones on, radio shot etc. The headphones shot, which was my priority, turned out to make my head look too alien from the close angle to my head, so i’ve opted for a shot of the radio. There wasn’t too much effort on the initial composite as I’d just plugged in the new images to the old version of the beach shot:
Having said that, as the glyphs are now full frame, the original resolution wasn’t good enough, so I’ve had to re-render the whole scene for particles at double HD resolution and geometry at HD. I don’t have time to send the geometry through the render farm, so I’ve opted instead to use the sotware renderer at home and subtly apply the amount of geometry in the comp. I increased the amount of godrays in this one a little and it seems to work well.