Check this composition & help me out!


I’ve created a short for a competition. The most sucky thing was, however, that I learned quite late that the deadline was 4 days earlier than I believed was true. So I had to really rush things in the final 2 days to get this done. I hate that. I’ll say something about it later, first the movie. You should go to the site though, to enable HD playback! (and rate 5 stars :P)

(It seems impossible to post the link without VFXTALK automatically making a player out of it, so remove the space between you and tube on copy:)

In the next three weeks, I need 100.000 views. Only then do I win some money to pay back part of my student loan and do I get to skydive above the Grand Canyon. 😀 So I need your help!
I would really appreciate it if you would pass the link and this request on to your entire network of friends, enemies and collegues. You can also help (if you have an account) by going to the video on Youtube and rate it with 5 stars.

It was a good exercise anyway. One of the reasons I am in school for too long is that I am never happy with what I make and I keep improving or remaking my comps, never really wrapping it.

Software used:

  • After Effects CS3
  • Première Pro
  • Photoshop
  • VirtualDub
  • AviSynth/DGIndex
  • FFMpeg (for MP2 proxies)
  • x264 (for final MP4, better than AE’s MainConcept)

Now about the hurry. There’s many things I regret, but I had to go with it in order to upload before the deadline. (it was a question of minutes, really!)

  • The first guy with the train shot is terrible. Terrible! It is actually a retouched version of my draft shot. He should fall slower, more motionblur, slide somewhat.. but I had to ‘abandon’ the shot.
  • Some shots have draftlike motion blur settings. Sometimes you see the images per frame setting is low. But I couldn’t rerender them, as even though the comps look quite simple, they took (and I don’t get it either) 10 minutes per second to render!!
  • I didn’t master the sound track at all. Sound goes second-last in my workflow, so I just quickly grabbed some foley from my schools library. I think it would ‘feel’ better if I could work a day on the sound track.
  • Couldn’t find a sound that fits with the burning.
  • Multilayer smoke and roto’ing burned places on the target would look a lot better (currently it doesn’t even look remotely real), but that would quickly take days.
  • Just some noise was layered on top in stead of video grain. About an hour before the deadline, the videograin render would still take 1h20 to render. So I cancelled and quickly replaced it with some noise, and the render took 15 mintes.
  • When the final thing came together, I didn’t have time to color match every shot with each other.
  • I don’t like the overall CC. It was a set once render once thing. I would like to have more contrast.
  • I have to learn how to match plates and foreground better 😛
  • I purposely shot in 1440 when outputting in 1280 so I could reframe the shots to match better (especially nessesary in the two shots with the egg on the ground), but I didn’t have time for that. I really should have fixed at least only that shot though. Only takes a second. But it was already encoding.
  • The splash in the ending sucks, probably the most rushed shot.
  • I would have painted out more garbage on the bluescreen shots if I had another day.
  • Finally, the last shot is not passed through CC/grain, but that is on purpose. Reality check! 🙂

I didn’t like some more things, but I guess the rest is just me not knowing how to do it better when in a hurry. Except for the keying. That’s the first thing I did when I wasn’t in a hurry yet. I spend quite some time on it, and still the edges often look bad. It was BS footage on HDV (1440+strong MPEG) with Keylight. You’d say it should work one way or the other. Any advise on that?

I hope it’s a good video anyway. 🙂

Anyone has some comments, feedback or the like? Mistakes I didn’t notice myself? Tips for improvement? I cannot change anything anymore, but I like to hear about it.

Now share the link! Please :D:D

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