Sunday, 14 June 2009

Compositing is hard work

Having finished my stop mo section I could get on with the final task of compositing all the footage in After Effects. This was a lot harder than I had imagined and I think in all I have spent around 30-35 hours on just the compositing alone.

I had to create the theatre so it was in a 3D space, This was like making a scene in Maya I found.

I then had to add the groups bits of animation and line them up so a character wouldn't seem further away to another, they also needed to be proportioned correctly as they all seemed to be different sizes.

Then came the task of joining each sequence together. I did this by creating a puff of smoke every time a character swapped places. I used stock footage of ink being dropped in to water. Each piece of footage had to have it's background keyed out, which took a bit of time to get right. Half way through the production after adding more footage After effects seemed to slow a lot making it very hard to keep a consistent work flow going. It also made watching the footage back a nightmare, as I would have to wait around 20 -30 minutes to render. I think they may be a better way of keeping the file size small but as it had an abundance of footage and photoshop files, pictures and effects on each of them which slowed the program right down.

Me and Kyle managed to get the live action shot, so it was time to add that. This proved a bit of a chore as I don't think we got the lighting right in the green screen room at uni. This resulted in having to do extensive work on keying out the background from the footage.

After that it was time to add camera moves and lighting. From trying out many camera moves it seemed clear that nothing really worked. Zoom ins on the characters did not work especially, as the action was to fast, by the time the camera had zoomed in it was time to zoom out again. We decided it would be best to keep it all from the same angle as it would add the feeling of being in the audience.

The lighting I used was just ambient lights and spot lights. This was just to add more depth to the scene and also to add a theatrical aesthetic.
I also did a few frames of rotoscoping on a section that went from live action to animation.

Heres what it looked like at the end of all my hard work compositing.

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