Workflow demo: Conversions

by - 2012/07/19 17 Comments Production

This will probably be the most boring video of the whole project, but maybe someone finds it interesting. It is a timelapse demonstration of how we convert the footage from the RAW Sony F65 footage into something more useful, which in our case is OpenEXR in ACES Color Workspace. For that first conversion we have to use the F65 Viewer from Sony, which only runs on Windows and OSX, and also is not the most pleasant software to work with. Anyway, once we have the ACES EXRs we convert them to rec709 linear with OpenColorIO, which is Blender’s native colorspace, and we stay there as long as we can.

The whole workflow is maybe not very elegant, but so far it works quite well.
We also have to deal with 3 different naming conventions, which is the camera’s naming of the clips, the shotnumbers used on set (seen on the clapperboard) and the shotnumbers that we use here in the studio. Therefore part of my job is to keep track of the framenumbers, shotnumbers, In-Points, Out-Points, foldersizes, and so on. I have to find out which shot is used in the edit, which part of the shot is used and how long it is, in order to export and convert only what’s necessary.

After the conversions are done, and linear HD proxies have been generated, we erase the ACES files. Because oftherwise we would run out of diskspace very soon. Each frame is 50MB.

(Visit http://media.xiph.org/mango/ for original F65 Raw and OpenEXR downloads)

Tracking, Keying and Layout. Workflow Demo.

by - 2012/07/11 176 Comments Compositing, Production

Here’s a little timelapse of the general workflow for our keying shots.
First we track the camera and save that as a blendfile. From that file we generate a new file that is then used as base for masking and keying. The tracking markers can often be re-used as a way to mask out stuff from the footage.
The cleaned footage is then saved as 4k openEXR files with premultiplied alpha channel.
A third blendfile is created as a base for that layout, swapping the footage for the clean plates and setting up the final shot dimensions (1920×800). That file is then handed over to the person that is then doing the layout for it. The scene layout for this scene was originally done by Andy.
Usually after the main composite is done I fix some alpha-blending issues that cannot be solved in the pre-key outside the main composite.
The key that you see here is still a little but too harsh on the one side of the head, but for the demo I didn’t want to tweak it too long.

Dailies

by - 2012/07/11 13 Comments Production

Very cool to see the crew doing dailies now (not every day but alas… :). Doing art crits and reviews is a great added value of being in one studio together.

Blender Inside Out – for experienced 3D artists

by - 2012/06/30 9 Comments Production, Random

Here’s the latest in our Creative Commons dvd training series: “Blender Inside Out”. I’ve asked Jonathan Williamson from cgcookie.com – they have experience with other 3d tools – to make a cool collection of videos for experienced 3D artists; to explain Blender for them by using metaphors and methods they know.

The DVDs will get printed around July 10th, and get shipped to you before August. As usual – profits on our dvd bizz goes to supporting open movie projects like Mango! And as a bonus this time; it will allow us to do a bigger presentation at Siggraph – spreading free copies of this DVD to the audience as well!

Help us, order one now (or two!). Thanks!

Final Shots!

by - 2012/06/22 31 Comments Production

So- this last week has by far been one of the most rewarding! We’ve finally primed the pump, and renders are coming out of the farm in a steady flow. We have about 140 seconds of ‘finished-ish’ film- stuff that’s come out of the farm, and more or less works (though in a lot of cases we may through it through the farm again, just to fix something small). Meaning- we’re actually on schedule! For now….

For time-based effects and problems, we can’t see if they work or not till we send them through the farm- and sometimes the farm itself introduces glitches- so we’ve been doing lots of re-renders. But the farm’s keeping up!

I think it’s kind of amazing, actually- all of our posts have been showing the same old stuff over and over (even now I’m just kinda reposting some things you’ve seen before), but we have a ton of new finished stuff sitting around. I should upload some of that. Later!

That said: So many cool final shots! So I’m gonna do a super lazy blog post and just put up some framegrabs!

ALSO: Teaser next week?

Robots climb the church tower! Check out the eyes Kjartan painted on the back of one of em. We’re making all of the robots a bit more individualized.

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