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July 17, 2005

LSGL: painful errors

by sven at 11:47 pm

After another 5 hrs 15 min, I've finished cleaning the digital spatter off that shot I was working on yesterday.

Soon after sitting down to work today, I discovered that I'd made a terrible mistake yesterday. Instead of cleaning up the clip that was stretched and cut to the right length, I'd been at work on an earlier stage of the material. I wouldn't have thought that would be a problem -- but when I stretched it, my correction layers didn't stretch correctly.

It probably has something to do with stretching 250%... How do you stretch a single frame to 2.5 times its original length? You don't. Frames are the smallest unit of animation -- when you ask AfterEffects to stretch a thing 250%, it mixes and matches duplicating the frames you have by 2's and 3's. And since the source footage runs the whole length of the clip, but the correction layers are often very short, sometimes their stretching doesn't match up.

Give up 7 hours of work and start over? I don't think so.

My work-around was to render out what I'd done yesterday, reimport that, and stretch the new QuickTime movie appropriately. Unfortunately, you can't render out without a background. [At least I don't know how to do it.] So I had to color key the default black background out. This left little traces of black around the blue outline, where the pixel colors had mixed. I had to change the tolerance setting, which meant the blue lines shrank some. Meh. It's an imperfection I can live with, though.

That's one painful error.

The second was the computer's fault. AfterEffects crashed.

Fortunately I hadn't saved that long ago, so I didn't have to re-do too much work.

Guess how many layers it took to clean up the shot... 20? 50? 100? Nope. For Carl, it took a total of 133 layers. For Andrew, it took 146 layers. A total of 279 layers?!? No wonder why this shot took more than 12 hours to clean up. Guh!

Tomorrow's my house-cleaning day. But the next time I get back to the studio: work on the blizzard shots.

posted by sven | July 17, 2005 11:47 PM | categories: let sleeping gods lie, movies