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Thread: Unfinished Christmas

  1. #1
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    Default Unfinished Christmas

    I was in two minds as to whether to post this as I haven't completed it yet. It needs work - some of the audio require replacement (it is only temporary), there are several glitches that need sorting out and the edit overall needs a bit of tweaking for colour and pace.

    However, I have today finished shooting three school nativities, each of which need to be duplicated and ready for delivery on the first day of next term (one before the end of this term, next Weds) so I won't get any opportunity to finish this before Christmas. My wife wanted to get "something" online before Christmas and this gives me the opportunity to wish you all a very Happy Christmas whether you are Christian, have another religion or, like me, are athiest.

    This is an earlier version, left up for the purposes of the discussion. See later in the thread for the finished article.

    Last edited by TimStannard; 03-13-2018 at 12:11 PM.
    Tim

  2. #2

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    Wow ! what a great concept.... and very ambitious. must have took a while putting that together.

    couple of observations ... watch your horizons.. mantle piece isnt always level.
    I had an inkling of what was in store mainly because our two talents looked a little 'cut and paste' on the cards.. maybe soften their outline or give them a bit of a shadow or make them look as though they are painted in (sure theres a filter for that) or softened slightly ? their natural shadow (once they came to life) when walking along the mantle is also a bit distracting

    Loved the falling off the mantle piece into the sock idea ... and how did you do the rummaging in the sock ?

    so glad you are changing the music .. hopefully for something less predicable.


    I look forward to seeing the finished piece maybe Xmas 2018 ?

    Happy Xmas to you and yours
    'No longer are the pleasures of Home Movie Making limited to those with ample funds. Now the man and woman of moderate means can join the sport'..... Kodak catalogue 1933

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    Thanks for the observations and comments.
    I have tweaked and tweaked the mantlepiece from a levelling perspective. The simple fact is that it wasn't always filmed straight on as I was hoping for a more "observational" viewpoint - shooting most shots from in front of the middle of the mantlepiece (as you can picture, if the lens is then slightly higher as you pan right the right hand end of the mantlepiece will rise). Lesson leaned.

    The slider shot has also had quite a bit of work to level it out. It was a borrowed (and rather inexpensive) 1m slider and I used a tripod at each end. Nevertheless there was still a noticeable dip as the camera travelled toward the centre of the run which I have tried to compensate for in post.

    I have also spent countless hours with different filters trying to get the images to match the colour/diffusion/style of the cards - they are far from "just stuck on" as you can imagine, primarily with levels, softening outline and blurs/duiffusion, but I keep tweaking in the hope they'll become more convincing. i'm intrigued by your suggestion of shadows - care to elaborate? I would have thought that would lift the characters from the cards.

    Interesting you find the shadow distracting as they walk. It's not natural shadow (apart from some around the toboggan which needs tidying up) but shadow I added to both give separation from the cards but also to give an idea of their proximity to the cards. It definitely (in my mind) looks worse without any shadow. Perhaps soften it somewhat?

    Rummaging in the stocking - it was simply my hand! You may have imagined you see the whole stocking (ie top as well) in one shot, but you don't. Ahhh, the magic of cinema!

    As for the music - I'm afraid to disappoint. It's a tacky Christmas film and demands (in my opinion) tacky Christmas music. The audio changes I am currently planning are:

    1. A different radio/TV announcer
    2. EQ on the Shaking Stevens/Radio announcer to make it sound like it
    3. Possibly a bit more "going upstairs to bed" and "coming down in the morning" domestic noises
    4. Different voices for the snowmen (I wanted to involve kids, but the voices don't really work)
    5. SFX for falling off the mantlepiece (and into stocking)
    6. Better muffled "Let me out" shouts
    7. Some sort of subtle ignition sound as candle lights
    8. etc

    As always, many thanks for watching and your suggestions and comments which I take on board (and on the chin!)

    A Merry Christmas to all at Enc Towers
    Tim

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    Nice job

    on the plus side - great concept - looked great too
    on the minus side - needs better ambient audio (as you noted above) - characters could speak instead of miming

    I didn’t mind the announcer at all - sounded convincing

    I just realized that this technique would look great against the backdrop of Ian’s Zey sets

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    Wow! Very cool and unusual concept, and quite entertaining!

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    Thanks, Zam.
    Not sure what to do about the sound - we have some wind/blizzard noise (and obviously the snowmen singing - with replacement voices) but there's not a lot of ambient soound after midnight on a mantlepiece. I don't think it wants the characters talking - I think they mime their intent pretty well and I hope the story is told visually.

    As for the idea of combining with Zey - perhaps Ian and I could work on a version incorporating footage of you skiing.
    Tim

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimStannard View Post


    Interesting you find the shadow distracting as they walk. It's not natural shadow (apart from some around the toboggan which needs tidying up) but shadow I added to both give separation from the cards but also to give an idea of their proximity to the cards. It definitely (in my mind) looks worse without any shadow. Perhaps soften it somewhat?

    Yes !

    Rummaging in the stocking - it was simply my hand! You may have imagined you see the whole stocking (ie top as well) in one shot, but you don't. Ahhh, the magic of cinema!

    ! yep ... i imagined id seen the full stocking !

    As for the music - I'm afraid to disappoint. It's a tacky Christmas film and demands (in my opinion) tacky Christmas music. The audio changes I am currently planning are:

    1. A different radio/TV announcer
    2. EQ on the Shaking Stevens/Radio announcer to make it sound like it
    3. Possibly a bit more "going upstairs to bed" and "coming down in the morning" domestic noises
    4. Different voices for the snowmen (I wanted to involve kids, but the voices don't really work)
    5. SFX for falling off the mantlepiece (and into stocking)
    6. Better muffled "Let me out" shouts
    7. Some sort of subtle ignition sound as candle lights
    8. etc

    As always, many thanks for watching and your suggestions and comments which I take on board (and on the chin!)

    A Merry Christmas to all at Enc Towers
    yes, the additional suggestions would be good additions. also i noticed the animated expressions on the snow men which i hadnt noticed first time around how many hours do you reckon you have in this tim ?
    'No longer are the pleasures of Home Movie Making limited to those with ample funds. Now the man and woman of moderate means can join the sport'..... Kodak catalogue 1933

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    Quote Originally Posted by enc View Post
    yes, the additional suggestions would be good additions. also i noticed the animated expressions on the snow men which i hadnt noticed first time around how many hours do you reckon you have in this tim ?
    I'd hate to think. Especially as this was meant to be a quickie for Christmas. Then again I knew I was trying some new stuff (trying to integrate green screen characters with " real" backgrounds, whereas previously I'd only used graphic backgrounds. I dud spend a lot of time experimenting. The thing I impressed myself most with was an attempt where I had my wife seemingly step out of a card - but this was with camera movement and her initially appearing "flat". It really helped sell the idea. However, It helped me appreciate the enormity of the job if I wanted to match move cameras for the green screen and background footage (If you see what I mean). I'll see if I can dig I out.

    I spent several evenings animating the snowmen. The movement is simple and easy. However, as I render that separately from the main footage, there's a bit of guesswork involved. I will be redoing some. The bit I'm least happy with is the mouth movement. I filmed myself singing the words then tried to match the movement of my mouth with an eclipse/circle. Maybe that needs more work. Perhaps it'll never look convincing with only an ellipse. Still, it is an interesting experiment.
    Tim

  9. #9

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    It's all good practice Tim ! I think sometimes you can go on tweaking and never be happy !
    I've been working on some music stuff ..recorded a quick jam a few weeks ago and revisited it. Totally re recorded Added structure, tweaked and twiddled .. 27 tracks in the end .. but haven't been able to recapture the 'something' of the original jam session

    Btw , it's a singing snowman it ain't sposed to look convincing
    'No longer are the pleasures of Home Movie Making limited to those with ample funds. Now the man and woman of moderate means can join the sport'..... Kodak catalogue 1933

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by enc View Post
    Btw , it's a singing snowman it ain't sposed to look convincing
    This is very true. The unicorn through the back of my wardrobe was saying exactly the same thing.

    I frequently laugh when watching tutorials about special effects when the voiceover talks about making the alien monster or the photon torpedos look "more realistic".

    I also totally get what you mean about losing the magic when you tweak too much, though. But I do enjoy the practice.

    Ah well, back to editing the second of the three nativities now.....
    Tim

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