Thursday, November 03, 2005

Man with trailer in tow EXPOSED!

Did some work on the opening animation sequence for the film last night. I use Lightwave 3D for this ( http://www.lightwave3d.com ) and at one point in the animation I have a starburst. Now when I would bring the uncompressed AVI file into Premiere, it would look great except that the starburst would never show up. Everything else would be just fine, but the starburst was missing.

So I loaded the animation into Media Player 9 and let it chug on it (the file is 1GB uncompressed and MP9 was having a time trying to show it). Sure enough, there was my star burst in all of it's glory. Yet Premiere would not display it nor would it show up in my rendered output.

So I went back to Lightwave and told it to render the animation as a sequence of TIFF frame files. Once it was done with this, I looked at the files and noted that frame number 136 had the starburst at it's zenith.

I loaded the sequence into Premiere in a test project. However, Premiere decided that each frame that I brought into the timeline was going to be 150 frames in length. So after a bit of sniffing around I finally broke down and looked at the help, found the setting and corrected it.

Once all of that was done, the frame sequence worked perfect. My starburst was there in all of it's glory. Why Premiere would not recognize it from an uncompressed AVI file, I have NO idea. Following that I spent some time tweaking the timing of the starburst in the animation as I was not happy with how it's timing worked with the opening theme. It's closer to what I want now but not perfect. More tweaking tonight :)

I also re-rendered the title sequence out of Lightwave and re-set the pixel aspect ratio to 1.33:1 so that it would match the 16:9 aspect ratio of the high def footage that the film is comprised of. I had been using the default 1:1 pixel aspect ratio so when I would tell Premier to render the film out to a WM9 file or a DVD, there was some anamorphic stretch on the image. All fixed now :)

I recently attempted to write the rough cut back to HDV tape so that I could actually watch this thing in High-Def on my TV. After my first attempt at this failed and scouring the manual for the camera and Premiere and posting on a few message boards, the conclusion that people were giving me was that this was not supported in Premiere 1.5.1.

However, Bill Pryor over at DV Freelancer suggested putting the camera into deck mode instead of record mode and that worked like a champ! Thanks, Bill! After that I was able to watch the rough cut in High Def and it was outstanding!

Tonight, after I tweak the starburst some more, I am going to start work on a trailer for the film. I dont plan to use any of the footage from the film. I will use 2 stills - One of Mikos and another of Dave - But none of the tough guy. Going to play the film up like it's some kind of violent suspense thriller in a totally cliche Hollywood trailer way. It should be good fun.

I am also going to put together some notes for some behind the scenes footage that should be pretty funny - Going to have a couple of the crew talking about an on-set conspiracy and who the suspects are and that kind of thing. Should be fun :)

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