Post Magazine

May 2011

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W O R K F L O W [ ] balancing out blacks and whites for film finish. The charm of old-school pipelines is their linear workflow, which have a logic and merit as old as film itself. Of course, the old school will continue to give way to the new. Even so, supervisors such as Ted Rae will remain in demand for traditional skillsets that ensure things are done well and in the proper order. On the other side, many newer VFX supervi- sors come from the technical end of the digital sec- tor and move directly from workstation to set.The transition is not an easy one to make, especially for projects shot on film. For Locsmandi “It can be like making the produc- tion accountant the director of photography.You may know exactly how much footage you shot, but it’s H I G H E R [ ] using some of the clichés of the characters, and John’s voice gave everything a fa- miliar and original twist. “After all the animation was done, we had six weeks to cut and edit the film — just in time for the deadline for the Celebration Star Wars submission. “We also made a special edition in stereoscopic 3D. LightWave 3D gave us the option to create a stereoscopic 3D version, which came out incredible and gave us a definite edge. With the popularity of stereoscopic 3D today, we were able to give our students valuable exposure to working on a two- view, interocular 3D stereo environment, thanks to the software.” POST: Tell us about winning the best short award for The Solo Adventures, and the positive impact it has had on you and the team. probably not going to look very cinematic.” A cau- tionary tale from the cinema pipeline. In forthcoming installments of our “Workflow” se- ries, we will take a look Blackmagic’s Da Vinci Resolve running through Nvidia and Cubix hardware.Also, the new Promise Technology SSD RAID tools and, of course, the yet-to-be released Apple Final Cut X with its Thunderbolt edge. L E A R N I N G SHEETZ: “It was an all-time high for everyone. I was so proud of the whole team.The stereoscopic 3D version gave us the winning edge, no doubt.We’ll definitely use LightWave again, especially for 3D stereoscopic projects.We’re excited to be working in stereo 3D, and the new anaglyph 3D tools and fea- tures in LightWave 10 have us excited. “We currently have three new projects in stereo 3D, which is no longer considered a gimmick; it’s re- quired. Following our most recent graduation, the production company Stereo hired 12 graduates from the DAVE School.And then hired 25.And then 18 more.” POST: What did your students learn most from this project? SHEETZ: “I guess the top things were deadlines, collaboration, asset management and creative vision. [ P H R A S E F I N D / G E T is true of both programs). ] Once indexed, the fun begins! Type in a word or phrase and almost immediately every instance of it will appear in GET’s viewer.A “hit” marker will display how many instances the item appears, and the clip containing these items will have markers attached at each instance. It’s cued to the first instance of the word in question. If you’re searching an actual FCP clip, those markers can be exported along with the clip.Additionally, you’ll find confidence ratings next to each instance ranked from highest to lowest. Once you have a clip marked, click on the “export” button on the lower right, rename it what you want and it will be added to your FCP projects, with mark- ers conveniently added. One big difference between the GET and Phrasefind is immediately noticeable: as a standalone program, GET has its own media player — you don’t need to have FCS (Final Cut Studio) or the upcoming FCP X to view and find clips. As such, it makes sense that this could be a great tool outside of FCP.Work- stations equipped with GET would allow assistant ed- itor prescreening and paper cutting before edits with the ability to give the editor marked material. NO FRILLS OPERATION While not yet as feature-laden as GET, Phrasefind is more fully integrated as an Avid product than the stand- alone GET is to Final Cut.You’ll find Phrasefind is added as part of a much-enhanced “find” tool for Media Com- We learned that by having a group under the direc- tion of an instructor who has production experience, the students learned firsthand why deadlines must be managed very closely, and why it’s important we name things the way we do and manage our assets and file structures.We created many 3D assets, and in a massive group project,we had to keep organized. “We wanted to set up a ‘real-world’ environment and help the students get the right attitude of how to work in a group and team. Since we make four movies a year, all these real-world studio production situations are extremely relevant and vital to our stu- dents’ success.” POST: What’s next? SHEETZ: “Our next big project is called Zombie Apocalypse, about a theme park run by zombies.This will be interesting!” R E V I E W S poser 5.5.Avid’s revamped the find feature in a major way to include searching via ScriptSync, timeline text, clip and sequence labels and, finally, Phrasefind. Once Media Composer is launched, audio wave- form indexing begins as with GET. Also, any new ma- terial is scanned dynamically as it’s added. It will work on AMA clips, regular clips as well as grouped clips and subclips. Shared storage is not a problem. Phrasefind will reach out to these also, as well as third-party storage.A little raised ball that turns green shows the progress of indexing. Be aware, with AMA linking or importing you must first save the bin before Phrasefind begins indexing. Once indexed, the Phrasefind bin will populate with clips ranked by accuracy.As of now, unlike GET’s autO markers for each hit, there’s no marking of clips. In- stead, clips are loaded in rank order, so if one clip con- tains 20 examples of a word it will appear in the list 20 times, each cued up to the moment before the in- stance. Not as cool as GET’s marker indexing, but I am told by Avid that automatic clip marking will be added in the future — they wouldn’t get specific with a time, but said they are constantly updating their tools. Unfortunately, you can only work out of the search bin; you cannot drag or drop that clip into a new bin. By double clicking you return to the source bin of that master clip, or, if you have “load into monitor” open, that’s where a double click sends it. Phrasefind also indexes in the background and sometimes takes its time. It would be nice to have the ability to coax it a bit and know just where you stand with indexing. The green ball didn’t always tell me... indicating some- thing was indexed when it wasn’t. Another difference: GET allows you to sort the sensitivity levels of a search: you can dial up or down. Phrasefind does not allow that capability. It’s that sim- ple. No bells and whistles…yet. FINAL THOUGHTS Of the myriad challenges today’s editors face, with mounting deadlines, hours of media, less support and bottom-dollar thinking, navigating and finding specific spoken material is one of the biggest time-wasting and headache-making trials we face.Having this technology at our disposal is a joy, and will soon become as essen- tial and commonplace as a matchframe button. In its V.1.0 iteration, Phrasefind can use a little more tweaking, and I’m sure we’ll see evolution in future re- leases, but it works. Is the technology there yet? Yes, but there are the occasional misses, and the accuracy of both seemed to be the same using the same material. For example, both systems did well with clear voiceover, but messed up when music, background noise or effects were mixed at normal levels. But they both hit much more than they miss and will become an indispensable time- and cost-cutting tool in the editing arsenal. They will only get better and more feature-en- hanced with age. Look for other editing platforms to adopt these tools in the near future. May 2011 • Post 47 cont. from 40 cont. from 42 cont. from 45

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