Post Magazine

January 2018

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 35 of 43 34 POST JANUARY 2018 VFX FOR TV OUTLOOK EDITING O OUTLOOK O OUTLOOK T he post production industry is forever changing. I've been editing for more than 20 years and color grading for the past 10, and in that time I've learned that you have to be flexible, adaptable and open to learning new skills or you will be left behind. Starting out as an editor, I quickly realized that I had to expand my skill- set. I added grading and soon realized online editing was a natural next step. Post production supervisor and visual effects supervisor soon followed. This one-stop-shop skillset allowed me to not only expand my knowledge and customer bases, but also made me reevaluate my workflow. Since I was often responsible for both grading and editing projects, I realized that it didn't make sense for me to approach these two activities separately. Instead, I evolved my editing process so that color is intertwined, rather than a separate function. In the same vein, using disparate programs was counter-intuitive as it would not only be costly, but involve a time-con- suming transcoding process. As such, DaVinci Resolve Studio is the backbone to my workflow as it allows me to edit, grade and finish all from one system in a collaborative, seamless process. This evolved approach also rings true for an editor who is not a color- ist. When editing, you're focused on achieving the best performance and scene regardless of technical issues with the footage, which you may not even notice because of the proxies. It might be the best performance, but it also might be low lit or have dif- ferent ISOs on the A and B cameras and won't match regardless of the colorist's attempts. By incorporating grading into the editing process, any potential issues can be resolved ahead of time. While editing my recent film, This Is Meg, I would jump into color to quickly see if I could make something match if it looked off. Working in DaVinci Resolve Studio also meant I could edit in RAW, which allowed me to see these nuances better. I could quickly and easily tell if a shot was going to be usable or not, which streamlined my editorial deci- sions. The ability to jump back and forth between edit and color and vice versa is invaluable as it can save thousands of dollars down the line, as well as time spent transcoding and roundtripping. The editors who adopt this now will be ahead of the game. BY ALEX FERRARI DIRECTOR AND POST PRODUCTION SUPERVISOR INDIE FILM HUSTLE BURBANK, CA INDIEFILMHUSTLE.COM EVOLVING YOUR EDITING WORKFLOW T elevision has seen an increasing demand for both higher quality and larger scope of VFX work over the last five years or so. An obvious example is Game of Thrones, with its dragons effectively being created at a feature-film level, while still demanding the typical turnaround of a normal production. At Alkemy X, we recently created a satellite launch sequence for NBC's Blindspot, a show that doesn't typically warrant that degree of work. Moreover, the sheer amount of VFX work on the National Geographic show, The Long Road Home, is another example of this growing trend. The remedy from a studio's perspec- tive is to integrate cloud rendering and rapid scalability on as many levels as possible, allowing for near-instant ex- pansion and contraction of resources as needed. This also means creating tools to tackle consistent problems/looks/ effects on multiple shots and sequences, saving time and money. In return, you prevent as much grunt work as possible and allocate that time towards solving the more challenging problems. Another interesting trend that we're seeing is that more artists and studios (Alkemy X included) are using Houdini as the main tool for lighting in 3D and VFX. It's definitely a newer trend that's moving away from Arnold and taking a system that, to date, has been known primarily for VFX simulations. There's a lot of power that comes with it. However, the drawback definitely comes in the rendering demands, and poten- tially, artist availability depending on your studio's location. Basically, audiences are expecting higher quality out of television, and it's quickly requiring the structure and resources of a film house to become the norm. This can be extremely intimidating from a technical stand- point, particularly for small studios or studios bound to locations that don't provide adequate resources. Take New York City, for example, where there are a lot of older buildings, which may not provide the proper networking or power demands of a larger studio, not to mention physical space for expan- sion. The constant threat being that if you can't adapt to these circumstanc- es, you fall behind or severely limit the kind of work you do. The strength of all this, though, is that typical televi- sion production is leaning more on VFX vendors for both on-set strategies and execution. Being part of the entire production from start to finish gives a lot of advan- tages, from direct client interfacing and solving possible problems at the source as to not deal with a massive issue in post, to even gaining insight into how everything was shot and being able to capture on-set references as you see fit. Being a true VFX partner — and not just a faceless vendor — is a big advantage, and with it comes a ton of possible opportunities. BY TYLER LOCKARD PIPELINE TECHNICAL MANAGER ALKEMY X NEW YORK/PHILADELPHIA/ AMSTERDAM ALKEMY-X.COM MAKING VFX IN TV BIGGER & BETTER On the set of This is Meg.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Post Magazine - January 2018