I didn’t have enough time to work on every shot for the competition, since I was back at Frantic for the most part of December, and started in the commercial division in January. Personally, I think the deadline for this challenge was quite unrealistic, considering this is unpaid work. Delivering almost this many shots (basically 4 mins of solid VFX shots), over christmas, at 4K, in about 30 days would be challenge for any full VFX studio with a full staff of compositors, let alone a few guys or one guy trying to do this on his or her own. IMO, if I were to bid this out, it would probably be close to half a million to a million depending on how complex the director wanted this to be.
I’ll be very surprised to see if there’s anyone that actually finishes the whole thing, and if they do, I’ll be astounded if it looks professional. I’m VERY curious to see what’s submitted and what it looks like.
Working with the R3D files was really fun, and quite frustrating… Getting the raw 10-bit data out of the R3D files was a royal pain in the ass. Basically, the OpenCut guys supplied the raw R3D files, as full takes, nothing edited. There was tons of unused footage in there that takes up gigs of space. In total, there was about 100GB of R3D files. I tried using RedCine to export just the frame ranges needed for the edit, but it was really hard to accurately figure out the in and out points based on the final cut edit they provided. Nothing seemed to match up when I exported from Redcine.
In the end, what I ended up doing was opening the edit in Final Cut, finding the in and out frame numbers of the clips, then importing the R3D file into AfterEffects CS4, and exporting just the range I needed as 4K DPX’s. I then took those 4K’s into Fusion 5, resized to 2K to do the actual comp. If need be, I could always just swap in the 4K footage, but realistically 4K is just a waste of bandwidth IMO, and it’s far too cumbersome to work with.
Initially, I tried exporting the XML edit from Final Cut to Apple Color, but every time I did that, the clips references got totally messed up. The edit was correct, but the clips were looping, and duplicated, and just totally screwed up. I spent about a day or 2 banging my head against this wall, since I wanted this to work, since you can export to 10-bit DPXs right out of Color. In any case, it never ended up working, and I can’t figure out why. For now, it’s manually writing down in and out points and correlating those to the same ins and outs in AE.
In any case, I’ll probably start to pick away at the other shots, slowly but surely, just to see if I can get a few good looking ones for my reel.