Open Cut 3.0 Challenge

Sensored OpenCut 3.0 Challenge

This is my submission for the Open Cut 3.0 Challenge. Here’s the link to the content on the Vuze network

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.


1 Comment

  1. kgartner says:

    Previous Comments:

    SB Says:
    February 6th, 2009 at 2:51 pm e
    4 minutes in 4k? I didn’t realize this was required…

    Although I haven’t seen the full length of the submission of the winner, I think his work looks pretty lame (just some grass land backdrop).

    isotropy Says:
    February 6th, 2009 at 3:11 pm e
    I took a look at the winner’s submission as well, and I think he won since he was the only guy that actually got through the whole sequence. That being said, based on how his stuff looks, and the not-so-hot colour correction applied, I don’t think that he’s working with the 10-bit R3D files. I think he just worked with the quicktimes. His keys look really soft as well.

    Honestly, i’m not sure what they expected. The green-screens were pretty crap, and need A LOT of work to get a clean key at 4K. I feel bad for Corey if he has to redo this all at 4K, and not be paid.

    Jason Cobill Says:
    March 3rd, 2009 at 10:42 pm e
    You were robbed in the end, I think – you have a much more professional workflow and your shots have a lot more going on in them. I admire your dedication to working with the right source imagery and setting up a slick workflow. How come so many steps? Is there no R3D importer for Fusion?

    I’m shocked you went as far as you did, though. I like competitions too, but 4 mins at 4K in 10bit is a bit much to ask. I think the fact that only 2 of 100 signups actually submitted work goes to show how dedicated you had to be to produce even one shot.

    One thing I don’t understand… how you could have generated all those animated spore frames without ME? Ohno I’ve been replaced!