Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Render Order

Oftentimes in my life I have wondered what order effects are rendered in Final Cut Pro.

According to this search result it is indeed from top-to-bottom.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Solve that Roll

Via Kangas is this kind of brilliant tutorial on correcting for rolling-shutter problems. It's a very wonky solution, and I bet you could do it such that it corrected for each and every line of video which would only drive you very slightly insane. But it's quite brilliant. Yeah, you're not gonna want to do that for a whole feature, but man there's always a couple shots you wish you could do some handheld with that doesn't get all jello-cam on you.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Distortion in ADR

So my new thing is putting some distortion on ADR tracks to make them fit better.
The amp simulator plugin in Samplitude works really well for this. But all by itself it's a bit too much. So I feed an aux channel from an ADR channel so that I can blend the inserted distortion all I like.
Like so.

Where did I get this idea from? I got it from this brilliant book on dialog editing. Oh man. This book is good. Read it. Live it. Ignore all the ProTools-centric stuff. ;-)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

I only got the two things

Eric Ian Steele on writing loglines.
Although not the best-written article, here's a comparison of what's needed for film sales in different genres. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Today in the machine

So today I took a pair of black pants, put a robot armor calf piece inside them, and shoot them with a paintball gun loaded with dust pellets. I shot it overcranked. I have no idea what it's going to look like.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Do these blog posts ever make sense to anyone else?

Today's questions include things like: Do we need a closeup of Hawkins' leg being hit by shrapnel during the robot shootout?
The magic solution to the inherent problem in ADR (that the new, dubbed, dialog sounds too "clean" and "dry" compared to the natural noisy and an ambient way dialog recorded on set -- even well-recorded dialog -- sounds) is this one reverb setting.
The 1.1-second "garage" impulse response in Samplitude has changed my attitude towards ADR.
One of the many impulse responses which comes in Samplitude is the thing. It's just a junky enough sounding room* that it sounds like an actual acoustical space. And it matches practically everywhere from a long hallway to a tiny anteroom. I realize that doesn't make very much sense but it just works. It sounds like the reverb one would record in a not-terrible room using a boom mic right over the actor's head. It's magic. I dunno.
Okay. Saturday we recorded the last of the scheduled ADR on Dead Raid. And I've re-mixed everything. New thing: when making the stereo masters off of the 5.1 masters I pull the levels on each channel down -12.144dB. This way the stereo mixes don't get additional limiting and yet the peak level never goes about -12dB.

The answer to the question is "probably not".

*"Junky" here doesn't mean engineeringly-bad-sounding. It just means small and, well, garage-y.

Friday, July 11, 2014

10 Hours

"Northern Ireland's work laws limits the work days to 10 hours a day."

Heck, Game of Thrones shoots that way. And you know me, I'm totally down with that. Like a mystery, limiting the number of hours you work simply makes you more efficient. It's amazing.
Just try it. Commit yourself to 80 setups in 8 hours. (I know, GOT only does 15 setups). But you'll like it. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014


We had a couple noisy locations on this picture and there really wasn't any option other than some ADR to deal with them.
Sarah Schoofs doing ADR in the studio.
 I've been using an Oktava 012 microphone -- the same we'd be using on set (except that this movie was almost completely recorded with wireless lavalier microphones). And there's a bit of distance on the mic (you can't even see it in the picture above.)
It seems that for most people, seeing the picture while they record isn't terribly helpful. So we've abandoned having a picture monitor in the booth. I'll play the line three times and then go into record. No bloops or leader or anything.
I think this makes it easier. You just need to memorize the cadence of the original and you're not distracted by picture.
I do try to line up each line for sync immediately after they record the line. Just to, you know, make sure.
There's a standard impulse response in Samplitude -- a 1.1 second "garage" reverb. I've been using that to give a bit of controlled distance and room on the ADR. Honestly I've lost all perspective -- literally and figuratively -- but it seems like the right sort of sound for ADR. The tail of the reverb doesn't do weird things the way the tail of a reverb which is more appropriate for (say) guitars and pianos would be.
We have two more actors we need ADR from. And then (hopefully) we will deliver final picture.