After finishing the digital ‘cell’ animation (all 1200 of them) I put them back into after effects into separate sequences, which I bring into a top level composition to assemble. It was at this point I realised that one section of live action had not been rotoscoped… Unfortunately with the final feedback session due the next day, I knew I would not be able to turn the extra 138 layers into vector animation in time for the crit, so decided best plan of action was to carry on with the draft assembly, knowing I would complete the rotoscope animation later.
Next I assembled all of the alpha png files into separate comps to overlay over the full cell animation so that I could fade the background in and out, adding to the film another level of disorientation.
Making the alpha files is a fairly easy thing to do after I have done the full cell illustration, it’s just time consuming… I isolate the alpha layer and save it out as a .png, which supports an alpha layer when brought into other adobe software, and again, repeat, repeat repeat…
another 1200 files later and it’s ‘comp’ped up into after effects, ready to play with.
I had tried and tried to create a script for this film, but was unhappy with the results… After reviewing the footage against the little bit of music I felt it needed a poem or a short narrative voiceover and after playing with cut up poetry, looking on all manner of poetry websites, finding snippets of prose that I liked, sometimes just words, or figures, or rythmns, and after much deliberation I have been able to produce a piece to use for my voiceover…
Walking, walking not quite alone
Searching, looking on the way home
a shadow of me both revealed and lost
my life is split, no matter this cost
This route I take I know it well,
if my memories could speak what mine would tell
of both of us
lost in cycles spiralling down
our fate is framed by constant frown
The call we answer isn’t real, it’s in our heads, it’s what we feel, day after day we tread this road,
our never ending mental load.
Appearances can be deceiving, eyes, feet, walk, all misleading.
Life was once bright and clear,
but now I trudge along in fear
of who and what and where and when
we know our lives can’t fly again.
Now released into the wild
our minds are dark, unfurled, defiled
but walk this way we must repeat
in case our life we find replete. TT 2013
I worked on the sound in Logic Pro, I recorded my voiceover at home using my ZOOM h1, rendered out only the audio layer from the original scenes in Premiere and imported this live sound from each section, to this added the track from bonobo which I had in mind from the very beginning, I wish I could have recorded my own version, but time was running away.
I quickly output a movie file from aftereffects of the visuals so I had those to work too for timing, but I only had time for a quick mix, but after outputting my bounced file into after effects it was time to fade the background visual in and out – this is only experimentally done here – check the sound, check the timings were correct and render a copy for the feedback session.
The first render…
The feedback I received from this were mostly to be expected, the sound mix was extremely low and I think people found it hard to hear, but they liked the tone and inclination. The visuals – I thought – looked great, actually people didn’t really feed back what they thought about how it looked, ie, the style. Comments were mixed with regards to the fading in and out of the background, mostly positive, but the fades were testing it here, so all good. I need to look at the voiceover itself, the poem I think is too short and as a viewer you’re left too long without the narration, so I’m hoping to add another ‘verse’ in, which should fit the timing better.
The text I had quickly added was disliked, even though the intention was to track the last line of each phrase onto the screen, but it was felt it would work better perhaps as a conversation as the poem is written from the character’s point of view, so this could interact with the the audio…and to try not tracking the figure, but for the text to be on a wall, which the figure walks past…
I will be implementing most of the changes, all positives to my finished film, time is short, but I am focussed on getting the best result out of this, although I am slightly worried it may end up as a bit of an ‘art’ film…which is not me at all…