Fix it in Post

In our earlier news post, we told the story of how we came to select the Phantom Camera and an 8mm fisheye lens to capture the high-speed footage for our modern-day homage to Bob Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues. Having successfully shot the four component 90º plates, we needed to stitch them and render out an equirectanglar image, the standard projection used in 360-video and required formatting for social media distribution and smartphone video apps.

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Since we selected a different workflow from the GoPro camera and its accompanying Kolor post production software, we needed a different set of stitching tools. So, we contacted software experts Assimilate Scratch VR. We had heard that they had recently added VR capabilities to their grading system. From the get-go, Assimilate Scratch were instrumental in our post production process, giving us full access to their beta software and donating hours of technical support which included creating the stitch template, turning the four, individual fish-eye shots into one 360-degree image.

We used After Effects to composite the four individual films, layering the real-time footage over the slow motion. These individual elements were then pushed through Scratch, making full use of Scratch’s ability to animate stitching frames. Our colourist was then able to grade the full piece. The final step was to use Premiere 2017 to export an H265, the new, younger sibling of the H264 codec. The processing times were incredibly long, but the resulting file was half the size of an H264 and much sharper.

The challenge of creating a 360º content film which featured in-camera slow motion effects provided us with all the lessons of a masterclass including how to manage quadrupled amounts of footage, exponentially larger file sizes, longer renders, trickier glitches and beta-stage software. It hammered home the lesson that you can’t “shoot the sh*t” out of a subject and hope to “fix it in post” because in the land of 360-filmmaking, the amount of data quickly becomes unmanageable. As ever, a well-planned and boarded creative treatment with a decisive and disciplined shoot makes it far more likely that you’ll have an enjoyable post process, remain friends with your co-creators, and deliver what was agreed in the first place.

For more examples of our VFX work, click here.

For more examples of our content creation, click here.

For more examples of our 360 and VR projects, click here.

Credits

Director/Editor: Dave Waldman
Producer: Saša McCartney
Camera: Stephen Price
Model: Jess-Luisa Flynn
Colourist/VFX: Jon Davey
VFX: Aidan Taub
Music: Get Up by Ryan Little
Thanks: Andrew Alexander at ARRI Rental for their generous lending of lenses, tripod & location
Thanks: Love High Speed for their generous lending of the Phantom camera

360 Video Viewing Instructions

Viewing Instructions:
For the best viewing experience, use a mobile device with a WiFi internet connection. The film is also optimised for use with use a VR headset such as Google Cardboard.

You can access the YouTube link or Vimeo link to watch our video full-screen.

Mobile Device viewing tips:
Select high quality – tap the three dots in top right hand corner, tap ‘Quality’ and select highest number.
Turn off Auto-dimming and set auto-lock to never.
Select full screen and tap play.

Move your phone in all directions to see the scene.

If you have a VR Headset, tap the Cardboard button or use a VR viewing app.

Desktop viewing tips:
Click the Settings button, the Gear icon bottom, right of screen.
Click on ‘Quality’ and select the highest number.
Press full screen button and press play.
Drag the mouse up and down and left and right to see the scene.

For more information about this video or if you would like to discuss a script or treatment, please email Loco or call us on 0207 304 4403.