2013 Demo Reel (vB.03)

Welcome back!

I finished editing a new demo!  Let’s have a look, and then chat about it a little bit.

There were a few interesting challenges with this.  Perhaps the most difficult was deciding on a final output resolution.  All of my more recent projects were finished at 1080p or 2K, but many of the earlier ones were shot and rendered at 480p for DVD.  I decided to go with 720p to keep it HD, but not stretch the SD stuff too much.  Hopefully the softness on the SD pieces isn’t too noticeable.

Unfortunately I had to leave out some projects, either because they didn’t look good when scaled up, or because they were originally done at 4:3 aspect ratio and I didn’t want to crop or blackbar the image. I plan to highlight those projects later in individual posts.

Recomposing for 2D

While assembling this demo I was reminded of the differences in composing for stereoscopic 3D versus standard 2D.  In s3D you can overlap objects as long as they are separated in Z-space.  For example, think about a forest with branches everywhere.  Looking at that in person you can see some branches close to you and some farther away.  But if you just look at a flat picture, the branches just look like a confusing mess.  Techniques like depth of field allow you to avoid this visual confusion in 2D by clearly drawing the viewer’s attention toward the in-focus subject and away from the other out-of-focus elements.  In s3D, though, the viewer is encouraged to reconverge their eyes and explore the scene, so you often want to keep everything in focus.

Anyway, on to the point of all this….  I wanted to include a clip from a pharma video where I had composed graphic elements over filmed footage.  The original, which was only intended to be shown in stereoscopic 3D, took full advantage of the s3D space by floating the product and logo out toward the audience.  In 2D, though, the logo looks confusing layered over the busy teapot.  For the demo I made a traveling matte for the product elements, compositing them over footage from earlier in the scene before the product log appears.  You can see both versions below.

Product logo does not read well in 2D.

Original s3D version. Product logo does not read well in 2D.

Product logo has been matted out.

Modified 2D version. Product logo has been matted out.

Rearranging sequences

When editing a demo, you have to think carefully about clip length. You need each clip to be long enough to make an impact on the viewer, but not so long that the viewer loses interest. You also have to think about how each clip relates to those before and after it, and the pacing of the piece as a whole.

I shortened or rearranged a number of sequences from their original edit, such as Bret Anthony’s rake scene in Planet You.  At first I had twice as much footage from Julia X, following Kevin Sorbo and Valerie Azlynn further into the film.  However, I wanted to keep the overall tone of the demo light, so I decided to leave out the chase scene and shovel defense.  Which means that, for now, you miss a great shot of Hercules winking in a heart-shaped mirror, but you do at least get to see him looking all pouty after his date bails.

Glory without the guts

And speaking of leaving stuff out…. I wanted to include a clip of a piece I worked on for a medical conference, since the project involved a lot of editing, color correction, creation of graphic elements, and project management. But I didn’t want to show you a bunch of happy flying molecules and snowboarders, and then follow it up with a tight shot of a baseball-sized blood clot being pulled out of someone’s stomach. Instead you get a nice clean shot of a bloodless preliminary incision.

You’re welcome.


2 thoughts on “2013 Demo Reel (vB.03)

  1. DM

    When I saw that scene with the three Tomb Raider-looking chicks:

    Ricky: Ooooo, I know what that’s from!
    Me: Yeah, I saw that porno too.


    Ricky: Uhhh, yeah. It’s a cable TV commercial.


    Me: Yeah.

  2. Pingback: Cold Hands, Warm Heart | All Up Together

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