The Deadly Deaths

Nick's blog

This is my blog that follows the making of our of music videos. The blog posts related to my first stop-motion animated music video for the song "See The World" start from this post.

2nd Oct 2007

Half-time Double-team....

And here it is....

I would like to say a huge thanks to:
Nathan Calladine - Lent us a camera and lens to shoot with.
Adam Fulton - Shot a lot of the footage and all of the time-lapse footage.
Heath Lewis - Helped with the camera, lighting and post-processing.
Paula Allen - Helped out for an afternoon of shooting.
Sam and Adam - Let us use their venue (The Yellow Submarine) for a few days of shooting.

You can also download a small copy of the video from the video page.

We hope you like the video....

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1st Oct 2007

Last shot....

Yesterday afternoon I decided that I didn't like the way that I had lined up the last shot of the video, so I spent most of yesterday and today lining it up again (this time to a better point). It's a time-lapse shot of around 400 images, and took around 3 hours just to render the post-processing last night. I think it's a lot easier to watch now, so I guess it was worth it.

This morning I fixed up 4 frames from the shot that didn't quite fit into the framing. I said last time that I wasn't going to show these fix-ups, but I think I did a better job of it this time (and figured out some colour profile issues which meant that I could use better software to fix it up with).

So, this is the lined up image.

The point that I was lining the shots up to is near Bevans feet (near where the white line of tape meets the drum stage). As you can see, I had to move the image over quite a lot and so the right side of this frame is missing. This was actually the worst of the 4 frames, the others are missing less than this.

Here is my fixed up shot.

Basically I used the right side of an earlier shot and blended it with the original image. Fairly basic image manipulation.

And, here is the final version.

Hopefully you can hardly see that I've done this. And it's only for 4 frames, each of which is only on screen for 0.04 seconds, so most people wouldn't have seen it the first time through anyway.

I'm sitting here rendering out the high-definition version of the video right now. I think it's pretty much finished, but I'll show a few people and watch it a few times to make sure I'm happy with everything before I decide to upload it. Hopefully my next blog post will be the finished video.

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30th Sep 2007

Almost there....

The video is almost finished now. I've spent the last few days processing the shots and tightening up the edit.

The post-processing of the images ended up taking 2 days to complete (running on 3 computers), and I still have a few shots to redo. I tried to colour correct each shot before the post-processing (and added the colour correction to the final post-processing process), so I've had to run the post-processing over each one individually.

Anyway, I've uploaded a small video showing the process that I've had to complete for each shot of the video: stabilisation, syncing and post-processing. The stabilisation isn't so obvious at this low resolution, but it's very noticeable in the final 1280 x 720 video.

http://vimeo.com/324780

I've added a time-line to 2 of the shots so that you can see the video scrubbing that I apply to the shot when I'm syncing it with the audio. You can also see from this video that I didn't quite use all the footage for this shot (the frames on the end don't get used). That was because I changed the start shots while we were shooting (what I had planned for the first 4 shots was going to be almost impossible to get right, and probably would have taken us over an hour to shoot), and forgot that I needed to bring the shot back to Bevan hitting the drum on the left (the tom).

Today I'm fixing up and processing the last few shots that I'm not happy with. Then I'll start rendering the final versions and hopefully have it uploaded by the end of the week.

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22nd Sep 2007

Filtering....

I've spent the last few days playing around with filtering the footage. Our designer Heath Lewis has created a filter for me to use on the frames from the video. It's quite processor intensive though, so has taken me a long time just to process the footage from the end of the video (the time-lapse footage).

I'm applying this to the footage before the editing stage, and hope to also get all the levels of the clips roughly matching at the same time. The edit is almost finished now, and I just have a few timing issues to tighten up.

Anyway, I thought I'd just post two images to show them pre and post filtering.

I may try processing the frames on a few of computers at the same time so that I'm not waiting here for days for everything to render.

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17th Sep 2007

Editing....

Today I started work on producing a rough edit of the time-lapse footage that we took at the end of the shoot. The last minute of the video will be in this style. I didn't really plan the shots for this portion of the video, and have been feeling a little stressed because of this (I think). I managed to use all of the time-lapse footage that we shot on Sunday night in the rough edit, so I'm quite lucky that I had enough to fill it.

Here is a small portion from the edit.

http://vimeo.com/310940

I think I'll leave the time-lapse edit for a day or two and work on something else so that I can step back from it for a while. So I guess it's back to fixing up shots from the first three quarters of the video.

I also spent a little while today fixing up three frames from the final shot of the video. The final shot is around 16 seconds (approximately 400 frames), and there were three frames in the middle that were shot quite off from the frames surrounding them (and so they had a part of the image on the right missing once they were stabilised - so I had to add portions of previous frames to the images). I don't really want to show images of what I did to them, because I don't think I did that great of a job (and you wouldn't really notice the problem when you were watching it unless you knew it was there).

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15th Sep 2007

Half-way Double-scream....

So, I've lined up all of the planned footage now, exported it (that took most of yesterday), and completed the rough edit. Some of the shots still need a little bit of tweaking, and I'm not that happy with how the start of the video is looking right now. I'm sure I'll be able to figure out something though.

I'm struggling to think of anything interesting to write. Lining up thousands of images and waiting for them to export hasn't been the most interesting of jobs so far....

Anyway, here's a short few shots from the middle of the video. They're still fairly rough, and haven't been colour corrected or anything like that (they're also possibly slightly out of time).

http://vimeo.com/308676

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12th Sep 2007

Weekend of shooting....

The weekend of filming went really well. We filmed for around 9 hours on Saturday, and then 13 hours on Sunday. There were a few shots that took longer than they should have (mainly due to tiredness on the second day), but I think that after the first few shots we slowly figured out our system of shooting.

We had a fairly small crew down at the shoot. Adam Fulton joined us and helped with lighting, setting up the camera and shooting the footage. Heath Lewis joined us for the Saturday (and a few hours on Sunday) to help set up the camera and lighting, and to make Bevan laugh during shooting when he wasn't supposed to be. And Paula Allen joined us for Sunday afternoon and helped out lining up and taking a bunch of the shots.

Other than a few shots that were out of focus, we didn't really have to re-shoot a lot of footage (which I was a little surprised at). The footage has come out really well, and I've spent the last few days processing and stabilising it. This basically involves picking a point in middle the scene and lining up all the following images with that point. Bevan constructed a rig for panning that we used for the close up shots which has made them really easy to line up. The other shots have been a bit more difficult however.

I've decided to scale the images down to 1280 x 720 (HD 720p) while I'm processing them, and will edit them at the same resolution. It means that processing the images is taking quite a bit of time on my computer though (the original raw footage is at 3456 x 2304).

Last night I started lining up the footage with the audio. This involves a whole lot of scrubbing back and forth through the footage to make up the final clip. So far I've managed to process the intro and first verse. It's taking a lot less time than I thought it would, but I guess it's still going to take me a long time to finish it all.

Because of the way I'm editing together the clips involves the footage in reverse, I've had to make the movements we make during filming look a little robotic (I guess that's an okay word to call it). I kind of like the look and feel it gives to the video though.

Anyway, here's a quick clip from the first verse that I synced with the audio this morning.

http://vimeo.com/305829

I'll try to upload some more shots soon. My brain is a bit of a mess right now (tired and stressed), and I'm writing this while lining up and rendering the chorus, so I'll write some more later.

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4th Sep 2007

The Yellow Submarine....

I went down to the The Yellow Submarine last night at took a few test shots. Basically I just wanted to make sure that I'd be able to isolate each of the band members for certain shots, to check out their lighting rig and to film some live test shots before our gig on Friday.

Here are a few of the still shots:

The live shot went better than I had expected it to. I moved the camera tripod quite roughly as I was in a hurry, and expected the footage to be a lot shakier.

http://vimeo.com/297509

The footage was shot with a shutter speed of around 2 seconds to give the images the blurred movement.

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3rd Sep 2007

Tedious work....

I'm up to possibly the most boring part of the video - planning the timing and movement of each individual shot. It hasn't taken me quite as long as I had expected (but I still haven't finished it). I've found that I've been making mistakes and getting confused a lot during this part of the planning, so I'm going to have to go back and double check everything.

I only have seven more shots to plan - they all feature either strumming on the guitar or multiple band members. I hadn't figured out the timing for the chorus strumming, so I shot a quick test today.

http://vimeo.com/296694

It's a little out of time, but I'll fix up the timing before we shoot in the weekend. The shot is actually a loop - the second half of the shot is just the first half reversed - which will be handy as I'm trying to cut down the number of frames that I'm having to shoot in the weekend. I have no idea how long all this footage is going to take to shoot. I have a bad feeling that it's going to take a lot longer than I want it to.

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2nd Sep 2007

More planning....

I've almost finished storyboarding the video now. I only have the solo left to plan. Then every shot will need to be analysed for the timing of the movements within the shot (this could take a few more days).

I've also tested out a few more shots. This one is of the guitar line that I need to play during the intro and verse of the song. Luckily the guitar part is fairly simple, so it's easy to loop and edit together.

http://vimeo.com/294130

Thanks to Nathan for being my actor/model for the shot, and also for lending us cameras and lenses for the week. We've managed to borrow a Canon 350d to shoot with (which is the same model of camera I shot the See The World video with). I've also got a range of lenses to try out: a couple of 28-80mm, and a 14mm wide-angle lens (which is what I used for the test shot above). Awesome!

I'm going down to The Yellow Submarine tomorrow night to try them out. I need to figure out what angles I'm going to be shooting from so as to isolate the subject of the shot (otherwise it's going to be really hard to sync the guitar/drums/synth in every shot), and I also need to figure out what the lighting rig is capable of.

We're shooting the time-lapse footage at our gig on Friday (September the 7th), so if you want to come along and be in the video then come along after 9PM (I have no idea what time we're playing).

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