Feedback on Project + Experience w/ V-6

RNLVideo wrote on 5/29/2005, 10:11 AM
A couple of months ago, I started a project on the SYSTEMA Training Weapon & thanks to feedback received here, the project is complete and much better (in my opinion) than when I first posted it.

Some of you said you were interested in seeing the outcome, so here are the .wmv versions of the vids (the top 4 on this page

Part 1 (what you saw before but tweaked with a different voiceover (lesson learned!), etc) - 8.6 MB
Part 2 (action sequence) - 12.7MB
Part 3 (details on the product, mostly talking head) - 24.6 MB
Part 4 (credits) - 2.5 MB

Feedback is always appreciated :) I'm also trying to learn Dreamweaver, so comments about the updated site are appreciated as well. Fire away....

I started this project in V-5, upgraded to 6.0a the day it came out & finished it in 6.0b. Based on my past experience with Sony upgrades, I didn't even worry about upgrading mid-project. I also upgraded to a different computer mid-project (!). Again, no worries. Here are some thoughts:
- The 3 main parts of the project provide the company wtih different versions for different presentations (conferences, classrooms, etc) or played consecutively (thanks DVDA!)
- Making the 3 versions and then upgrading to V-6 proved very valuable - nested projects rock! To get to the final DVD render, I simply dropped the 4 .veg files on a new timeline, adjusted gap length, added markers and rendered to a modified DVDA template from Vegas.
- I really thought through my media management when upgrading computers. I decided to leave the media on my old computer and continue editing across a gigabit network. It works well for me.
- V-6 feels much "snappier" than V-5 (but it is tough to gauge as I'm mainly on my new computer which is MUCH faster than the old one).
- Gigabit networking provides me with a very efficient way to manage media across two machines with shares while keeping performance acceptable. In most parts of this project, playback performance was ~ equal to playback from local drives (except my green screen sections)
- I started to mess with network rendering towards the end of the project, but still haven't convinced myself that it is worthwhile (and much of what I do is going to MPEG-2, so that piece is limited). Liam - thanks for your help with this!
- Media Manager proved very useful and crash free. Now that it picks up .veg files this is huge to me. It would be more useful if implemented across the network (one Media Manager file for several machines).

I don't think I had any "bugs" that impeded my work on this project despite upgrading (initially to 6.0a and then to 6.0b) and changing computers. Huge kudos to the Sony team on an awesome product. And, many, many thanks to those on this forum - I've learned TONS from you over the past several years!.



PierreB wrote on 5/30/2005, 5:12 AM
Enjoyed it very much, thanks for sharing.

I had some difficulty getting to your site, though... kept on going to Microsoft (!)

The new voiceover made all the diffference on the first part, IMHO.

My only comment: In part III, the interview, I found it a wee bit disconcerting at first for the talent to be looking below the camera.

rmack350 wrote on 5/30/2005, 10:18 AM
The given URL was a mess and needed a colon after "http"-in addition to removing the double "http".

First off, from what I saw, it seemed like a pretty decent quality industrial. Good job!

I didn't watch much, just part of the third video but I too found that his looking at cards below the camera didn't look good. He also made several glances to his left-probably at someone sitting there or at a monitor on the floor.

Aside from the fairly obvious need for a teleprompter to get him reading directly from camera, the glances indicate to me that he was being distracted.

Now, I don't shoot, I light. So by the time we start shooting I either move on to the next setup or I settle down and keep a close eye on the field monitor since this will be the first real moment I'll get to assess the lighting. To keep from distracting the talent there are several things I can try. First, if possible, I settle directly behind the camera so that the talent would have to look through the camera to see me. I'm mostly masked by the camera and shooter and I stay still to not attract attention. Usually I can see the field monitor well enough from that position.

If I can't take that position I'll just sit at the monitor with the field engineer/mixer if we're lucky enough and professional enough to have one. I'll keep my focus on the monitor and not on the talent, again trying not to draw attention.

This is what I do as a lighting person and it's predicated by the fact that I need to stay on set and pay attention. Other people like PA's should get farther away and out of sight. Use your judgement.

Always make sure the field monitor's screen can't be seen by the talent (unless it's a special case like hand models or puppeteers, in which case you can't see their faces anyway)

Sometimes when I'm setting up an interview I'll put up a bit of extra duvatyne or foamcore to hel block the talent's sightlines and give crew people how need to stay nearby places to hide.

Finally, if you want talent to look at the interviewer, putting a little light on the interviewer can help, even if you aren't shooting them.

Rob Mack
RNLVideo wrote on 5/30/2005, 2:08 PM
Pierre; Rob - thanks for the feedback!

First of all, I really messed up the URL. That's fixed now so it is clickable....

The talent was unscripted - during the part with the black backdrop, the monitor was visible to him. Lesson learned on that - It was obvious that he was checking himself out a number of times. During the interview in the gun store, I was actually "second camera" - shooting him being interviewed for LETN. Their camera & interviewer took priority, so I had to get what I could.

Rob - curious to know your overall opinion on the lighting. Lighting isn't my strong suit.

rmack350 wrote on 5/30/2005, 8:43 PM
Your lighting is fine for this. The goal with these is usually just to illuminate, not to draw attention to the lighting.

The interviewee is separated from the background. You can tell where his black shirt ends and the black backdrop begins. He has some light in his eyes and you can see a little glint of the key light in the eye so he looks alive and alert.

The gun in the lap sometimes blends into the black t-shirt but it's not too bad and everyone interested in watching this won't care about that.

The backdrop needs some work. Some of it is a space issue that the backdrop needs to be bigger and farther away. Of course the big problem with a bigger backdrop, farther away, is that your also shooting the floor when you shoot the gun in his lap. So you'd really be increasing the space you need to cover up and/or light.

A quick and dirty way to get some texture into the light is to slice up some blackwrap and pin it over the barndoors of your backdrop lights. (this works pretty well with lowell Omnis and DPs in full flood) The idea is to make a quick cookaloris breakup. This close to the light it's fairly soft but it's stilll effective. You could also add some color but since the shot was in neutral tones I probably would have skipped that.

I assume that the product shots of the weapon were stills. Take a look at them and think about all those surfaces as reflectors or even mirrors. What you're seeing on the planes of the gun are often the reflections of big white surfaces-card or perhaps softboxes. If you play pool, thing about your shots as if they were light. Pay attention to how things bounce. Pool is a good game for increasing this sort of visualization.

Outdoors, were you shooting with the iris set to auto? The exposure seemed to pump a few times when the guys in black passed across the frame.

I think everything here looks just fine. Any more would just be fussy.

Rob Mack