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Aetuts+ Weekend Workshop #12 - Holdin' Me - Darin Bennett and the Requiem


Here on Aetuts+ we have a weekly community project where we post a video created by one of our wonderful readers, then ask you all to offer constructive feedback on the work. It’s a great way to learn more about video, express your viewpoint, and have your own content critiqued! Submit your own videos at the bottom.

Quick Ground Rules

  1. Play nice! We’ve deliberately chosen videos that aren’t perfect, so please be constructive with any criticism.
  2. Feel free to offer any type of advice – movement, lighting, color, pacing, etc.
  3. You can also link to videos that you feel offer a great example of this type of content done exceptionally well.

Without further ado, here is this week’s candidate for critique!

Holdin' Me - Darin Bennett and the Requiem

Story Behind the Project

The video was shot mostly on RED Epic at 5k, with a few shots from Canon 5DMII and T2i shot mixed in, with GoPros filling in all of the extreme angles. The edit was done in FCP7, where we established the basic compositions, but did not animate the windows, we just cut from one composition to another. I used Automatic Duck (which is now 100% free and still 1000% amazing) to get the XML in to AE. I was actually amazed at how much came across, all of the crop, translating, and scaling we did in FCP came across perfectly.

The main VFX on this piece was managing the complexity of animating from one composition to the next, which involved a MASSIVE amount of Pre-comps within Pre-comps.

The final composition is 5 Pre-comps with detailed masks animating their visibility.

This type of comp would have been extremely difficult in Nuke or even Flame, as it required a lot of layer juggling to make sure that the right piece of footage was in the right place at every moment. I think Smoke 2013 is the only other program out there that could have handled this video.

...it took several weeks, as this video was completed entirely during my nights and weekends

Once all of the composition was done (it took several weeks, as this video was completed entirely during my nights and weekends), I went in and did the gunshots. They were reasonably simplistic comps- adding flame and smoke elements while blurring and animating the guns to give them a little more recoil when they fired. Then I stabilized a few shots using AE's tracker, and I went through and carefully retimed drummer and singer performances to make sure they were perfectly in sync.

The final hurdle that I had to jump through was uprezzing everything- I edited and did the VFX on 1080p proxies, and AE CS5 does not support RED r3d files shot on the Epic, so I had to make 5k DPX sequences. Linking these took some time to make sure that everything translated perfectly (5k from the epic is not 16:9). In order to color the footage I had to render the 5 subcomps out for my colorist, and then take his rendered color back in to those comps as new layers. Then I took one last pass at making the titles and adjusting final color.

Please let us know what you think in the comments – how would you have approached this project or done things differently?

Interested in submitting your own video? You can do so here!

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