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Archive for November, 2009

In the spirit of Christmas I’ve decided to revisit the animated Snow Fall Tutorial that I wrote a while back. The previous tutorial had a number of elements in animating snow that I failed to cover, most important being materials and such. Well this time around I’m covering it and you’ll find that following this years tutorial should produce a similar result to this video:

Not bad. Now lets start the tutorial.

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Audacity Denoise Tutorial

A lot of low budgets shorts I’ve seen for the past few years often neglect the audio recording quality during a shoot, rather than recording it separately from a external mic they commonly use the camera’s built in Microphone to do the job. The upside to this is that the camera operator needn’t worry about a shotgun getting into frame, it also allows for a smaller film crew and it’s less expensive. Of the many downsides I could list here there’s one in particular I like to address for the purpose of this tutorial alone. Camera noise.

Most mini- DV cameras come with an simple cooling system to prevent the camera from overheating and damaging the tape. As a result a buzzing noise is generated which is then easily picked up by the built in mic. It’s fine to use in outdoor settings since environmental noise masks it out but it’s far too audible in indoor shoots. Ideally you’d want to record the audio from an external source in this case but if you lack the resources to do so you can try your best to remove the noise in post production. In this tutorial we’re going to use Audacity. It’s free, powerful and relatively simple to use.

Download and install Audacity from this link.

Export the audio portion that you want to remove the camera buzzing noise from and import the file into Audacity.

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November News

Well it looks like we didn’t win anything at the Mutant Space event last night. The films we made were well received but didn’t quite make it in the judges top choice or in honourable mentions list. Interesting to note that Fishbone received more laughs than First a Dream, oddly enough it’s not intended to be a comedy. I was a bit disappointed to see that both Fishbone and First a Dream didn’t look as good projected onto the big screen than viewed on an LCD screen, the audio on the other hand was very  crisp, especially for the narrative parts in the latter, I didn’t realise how fantastic the dynamic range of the Condenser mic was until I heard it through the Sayoy’s speaker. Both films will be put on the website soon after they’re run through with a few more technical fixes. Congrats to Keith O’ Connell’s for his winning film Home Sweet Home.

Cethan and Aida are working on an audio piece with a narrated story as part of Aida’s college assignments. I wish the lads the best of luck in their latest endeavour and I can’t wait to see the result within the next few weeks, hopefully there will also be some video thrown in for good measure when it comes to combining visuals with music Aida knows her stuff.

No official word on the proposed Christmas Special we’re hoping to make, I have myself thought of a Post Christmas Special today involving our favourite wise-cracking cat, Milton, who plays a unwanted Christmas present who learns how to play the keyboard so he can busk out in the streets of Cork City for food. One song he plays will teach  kids the morals of wishing a pet for Christmas.

– Jan

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Happy to announce we managed to get both films edited, authored onto DVD and finally handed in.

It was a difficult night for myself and Cethan as we pulled an all nighter working on getting these films done, it was the third night of editing and I felt drained from the previous nights and from my IT related full-time job I have. We finished rendering the films by 5 am, had the DVD’s ( a few issues in between ) burnt and then proceeded to watch the flow of flood water in the Lee. Pope’s Quay appears to be unscathed by the floods although Mercy Hospital and the surrounding area further up were badly affected, although I couldn’t get to work the following day I still worked from home for the job, trying my best not to collapse on the company laptop. The accumulated 12 hour sleep session I had afterwards was like a godsend.

Although slightly more complex in the structure than Fishbone, First A Dream was by far the best editing experience I’ve had in a long time, Cethan had already sent me plenty material ( music and art ) to work with, we both sat down worked out a few new ideas and tossed out some old ones suggested  from the script, and the film ended up being better than expected. Granted being the natural born pessimists that we are, we tend to carry fairly mediocre expectations of our films into the editing process. I’m not going to go into the detail of the trouble I’ve had with Fishbone but the film will undoubtedly benefit from the Second Edition.

You can watch the showing of these films along with other submissions in the Savoy on the 26th of November as part of the Mutant Space Carbaret, hopefully we’ll see some of you there . The online premier of both films will be scheduled a week after the event in case anyone is put off by the €5 admission fee or bad weather or both.

– Jan

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Well it was day three of the Production Diary yesterday, myself and Cethan sat down and pieced together the film for several hours, we had done some work the night before but not enough to write a blog post about it. The film is at least 70% complete, still requiring some ADR work, picture and sound adjustments, and the closing credits. We’ve watched the first cut and it seems to have turned out pretty well. Now it’s just a matter of time before it gets submitted to Mutantshorts.

Other news, Hayret went ahead with shooting her Mutantshorts entry Fishbone on Tuesday, which another film I have to piece together by tomorrow. ADR will be done hopefully by evening so it’s going to be a tough night. There’s probably going to be more written about that production at a later date but at the moment I have little free time to do so.

Never thought we would get two films done in the space of a week.

– Jan

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The shoot went very well today! Principle photography started today at around 2 PM and finished roughly around half 7. Bar a few small inserts that need to be shot within the next few days the film shoot is more or less completed and well underway in Post Production. With less than a week to go before the Mutant Shorts deadline the schedule is no doubt tight but a lot less so than previous Cethan Leahy films. Editing it should be relatively simple.

I have to say it’s quiet unusual just being in front of the camera for the whole session, since in previous productions I was getting quiet settled to working behind the scenes. You’d think it would be a lot easier to just act rather than managing the shoot but it’s a lot harder than it looks, especially trying to act scared or angry. Strangely enough I have the bad habit of smiling when I’m both.

Big thank you to Fabian Sweeney who was our lighting person for the day.

– Jan

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Pre-production  has officially started for Cethan’s new film titled First A Dream as part of Mutant Space’s short film competition: MUTANT SHORTS 2: MUTANT ROOMS . On 3rd of November, myself and Cethan have begun test shoots for our location to decide on the best shooting angles and lighting/colour settings so we don’t need to spend as much time fidgeting during the production. We did something similar for the Cork Christmas Carol last year for a few scenes and it worked out pretty well. This year we hope to use this method of creating a storyboard for the entire film. Below are some of our results.

Some test shots for First A Dream

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