Thursday, December 08, 2011

John Carr - Using Adobe Production Premium to edit Vincent Laforet's short film Möbius

Today, John Carr gave a free online webinar "How Adobe Production Premium CS 5.5 handled the cutting edge demands of Vincent Laforet's short film Möbius." For those that don't know, this film was shot using the Canon C300, so I tuned in as much for that, as to find out the details of how he was using Adobe Production Premium.

Fortunately, as someone transitioning back to Premiere after years with Final Cut, I found the presentation on working with the Creative Suite informative, as there wasn't really a whole lot to learn about working with the C300, other than:
  • The C300 uses the same file format as existing Canon cameras, so Premiere Pro had no problems recognizing and working with the files.
  • Though the camera has XLR audio inputs, they recorded (and slated) the audio separately, and then synced the audio manually in Premiere. They decided to go external for a number of reasons, the primary one being logistics; for several scenes the sound guy was located some distance from the camera.
  • They shot in Canon S-Log. "The camera did a fantastic job holding the highlights in the sky and there was a lot of details in the shadows as well."

Adobe Story
They wrote their script in Adobe Story, an online service/AIR app that you can currently use for free (it will be part of the Creative Suite in release 6.) Adobe Story let's you write in the standard script format, though it also supports other formats including a two column format for AV work.
  • John recommends it for any kind of narrative work.
  • It plays well with the "bigger" screen writing apps; you can import and export to Final Draft and other formats.
  • It has commenting, and you can easily share the document and collaborate with others. Since the documents are stored online on the Adobe Story service, you can invite others to edit your file, and you can specify their access rights (whether they can edit the file, or only view it.)
  • The script is automatically divided into scenes, with location, and colored dots in each scene indicating which characters are in the scene. This function alerted them to the fact that one character was in only one scene, and prompted them to save money and remove the character!
  • Each scene is numbered.

Premiere Pro
  • They had 18 hours of footage that was shot over three days, with 40 visual effects shots, and they had a week and a half to turn it around.
  • There were several people working on editing the footage and they split up a lot of the work by scene, with one person editing the footage from one scene, and then merging that scene with the others.
  • They had a minor problem that the prototype cameras, which shot a lot of duplicate file names.
  • To avoid media confusion when moving project files from one machine to another, they cloned a hard drive with a single folder with a common name and all the content in it. Each editor had one of these drives, and they could send project files back and forth without having to worry about relinking media.

Working With After Effects
  • When dynamically linking to After Effects from Premiere Pro, he likes to first duplicate the clip into another track in Premiere Pro before linking the media to After Effects. When the file is linked, the media in the Premiere Pro timeline now points to the After Effects media, and you can't simply revert to the original media in the timeline. By duplicating the media first, he has a quick way to revert if he has to.
  • He quickly demoed the Warp Stabilizer for stabilizing shots in After Effects. He also recommended it for "fixing" timelapses that are ruined when wind shakes the camera.
  • They had a number of people working on effects shots in After Effects. Before sending the plates out, they would first edit the footage in Premiere Pro, then link it to an After Effects project. They then sent the After Effects project to the VFX person.
  • Use the File> Collect Files command to create a new folder containing the project and any source media.

Photoshop Integration
  • Noting that it could also be done in After Effects - but he likes using Photoshop - he demoed removing some graffiti from a wall by first exporting a frame from After Effects, painting it out in Photoshop, then masking in After Effects to reveal only the "fixed" region, and using a motion tracker to move that fixed region around as the object moved in the footage.
  • He also quickly demoed the Roto Brush.

Color Correction
  • John uses the Fast Color Corrector in Premiere, because it's a good way to quickly tweak footage.
  • He also likes to do color correction within After Effects, and he demoed using the Colorista II plug-in. That plug-in works in both Premiere and After Effects, but he prefers the interface in After Effects. For most of his own projects he says that at the end he will export the clips to After Effects and do final color correction there.
  • Because it was being presented at Paramount Studios, Möbius was professionally color corrected by a color house.

Adobe Media Encoder
John gave a brief demo of Adobe Media Encoder; launching the program and saying that when he first opened it he had no clue what to do. He then went on to say that:
  • He prefers to use the export option in Premiere Pro, and then use the Queue option to send it to Adobe Media Encoder.
  • He said that the Adobe Media Encoder is "incredibly fast."

You can follow John on Twitter: @jon_carr or

Adobe says that the full webinar will be posted online, and they'll link to it at their weblog: Premiere Pro work area


dvpro said...

Fact Color Corrector = Fast CC

Michael Murie said...

That was a typo! I changed it to "Fast"!!!