Sunday, December 28, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Merry Christmas 2008 from The Witchgers!

This is our Witchger Projects Family Christmas Card for 2008.

Merry Christmas '08 from Katian Witchger on Vimeo.

Project breakdown

1. Sound

Kevin laid out all the tracks and arranged the vocals and Bob and I recorded over this master our vocals and ukulele parts, Kevin added guitar (he said the doobie brothers doesn’t make sense on ukulele?!) drums and his vocals. Kevin takes it away and magically comes back with mp3 on a thumb drive. (this is my favorite kind of technical process)

2. Stops

A. Dress sets. Mom and Steph took a break form our Craft-Day-Tuesday to help cut out the rock star outfits.

B. Take pictures. Kevin and Bonnie minutely adjust the figurines while Kate occasionally gives unintelligible direction and makes grand manic gestures regarding not so subtle visual metaphors while taking a picture every 5-10 seconds (regardless of whether or not there is a hand still in the shot or if I have the camera focused or set correctly)

3. Motion

A. Upload all pictures into iphoto (I now officially do not like the iSoftware) this was done every 200-300 photos as I originally thought I was going to do this in a nice big file until the computer started crashing it up crash style) then

B. export each scenes pictures into folders.

C. Open each scenes photos in ‘open image sequence’ in quicktime pro. originally at 15fps but as the night grew longer it was clear 10fps would suffice (which is why the field and fountain moor and mountain scenes come a bit too early…) and save image sequence

D. import saved image sequences into iMovie (Dad has the old version 7 still on this iMac, last time I was home I tried 8 unsucessfully and remembered 7, quite generously and some may say incorrectly, as a beautiful and functional program.) Sort imported clips in timeline

4. Family Photo

The original idea for the family photo was to have it look as if the photo was a reflection in the disco ball and we were all there making this stop motion (in stop motion) and then coalescing into more or less a family photo pose. The gist was: Id have the camera taking a picture into the mirror, Kevin would be processing it on his computer, Bob would be adding the music track with his ukulele, Steph making the costumes with her craft gear and mom and dad trying to get us to take a break for the proper Christmas card (this is usually how the Christmas card picture taking manifests in our household more or less) My attempt to draw-out and relate this idea to dad was evidently insufficient as he decided the tripod was too low at this angle and the poses were not right and carried on orchestrating the family photo as per his usual ways. I did atleast get him to test out his cameras stop motion function so that’s something…

5. Finalize

After importing all image sequences into final cut attempt to get an avi file of our family photo shoot off dads camera. import and convert 7 times in various programs while the computer crashes 2-3 times.

finalization part 2: realize how very very little you can do in iMovie, import individual frames in photoshop attempt to export inset layered image of disco-ball macrolens (cropped in iphoto) shot with frame by frame family photo shoot only to be stumped by how one might access the frame by frame of an avi file after creating first frame.

finalization part 3: return to iPhoto duplicate and crop set of test photos export, open as image sequence in quicktime pro, (crash computer, repeat) save, import into iMovie. import discoball still from final section of orginal animation into iMovie set for 2sec duration attempt to layer, unsuccessfully with last image sequence.

finalization part 4: Adjust frame rates using Quicktime outputs from final disco ball zoom, (crash computer) import and attempt slow cross fade between family photo image sequence and 6fps discoball section. fail to find a way to adjust the cross fade duration.

finalization part 2:00AM. start over in iMovie, import all scene sequences in a row along with converted family movie, throw in the limited cross fade option between the final zoom in of the discoball mirror and the family photo video, add pre-mastered audio track and text box. export as mp4.