Saturday, 21 April 2018

Major Project: Disordered Whispers / Soundscape Test 001

Yesterday and today I spent some time going over the recordings I made for my whispers. So far I only went over one out of my four chunks of recording, which already gave me a decent amount of content. From this one session I was able to extract 72 clips that I thought were the most useful and I suspect I could have a similar number from my other three sessions.

I wanted to test out how this would work with my soundscape, so I took the opening of my film for Edit 001 (which requires some editing changes but this is just a test) and played around with different effects in Audition. I found I usually used a process of some noise reduction, then a custom 'Echo' effect, followed by some reverb effects. I then played around with the volume, overlapping them, and experimenting with different volumes in each ear to give a disorienting and 'invading' effect. 

I also used some of the sound clips from the BBC Sound Effects Library (Disc #28 - Hospitals) and applied a few different effects to add some more depth to the soundscape. I wanted these to just be subtle for now as I want to spend more time on them. Again, this is just a test so the effects, volume, timing and so on are all subject to change. 

While I am happy with how this is turning out so far and I've been enjoying working on it, it is honestly challenging to work on it as well. It felt weird to record these as well as listen to them spoken out loud. Despite the strangeness I feel towards it, I hope it helps create more impact and raises awareness in some way.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Major Project: Rotting / Scars Composites & Room 006 Composite Tweak

Despite having a few minor setbacks over the last couple of days, I have my two new shots for rotting and scars completed. I also finished rendering the room 006 shot so the camera slows down near the end instead of speeding up. Hopefully this change is an improvement, if it still needs some tweaks I can work on it but I think it's better than it was before.

I'm happy with how rotting and scars came out, I'm glad I spent some extra time making the meat entity look extra slimy in this shot since it's meant to induce feelings of disgust and illness. I think the new 'scars' shot is stronger than the room shot I originally had.

Rotting Composite (Pt. 1)

Rotting Composite (Pt. 2)

Scars Composite

Room 006 Composite (V. 2)

Today I also spent some time in the sound booth recording whispers of a range of my negative thoughts, or disordered thoughts as I tend to call them. I also recorded a number of things people tend to say to me that frustrate me. This varies from things people say when they think they are being supportive, general comments that showcase how uneducated most people are in regards to mental illness, or the lack of empathy people have in regards to mental health at times.

In the next few days I should have some Audition tests using these recordings to see how I can create 'whisper soundscapes' to use in conjunction with certain entities. I also hope to have an overall new edit of my film with new shots and other changes in accordance to the feedback I recieved at some point this weekend or early next week.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Major Project: 'Scars' & 'Rotting' Test Renders #2 & Scene Cleanup

I've continued tweaking these two shots and I'm happier with where they are at now. For 'scars' I decided to start out with the bricks even less displaced than they are in most room shots. Normally they are at their flattest at a 0.150 displacement value but for this shot I set it to 0.100 just so there was a more noticeable change to the surface as the bricks move. I also changed the animation curve slightly to adjust the timing.

Scars Test Render 004

For 'rotting' I decided to keep the displacement map animation very subtle because the more obvious change didn't look right to me. It is hard to see in the test since it's low quality, but I think it'll be more visible in the final render.  I also adjusted the specularity and coat settings a little more so it looks more wet and slimy.

Rotting Test Render 003 (Pt. 1)

Rotting Test Render 003 (Pt. 2)

I've also spent some time cleaning up the renders now that I'm happy with the animation. The brick shot wasn't too complex to figure out since it's essentially the same settings as my other room shots. For the meat, however, I wasn't sure if I wanted to set the subsurface samples to 4 or 5. I tested out a few frames and determined that the difference between the two were very minor, but setting the samples to 5 doubled the render time so it wasn't worth it.

Major Project: Brick 003 Composite, Additional Gem Footage & VFX Removal

As I was creating the first edit of my film, I decided I wanted to create another shot that focused specifically on the bricks so I had some more variation. I thought it would be interesting to film the bricks that bend upward to form the bed. I really like how this shot looks, especially when you see beyond the top of the bed.

Brick 003

Brick 003

I also decided to render another 4 seconds worth of my gem shot after it's spiked outward. I'm unsure if this footage will be useful, but I wanted some extra frames just in case since I feel this scene is one of the more powerful ones. Unfortunately, despite my efforts to get them to transition perfectly there's a little bit of a jump. There was also a slight variation in the lighting even though I used the same scene file. Due to this, I also uploaded a version of the shot with glitch effects to show how I could hide this using VFX. Even though it's not perfect, I'm glad I rendered these extra frames out if I decide I want them...luckily this shot has glitch effects to it anyway.

Gem Composite w/ Glitch Effect

Gem Composite w/ Glitch Effect

I've also begun re-compositing my scenes since I want to ensure it is as consistent as possible with the colour and lighting. I also wanted to remove the vignette effect, blurred edges, and film grain so I can add that overtop the whole edit to further glue the film together and make it cohesive. I re-composited my Opening/Closing shot first, and I've been using that as reference for the other shots. I know they won't be perfect and I can continue to change and correct things, but I think the shots are already feeling more uniform.

Monday, 16 April 2018

Major Project: 'Scars' & 'Rotting' Test Renders

Some of my feedback for my first edit revolved around the lines when I think of my family I see scars and being Anorexic is rotting. For the line about scars, it was suggested that I film a shot focusing on the bricks distorting contracting to represent scars without being too explicit yet more relevant than a full room shot.

I liked this idea, and I spent a while moving my camera around the scene and rendering frames until I found a portion of the bricks that had more damage and weathering because I thought that would also get the idea across better than some of the cleaner bricks. As I've mentioned previously, the displacement maps move the geometry around in a way I cannot really preview in the viewport, so I decided to render out some quick tests so I can better see the results and to ensure the camera did not go through the geometry.

When I think of my family I see scars.
Scars Test 001
Scars Test 002
Scar Test 003

It was also recommended that I use my meat entity once again for the line about rotting. I decided for this shot that the camera would be much closer to the orb, as it is meant to be hostile. I've also changed some of the settings from when the audience last sees the meat orb so it is more shiny and greenish - hopefully appearing more rotten than it was previously. I'm also playing with animating the displacement map slightly, but I'm still working on this to see what results I can get.

Rotting Test 001 (Pt. 1)

Rotting Test 001 (Pt. 2)

Rotting Test 002