Examining the Footage
Extracts from the book Adobe After Effects 7 Studio Techniques by Mark Christiansen. This time some tips on how the real visual artist examine their footage. I know there's no one on this blog really reading it , but you know...no reason not to post it :-).
- Read and understand the Info panel. 2% of R, G and B instead of 0% means your black is not black (it often an effect caused by render, when colors loose a bit of quality), as well as while 100% white is OK, 300% white means someone's been messing with your intensity. Just roll over the footage with your mouse and read the color numbers - being precise means beeing good.
- In the Time Control window, right next to the RAM preview icon, there's a Loop controller. By clicking it you can choose whether you want to loop the preview, play it once, or play it in a ping-pong style (forward-backward-forward...). Note that good visual artists not only let their preview loop, studying the footage carefuly for several minutes, they also study it when playing backwards.
- Zoom your footage and examine the crucial spots in more detail.
- Don't be affraid to switch color channels (Show channel icon in your Composition window, right next to the resolution icon) and examine the footage one by one.
- Try to examine the footage with high black or white level. Just put some Adjustment Layer in, add Levels effect and observe everything under different levels.
- Be precise. One little error can spoil your whole render. Keep looking for mistakes you might not see, for they often cause the greatest problems.
I learned to love the Studio Techniques book. Even after finishing the first Chapter, it can't wait to continue learning.