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Technology Feature - Behind the Video
Technical Feature

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Visit the Adobe site for edition tools, like Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe Soundbooth.

Visit the Autodesk site for 3D content creation tools, like 3ds max and Maya.

Visit this site for a free tool to convert VOB files to AVI format.

Download the featured introductory video here.

In this short Technology Feature I will talk about the applications and methods used to create the introductory video for The NEW Pepe's HomePage.

Planning the Video

The first step, as in any other project, is planning. The site required a video displayed in a narrow band atop the page, with a resulting 3.8 aspect ratio after the specs for the site were defined. The high aspect ratio meant a different approach from the conventional video. After some ideas, a basic script was developed: some text with slow zoom, fast lettering inserts, a short hi-speed slideshow, then highlighted concepts and finally the "power end". Now, there are two approaches for a simple composition like this: sound follows the image or image following the sound. In the production I used a little bit of both, for practical purposes and time economy. Once defined the content, moved to footage production.

Footage Production

Following the basic script, I began producing the shots that would conform the video. For all the lettering shot I used 3ds max 2009. I know there are easier methods, but since it is also a learning experience, I stayed for this.

The slow zoom lettering was made with simple rendered text, basic illumination and some volume fog for the background. The fast lettering inserts used the same technique, but added some particle generators and reflective materials. Also, I added a motion blur filter. Finally, the letters with back-illumination were made with basic volumetric light applied behind a compund object (a box minus the text). For the fast slide show, I used footage from the intro of a DVD. It let me experiment with methods of extracting video from DVD, a very useful feature; it also let me experiment with re-encoding video at a predetermined size and format.

Soundtrack Pre-Production

Browsing some soundtracks I settled for some nice music I found in the IronMan OST, something that somewhat suited the intended generic structure of the video. Using Adobe Soundbooth I made some preproduction clipping parts that won't be useful, and reducing the track to some clips ready to be mixed with the video tracks.

Edition

Adobe Premiere Pro was selected as the edition tool. It's quite straightforward to use and had the needed features to do the job. I began importing all the footage in the project list, then put the pieces in the corresponding tracks. Using the time or speed change feature, I could fit perfectly the lenght of the video bits according to the soundtrack. It also let me adjust and superpose some parts of the music.

Encoding and Finalizing

The Premiere application links to Adobe Media Encoder for the task of merging all the footage into the FLV file for web publishing. It was a little of a pain to get it working the way I wanted, mainly due to the non-standard size and aspect ratio of the video. But finally, I got it right also.

Epilogue

In the end, I managed to produce a short video using an assortment of tools. The main purpose of this homepage, as I explain elsewhere, is not just give some information about me and what I do, but also learn the use of the apps and get some experience form the hard work that takes building this site. Ihope you also could take some advice from this short tour.


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