October 12, 2010

'The Social Network' conformed with After Effects +

There's a video on the Adobe site with director David Fincher and crew talking about the use of Production Premium during post-production on his latest film, The Social Network. The film was edited in Final Cut and sent to Premiere via EDL for conforming with After Effects, echoing The DV Rebel's Guide (see also Prolost's What Should Adobe Do With Premiere Pro?).

There are a few additional details in The Social Network by Oliver Peters for Videography and in Editorial Friended by ‘The Social Network’ by Michael Goldman at The Motion Picture Editors Guild.

Update: for extra tidbits, see Five Questions: Ian Vertovec, Colorist, Light Iron Digital by Bryant Frazer on Studio Daily and this excerpt from a Post magazine article by Daniel Restuccio:

"The Social Network was shot on the Red One using the Mysterium-X chip set mostly at 4K 2:1 4096x2048 Redcode 42 and released as a 2K digital intermediate. Additional high-speed photography was shot 4K 2.169 4096x1888 at RedCode 36.

As lead data wrangler, Nelson first had the R3D files transcoded to ProRes 422 LT for offline editing in Final Cut Pro using the Red Rocket card and RocketCine-X. He used FileMaker Pro to keep track of all the footage, files and visual effects in a master database. He wrote a script in Filemaker that took the Final Cut Pro EDL and sent it through RedLine in Red Alert to generate mostly 2K DPX files from the original Red footage for visual effects and final conform.

The Social Network was conformed for digital intermediate in After Effects CS5. Nelson imported the DPX sequences as a multiple layered composition in After Effects and lined that up frame accurate to a QuickTime reference movie exported from the offline edit and imported into the layer above the DPX files.

“I used Premiere as a stepping stone to get my EDL from Final Cut talking to After Effects,” describes Nelson. “Because Premiere and After Effects talk to each other, I was able to bring an offline into Premiere and open that same file in After Effects. This made all of my edits in Final Cut Pro and my layers in After Effects match. The tool that I wrote is the secret behind having my DPX frames match up to my offline edit.”

The movie contains nearly 1,000 visual effects shots that were handled by Lola VFX, Savage Visual Effects, Outback Post, Eden FX and Ollin Studio VFX. Nelson provided mainly 2K DPX plates to the vendors depending on the quality of the image. There were some night scenes that were rendered at 4K and then processed by Lowry Digital for noise reduction and sharpening.
Having the final conform in After Effects enabled Nelson to do additional effects work. “So if anything needed to be painted, anything needed to be comped, additional repositioning, stabilization whatever needed to be done [we could do it].” At least 150 effects shots were done in-house using After Effects, SynthEyes and a plug-in called Immigration that was used to help auto relink offline layers to DPX image sequences."

Update: these seem like the movies, now on Adobe TV. There's also a PDF.

Update: THE SOCIAL NETWORK: Faces behind facebook by David Bordwell looks at emotion and expression in the story.


Unknown said...

"The tool that I wrote is the secret behind having my DPX frames match up to my offline edit."

sorry to burst your bubble, this isn't anything new. yeah, that's called conforming. every tool worth it's weight in the finishing world has that. You may have written something for AE/premiere to handle that, but had you used a Finishing tool like Autodesk Smoke or Assimilate Scratch, that was already there.

just sayin.

Anonymous said...

Is there any way for After Effects to conform correctly to the timecode of the footage?

Rich said...

Here's a good place to ask questions: