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November 26, 2012 12:00 PM
"Border" is a short that explores Blender's capability as an all-around film production tool.
Björn Sonnenschein shares his story of the potentials and limits that he discovered during the production.
 His discoveries and observations may not reflect the official views of www.BlenderNews.org.
- Editor in Chief
by Björn Sonnenschein

This is a little short film I have done recently. Visual effects and editing were done in Blender, titles and paintings were made with Gimp and Ardour and Qtractor were used for sound design.
Synopsis:
Lea addicts herself to the illusion that she could communicate with her deceased boyfriend Jens using letters. 
As an old Lady tries to beautify Jens' decayed grave put of pity, Lea's illusory world collapses because she perceives the care of the grave as a concession that Jens is actually dead. Soon Lea is confronted with her mental projection of Jens who alleges Lea that she would neglect their relationship and finally it turns out that Jens is a manifestation of Lea's feelings of guilt and tries to drive her into suicide.

Making of Border
Here are some Screenshots of my workflow:

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This is the whole timeline after initial editing. Every Scene a meta strip.

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Here we are inside a Scene. From here I exported single strips which needed to be modified separately (e.g. for Visual Effects) as raw avi files. Then the whole timeline's audio was aligned on two tracks which were exported separately so that I had gotten two audio files with non overlapping sound.

Click image for larger version. 

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That is what a composition for a matte painting looks like.
I needed to to some rotoscoping and simplified this task by using keying where it was possible.

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All effects were finished and imported into the timeline.
So it's time for tidying up the messy timeline and so getting ready for grading.

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I have used the VSE to Compositor script for grading. It allowed me to send every strip to a new scene for composition with a single click and the new scene clip is inserted into my timeline above the original file automatically. In Addition, I could simply create a Node group for a node setting and the script added it to the new node trees automatically. So I could create a grading preset group and apply it to every Strip. 

After the grading was finished, I added the edited audio tracks to the timeline and rendered the video out. Well, at least I tried to do so. The first issue was the fact, that Blender's memory usage increases astronomically on larger projects and as soon as my ram + swap was full, blender crashed. Unfortunately the trick 3PointEdit wrote on his blog didn't help here.
I finally found a workaround by attaching a 100 GB external HDD and using it as a swap.

Then, after two days of rendering and then repeating this process with different codecs selected in blender I realized, that blender is not able to render to any usable and high quality codec without messing something up. ... I ended with rendering the project in H264 with the highest possible bitrate. The Result stuttered massively in every player and had no audio. I had to export the audio track manually, convert the video file with handbrake to make it playable properly and then remix it with avidemux together with separately imported audio tracks.

Related Links:
1. http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?271305-Border-Short-Film
2. http://creative.arte.tv/fr/space/Kurzfilme/message/19378/Border/
Views :
16607
Registered Date :
2012.11.27
01:34:15 (*.162.215.114)
Trackback :
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Article URL :
http://blendernews.org/xe/2901
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