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Phase Two – The Two Day Slog

Phase two was originally planned for a week but due to pressure from competing assignments and my concern about developing the soundtrack I sat down over one weekend and completed about 25 hours of work across two days. This stage basically involves correcting all the clips to a finished standard. Unfortunately I had a bit of corruption in some of my After Effects files and lost some of the most recent work on two of them. Thankfully the backup had perserved everything up until the second last save. I had to reanimate the scarf motion in shot one and redo the entire front section of the red sequence. It’s a lot quicker repeating your actions because the process is already in your mind (half the effort is working out where to put keyframes and in which direction to move the camera). I had a lot of trouble with After Effects during this phase of development. It may be that it was just open for too long without a reset or I had too many Adobe programs running at once. It was crashing and freezing quite a bit so I made it a habit to save after every new action – a hard thing to keep in mind when you are absorbed in the work. Phase two involved the following corrections:

Grey Sequence
Rebuilt secondary scarf motion, smoothed paths, time padding, transition, attempted to produce a more realistic smoke engine with no luck, audience testing for concept/timing

Red Sequence
Rebuilt opening, extended kite animation to occur under opacity transition, corrected Nellie graphic, changed colours on backplate.

Yellow Sequence
Padding bookends on interior carriage sequence and on train depature shot, text/dialogue inserted into three shots, added foreground hill to Aix-en-Provence shot, audience testing for timing.

White Sequence
Almost completely rebuilt from the ground up, doubled the time involved (6 to 13 seconds) to slow the camera down and help with audience conceptualisation (a second delay before the action starts as this is a big jump from the last sequence), added text/dialogue, padding bookends, corrected camera motion and new keyframing in tail part of the sequence, added snow effects x 2, corrected Ferry graphic. The image below shows some of the final motion paths and camera paths in this technically difficult sequence. This basically did my head in and I’m still not completely happy with it, but its definately a lot more watchable than it was before and I’ve learnt a lot in the process.

Wave Sequence
About 60% rebuilt from original, timing correction, motion path smoothing and pacing, particle engine splashes inserted, text/dialogue inserted, transition added, bookend padding, increased time from 8 to 13 seconds.

Landing Sequence
Added smoke effects of balloon crash, added more text/dialogue.

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