New Project

A couple of ideas and developments came together to create a fun new project: The Hoof That Wouldn’t Die. I came across an article about movies that are in the public domain a last year, and there is even a site where you can download videos of those movies. There also is a decent resolution version on Youtube. I found out after I edited a small version. I did experiment with the great free software EbSynth for Defining Future. I created the scenes with me edited in After Effects, created painted keyframes in Photoshop and Synthetik’s Studio Artist, and had EbSynth map those painterly images on the video. Earlier I tried the colorize option in the new Neural filters in Photoshop and suddenly I realized I could maybe generate colored thumbnails and create a color version of that old movie! First edit it back to a modern-day tempo (brought it back to 40 minutes, but I will add a pre-title sequence), on a 125 bpm beat and 16 bar structure, removed all sounds, except the dialog, coloring, and then create the soundtrack for it.

It turned out a little more complicated than just that because I now started to process the resulting color version of the scenes in the updated version of Studio Artist that is way faster than the previous one. Also, a new laptop. So I discovered I could stack three versions of every scene on top of each other (one color, two in different ink looks), which needs more time. And to have good results, I sometimes have to make a version of scenes with the background removed. More time-consuming.

Because I landed on a kind of old graphic novel look with vibrant colors (it is in technocolor), I end up recoloring the thumbnails by hand most of the time. Because the colors need to be consistent during scenes (automatically generated colors change a little every time, the a.i. does interpret each image from scratch) and I want to have the art direction over the look of the scenes.

I am learning a ton every day. After two and a half months I arrived at scene 95 and realized in the shower that Studio Artist, the last step before assembling the scenes in After Effects, can work resolution-independent. So in that step, I can upsize to full HD with the material I already have. And I read earlier that day that a double frame rate in video brings much smoother images. So I went back to scene 1… And of course, I have discovered cool techniques to make a fast workflow, and have developed the look for the scenes along the way. So I am practically redoing them. And incidentally discovered that it looks really cool to start the first minutes in black and white.

So that is what is in the image for now. I will keep you posted with updates. I hope to have a trailer in January. But I can not promise anything, because I might discover something cool or have additional ideas that take even more time. But it is FUN!

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