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How best to create content for large screen presentation

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Jason Gillet
How best to create content for large screen presentation
on Sep 8, 2009 at 8:28:50 pm


I have been asked to help produce a video that will be shown via Watchout. The total res is 7092 by 595 and will be split in 4 screens. The piece would have content that would need to play full screen at times or have pieces cross from one side to the other. I've done this sort of thing before but on a smaller screen and with content that we shot. This time we are using stock footage we were told Watchout would not be the best place to create the content.

Can some one recommend a good way to edit this footage? I have FCP or Avid Nitris and in the end would composite AE.

Jason Gillet
Moving Pictures, NYC

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Walter Soyka
Re: How best to create content for large screen presentation
on Sep 9, 2009 at 12:51:57 am

Before you rule out doing this within Watchout, you might consider the pros and cons. The biggest advantage of doing this entirely within Watchout is that it is far easier to make last-minute changes. The biggest disadvantage is that your toolset during production will be limited.

For the initial edit, in either FCP or Avid, I'd try to think of it in terms of "channels" of video -- not necessarily in terms of Watchout's final 4 outputs, but rather as the inputs for your compositing. For example, you might have a full screen channel, you might have 4 split screen channels, you might have 2 half-screen channels, etc.

I'd place and scale them all within a separate reference sequence to help visualize the timing of the edit as a whole. At this point, I wouldn't worry about the moves and compositing; I'd just focus on the timing of the edits.

Once I had the individual pieces cut, I'd export as Quicktime movies and composite in After Effects. This is where I'd add the moves, scaling, etc. If you are ultimately working in 4 discreet screens, you must take into account the negative space among them -- you can discuss this with your Watchout programmer.

Finally, export for Watchout and compress. You'll also need to discuss the preferred specs for delivery with your Watchout programmer.

Walter Soyka, Principal
Keen Live, Inc.
Presentation, Motion Graphics & Widescreen Design
RenderBreak: A Blog on Innovation in Production

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Mike Golding
Re: How best to create content for large screen presentation
on Sep 13, 2009 at 5:18:45 am

Very well said Walter. And with WO 4/4.1 out you can program with the materials during preproduction and have the ability to render out the preview pane as a quicktime movie. Allowing for quick checks against the reference sequence. Plus the newer versions of WO allow for the use of Quicktime versions newer than 6.4, meaning the improvement in the codecs allow for more flexibility. I completely agree, that the programmer needs to be included in all the planning.

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