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Editing for large plasma screen installation - HELP!

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Craig Hirshberg
Editing for large plasma screen installation - HELP!
on Jun 5, 2007 at 5:52:43 pm

Firstly, I'd like to say this is a great forum. I can't beleive I've never seen it between the After Effects and Avid forums. I'll definitely frequent here more often.

Problem (or Opportunity, depending how you see it):

I'm editing a 7 min piece for a museum installation that will be viewed on a 103 in plasma in a small "theater." I don't think the idea behind the mega-screen is just so everyone can easily see it, but more for a in-your-face WOW factor. The program is intended to be an inspirational, high-energy, extreme sports themed, or concepted, piece targeted at teenagers.

It will be in HD, but most of the b-roll footage of the action sports is standard def, which sort of limits me to picture-in-picture, non full-screen editing techniques. The interviews are all HD.

I'm a bit intimidated and somewhat blocked right now as to how to treat this program with such a large "canvas" to work with. I am graphically creative and adept, but to sustain this for 7 minutes is proving to be rather difficult - there are only so many combinations of squares and rectangles to use, and most shots only last 2 to 5 seconds. I'm also playing with typography with video as well, which is helpful, but mostly for transitional segments.

I was at NAB 2007 and saw the Panasonic P2 presentation (they used about six 103 inch plasmas) and thought it was very well done - been trying to find a "bootleg" of it online for ideas, but no luck. I'd love to see it again if anyone knows where it is.

Have any of you more experienced pros out there worked on projects like this before? I'd love to see some links and here some suggestions on how to step out of this 4:3 27" box I've become so comfortable with.

Apologies for the long-winded question, looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

Thanks,

Craig


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grinner
Re: Editing for large plasma screen installation - HELP!
on Jun 6, 2007 at 6:46:49 pm

Just leap, brother. 4X3 is square. ;)
7 minutes is a looong time and you can easlily itroduce a handful of different looks. The simplest one is a letterboxed split screen. Everyone has seen it, won't freak anyone out and is the most plain vanilla pip thang goin, imo.
I have a few different box looks on my reel if you'd like to pick em apart:
http://grinnerhester.com/demoreel07.wmv
you are on the right track as far as quick cuts. Not just flying text but other elements flyin' around helps loads too. Lil lines, lil empty squares, animated edges, digital goings on like tc countdowns and such... All depends on the vibe of the piece but in a 7 minute video, I'd find a good 3 or 4 looks to repeat. More tan that and it'll get chaotic, less and your having folks walk away on ya before it's done.



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Charlie King
Re: Editing for large plasma screen installation - HELP!
on Jun 7, 2007 at 5:54:57 pm

As usual grinner is on the right track for you. My main job is building digital signage for the Big Marquees here in Las Vegas, after a long career in 4X3 land of broadcast TV, so I have worked in both worlds. Make it memorable is the key phrase I have heard my entire career. Ya really can't say much more than that.
Try not to have boxes with the key video elements popping around all over the screen, try to make the outside edges more eye candy than critical information, so the audience is not having to move their heads and eyes back and forth to the point their necks get sore.
Don't hide the product in the production, but other than that.

Dive in and have fun.

Charlie

ProductionKing Video Services
Unmarked Door Productions
Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel
Las Vegas, Nevada


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Craig Hirshberg
Re: Editing for large plasma screen installation - HELP!
on Jun 7, 2007 at 7:57:58 pm

Thanks guys for your input and positive coaching! I've been playing around with a couple things, I like the lines and empty boxes ideas, as well as keeping the eye candy secondary. That's enough to get me going and out of my rut. I have a good eye for design, but always need ideas to make it happen.

Anyone else, please feel free to add your ideas too. (The main theme to this video I'm doing actually is about how anyone can have ideas, kinda ironic that it blocked mine...)

Appreciate your help!

Craig


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Charlie King
Re: Editing for large plasma screen installation - HELP!
on Jun 7, 2007 at 8:46:33 pm

[Craig Hirshberg] "(The main theme to this video I'm doing actually is about how anyone can have ideas, kinda ironic that it blocked mine...)"

Don't feel bad. We all get creative block at times, ya gotta have someone to bounce ideas off so you can get the brain back to full speed ahead.

Charlie



ProductionKing Video Services
Unmarked Door Productions
Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel
Las Vegas, Nevada


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Tim Kolb
Re: Editing for large plasma screen installation - HELP!
on Jun 9, 2007 at 3:20:27 am

Under similar circumstances I typically try to come up with an animated background which can be used as a theme throughout...it helps to make the empty space outside the PiPs look integrated.

You can also use some reinforcing text in that extra space...for museums, dates and other graphics like maps, etc can pull the thing together and make it look as if keeping the video restrained in those little boxes is exactly what you wanted to do...



TimK,
Director,
Kolb Productions,

Creative Cow Host,
Author/Trainer
http://www.focalpress.com
http://www.classondemand.net


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Timothy J. Allen
Re: Editing for large plasma screen installation - HELP!
on Jun 19, 2007 at 3:13:43 am

One other thing as far as "edit design" goes...

I get a lot of inspiration from looking at print design. It may not always match the aspect ratio, but some of the best designers still work in print and *sometimes* it can inspire things that translate over to our work pretty well.

Go to your local bookstore, pick up some magazines and look at the typography, color, graphic elements, and aesthetic balance. Take a pencil and a sheet of paper and sketch out what you like about it. Take those sketches to your edit suit and hang them up where you can see them.

If you begin with some strong, but simple themes and keep the audience in mind, you have a great opportunity to make something you can really be proud of. Most of all, have fun! Some of the best work I've done started out with the phrase "this may not work, but let's try it just to see..."

Tim



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John Cuevas
Re: Editing for large plasma screen installation - HELP!
on Jun 21, 2007 at 5:08:46 pm

Had to do a similiar project about six months ago---cept for a large convention. My problem was a bit different in that the staging company was taking four 16x9 HD plasmas and were going to break the video into 4 seperate vids, each playing in one of the HD's. On top of that, 90% of the footage was SD.

My approach was to create a looping background to play for the entire piece. Secondly I created a bunch of simple wipes using solid lines of that matched the look of the show. Sometimes 1 line would come from a diagonal, sometimes 2 lines would come from opposite sides, maybe just 1 line wiping from top to bottom.

Next I made individual comps in AE to incorporate the video. One composition might be the video, stretched and blurred, with smaller versions of that same video layered on top. Others, might be 3 PIP's, but cropped, so box 1 shows the left 1/3, box 2 displays the middle, box 3 the right 1/3. Also did that but offset the boxes in space, so it looked like a staircase. Did some with the same video playing, but offset the time. Others had different shaped boxes, diamonds, odd shapes.

During this stage I created text look for the piece---would layer it over and under(much larger, low opacity...trite, I know). Played with the tranfer modes some.

Finally I put on a couple of pots of coffee and ground it all together.



Johnny Cuevas, Editor
http://www.ckandco.net


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JeremyG
Re: Editing for large plasma screen installation - HELP!
on Jun 13, 2007 at 1:30:44 am

What format of HD are the interviews?


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Craig Hirshberg
Re: Editing for large plasma screen installation - HELP!
on Jun 13, 2007 at 4:27:35 pm

720p/23.976 shot with Varicam


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JeremyG
Re: Editing for large plasma screen installation - HELP!
on Jun 14, 2007 at 3:30:14 pm

Sorry to get all technical on ya since this is an art of the edit forum, but what are you going to do about the mismatched frame rates and scan methods?

if you know what you are doing, cool, please disregard, if not I can offer a few suggestions.


Jeremy


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Craig Hirshberg
Re: Editing for large plasma screen installation - HELP!
on Jun 14, 2007 at 3:51:37 pm

Jeremy, as of late, I would never assume that I know what I'm doing. Our company's just now making the switch to HD, so we're open to suggestions.

Right now, I've brought the SD Beta footage into the Avid at it's native dimensions, but "force-digitized" it at the same frame rate (23.976) into it's own separate project. Then I open that bin up from the HD project and go from there (for an offline). Also requires me to resize the footage to 4:3 dimensions - I foresee issues with this later...

As far as what to do later, I'm completely open to suggestions. Figured I'd jump that hurdle when I got there.

I'd love to hear the "correct" answer to this problem. I've done research on it before, but haven't received any solid, definitive answers.

Thanks,

Craig


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JeremyG
Re: Editing for large plasma screen installation - HELP!
on Jun 14, 2007 at 6:19:37 pm

When you capture SD 29.97 and force 23.98, does it make everything slow motion like FCP does?


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JeremyG
Re: Editing for large plasma screen installation - HELP!
on Jun 15, 2007 at 3:56:25 am

Since I don't know exactly how Avid works, but do know how video works, I would capture your 720p24 stuff @ 720p60 and then upconvert your SD footage to 720p60. Can your Avid upconvert on ingest? There are tools/plugins with FCP to make your 60i SD stuff 24p, but I don't know if these same tools are available in Avid.



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Craig Hirshberg
Re: Editing for large plasma screen installation - HELP!
on Jun 15, 2007 at 2:04:07 pm

I will have to get back to you on that one. We're still in the learning stages here at Cluster#%*! Productions. We have two offices in two different states, and I'm not in the one with the Adreniline that has the new HD board. This was all digitized by someone else before we even had the board, and I'm not sure what the capabilities are for upconverting with the Avid, and whether or not the board makes a difference in that situation.

If it's possible to upconvert the SD footage, I'd love to do that, and hope it would look good. What is your experience with this? Does the upconverted SD footage look OK? I'll be using ESPN X-Games footage shot on Beta, so it's at least starting out as a high-quality product.

It may take a while to get back to you on this, is there another way I could contact you down the road? Or can I just respond to this post again?

Thanks!


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JeremyG
Re: Editing for large plasma screen installation - HELP!
on Jun 15, 2007 at 2:23:00 pm

Just write back here, I'll answer.

It depends on your hardware, but upconverted footage looks pretty good (not as good as HD of course). What you need to find is a superior deinterlacer. The one in Boris Continuum Complete 4.1 is great. Also, you can get your SD footage professionally upconverted through a Teranex box. This will probably be your best upconversion method. But it will cost you. I have a Kona/FCP system that I use to do my upconverts. Depending on the footage, I find it's sometimes better to capture at high quality SD NTSC (29.97) and then drop that into a 720p60 or 23.98 timeline, scale up, deinterlace, and render. Other times I find using the KOna to do the upconvert looks pretty good as well. There is no question that the teranex is a much better solution, though.

Jeremy


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