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Simulate power flickering On and Off with Final Cut Studio

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Brendan Nagle
Simulate power flickering On and Off with Final Cut Studio
on Feb 17, 2012 at 7:13:17 pm

Characters sitting at a computer in the villain's (already kinda dark) office. All of a sudden the computer locks up and the whole power system to the home flickers On and Off a few quick times before returning to a steady On. Cutaways to computer screen and desk lamp available.

At first I shrugged this off as simple a series of dissolved in FCP, but it looks pretty tacky. Other FCP suggestions? Something for my corrector to do in Color? Or do I need to dump this on the VFX guy to do in After Effects? He's pretty busy on everything else on the project, so I was hoping this could be something I did myself.

THANKS!

Brendan Nagle
Filmmaker / Journalist / Actor
http://www.TheBrendanNagle.com


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Mark Suszko
Re: Simulate power flickering On and Off with Final Cut Studio
on Feb 17, 2012 at 7:54:37 pm

"bad TV effect" plug in, Natress might have one. I know the factory collection has one. Or in Motion, build an effect that will squeeze the vertical and add some rolling and tear.


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Brendan Nagle
Re: Simulate power flickering On and Off with Final Cut Studio
on Feb 17, 2012 at 8:02:11 pm

No dice. The images on the computer screen aren't what I want to have the effect, as the computer itself would actually power off. The entire room's power is going down. Perhaps a more appropriate thread title would have been "Simulate LIGHTS flickering On and Off". Thanks though... any other thoughts?

Brendan Nagle
Filmmaker / Journalist / Actor
http://www.TheBrendanNagle.com


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Brendan Nagle
Re: Simulate power flickering On and Off with Final Cut Studio
on Feb 17, 2012 at 8:17:25 pm

Totally forgot you could do points on the Opacity levels. Whoops. Thanks anyway!

CLOSED

Brendan Nagle
Filmmaker / Journalist / Actor
http://www.TheBrendanNagle.com


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Mark Suszko
Re: Simulate power flickering On and Off with Final Cut Studio
on Feb 17, 2012 at 8:20:39 pm

So, you want the room lights to flicker, but the computers to stay steady?

Yeah, Magic Bullet looks I know has an effect plug-in like that, and there are a couple of other similar ones around, maybe in FX Factory. ALso takea look inApple Motion's content section for something that might be modified.

In thinking how to make one from scratch, I guess I would work on two things: crushing black levels in the 3-way color corrector, while bending the white balance, and the second item might be rapidly keyframed overall dissolves or partial dissolves.


Another way to go might be to take a frame or two into photoshop to create a masked version of the room using gradients, then use keyframing to rapidly cycle the opacity of this on an independent video layer in FCP.

I guess it's too late to ask why the director didn't shoot a "practical" effect of this when he had the chance and it would have been easy and inexpensive?


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Simulate power flickering On and Off with Final Cut Studio
on Feb 17, 2012 at 9:50:41 pm

Two words: Practical Effect.

When you do it in-camera, it looks real because it IS real.

Don't go the band-aid route by trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Reshoot and take the time to run power cables all over the place, and get lots of grips to unplug & replug stuff on cue. Shot's done!

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Mark Suszko
Re: Simulate power flickering On and Off with Final Cut Studio
on Feb 17, 2012 at 10:17:41 pm

Dave of course you're right, but in the typical case of this kind, there is no going back to re-shoot, there just IS NO SECOND TRY. You are expected to handle it. So you have a fait accompli' sitting there in your lap for you to fix, any way you can.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Simulate power flickering On and Off with Final Cut Studio
on Feb 18, 2012 at 2:39:36 am

Well, yeah, but when confronted with the realities of creating a photorealistic patch job on a shot like this, I envision the director (or producer) saying something along this line:

"HOW long did you just say it would take? What do you think I am, made of money?"

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Brendan Nagle
Re: Simulate power flickering On and Off with Final Cut Studio
on Feb 18, 2012 at 3:29:43 am







Thoughts?

Brendan Nagle
Filmmaker / Journalist / Actor
http://www.TheBrendanNagle.com


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Michael Gissing
Re: Simulate power flickering On and Off with Final Cut Studio
on Feb 18, 2012 at 3:45:01 am

Some subtle electric arcing FX (not Frankenstein) and I would buy that


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Rafael Amador
Re: Simulate power flickering On and Off with Final Cut Studio
on Feb 18, 2012 at 4:27:52 am

You can try with the Blink filter.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Jim Burns
Re: Simulate power flickering On and Off with Final Cut Studio
on Feb 18, 2012 at 1:14:20 pm

Looks good.

I'd add a subtle sound effect during that flickering.


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Michael Griggs
Re: Simulate power flickering On and Off with Final Cut Studio
on Feb 19, 2012 at 5:10:02 pm

I felt like it flickered a bit too fast, and too often....imho....

In my experience, power "flickers" are usually only like once or twice.

Might make it a bit more "real".


And I agree with the need for some sort of sound effect. That would also lend itself to making the characters look around.


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Jim Burns
Re: Simulate power flickering On and Off with Final Cut Studio
on Feb 20, 2012 at 12:13:12 am

That's a good point.

I was thinking of a tinkling noise - like fluro tubes starting up.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Simulate power flickering On and Off with Final Cut Studio
on Feb 21, 2012 at 3:23:09 pm

You can go subtler with the sound effects: besides your other sounds, have some continuous fan blower noise low in the background, from the very beginning of the scene, and then cut it with a slowing-down speed ramp, when the power cuts, pointing out the sudden extra level of silence.

The flicker in the sample was okay but I agree, too much; 2-3 flicks, then a 1-second dimming will sell it better.


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