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Lesson 7. Special Effects for Film > Creating a proxy for a high-resolution foo...

Creating a proxy for a high-resolution footage file

You will begin by importing high-resolution footage of an actor filmed against a blue screen. Next you'll create and assign a proxy, or lower-resolution copy, of the original footage to make working with the project faster and easier.

  1. Choose File > Import > Footage File, and then select ActHiR01.cin from the 07Lesson folder. In the Interpret Footage dialog box, select Treat As Straight (Unmatted), and click OK.

  2. Next, choose Composition > New Composition, type 2_Proxy for the name, and choose Film (2K) from the Frame Size menu for a Frame Size of 2048 × 1536 pixels.

  3. In the Composition window, choose Quarter from the Resolution menu.

    Making a full-size composition at Quarter Resolution is far thriftier with RAM than making a 512 × 384 composition and shrinking the 2048 × 1536 image within it.

  4. Set the Frame Rate to 24 fps—the standard frame rate for movies made in the United States. Set the Duration to 192 frames (8 seconds), and then click OK.

    The Composition window opens with a Magnification of 25% and Quarter Resolution. The composition has the same dimensions and duration as the original footage, but it will be displayed and rendered at a fraction of the original dimensions. It's best with film-resolution images to make your proxy at about video resolution; 512 × 384 is close enough.

  5. Drag the ActHiR01.cin footage file from the Project window into the Time Layout window.

  6. The image should look like a mosaic. Choose Effect > Cineon Tools > Cineon Converter. The image should now look normal. This is a linear conversion. Note that the Conversion Type menu in the Effect Controls window is set to Auto Log to Linear by default. Experiment with the Black and White Point, Gamma, and Highlight Rolloff sliders.


    Figure .


    The original footage was shot sideways, but you'll correct that when you create a composition. (You want the proxy to be the same orientation as the original footage.)

    If you don't have much RAM available you might get an out-of-RAM warning. You can lower the resolution of the image even more to conserve RAM.

  7. To set a custom resolution, choose Custom from the Resolution menu, and then enter 8 for both horizontal and vertical pixels, and click OK.


    Figure .


    This results in a Resolution of one-eighth, and a window size that is close to the 320 × 240 windows you've been working with throughout this book. It may take a moment to display the contents of the Composition window.

  8. Since you'll be building a log scale composition, choose Auto Log to Log from the Conversion Type menu and note the slider settings. Note the very flat (low) image contrast. Apply a second Cineon Converter effect, leaving it at the default settings. The image has now been relinearized and looks correct. Apart from the loss of extended highlight information at the first linearization, you can convert between log and linear any number of times without harming the image.

  9. When finished, delete the ActHiR01.cin layer, since it is only a single frame.

  10. Choose File > Import > Footage File, and then select ActHiR.mov from the 07Lesson folder and click Open. Drag it from the Project window into the 2_Proxy Time Layout window.

    ActHiR.mov is a high-resolution QuickTime movie made from the Cineon sequence using the Auto Log to Log Conversion Type. Although it is an 8-bpc file, it still retains all the dynamic range of the 10-bpc Cineon file, but with slightly less color precision. Later, you'll correct this by applying a log-to-log conversion with an adjustment layer. The movie was compressed using the standard QuickTime Photo-JPEG compressor, which is an excellent choice when you need to retain maximum image quality. At up to 10:1 compression, Photo-JPEG images are still very close to uncompressed quality, but at the expense of native playback speed.

  11. Save the project.

    If you were to render the project, you would use the following settings: Best Quality, Quarter Resolution, and a Frame Rate of 24 fps. The proxy for this lesson was rendered with the Photo-JPEG compressor at the High quality setting.

    After rendering the proxy, you'll assign it to represent the original footage.

  12. Close the 2_Proxy Composition window and Time Layout window.


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