The 70.5-hour Shot
In the immortal words of screen legend Shirley Temple in the classic film Poor Little Rich Girl: “Oh…My…Hi-dee-hi-dee-hi-dee-hi… Oh! My goo’ness!” In other words, that sure was a hell of a shot I just finished. I guess I could have just opened with that, but then how else could I have slipped in my impressive knowledge of an esoteric quote from an obscure 1936 musical? BOOM! You been Temple’d.
For the last few weeks, it’s all been about one shot. I’ve been saying it’s 35 seconds long, but now that I’ve crossed the finish line on it, it’s actually around 40. I may have to tweak some of the roto yet, but I finally feel comfortable moving on from it.
Final work totals for this shot: I rotoscoped (traced moving foreground elements out to composite effects into the background) 3,123 frames, which took a total of 64 hours. I then layered a ton of other effects into the shot, which took an estimated 5 and a half hours, and had to tweak for about an hour between renders. That’s a 70.5-hour shot. Not including the hour and a half it took to render the thing out to see it play in real time. 4 full renders (for tweaking) would add another 6 hours to this shot’s total time consumption, but I can just watch TV while things render so those hours don’t count. I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear that a person tends to have several moments while working on a 70.5-hour effects shot where they think—What the hell am I doing? Irreplaceable hours of my life are slipping into a roto-hole. But now that I’m done, I feel really good about it. It looks awesome and adds some pretty cool scope to the show.
List of hashtags I tweeted during the process: #RotoDope, #TheresRotohopeYet, #ItsASlipperyRotoslope, #TheRotoIsland, #RotoTrope, #OneFrameAtATime #RotoTruths, and #RotoVictory.
I also received the final VFX elements from Ryan while I was working on that shot so now I just have to drop those into their respective shots, blend them, add some environmental adjustment layers, and the effects will be done. I still want to sit down with Ryan and Eliza to watch the completed effects sequences play and make sure we don’t need to adjust anything. We’ve worked too long and hard on the VFX this time for something to be a couple of hours away from perfect.
After VFX, I still have to do sound effects and color correction and then it’s finally go-time for episode 6. It’s been a long year of hard work, but I finally feel confident saying that we’re just a few weeks away. Please, Lord, let that be true. I’m really tired and I feel a little emotional. Everything’s fine.
Much like last week’s bonus clip of Alison Brie and Yvette Nicole Brown singing “I’m-a die by werewolf,” this week’s random bonus clip is also a song. Allow me to present the delightful, blithely racist, Shirley Temple classic, “Oh, My Goodness!” from Poor Little Rich Girl:
Thanks for reading.