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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 2:54 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:34 pm
Posts: 2229
Location: Los Angeles
Here are a few tips for managing mocap script notes and files when working on a lengthy mocap recording session.

When recording a mocap session with iPi Recorder, I like to use a spreadsheet to keep track of each shot. Here's an example from a session I recorded this week:

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This makes it easy to understand what's been recorded in each iPi Recorder file without having to load it in Player or Mocap Studio, which can be a huge timesaver when tracking a lot of data for multiple shots in a production. In the above spreadsheet, I've recorded the filename, the mocap configuration, description, and other notes that I find useful.

You can use any spreadsheet program of course. For basic features and easy web access, I recommend Google Docs. It's free and, assuming you have internet connection, your files are available all the time from any computer. For more robust spreadsheet features, I recommend OpenOffice.Org, a free standalone program similar to Microsoft Office. I use this when I need advanced spreadsheet features or better security than the internet provides--personally, I don't need these features when recording my mocap script notes so Google Docs is perfectly fine for this.

Another useful tool is Copy Filenames. This is a Windows utility that appears when you select files in Windows and right-click the mouse. When activated, it copies the selection as a text list, which you may then paste into a spreadsheet column. Here's a screencap of the tool in action:

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If I decide to create my spreadsheet after a session has been recorded (like I did today,) I use this tool to copy and paste all the filenames of the video files into the first column of my spreadsheet. Then, I open iPi Player and drag, drop and scrub each file to review what it contains and enter the descriptions. This workflow can move along quickly once you get the rhythm down.

Hope you find this info useful.

G.

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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 5:11 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:17 am
Posts: 84
This is really useful Greenlaw! For my shoots I normally take all my pre-production work (Script, Storyboard and Shot list). Do you find it beneficial to have these pre production documents or do you work more free form with the vision you have for the piece?

Again, great write up!

Oli


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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 12:19 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:34 pm
Posts: 2229
Location: Los Angeles
Yes, I have all my pre-pro files on my tablet PC, which is always nearby during a shoot. The most useful file is my animatic or previs movie, especially since the project we're currently doing is a music video. By having a video playing while recording, the motions can be synchronized to the audio and action.

I have the video loaded in Vegas Pro so I can select ranges for looping playback of selected shots. Some mocap actions need to cross over several shots and I try to catch these in one or two takes. Other times, it's better to shoot individual shots, like when characters are turning around in mid-edit--it can mean an easier time tracking later.

You can use any non-linear editor of course. There was a free one I was going to try that allows you to do the same--I thought it might be faster to load than Vegas but later decided not to bother. I can find out what that program was and post the link.

Using video playback of an animatic also came in useful during the 'Happy Box' sessions, especially for the scenes where the motions of two or three characters on screen had to interact or 'sync up'. The shot near the end with all three characters sitting on the couch is one such example. For this shot, I performed all three characters to the audio myself, and I did not have to re-time the mocap for any of the characters.

Thanks for the comments! I'm glad you're finding this info useful.

G.

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Artist/Partner - Little Green Dog | Demo Reel (2017) | Demo Reel (2015) | Demo Reel (2013)

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