Hell, Backpack, Pokémon

As promised, here’s the last of the three songs I recorded for that audition, and also my favorite.

The song is called “Your Name Goes Here”, and it’s from a musical called A Match Made In Hell that I was in in fall 2013. (As a member of the ensemble, not this character, Harry.) It was good to be performing then, and last week just reminded me that if I want to keep doing things like that I can’t wait for them to just fall in my lap.

(The first time it just fell in my lap—a friend of mine was already in, and he posted on Facebook that they were looking for basses. Can’t rely on that happening twice!)

Like last week, I spent some time today working on that music video, specifically the sort of clean-up editing I talked about last time. Today was about going from this:

(a scene with people in the background)

to this:

(the same scene, but just grass now)

How does this work? This time, the answer is very low-tech: essentially just “cutting out” parts of the video to show through to another video of just the grass.

(That “other video” is actually just the right half of the current video, looping the part where the backpack hasn’t entered the frame.)

Doing this is a bit tedious because of course Mark is moving around slightly during the scene, and so I have to make this “mask” follow his movements. Fortunately I don’t have to do every frame of the video thanks to a feature called keyframing. That just means I set the boundaries of the mask on frame 1 and then again on frame 10 (the “keyframes”), and Final Cut Pro figures out how to move from the former position to the latter during frames 2-9. This is called interpolation.

Final Cut Pro X doesn’t come with a Mask effect by default—Apple would prefer you use another program, Motion, for this—but you can easily build a template effect in Motion and then use it in FCP. The one I’m using is from a site called sight-creations; download their version and you don’t even need to have Motion installed.

This shot is about two seconds long, and keyframing it nicely took about an hour. Keyframing an entire movie is painful; if you can, avoid having people in the background in the first place.

In case you didn’t see it, yesterday’s NaCreSoMo creation was a mashup created in a single day, mixing “Rather Be” by Clean Bandit / Jess Glynne and “Cups” by Anna Kendrick1 with the (English) opening theme of the Pokémon Johto anime.

There’s plenty to say about making a mashup, and in fact I have said it already, in a post called “How to Make a Mashup”. That’s still one of my favorite posts, so check it out.

March is drawing to a close—only two days of NaCreSoMo left!

Part of NaCreSoMo 2015.

  1. Or her rendition of it, anyway, since it’s an old song. ↩︎