Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Using Premiere and adding sound effects using Audition

For the post production process, I purposely used Premiere to edit the playblasts and rendered sequences of the animation, due to the ease of merging both audio and video together in the work space. Even though, much like after effects, you can import image sequences, I found it easier to use Quicktime 7 to put the sequential imagery together and import the saved mov file into Premiere, as it would be easier to edit and effect later in the work sequence compared to the imported image sequence straight from Premiere. The workspace is much like After Effects with the stacking of files and rows, but the video and audio files are separated into clear sides of rows which makes it easier to match to the correct video, with the opportunity to open the audio files into Audition to edit further.

I found that in some parts, when matched with the video files, the audio was too loud for scene. I was able to solve this problem by using the audio mixer, in which you can manipulate the levels of the sounds on each track that you have made for your audio. This menu helped me to merge more than one sound effect on the same scene that would slightly overlap, making the audio work rather than the sound confusing to the audience.

Another effect that is helpful for merging the video tracks together, are the use of blending modes that are located in the sequence effects. Under the opacity effects, you can change the blending modes, to overlay, multiply etc much like the software Photoshop when stacking and using layers. These blending modes are helpful when you want the visuals to merge with one another, or add a texture over the top of the video to make it appear aged or have a grunge like appearance to the aesthetics.

With the sound effects,  I researched into different sounds that would suit the animation and narrative, using sites such as Free Music Archive and Free Sound. Both of these sites took the sound effects with a twist, a different route compared to each other. For example the free music archive contained a sound track and a fuller breath of a musical track, whereas the free sound website contained sound recordings of different audio, being a few seconds long at the most. I felt that the best site to help me with the sound effects that I needed for my animation. For my animation I needed to obtain a sound that would work for the squeak of the green bear, the music box and the slam of the lid from the music box. I couldn't exactly find the right sound that I needed for the sound of the music box and the slam of the lid, so I tried to find the closest audio to what I wanted it to be, and opened it with in Audition. 

Example of stretched and pitched audio file
The Audition software allows you to manipulate, the audio clip that you have imported, by editing the pitch, speed, and overall appearance of the sound wave.  I found that I mainly used the pitch and stretch effect to the audio clips, to get the correct depth that I needed to the sound effect. For example, for the music box sound effect, I selected part of the sound wave and heightened the pitch as well as speeding the audio up. I found that this worked well for the music box audio as it worked with the movement of the doll, leading up to the lid being closed upon it. Whereas with the sound of the lid closing was a bit harder to create as the closest sound that worked towards the ideal audio that I wanted was the sound of closing a book. I felt that I needed to make the audio ever so slightly sound echoey/hollow, to go with the volume of the music box, which I achieved with one of the distortion effects. With the added distortion effects, I then edited the audio by lowering the pitch slightly with the pitch and stretch effect. 

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