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Jason and the Argonauts: B+ Movie Edition

addiesin

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For some reason I find it really awkward to get my head around the way Davinci works. But from what I've managed to play with so far, motion blur looks promising (but is taking much longer than I thought).

Here is our introduction to the harpies. There are several trims for pacing throughout, some adjustment to the frames of the animation for the initial arrival of the harpies, and varying degrees of motion blur has been used on and off throughout. Generally, it isn't (or won't be) affecting anything except the harpies, but I'm not quite finished with all the masking yet. In some cases it is just affecting the wings of the harpies. It only affects them when they are in quick motion.

Incredible.
Especially the wings at the beginning, and the end with the interaction with the stick and cloth. Bravo. The work is paying off.
 

The Scribbling Man

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^^ Thanks, man! Yesterday was pretty much my first proper day off in a while, and I spent nearly all of it experimenting with motion blur, haha. Made several changes for the better to the harpies, used a similar effect on select shots of the hydra, and am now playing with some of the skeleton instances. Talos will be left as, since he's meant to be slightly clunky and rigid. I might use it for when he tumbles to the ground though.
 

The Scribbling Man

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I've always admired the skeleton sequence, but atm I just can't get over how well executed it is - not just in terms of animation, but the way everything is staged as well. I've seen it over and over again and practically know it like the back of my hand, but it's still exciting, even when editing. Easily the highlight of the film.
 

The Scribbling Man

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I think I'm all done. Hopefully on my final render, assuming there are no glitches (there's one scene that randomly drops frames on occasion). Following that it will be compression, muxing mono and surround tracks, proofing, and then sending off to @lapis molari, who has kindly offered to update my subtitle file for me. One less job!

Then of course I need to put time aside to finalise cutlist, IFDB info, poster, and create an FX demo and trailer (already have an idea cooking)...
 

The Scribbling Man

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So I've rendered twice more since the above. Had a dropped frame that was driving me crazy. Really bizarre - always happens on the same moment, doesn't always show on the vegas timeline. Doesn't show up on your average media player, always shows up on VLC. Pre-render does nothing to resolve it. However, post-compression, the clip magically plays back fine in VLC and everywhere else. Eh? So in theory it's resolved, but I don't know how. Hopefully it really is gone and won't be bothersome to others in other playback environments.
 

The Scribbling Man

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More dropped frames, an audio glitch and 5 renders later...

star-wars-almost-there.gif


While we wait for technology to get its act together:


Wanted to do a mix of modern and retro. It's very loosely based on the original trailer. I will do a version 2 as I've just picked up there's an audio glitch at the beginning and Hera's voice is a bit quiet at the end.
 

The Scribbling Man

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I've had another tweak with the trailer. I think it's less glitchy at the start, but still sounds a little odd. I think that might be the nature of the beast though (since I've edited words out to get the narrator to say something slightly different in that moment). Will upload in near future.

Lapis has my latest render and will be watching it and sorting subs soon. If all is well there, it will hopefully be release time! Here's a poster:

1639268913927.png
 

The Scribbling Man

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This fella's been submitted to IFDB. Moved to completed! OP updated.

Special thanks to all of ya'll for encouragement and/or feedback, and also to lapis for proofing the final file and finalising my subs :)
 
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DigModiFicaTion

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Here's my review of Scribb's Jason and the Argonauts B+ Movie Edition. Having not watched this movie in awhile, I went into this one without looking over the cutlist. Here are my thoughts. Thanks Scribb for a fun time down memory lane!

Audio/Video Quality: 10
I don't see or hear any quality issues in the video and audio. The only moment I saw issues were when Jason is at mount olympus and he's very blury, but that looks to be an issue with the film itself. This matches the best I've ever seen this movie look, so I give this area a 10.

Visual Editing: 9
The visual editing is great. I will admit that I was skeptical about the frame rate approach on the claymation scenes. I grew up watching this movie along with other Ray Harryhausen films and love the claymation. So any messing with that would be a hard sell for me. Well, Scribb did fantastic on this.
There are a few nitpicky moments that I can point out. First, was the reuse of a scene with Hylas when he challenges Hercules. We see him hand his bundle to Hercules, throw the discus and then we see him with the bundle again followed by Hercules throwing it in the air. The second is the close up of Talos as he's kneeling on the jewlery box/room after Hylas and Hercules run away from him (0:32:15) There's a complete stop to Talos' movement that appears to be one or more extra repeated frames. This is seen a few times in the Talos portions of the Isle of Bronze. 0:35:25 the video looks like there might be a left over frame causing a slight hesitation in the video when it goes back to Talos from Jason swimming. And another time at 0:37:42 where there is a slight pause in Talos' movement before the transition.
Again, I wonder if this is a by product of the frame adjustments? Other than these few nitpicky moments, the video editng was great.
I went back and read through some of the edit notes and was super impressed with the matte you did of Hermes. I watched that scene a few times to see if I could catch the matte lines and it looked completely seemless!

Audio Editing: 8
The audio levels on the mono track sound pretty even across cuts and transitions, however the 5.1 mix did have some issues that I started to notice around the Isle of Bronze. The source audio on these older films isn't always the best, so I'd need to do a fair amount of A/Bing to see if this is just an issue with aged material or if it's a possible slight crossfade imbalance. An example can be heard at 0:34:46 The audio has a slight increase in volume as Talos bends down to grab the ship and almost sounds like it goes from mono to stereo and then back to mono. This happens for about 10 or so seconds and goes back and forth. This is only present in the 5.1 mix though. The mono track levels sound consistent during this scene. A few other sections where the 5.1 mix betrays some cuts is the Posiedon section at 0:56:31, 1:21:47, and 1:23:19. Again, the mono track sounds fine, but the levels of the 5.1 fluctuate noticeably. Medea's dance number also had a few moments that felt like there were some cuts that were noticeable. Monotrack audio score = 9 , 5.1 mix score = 7, average to 8.

Narrative: 9
I know there are trims occurring, but I couldn't really tell you where most of them are happening in terms of the narrative flow. The movie moves along at a great speed and you don't really ever feel bored or waiting for the next exciting moment to occur. The only real moments where I felt something was missing or rushed were when Jason was saving Medea, when Euphemus dives after Acastus, and when the King of Colchis switches from welcoming to condemning in a blink of an eye during the feast. Overall though, great editing choices!

Enjoyment: 8.5
I was super skeptical at first with the idea of messing with anything Ray Harryhausen, but Scribb really made the claymation characters more lifelike with the visual editing applied to those scenes. It's really impressive what has been accomplished here. There were a few moments that I noticed some missing things and cuts, but this was a fantastic watch that I'd recommend to anyone who loves the original movie. The only thing that took me out of the edit was the 5.1 mix. The monotrack sounds great and I wonder if it could be used to create a 5.1 mix from to smooth out some of the levels on the 5.1 mix? When I turned on the mono audio track the audio level issues were pretty much resolved. Looking forward to your future Ray Harryhausen ventures!

Something I had never thought of until this edit:
When Aeestes says, "Rise up you dead, slain of the hydra. Rise from your graves and avenge us." it made me wonder. Is Acastus one of the children of the Hydra's teeth?
 

The Scribbling Man

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Here's my review of Scribb's Jason and the Argonauts B+ Movie Edition. Having not watched this movie in awhile, I went into this one without looking over the cutlist. Here are my thoughts. Thanks Scribb for a fun time down memory lane!

Thank you for such a thorough review, DigMod. I really appreciate it and I'm super glad you enjoyed it!

Audio/Video Quality: 10
I don't see or hear any quality issues in the video and audio. The only moment I saw issues were when Jason is at mount olympus and he's very blury, but that looks to be an issue with the film itself. This matches the best I've ever seen this movie look, so I give this area a 10.

Yup. There are a number of shots that are quite blurry, and these are inherent in the source. Quite common in FX shots of old films.

There are a few nitpicky moments that I can point out. First, was the reuse of a scene with Hylas when he challenges Hercules. We see him hand his bundle to Hercules, throw the discus and then we see him with the bundle again followed by Hercules throwing it in the air.

No timecode, but from your description, I think you must mean something happening between 0:20 and when we cut away to olympus? Nothing was cut here, so I think it must be a continuity error in the original :)

The second is the close up of Talos as he's kneeling on the jewlery box/room after Hylas and Hercules run away from him (0:32:15) There's a complete stop to Talos' movement that appears to be one or more extra repeated frames. This is seen a few times in the Talos portions of the Isle of Bronze. 0:35:25 the video looks like there might be a left over frame causing a slight hesitation in the video when it goes back to Talos from Jason swimming.

While I did work on the movement here, those still frames are present in the original and mine. ABing between the two and the same number of frames show him completely still from the same point, and with visible movement from the film grain on both. I don't see any discernable difference between the two, personally.

And another time at 0:37:42 where there is a slight pause in Talos' movement before the transition.

Same as above, except I could perhaps better see what might be tripping your eye up. I guess I could remove the still shots of Talos, but I think his brief stationary shots show a purpose in his movement. This is something that's part and parcel of the original animation. It's possible that because I've made the actual movement so much smoother, the eye finds the stillness more alien than when the animation is jittery? That might just be a byproduct of the process.

I went back and read through some of the edit notes and was super impressed with the matte you did of Hermes. I watched that scene a few times to see if I could catch the matte lines and it looked completely seemless!

It's so interesting what people pick up on. You've pointed out things I wouldn't have expected, and virtually none of the things I had headaches or second guesses about. My work on that Hermes shot I deliberated on keeping because I couldn't unsee what I'd done and was worried it would be too jarring. The fact that you've actually spent time trying to find what was done and not spotted it is a huge relief and compliment!

Audio Editing: 8
the 5.1 mix did have some issues that I started to notice around the Isle of Bronze.... An example can be heard at 0:34:46 The audio has a slight increase in volume as Talos bends down to grab the ship and almost sounds like it goes from mono to stereo and then back to mono. This happens for about 10 or so seconds and goes back and forth.

Yeah, there's quite a bit of audio editing going on there. Unfortunately, while I have a 5.1 system, I have had to make do with downgrading it to 3.1 for a few months. I thought this would be adequate for testing, but I guess there must be something when the surrounds are added that betrays what I've done here. Probably quite difficult to address while I don't have 5.1 setup, but I promise I will look into it when I can. Thank you for the spot!

A few other sections where the 5.1 mix betrays some cuts is the Posiedon section at 0:56:31,

Again, some tricky editing here, so perhaps not surprising. I will look into it.


Yup. Tbh, relistening now, I think this could be done better even for the mono one.

and 1:23:19.

And again - you got me! Will be looked into :)

Again, the mono track sounds fine, but the levels of the 5.1 fluctuate noticeably. Medea's dance number also had a few moments that felt like there were some cuts that were noticeable. Monotrack audio score = 9 , 5.1 mix score = 7, average to 8.

Excellent feedback and very fair, thank you :) 5.1 is a pain in the ass sometimes...

Narrative: 9
I know there are trims occurring, but I couldn't really tell you where most of them are happening in terms of the narrative flow. The movie moves along at a great speed and you don't really ever feel bored or waiting for the next exciting moment to occur.

Excellent - this is exactly what I set out to achieve!

The only real moments where I felt something was missing or rushed were when Jason was saving Medea, when Euphemus dives after Acastus, and when the King of Colchis switches from welcoming to condemning in a blink of an eye during the feast. Overall though, great editing choices!

There are some light trims to the saving of Medea, which as a scene on the whole is quite rushed in the original - I'd be interested if you still felt it was rushed if you watched the theatrical. I might upload a comparison.

As for the others: There is one shot trimmed ever so slightly at 1:03:56 just before Euphemus dives, but the actual dive itself and everything that happens in the water is untouched. That moment with the King of Colchis is also untouched.

Edit: my mistake... there is also a 2nd trim to just the first underwater shot.

Enjoyment: 8.5
I was super skeptical at first with the idea of messing with anything Ray Harryhausen, but Scribb really made the claymation characters more lifelike with the visual editing applied to those scenes. It's really impressive what has been accomplished here. There were a few moments that I noticed some missing things and cuts, but this was a fantastic watch that I'd recommend to anyone who loves the original movie.

This is very high praise and I can't tell you how valuable your feedback and encouragement is. Thank you!

The only thing that took me out of the edit was the 5.1 mix. The monotrack sounds great and I wonder if it could be used to create a 5.1 mix from to smooth out some of the levels on the 5.1 mix? When I turned on the mono audio track the audio level issues were pretty much resolved.

This is a great suggestion. Thank you again.

Something I had never thought of until this edit:
When Aeestes says, "Rise up you dead, slain of the hydra. Rise from your graves and avenge us." it made me wonder. Is Acastus one of the children of the Hydra's teeth?

That's a great observation. You know, considering how much time I've spent with the material, I only really clocked the other day that "children of the hydra's teeth" clearly means those that were killed by the hydra. A pretty neat and creepy concept. So since Acastus was slain by the Hydra, I think it's reasonable to assume that he is one of the many skeletons attacking the Argonauts!
 
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DigModiFicaTion

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Looks like I just had an issue with the original editing of the source material ;) I was wondering if that might be the case. You really did a fantastic job of not just shortening scenes but matching the style of cuts of the time. Honestly, it was really only the audio that clued me into the cuts that I did notice. I need to reassess my approach to cuts after reading this to make sure that they reflect not just my vision, but also the editing style of the source. Always teaching me new skills Scribb ;)
 

The Scribbling Man

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I am such a paranoid chap and find it so hard to let go of tweaking things that i have virtually nothing from my previous edits work folders deleted - and I work in lossless. But now I am truly running out of space and have to make sacrifices. I will always keep a lossless copy of the actual edit, but I am gonna need to delete some work files. I have a folder packed with png frames from all the animation changes i did on this edit; I was holding onto them in case I needed to go back and make visual changes but it seems that visual editing has gone down very well with those that have seen it, so I think I'm finally going to (oh so reluctantly) click delete on these folders. I will still be able to go back and make changes to the edit, but not to the animation. I've got to put it to bed! Especially if I want to make space for similar projects in the future (every other Harryhausen film ever - I'm looking at you!).
 

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But now I am truly running out of space and have to make sacrifices.
Very relatable. Kind of a relief to hear I'm not the only one experiencing this.

I was holding onto them in case I needed to go back and make visual changes but it seems that visual editing has gone down very well with those that have seen it, so I think I'm finally going to (oh so reluctantly) click delete on these folders.
I understand the hesitation to wipe something you've worked very hard on, but yes, you've nailed the animation. Amazing work. You should be very proud.

I've got to put it to bed! Especially if I want to make space for similar projects in the future (every other Harryhausen film ever - I'm looking at you!).
!!!
 

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I've got to put it to bed! Especially if I want to make space for similar projects in the future (every other Harryhausen film ever - I'm looking at you!).
Oh man, if you do 7th Voyage or Clash of the Titans I'm gonna freak out.

I know this is maybe less of a B movie, but have you considered using this effect on the original King Kong? I think it would be pretty remarkable there.
 

The Scribbling Man

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Oh man, if you do 7th Voyage or Clash of the Titans I'm gonna freak out.

I 100% plan on it, I just don't know when it will happen 😅 so many edits... so little time! Sinbad is probably higher on the list than Clash though (and clash might not be a B+ edit, since I have a lot of issues with the film and would want to go full-blown fan-fix on its ass....but if there's popular demand for a purist cut, you never know).

I know this is maybe less of a B movie, but have you considered using this effect on the original King Kong? I think it would be pretty remarkable there.

Absolutely. I've actually already started my edit for that, I just haven't announced it. Not actually gotten onto the animation... that would come last. It's not planned for the B+ series. It's part of a "special edition" I've wanted to do of the original King Kong for some time. It's one of my favourite films :)
 
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I 100% plan on it, I just don't know when it will happen 😅 so many edits... so little time! Sinbad is probably higher on the list than Clash though (and clash might not be a B+ edit, since I have a lot of issues with the film and would want to go full-blown fan-fix on it's ass....but if there's popular demand for a purist cut, you never know).



Absolutely. I've actually already started my edit for that, I just haven't announced it. Not actually gotten onto the animation... that would come last. It's not planned for the B+ series. It's part of a "special edition" I've wanted to do of the original King Kong for some time. It's one of my favourite films :)
Yeah, I've always been a bit Kong obsessed since I was a kid. Stop motion in general, really.

I even like the 2005 Kong!
 

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Absolutely. I've actually already started my edit for that, I just haven't announced it. Not actually gotten onto the animation... that would come last. It's not planned for the B+ series. It's part of a "special edition" I've wanted to do of the original King Kong for some time. It's one of my favourite films :)
Do you plan to adjust the contrast in some shots to make the rear-projection shots more seamless? For example, in the close-up shot of the sailor in a tree with a rear-projected brontosaurus biting at him, the sailor and the tree are darker and more contrasty, while the brontosaurus looks a little washed out due to being rear-projected.
 

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Do you plan to adjust the contrast in some shots to make the rear-projection shots more seamless? For example, in the close-up shot of the sailor in a tree with a rear-projected brontosaurus biting at him, the sailor and the tree are darker and more contrasty, while the brontosaurus looks a little washed out due to being rear-projected.
This would be a good use case for EbSynth. Minor changes like contrast or exposure adjustment should be handled pretty well. Use an image editor to do the work on some key frames and EbSynth to distribute the style change to other frames.
 
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