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BeamNG Advanced Edits and Short Films

Discussion in 'Videos, Screenshots and other Artwork' started by Spec Racer Z, Jan 24, 2017.

  1. Spec Racer Z

    Spec Racer Z
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    Not too long ago I grew weary of the limitations of the free Avidemux (simple edits are still faster by demuxing ... when it doesn't glitch) and decided to hunt around to see if better free video editing alternatives had entered the scene. DaVinci Resolve was what I found, and it's utility approaches the likes of Premiere and Vegas, with paid features being so specialized that they're irrelevant to basically any projects you'd make with BeamNG. It has some issues processing h264 (audio breaks, lots of slowdown when previewing composites) if you use Shadowplay, it needs to be saved often to prevent lost work from sporadic crashes, and it isn't as well optimized as Premiere/Vegas, but it's free and it's powerful.

    Long story short, I've started experimenting with more advanced edits and thought I'd make a thread where I share my more ambitious projects along with some insights. Feel free to ask any questions about my workflow or the specifics of anything you see in these videos, or alternatively, provide any tips you think would help me out if you have some experience. And even if you don't get half the terminology, please still ask and I'll try my best to point you in the right direction. I'm still learning these terms myself.

    Now for some videos. I'll put my editing summaries and tips in the spoilers below them.

    This first video I'll post is my most ambitious so far. I decided to composite two separate drift replays with the RWD SBR4 to make a single tandem drift scene, something not exactly easy without splitscreen or multiplayer. I used a top-down view to avoid trouble with the cars overlapping since the glass would make this much more complicated. The hardest part was trying to perfectly reposition the camera to match exactly in two separate replays. I had to rotate and move the yellow car replay and upscale both videos a bit to match things well enough for the composite to work.

    Next, I had to figure out how compositing a single object worked, because I'd never done it before. Trial and error and some YouTube tutorials later, I managed to use Resolve's tracking feature with the freeform power window inverted to remove most of the environment around the car with alpha output, and then removed the rest by chroma keying the shade of grey and brown from the road and dirt, luckily having enough difference in my car's color to leave it intact. This way does not preserve the tire marks or much of the smoke, but I was happy with it for a first try.


    This is simple enough. Take a separate video or camera angle, crop it to contain the focus of the scene, and zoom out/scale it to a size that gives you a good balance between your main focus and your supplementary content. You can change your opacity to give it a composite effect, fade it in or out, mix the audio in as much or as little as needed, switch them around mid-video, whatever you think tells your story or present your info best. The hardest part is that h264 really doesn't like being composited over itself, so if you don't transcode into a different format or generate optimized media before editing, Resolve won't let you preview your edits in real time. You really have to visualize the rhythm of your edits to make sure things are paced correctly without previewing and might have to make a test render to watch.


    This one was made by capturing a replay of a stunt and recording about 8 clips (16 if you count unused takes) from different camera angles to piece together a dynamic scene out of the stunt. A lot of it was easier than normal because you could spot a grid line at a certain point and place markers on each clip where, say, the front spoiler is directly on top of that line. Using these reference markers, you can sync everything up so the timing is properly matched. After that it's just brainstorming what angles show off the action best and trimming everything to transition properly with attention to the rhythm of your music if you're scoring it.


    The video above details basic camera angle syncing so I'll skip that here. Instead, I'll talk about fades and J-cuts. The intro is a technique I've seen before, often with breathing effects to emphasize the first person viewpoint, but can't pinpoint the term for it. It's basically a blinking out effect. You fade the video in and out aggressively right on a moment of action with more gentle audio fading to foreshadow each transition, and hang on a black screen between each to build anticipation while giving time to process each scene. At some points you'll also hear the next bit of driving before it cuts to the new scene. This is called a J-cut and can be used to foreshadow the scene change and give the video variety. If you're curious about why it's a J-cut, here's a good reference courtesy of Vimeo: http://f.vimeocdn.com/si/videoschool/jcut.jpg

    And a preview of something I still need to finish sound designing. It's an accurate recreation of a scene from Hot Fuzz.
    Gfycat Video - Click to Play - Direct Link
     
    #1 Spec Racer Z, Jan 24, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017
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  2. Spec Racer Z

    Spec Racer Z
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    I got hit by some inspiration today, so for once I made a truly cinematic crash video, maybe even something you could call a movie. I'm a bit exhausted now so I'll go into the editing techniques I used sometime later.
     
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  3. davidinark

    davidinark
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    Hahaha, love the ending there. Nice!
     
  4. Fuzzwad

    Fuzzwad
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    These edits are really, really well done. I've also been looking for a good editor. I've been using Movavi, and it works well enough, but one day it just decided to not work. I think I'll give this one a shot, especially if this is the quality it is capable of. Do you think you'll ever do a video on making one of these? I'd like to see how you do it.
     
  5. Spec Racer Z

    Spec Racer Z
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    Yeah, I've been meaning to get around to that. I ordered an audio interface a couple days ago so I'll try and make a commentated behind the scenes video when that arrives.
     
  6. Spec Racer Z

    Spec Racer Z
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    @Fuzzwad Finally made a start to finish recording of me editing a short video in DaVinci Resolve 12.5, as well as showing the trim and transcoding chain in the beginning before I get all of the footage into Resolve.

    I have plenty more edit summaries to complete as well, and my non-April 1st video that the update sidetracked me from, but trying to get through my backlog of 0.9 footage before taking on anything else.
     
  7. Spec Racer Z

    Spec Racer Z
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    Made a video focusing on the 0.10 loading ramp trailer with the Knight Industries reference. Mostly simple edits to this Knight Rider trailer ramp stunt tribute, but I played around with the color grading in DaVinci Resolve to get it looking a bit closer to the show intro. Also used a couple effects I normally wouldn't to get some intentionally cheesy transitions in there. To go the extra distance, I downloaded a free moog synth VST and made an 80s intro styled song to go with it too, though that's probably past the territory of pure editing.
     
  8. Spec Racer Z

    Spec Racer Z
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    This next video is a tunnel runs showcase of the new sounds in BeamNG. Most of the cuts are simple, but I used key frames to animate the intro text to be erased and formed "behind" the cars as they passed by in the intro. The simple trick to this in DaVinci Resolve is to set the crop softness to around -8 or so, and then animate the left and right crop on every other frame, or frame by frame depending on how detailed you want the effect to be, to the ends of the passing object. The soft edges of the crop and horizontal/vertical lines mean you don't have to be extremely precise, so keeping your left hand on the arrow keys to go frame by frame and drag the crop to the edge of the vehicle on each frame won't take very long.