With the first ever C2E2 only 4 days away I figured I would show off a little bit of the stuff I intend to sell. I just mastered my first run of DVDs. Each DVD contains the stereo and Dolby surround sound versions of The Lift as well as the animatic and rough animation tests. Additionally the disks have my previous 2 films, I Am and II, both of which were college films. I will also be selling well over 20 paper prints and around 6-10 mounted canvas prints.
Greg, my sound designer / mix master, sent me an edit of Dolby 5.1 audio last night along with a final stereo mix down. I have never worked with surround sound so it was hit or miss if I would get it to work. As I have said in the past, the shots were all composited individually in After Effects, the final edit is in Final Cut, mostly because it allows for easy assembly of assets, the best analogy I can make is its like using InDesign to layout a comic as opposed to laying it out in Photoshop, which would be tedious.
The WAV file came with 6 channels, so when you dump it into Final Cut it fills 6 audio fields (instead of the normal 2 for stereo). When you play it some really mucky mess of audio comes out of one speaker. You have to go in and fine tune all these settings basically assigning the 6 channels to something. At a loss of what to do I found this great tutorial on it at Ken Stones Final Cut Pro 2 Website.
So the 6 channels are sitting there doing their thing, but you still need to tell them where to go. Unfortunately I found that Final Cut only supports L R C LFE Ls Rs (or Left | Right|Center|Subwoofer|Surround Left|Surround Right). The playback came out off center and without any base. My track for “The Lift” was L C R Ls Rs LFE. That said I can’t listen to it in Final Cut. If you read though the tutorial it shows you how to export an MOV using the Linear PCM codec which supports 5.1 surround. The key difference for me was to check the channel part under audio settings when making the MOV. Once I did this everything worked fine and I was able to then listen to the result through the simulator in DVD Studio Pro.
In the end it was quite the experience and a good lesson in doing something I am not going to end up doing very often.