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CAROUSEL; Chapter 1: 'Cold Sweats'

CAROUSEL; Chapter 1: 'Cold Sweats'

'Cold Sweats', like the following episodes planned for release throughout 2023, is a digital manifestation of true experiences, mental states, dreams and emotions consolidated in a cathartic short-film series titled 'CAROUSEL'.

As it's sole creator, I do not wish to reveal too much about the meanings behind the scenes as it's intended to be left open to interpretation. However, everything you experience in this series comes from real places.

Though, I thought it would be interesting to some to talk about the technical sides of creating this project for anyone interested in the processes.

I started out modeling each scene in a free 3D program called Blender then proceeded to add materials, lighting, animation, environments, etc to build out the scene. Once the scene was done, I rendered everything out at 120fps locally as well as using render farms for the heftier files then consolidated all of the frames in blender and rendered as lossless video files. This process was pretty much rinse and repeat for each scene.

The short was edited, color graded, and VFX was applied in Adobe After Effects using its stock effects. I decided to use AE because of its VFX capabilities as well as the option to work at higher frame rates and the ability to utilize more complex workflows not supported in standard video editors. Once I had a base for the visual portion I rendered it as a low quality h.264 .mp4 and brought it into Ableton Live where the Sound Design, music and voice overs were created, mixed and mastered. 

I made sure the levels were not peaking above -6db, worked in 48kHz and rendered the master audio at 32bit float depth after applying minimal EQ, Compression and limiting to the master at -1db (-10 LUFS).

The audio was imported into AE and I got back to the visuals mainly just cleaning up certain transitions, effects, colors, etc, but nothing major. 

I rendered the full composition of the finished project as a png sequence because renders were buggy due to the complexity of the scenes, automation and effects as well as to maintain the best quality and not lose any time if the render crashed. I ended up having to render on 2 different machines which took a total of 3ish days, give or take. 

Once the composition render finished, I compiled the entire projects visuals as another lossless file using blender and brought it into AE once more, this time rendering it with audio.

The final output file was a h.265 .mp4 at 120fps, with a keyframe interval of 60, with a 320kbps AAC at 48kHz resulting in an 843MB file size.

The release schedule for CAROUSEL episodes is not established currently though should be expected throughout 2023 with limited announcement.

As art does not pay the bills, I must focus on things that do but I will work when I can and wait times between episodes wont be too long. 

If you wish to have inside information on this project, or if you simply want to just join my community, feel free to join my discord server! You must gain access, though. 

Watch CAROUSEL; Chapter 1: 'Cold Sweats'

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