KWM – Fix it in Post + Establishing KWM

Ever heard of the saying “We’ll fix it in post?”. I’ve heard it many times in movies and shows. While working for KWM, I actually am part of the other end for once.

The biggest project that I’m working on for KWM is an onboarding video. It’s meant to give a brief showcase of the team along with some information on how to contact them. At first, me and Trish thought it would be something done quick and it’ll be easy and simple. A few weeks passing, it’s actually taking much longer to get this video secured. This was mainly due to having to re-shoot and getting some other tasks done on the side. But here’s a look at some of the big things I have done for KWM thus far.

I had to learn more about after effects in my internship than I thought. It’s definitely paid off though. The first thing I had to learn about was Noise Reduction. This is a process that is done to make super grainy videos look less grainy. I thought I could do this in Premiere but it turns out that this is an incredibly taxing process for your computer because it has to analyze each and every frame for Noise patterns in attempt to eliminate it. I’d end up doing this for a shot in the video that although on shoot looked good, actually turned out to look a little too nasty for my tastes. It’s a fairly easy effect to learn but it took hours to process. I’d have to do this for 3 separate videos from the same shoot.

Original VS. Noise Reduction Image | You can notice the sides of the person being different

Another thing I had to learn in after effects would be something I knew I wanted to learn but never had the chance to. Trish had told me that a certain shoot ended up looking too boring for her tastes. She had asked if I thought if it would be possible to place a piece of art on the wall behind the subject or to change the color of the wall altogether. I told her it might be difficult but I’ll see what I can do. It turns out it was pretty simple and really fun messing around with. You use a tool called the RotoBrush to do a process called Rotoscoping. This means selecting something from a video and masking it out to separate it from the footage. It allows you to do nearly anything and is a complete game changer. I was able to alter the colors of the background really quickly and accurately with this process by masking out the subject. This effect, like Noise Reduction, is also taxing on your computer but in a different way. Noise Reduction uses your CPU to compute the effect. Rotoscoping in after effects is done using your CPU but more importantly your available RAM. This dictates exactly how much after effects can render and playback frames in real-time. This also allows your computer to run multiple processes without any of them killing your overall performance. So while Rotoscoping, my computer ended up running out of ram quickly: which is something I never thought would happen considering I’m using 32GB of ram and the standard is roughly 8GB. Either way, with the effect being successful, I managed to change the subject’s wall from a plain beige to a nice blue.

Rotobrush used to separate the subject from the seat and background. Allowing me to change the beige BG on the (left) to blue on the (right)

Some other things I did for KWM would actually be a complete introduction and lower thirds package. KWM had used a package like this for their 15th anniversary video. It came out looking great but when asking Trish if the company had a blank “non-15 year” introduction, she realized that we didn’t. The same went for the lower thirds graphics used in the same video. I took this opportunity to make an introduction and lower thirds for KWM with the knowledge I have in illustrator and after effects. After a few hours, I managed to get a really clean result that mimics the style of the 15 year introduction and lower thirds pretty well. I also noticed that the people who had made the 15 year video included the intros they used as “Black BG, White BG, and Transparent” although the last one wasn’t true. So I made sure to export everything in the right BG colors as well as a proper transparent version that used the right video format (they rendered it out in .mp4 when in fact .mov preserves transparency).

Because I’d be the first person to help establish an official video production side for KWM, I also wanted to go out of my way and make everything as friendly as possible for future interns. I made a file naming scheme which is displayed on an image as well as though an illustrator file. I also did my best to make project files in both premiere and after effects as easy to understand as possible. These things would never have gone under consideration had it been another intern. I made sure that I went the extra mile to do these things because I wanted to make things easier for both me in the present and anybody else in the future. While talking to a future intern for KWM, I made sure to let them know that what is there is always subject to change on their terms. But if they ever wanted to follow it and add their own spice to it, the choice is there.

I’m nearing the end of my time with KWM and I have to say it’s been a great time so far with all of the research and development I’ve been doing. Even going the extra mile feels worth it when I know how this will help shape the future of this company’s workflow.