Realising Duality – Experimenting with the Edit

In the conceptualising process of our music video the word ‘duality’ came up a lot. The idea of becoming as overcoming inspires a sense of tension between future and past thus the envisioning of two different versions of the self in divergence was a reasonably obvious path to travel down in the representation of this idea. Our main (and only) character, it was decided, would be split into two as her struggle to move forward would have a strong visual resonance within the video. This decision begged the question: How would we achieve this?

Knowing my was around Premiere Pro and After Effects (to a degree) I had a couple of ideas for the practical side of achieving this concept so we set up a camera and did some experiments. Opacity, split-screening, and rotoscoping were the three tools in my arsenal that I knew could achieve this affect, but all required the camera to capture the exact same environment. This lack of movement is easy with a tripod shot, but it locks of certain creative possibilities for the production that we are taking into account in the storyboarding phase of pre-production.

First trial was a simple split-screen, with no interaction from the two Sans. This is one of the easiest shots to create and (as long as the lighting is controlled) looks very clean. I liked the effect this had but it doesn’t allow for very dynamic subject matter, which isn’t great considering the locked off camera is also diminishing the shots ability to be dynamic in nature.

The next experiment I tried was changing the opacity of the top clip, playing with the blend modes to see what gave the most impact. The set of darkening blend modes were by far the most effective, and gave a much needed distinction between the protagonist and alter-ego. The action was also freed from being sectioned off as it was during the split screening, the characters free to interact with each other. However the alter-ego was, in my opinion, too light. I wanted a more present secondary character rather than what felt like a shadow, which was impossible to achieve leaving both shots intact. This being said I think that a combination of the first two experiments would do greatly as the opacity would be more changeable, and the split-screening would be slightly more dynamic. Each effect complimenting one another.

Finally I played around with making an opacity mask and tracking a moving San through rotoscoping in an attempt for a more solid and interacting shot. I did not put too much time into the masking, simply playing with the dynamics and keyframing, but I was really pleased with the result.

I think this is one of our best shots at creating an interesting dynamic between the two versions of our main character, though, in the interests of keeping me sane, we will need to be cautions about the amount and nature of the interaction. Rotoscoping, as I explained in my MV presentation, is a time consuming process, all be it a fulfilling one. Our project has a deadline so the techniques I can muster will need to be taken into account in the production process. These scenes will be a good test of my ability during Post-Production but we will need to be careful not to overestimate my abilities and end up damaging the final product.

Over all these experiments worked well to help me understand the boundaries of our abilities is conveying duality visually and will be useful in informing the shotlist and eventual production.