Brendan Dawes
The Aesthetics of Form and Code

That Was The Week That Was — 29th March 2020

First week of full lock-down following the announcement on the Monday night. Watching the address from Boris Johnson was certainly "a moment". You then realised this just get real, even though everyone was expecting it anyway.

Lisa made plans. I'm talking in book, not a just a piece of paper. As the weather was unusually pleasant, we thought it sensible to start in the garden, especially with the decking as it had become a little neglected over the years, due to the sun bleaching it year on year. Before that though it took two days just to clear all the leaves that had gathered from our tree at the bottom of the garden.

Workwise I was rendering out sequences for this latest client piece of work, mostly using the Gridmarkets cloud rendering service. I would set sequences up and then carry on in the garden whilst the cloud did its thing.

One thing I did notice when I was compositing the renders together in HitFilm was that the images seemed to have very blown out whites. I couldn't figure it out, until I started to explore how the alpha had come in from the rendered EXRs. They come in as pre-multiplied but when I changed the setting to be straight alpha it seemed to fix it slightly, though still not quite right. When I mentioned this on Twitter, someone more knowledgable than me said I should absolutely not do this. So instead I looked elsewhere to try and solve the issue, and eventually found the culprit. In the render settings in Hitfilm for the project, the default was set to 8 Bit Integer. When I changed it to 16 Bit Float — the same colour depth as the EXRs — everything then looked exactly as it should, with a pre-multiplied alpha.