Watch this!!!

24 06 2009

Picture 8

Please watch, rate and comment on this little short produced by some of my students for the Virgin Media Shorts film competition, by clicking on the picture above.

They have worked very hard in a very short amount of time to pull this off and deserve praise for their effort and achievement, especially considering this was all done at the busiest time of year for their course, and one of them was also directing a major TV show as well.

You need to register with virgin media shorts, but it only takes a short while. Please help us bring it up the charts. I’m not sure what VirginMedia did to it, but when uploaded, it is difficult to see the faces in some shots, and it’s quite jumpy. But this is not the case on the original.

Title: The White Devil Running time: 02’20”

Synopsis – Spaghetti Western/Horror short. Sheriff Nero is on the hunt for the Diavolo Bianco, a fugitive gunman. He is wanted on charges of murder: dead or alive. 5 weeks ago my tutor suggested we enter this Virgin competition. So we did and here’s what we made. Every stage of production was meticulously planned and executed. A dedicated work ethos was an essential ingredient to the project. We all had a good laugh and few beers though, despite on the day of the shoot it pissing down. The Hereford & Hell crew has worked successfully together previously and is assembled from talent residing in both Nottingham and Bristol. We are a tight, hard working and passionate group of film fanatics led by Hereford & Hell co-founders Cassidy Kirk and Matt Harradine. Crew: Cassidy Kirk Matt Harradine Trent Pyro Emily Bashford Louisa Vernon Josh Sibson






Free After Effects Tutorials online

12 03 2009

The web is a great resource for learning software, and I’ve pulled together a few of my favourite Free resources for learning After Effects. Adobe After Effects is post production software for Motion Graphics, Compositing, Visual Effects etc. After Effects is a bit of a beast in comparison to video editing software, and although a bit tricky to get your head round initially, with a little practice you’ll find out why so many people use it.

So I’ve included below some of the best sites for AE tutorials and resources. Of course, you should remember that a tutorial should be a starting place, something where you learn a technique or process, but you should alter and adapt it to suit your needs, rather than slavishly copying it. 

 

Video Copilot

Hosted by the inimitable Andrew Cramer, Videocopilot offers a wealth of easy to understand tutorials covering Motion Graphics and Visual Effects. This is certainly the best place to start off if new to After Effects, as his excellent Basic Training will get you up to speed. http://www.videocopilot.net/basic/

http://maltaannon.com/

Jerzy Drozda Jr presents an interesting selection of tutorials, often more detailed than video copilot, but not quite as accessible. Jerzy also follows them up with an interesting array of plug-ins. check out the 3d shape extruder for example, which fixes the eternal problem with After Effects – making text more solid.

http://visualfxtuts.com/

A new kid on the block, but very good. A well updated resource with loads of new tutorials daily. It looks like their aim is to link to every tutorial of merit on the web. There’s a lot of After Effects on here, but obviously lots of other visual effects software as well.

http://aetuts.com/

Another new one, and also very good. The quality is very good, and they pay people to publish their tutorials so if you have a great idea then you could make a few quid.

http://www.graymachine.com

Harry J Frank is an old hat at this After Effects game. Very good for Trapcode plugins and expressions, he also does a great range of detailed paid for training. Also while I’m at it you should check out the Trapcode site to see how great their plugins for AE are and they also have some good tutorials as well.

http://aescripts.com/

Lots of add-ons for when you get a bit more advanced. Scripts add floating windows for a multitude of uses. Check them out and bolt them on.

 

Sorry – I’ve got a bit bored now, but here are a few more links

http://aenhancers.com

http://www.ayatoweb.com/ae_tips_e.html

http://library.creativecow.net/tutorials/adobeaftereffects

http://www.maxafter.com/tuts.htm

http://vfxschool.blogspot.com/

http://www.aeioweyou.blogspot.com/

http://www.adobeforums.com/





After Effects Tutorials

21 02 2009

Just getting round to posting my favourite After Effects Free tutorial sites, but I came across this linked from Videocopilot and thought it was worth putting it up while I get my act together. I’ve only checked a few out, but there seem to be a lot of text and image based tutorials. I don’t know about you, but I need video based tutorials where you can see exactly what’s going on. Anyway, my set of links will be coming soon. Click on the image to get to the site.

picture-6





Bruce Lee – Better at ping pong than Jamie Oliver

27 11 2008

OK so most of you have seen the C4 promo (below) with Jamie Oliver revealing his prowess at ping pong.

But wait a minute. Have you seen the real master, Bruce Lee. Now there’s showing off.

Wow. Another great use of compositing and motion tracking to make a funny and believable video. I’m in the process of putting together a few posts and tutorials on greenscreening, compositing, motion tracking/ matchmoving so watch this space for more. 

Also check out the Gremlins fan film for more fun and a great making of video which explains the processes involved.





Slitscan (photography/moving image)

13 11 2008

Image by Andrew Davidhazy

Slitscan is a photographic technique which creates interesting results by stretching movement over time.

This is done by masking off the lens so that only a very thin strip of light enters. Instead of taking a standard photo, the film is wound through the camera, so that the end result is a long strip which changes over time. In the example above the person slowly rotated and thus showed all angles of their head. An easy way to understand it is to think of a photocopier or computer scanner. A bar of light scans or copies the image over a few seconds to create a full image of what is under the lid. If you put your hand under the lid instead of a piece of paper, and move it about as the scan is made, then you get a strange stretched out hand.

It was reportedly first adapted for moving film use by Douglas Trumball for the superb ‘stargate’ special effects in the film 2001. various footage was processed to create the bizarre ‘trip’ sequence, including aerial shots flying over landscapes.

Slitscan was also used by Zbig Rybczynski in his 1988 film The fourth Dimension. Can’t find a copy of it on youtube, but come to one of my sessions and I’ll show it to you. 

4d_multi2

 

It remains a technique that is widely used in experimental circles and lots of people have fun playing with it. For more info please click on the links below.

http://www.mefeedia.com/tags/slitscan/ – a great collection of slitscans

http://caseypugh.com/slitscan – plug in a webcam and see

http://vimeo.com/438009 – casey’s example

http://www.flong.com/texts/lists/slit_scan/ – great looking resource.

http://processing.org/discourse/yabb_beta/YaBB.cgi?board=Exhibition;action=display;num=1213382538 – processing slitscan code





Don’t Forget about me – posts from the past

19 10 2008

Ink Tank Experiments

Here are a couple of companies who have been doing really interesting things with the classic film technique of filming ink and other substances. By experimenting with this technique and then treating it in after effects or other post-production software you…

Pixilation 

Pixilation is a great technique for producing quick and fantastic looking animation. Based on stop motion, where the animator places clay figures or other 3d objects in front of the camera, takes a frame then moves the objects and repeats. The difference…

 The Action Cats

a group of designers, animators and filmmakers who use interesting experimental and traditional techniques to produce an innovative and dark look for their piece “The Experiment”. “The Experiment” was produced for Adobe’s “See what’s possible”…

David Anderson – Door

There is a great power in inanimate objects and architectural features, and exploited here is the door. A closed door is a very powerful image. Just seeing it places questions into the audiences mind, raising their emotional expectation. A closed…

Dangerous Parking

This shows some really interesting text, being deformed in a wispy, smoky way…

Rojo TV

Full of really interesting creative video work, this site really spans a wide range of artistic video and motion graphics work. This should prove to be a great source…

Richard Fenwick

Richard Fenwickis a designer/filmmaker/animator who works across a wide range of formats. He goes where the idea takes him, flitting between animation/design…

 

Mark Lewis

I saw his work at the BFI Southbank gallery in October 07. He often uses strong effects, like the ‘vertigo shot’ / dolly zoom (or whatever you want to call it)…

 

Rosie Pedlow / Joe King – Sea Change

A beautifully simple idea executed very well, Rosie and Joe’s film takes a seaside caravan park as its subject, and reveals through a series of smooth tracking shots…

 

Idents

Is there anything worth watching on TV anymore? Not a great deal, but there’s usually a lot of nice idents about. For a while BBC2 and Channel4 have been… 

 

 Jan Svankmajer

Jan Svankmajer is a real influence for me. Often miscribed as an animator, he should really be classed as a surrealist filmmaker as his work moves effortlessly between…





6pli – Experimental visualisation of bookmarks.

21 09 2008

I know, It sounds rubbish. But I’ve been investigating the 6pli visualisation tool for delicious bookmarks. A bit geeky maybe. But it does look great and it’s really useful for working your way around hundreds or thousands of bookmarks – which I have. I’m looking at using it when building my new creativevideomovingimage weblink archive for students, so this is a test run. 

The only problem I’ve found is that it seems to start you off on a random page. In order to get home, and to a nice starting point I suggest clicking on the CLICK ON THIS IF YOU’RE LOST AND WANT TO GO HOME link that should be on most pages – if not then try clicking on a few things, especially the floating tag categories and it’ll soon appear.

PLEASE CLICK ON HERE OR ON THE PICTURE BELOW – GO ON IT’S REALLY NICE. 

Every time you click on something the whole thing animates and reveals new links and tags. If you want, you can spin around by this 3d visualisation clicking and dragging the mouse in an empty piece of space. 

I’m not sure really how useful it will prove to be, but please try it anyway. Especially as there’s a lot of really useful links out there. The direct link to the page is http://www.6pli.com/cvmi