Tuesday, May 1, 2012

End of Semester

The end of the semester has come. I came into this class with low expectations, leaving now I have a great appreciation of After Effects. I had watched tutorials before with amazing compositing results and now that I have taken this course I understand how to follow them. I don't expect to rely too heavily on After Effects alone to make work but instead I plan on using it to enhance and better my video work. I feel as if the sky is the limit now as far as indie special effects are concerned.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Fuckin up my production calendar

This last weekend was a giant disappointment for production in my world. The word about the music video shoot did not spread to enough people and I feel like a failure, but I'll let that feeling be my motivation for this next weekend. I have revised my production schedule for class and it is a lot tighter since I have lost a week to work on post with this debacle.

April-19- Work on spreading word about event

April-21- Shoot music video

April-24- Picture Lock/ Colorized Grading/Painting Effect/Double Vision/Echoing/Liquify Crit One

April-26- Crit two take notes, achieve perfection before final is due

May-1st- Turn in final edit

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Due 4-17-12

Next Tuesday I will be coming into class with the first cut of the music video. I want to have the audio synced and picture locked. I feel that color grading will come after because I want to use After Effects Color Correction tools. I am planing on shooting the music video this saturday at nine. Using the first hour and a half to get a few clean run throughs of a one take shot through the space with the extras to make sure I get the feel and ambiance just right. The second part of the shoot will be used to get steady shots, during my play and development periods I have found that working with hand held and getting everything to work just right is a bit difficult. Not necessarily impossible but I want to make my life a little easier by having locked down steady footage.

Locations locations locations

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Demo Reel Reviews

This first reel I am looking at is Derrick Sims Directer of Photo reel. I have followed this guys work and he actually taught me basic Film Production in high school. This demo reel runs a bit long and some of the shots toward the end have some weird distortion to them. I enjoy this reel because of how nice the shots are that he has chosen to included. I especially enjoy the "Come Morning" footage. The five or so minutes that we observe pass by quite fast in my opinion.

Salazar's video is breathtaking at a lot of points. This reel utilizes the rule of 10 and 12 quite well, never dipping in to an 8. I thoroughly enjoyed the pacing of the piece and found myself wanting more at the end. Overall I enjoy the use of the soundtrack for pacing, although I know it is not desirable to include that sort of editing when thinking about distribution and considering that lots of professional demo reviewers would kill the audio I still found it enjoyable even with the sound off.

Salazar Demo Reel from Salazar on Vimeo.

Erik Zimmerman's reel is probably one of my favorite professional Video Effects reels that I found. Erik is clear and concise on the parts of the work that he worked on. It is very clear to me during each shot what he contributed to the piece. Further more I thought it would be good to include a more "main" stream artist. He has done work for Michael Bay and worked on other largely commercial projects which is where I hope to get someday.

Erik Zimmermann's VFX Demo Reel from Erik Zimmermann on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Jessica Steinruck

Jessica is a junior this year at MCA, her major is sculpture. It is fitting that her internship is with a doctor at Silicon Ocular who specializes in making custom fitting prosthetics. For six hours a week her responsibilities include sculpting prosthetics, cleaning after the doctor has been sculpting, measuring out the silicon, running errands for the company, and much more. Her advice for people without an internship was short and to the point, "By far the best thing to do is not to feel like you have a chance at an internship, Just apply to as many as you can and try really hard to make the best impressions." The skills she has learned from her time at her internship include Mold making and prosthetics. One of the biggest things that Jessica can look forward too from her internship is a summer job at the clinic, she says she is excited for the opportunity and cannot wait to start getting paid for the things she does now.

Monday, March 26, 2012

My there internships!

The three main internships that I have focused on this semester are the American Cinema Editors internship, The Warner Brothers internship, and a Video Effects internship for a company called Artjail. I feel like editing is one of my stronger suits in life so the first internship is based solely on my thirst for all knowledge of editing. They have different sorts of Editing seminars and talks that I would love to work shop through. The Warner Brothers Internship I selected because I felt that at such a large studio it would be super hard not to make connections. I feel like social networking would be a big part of post-grad life so why not go big. Having Warner Brothers on my resume would make me look like a super fly guy. The Artjail position seem like a dream job. One of the main reasons I chose to research this company was that I know they have a red camera, to be trained with that camera would be like a million dreams come true for me. Not only that but VFX has been something that has really interested me in the last few months. I feel like if I can do my own visual effects that are not too flamboyant then I could pull them off for my own work. Not only that, but Artjail is centered in NYC which would be another great opportunity for social networking.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Final Ideal

The time to plan out a final has come and I want to make a short music video that employs rotoscoping and effects. I want to make something that is influenced by music videos like the examples below. I want mine to a bit more on the mild side like some of the transitions in the Kid Cudi video. I also want to work within the lighting studio to give me more of a blank plate to build off of. I want to work with the song that I chose to make into a video to come up with the imagery that will be employed by the video.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


This is my piece for mid-term, I am glad with what I have made. Animation is not my favorite thing to do in the world but After Effects is what I would do for creating animaition. I feel like it is more intuitive than toonboom, perhaps it is because it reminds me so much of Final Cut. Over all I wish I would have been able to get my process streamlined so I could work faster with the program but the first part of the semester has left me with a good understanding of how things work in After Effects.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

First Working Progress Write up

Working in After Effects has the same effect on me as working in final cut. I will sit down to work on some basic editing only to look up and discover that what I thought would be a ten minuet snowballed into a three hour session. I love when that happens. It makes the ending render or export that much more gratifying. Overall this weekend has taught me to reconsider the assets I am working with, as I found that some more assets would be needed. Overall After Effects is starting to become more familiar and I dig it.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Midterm Idea Redid

Elevator Line- Two Aliens discuss the destructive tendencies of humans.

Theme- I want to use the aliens to convey a discourse that looks at humanity through a critical eye. Commenting on pollution, over population, and organized religion. I want the aliens to be presented as nearly objective observers with a deffinate opinion on these destructive tendencies.

Synopsis- We introduce a space station, inside we discover an intergalactic wild life preserve.  We introduce Zing, a smaller squid looking alien within a robotic suit who is observing the different habitats from sector 9. He stops at the window labeled Earth. Zing takes a few moments to appreciate the curious creature in the habitat. Soon one of the scientist aliens approaches Zing, Bip ( a larger alien than Zing) enters the space and begins to speak to Zing about humanity. Soon Zing starts to think that they should destroy the horrible creature, but Bip explains that by doing so they would become like the humans. It is up to them to destroy the cycle of death.

-place- Space Station
-time- Space Time
-atmosphere- Erie Space

Tone/Execution- I want the tone of the piece to have two basic feels. I want the aliens world to look very smooth and have the vector art kind of fell to it. Like a standard futuristic sleek chic kind of feel. As for the humans habitat I want to give it a Hand drawn quality. I want the human to look a little sloppy and to have a hand drawn quality to the room he is in. I want these two places to contrast each other, presenting the idea that the aliens are these super sleek intellectual creatures and conveying the naivety of humanity.

Objective- The objective of this piece would be to examine the flaws of humans, comment on said flaws, and finally hope that acknowledging the flaws will result in a dialogue about the problems by the viewers of the piece.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Midterm Idea

Elevator Line- As the captors remove his blinders, Scott has seconds to try and escape.

Theme- I want to make an action short. Utilizing After Effects I will create styilized muzzle flares, explosions, and manipulation of characters on video layers. The short its self will be about a man trying to escape from mysterious captors.

Synopsis- We open in a basement, a man with a hood (Scott) over his head and bound hands is placed on a seat. The hood is removed then he is asked for cooperation, after agreeing his hands are cut free. Once that happens he attacks one of the captors grabbing a gun from his hand and shooting another man across the room in the process. Then he begins to go up the stares and as he is about to reach the top a man opens the door. Scott shoots a propane tank he is carrying down the stares. After a few moments of reaction from Scott he makes his way out the door ending the short.
-place- basement/house
-time- night time
-atmosphere- tense and suspenseful

Tone/Execution- I want the short to look like contemporary films that take notes from film noir masters. Like Brick. I want the aesthetic to be very starkly lit and I also want the composition of the frame to be extremely controlled to the point of it being graphic.

Objective- The goal of this piece would be to create a good looking composited action scene. I have never attempted to create an action scene and I feel that After Effects Lends its self well to this sort of project. Over all I want to gain more experience with video compositing that looks realistic.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Matts and Layer Modes

This assignment I felt called for making a title card. I have this production company that I use with my video work when making shorts. I figured it would be fun to try and make a title card for some other projects. I always feel like I forget the stuff we learn in class when I sit down to work on the assignments. I have been getting better about it though the more we have been working with After Effects. I am ready for the spring break assignment. I figured that a great thing to do would be to use After Effects to composite together some muzzle flashes and flying people. This program is a great tool for student/indie filmmakers who want to create some near Hollywood effects so I figured that I would put together a short action scene. I want to focus on creating some steam assets and to actually work with green screen and other techniques that I have learned doing some side research. I hope things come out as they are in my head movies.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Looping and Transforming Masks

Originally for this project I wanted to make a title card for Beat Brothers, but I soon found out that each letter would create a mask and even the inside of the letters were masks. So things got pretty confusing pretty soon. So I decided to create something more simple. I made a basic loop cycle that I wanted as a back ground for my first idea, but just used it as the back ground for the final concept I made. After Effects is still growing on me because Im not completely confidant in my abilities with it. Again I hope to get familiar with the program so I can use it to the best of my abilities.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Replacement Animation/ Masking

This assignments was especially challenging because I missed the last class. I tried not to make that an excuse for myself when I came in to work on the assignment though. I had some help from others in the class when approaching the project though. A lot of the things that we had to do were pretty strait forward, we did rapid replacement animation in intro to Animation so the notion was not too foreign. Getting used to the program though was another story. It was fun getting to make the animation that I produced, I think the more I use After Effects then I will get it down soon.

Monday, January 30, 2012

First After Effects Animation

After Effects was pretty intuitive to use. I found the puppet tool easy to pick up but I still had a hard time controlling the way things were effected within the image. Im still not sure about the starch tool because of the joints in the animation, I attempted to freeze them but it was strange. I bet the more I use AE then I would understand it better. Another thing that I struggled with was making the graffiti appear on the bill board. I be there is a way to make the text appear smoother by using masking but I couldn't figure out how.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Write Up I

The first assignment was a bit difficult for me. Im not a big fan of digital photo manipulation, within Photoshop and Illustrator. The assignment was very open ended which I feel is a problem for me sometimes, but usually I lock down one idea or concept and stick with it. For this one I came up with two settings, the first was really abstract and did not make too much sense as a space. It was nice getting to be reacquainted with the programs. The second space I designed was a bit more coherent. The character I designed is a simple three legged tentacle monster. I cannot wait to get these assets in to After Effects.