I was 'cadam' (caddie Adam) for a round of golf at Horton Golf Club with Sam, Matt, Louis and Glen. I took some photos on my iPhone of the guys on the first tee in burst mode as I didn't want to take the A7S. Tried the cinemagraph look but is much more like a GIF!
APV has completed the first phase of the new 'Screen Subtitling Systems' branding campaign, designing and producing an animation about the company.
I began the pre-production of the Screen animations at the beginning of the year, developing a house style and recognized visual aesthetic that can be followed for future productions, this became the identity and format of the animations. Getting pencil on paper is my favourite way of developing ideas, especially for a graphics-based production. It allows you to clearly visualize ideas, inspiration and lay out the beginning, middle and end of the story.
The assets were all created in Illustrator or After Effects (using the Shape Layer tools), in 4K. I chose to offer this resolution because it would allow the Screen Systems marketing team to re-purpose the animation for print and digital media as well as future proofing for years to come.
After the assets and basic storyline was set, I blocked out the animation with voice over ideas to determine the duration and visual content - motion infographics must be entertaining and eye-catching, but must also convey the branding and professionalism of the client. An animation that is too long will bore viewers, so I capped the duration at 1:45.
I kept the marketing team up to date with progress and idea updates as well as a number of drafts through Vimeo, and after a number of months of production the animation was completed just before the NAB deadline. Screen are over the moon with the results, and so am I!
Screen will be displaying the animation on their stand at NAB Show 2015, in its native 4K resolution! Check out the animation here, and read the feedback/testimonial below.
Dean Wales (PR and Marketing, Screen Subtitling Systems) gives his fantastic feedback -
"Fresh, keen, knowledgeable, assertive, great to work with and incredibly talented. They're attributes you don't find together too often these days in one person but Adam has them all. Having met Adam at IBC when he filmed a colleague of mine, we knew he'd be the guy to produce our corporate, animated video. He grasped the brief instantly and completely understood our company, its values, our brand and indeed the industry within which we operate. And as for the video? Well the results are amazing. So much so we've commissioned him to produce individual product presentation animations for us. Thanks Adam."
As it reads above, I have been very busy recently with pre-production for a number of up coming projects, one of which is with Screen Subtitling Systems!
Screen is creating new branding for sales and online, and to go with that I've been set the task of producing a number of animations for them. I've done plenty of research into Screen, and have a great relationship with the marketing team, which means we have very good communication.
Tip No.1: build relationships from the outset of meeting someone.
Since our last meeting, I've developed a number of mood boards and narrative/VO ideas of the script/dialogue and a storyboard to go with it to represent the animations on screen. After drawing a number of ideas and storyboards I managed to narrow down the content for the first animation, and the graphics as well. I've then worked this into an After Effects storyboard with still images for preparation for a presentation.
Tp No.2: preparation and planning what you are going to do, for when, any why is really important. In terms of the animations I'm working with, that means producing mood boards, storyboards, sketches and basic designs, building into digital mock ups. These can then be used as elements in the animations!
I've also been out with Glen, we had a walk around Leith Hill a couple of weekends ago, I took the 24-70 and 100mm L on the 5D mk III. The hill was so high up that we were in cloud, combined with a constant beautiful golden hour made for beautiful photos. Glen took his film camera with him, and captured some gorgeous shots. Here's some of mine..
I'm still working on the videography business/investment post, it is a long one as you can imagine but it will be coming soon. I'll be going the the CVP Sony A7S event featuring Philip Bloom on the 11th which will be a great contributor to my knowledge. As well as narrowing down potential kit choices for this years video productions, I may be able to get some info from the CVP team about my potential kit choices and finance options.
Tip No.3: Never stop learning. Get yourself to BVE for FREE from the 24th-26th Feb for seminars on 4K, editing, lighting, broadcast and the great expo!
Lastly, back in the beginning of January I was out filming Sarah and Matt's wedding. I started with the preparations while Glen was at the venue capturing some shots of the location, Matt and the guests arriving. I had the Pro Media Gear Dual-arc slider on Manfrotto 055 Pro-B legs, with a range of lenses for shooting in potential low light (not knowing what the day or location might turn out like later on, and if the weather changes..)
I captured some of the days footage in 50fps slow mo, when the light was available for a little bit of luxury with moving shots. When in video mode on the 5D mk III the 50fps mode is only available in 720p, not 1080p. This does make the footage softer, but I've found using the Red Giant 'Instant 4K' plug-in works well to upscale the clips to 1080, and sharpen them a little.
Throughout the day I switched mainly between the Tamron 24-70 and Canon 100mm L for wide/standard framing and then more detail/close ups. I've found this works well as there is no 24-135 F/2.8.. If you are working with a Canon 60D, or an APS-C camera you get a lovely look when using an 85mm or 100mm (as the focal length is multiplied), with a pretty bokeh as well. For cool-perspective ultra wide angle, the Samyang 14mm T/3.1 works a treat, for skate videos and music videos where you want to warp reality a little!
There will be more on the wedding film production in an up coming Manfrotto Ambassador blog!
Tip No.4: tell a story through your video/film, narrative-speaking there is a beginning, middle and end set around key events. It may sound like redundant advice, but many videos I watch fail to build the narrative or story through the visuals. It provides an immersive experience for your viewers, getting them involved with what you've produced.
*Now following up a few days later, the meeting with Screen went very well, I traveled up to their Suffolk HQ, a beautiful old building in the country. Myself, the marketing dept and business development were present as I showed my basic concepts and ideas, and we discussed further the ideas and terminology.
Tip No.5: if you're working with clients in a different industry to yours, do your best to learn as much as you can about their business, products, services, strategies, and what their clients want.
This has been fantastic progress for the end of January, which is usually a slow month for productions. With the wedding film almost complete, and the design beginning for the Screen Systems project I am confident it's the beginning to a great year. Not to mention the potential of IABM event coverage too! I'm due to visit the IABM team next week to talk further about this years videography.
After the CVP event with PB I'm sure to have worked to some conclusion for the video business investment post, but it may have to wait until BVE.. We shall see!
Keep an eye out for my new Manfrotto Ambassador blog about filming weddings with Manfrotto gear, and I'm going up to London tonight for some night photography so I'll share the results with you later!
It has been a very wild summer for me, lots of productions and shooting and plenty of editing! Going back to the end of July/beginning of August, I was deep into the wedding season with JHWF, filming weddings from Ashford, Kent to St Johns College Cambridge. I also got to fly the companies DJI Phantom II Drone with a GoPro Hero 3 and Zenmuse 2D gimball, it was incredible fun (for a first timer)!! [embed]https://vimeo.com/103891840[/embed]
Wedding at Eastwell Manor (Kent) via JHWF.
I also did the Ice Bucket Challenge;
I spent most weekends out filming weddings, where I got to try out my new Pro Media Gear Duo slider; it is simply a 2ft straight slider with a curved track on the reverse side. Honestly, it is so simple I don't know how companies didn't think of it before! It is extremely easy to use and is lightweight, my 5D and Sigma 70-200mm smoothly slides along the track. It sits on a removable carriage (so you can flip the slider over) with four plastic castors. 100% recommended, I purchased directly from them in the USA, it came within the delivery time (3 days) and is cost effective in comparison to similar track based sliders out there.
I mount the slider onto my Manfrotto 755Pro-B tripod (without a video head) using the clamp accessory which holds it firmly in place. This is on my IBC kit list!
I also helped out director HaZ Dulull on the production of his new short film 'SYNC', it took place in an underground car park in Southend with a bunch of SWAT guys, two massive SUV's, Blackmagic Cinema Cameras and a Production camera. It was a great day shooting, operating the camera and jib for some shots was awesome!
Going back a couple of weeks, I was editing the Epsom and Ewell Borough Council Health and Wellbeing videos which involved writing up captions and mastering the audio levels as I'm quite near completion. I was offered the opportunity to get some more footage of the activities that the Wellbeing Centre offers for those that suffer with dementia including tennis and Japanese mind games. I took up the offer to get some more footage for future council projects.
It was a hot and bright couple of days, so I used variable ND filters on my lenses to bring down the exposure without reducing the 5D's electronic shutter; a great tip for keeping motion blur realistic. I shot mostly on the Sigma 70-200 F/2.8 OS as it does a wonderful job of isolating subjects from the background. A great lens choice if you don't have red ring fever!
I was also working on the graphics and animation for the EEBC Telecare video; I designed the graphics in Illustrator and Photoshop, then animated in After Effects in a hipstery style using shape layers, pastel tones and lots of easing!
I got some fantastic news towards the end of August, The IABM decided to go for me as their event videographer for the IBC Show and annual conference! Leading up to IBC I have been preparing a number of videos and graphics to be used and shown throughout the show and at a variety of awards, such as The IABM Design & Innovation Award.
I can't show you much at the moment as everything is under wraps until the events at the conference, but I can show you the title sequence for the videos. It's made in AE using some of the pics I took around the expo last year and other general press images from IBC.
After being WOW'd by the Canon 100mm F/2.8L Macro lens at my Manfrotto Takeover day, the thought of owning one has been rattling around my head since.. I was hopeful with the Sigma 105mm, but the Canon provided the next step up in terms of stabilization, auto focusing, and personally I just preferred the feel of it. I will be using the lens throughout IBC so keep checking for dedicated pics, videos and more!
(The above photos of Schneider Kreuznach Xenon Cine Lenses taken on the Canon 100mm F/2.8L Macro by Adam Plowden).
I also booked my first wedding for January next year, so I met up with the couple 'Sarah and Matt' for a pre-shoot at their venue with Ash (who recommended me, thanks!!). I got some beautiful footage of them in the setting sun, here is a tiny teaser :)
One day to go until Glen and I leave for Amsterdam to film the IBC Show for The IABM, I did a quick vlog for you, an update on the kit, what we'll be covering. I will be releasing videos most days, blogging and tweeting lots to share the news from the conference, so remember the keep checking for updates! I'm hoping to catch up with PB and Nino Leitner too :)
Here's the low down on my kit list:
Canon 5D mkIII
2 x Canon 60D
Tamron 24-70mm F/2.8
Sigma 70-200mm F/2.8
Canon 100mm F/2.8L
Samyang 14mm T/3.1
Samyang 35mm T/1.5
Samyang 85mm T/1.5
Canon 50mm F/1.8
Nikkor 50mm F/1.4
Manfrotto SPECTRA Bi-colour 900FT
Manfrotto SPECTRA 500F
Pro Media Gear Duo arc slider
Sennheiser Wireless ENG-100 Rx-Tx
I'm picking up some tripods, heads and a magic arm-super clamp from the Vitec team tomorrow, they are doing me a huuuge favor so thank you Dave, Mark and Siobhann from Manfrotto/Vitec!!
Here is something I've been checking out; If you love motion graphics and After Effects, then definitely check out The School Of Motion '30 Days of AE' tutorials, a range of in depth tuts ranging from objects to typography; check it out to learn something! http://www.schoolofmotion.com/
Right, I'm up at 3am to fly at 6. You will be reading the waffle of a very tired Adam tomorrow! Keep on following for more;
Oh and I made this for a mate too:
I'm doing a new VLOG tomorrow, hosted by myself and Glen Symes as we cover the IBC Show for The IABM. We'll be giving the low down on our kit choices and capturing the events, news and products from the expo and conference floor. We depart on Wednesday for Amsterdam where I'll be catching up with Steve Warner (IABM Training), Nino Leitner (Cinematographer and Cinema5D), HaZ Dullul (SYNC) and many companies including DJI Phantom, Schneider Kreuznach, Sony and many more.
You can keep up to date here on the blog or -
Ooh, I got the Canon 100mm F/2.8L Macro lens, and the Peak Design Leash too ;)
Also been trekking on with the graphics for all of The IABM video content, a little teaser for you;
Blimey, my last post was a while ago.. Honestly, since then work has got heavy and much of my time is either spent behind the camera or the screen. One exception was the Manfrotto Pro Backpack50 review, shot by Glen Symes for me where I actually appear in a video!
Some of the things I've been up to range from filming quite a few weddings [embed]https://vimeo.com/98328657[/embed] to filming and editing for a series of videos on health and wellbeing.
On the side, I've talked at EEHS about going through uni and starting a business, am preparing for my Manfrotto Tour videography seminar and other bits and bobs.. I'm sure if you follow me on twitter or facebook you'll have an idea of the things!
Going back a few weeks, my main projects have been the EEBC Health and Wellbeing video series, and an animation on Telecare. This is a predominantly piece to camera series, with additional b-roll shots to add to the videos messages which range from stopping smoking, to eating a healthy and balanced diet. The standard production of information videos ensued, editing down from around 45-50 minutes to a concise 2 minutes providing the relevant facts and summaries on prevention. Editing in Premiere Pro, I used the very good Luma Corrector tool for exposure changes and a simple RGB curves adjustment for the colour temperature.
I find the Luma Corrector better to work with, as by adjusting the Gamma control slightly, it removes the washed grey look to push out the prominent shadows and highlights meaning that it is very simple to correct/match shots; especially as I filmed using daylight as my key.
As per the clients request I have also added subtitles, which I created using the dynamic link into After Effects (noting at this point that if you're doing several stages of an edit, to duplicate the sequence you are working on before you start the next stage as Premiere and AE require you to save your work for updates to take place, meaning no Ctrl-Z/Command-Z to get back to a timeline with the clips rather than your 'replace in AE linked composition').
I was also out photographing flowers for a wedding, for the florist Madeleine Pink a few weeks ago too! Taken on a range of lenses with the Canon 5D mkIII (Tamron 24-70mm, Sigma 70-200mm, Samyang 14, 35, 85mm cine, and Nikkor 50mm).
Since then, I ventured into using Lightroom to edit the photos as well, still learning bits and bobs but found a range of fantastic presets here that create some great looks. I'd appreciate your thoughts on the photos and the looks as well, as it's mostly stab in the dark/emotive based :P
A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of filming Dan and Kelly's wedding in Ashford + Foxhills where I met the awesome Ash; a unique wedding photographer! Check out the wedding film here [embed]https://vimeo.com/97953644[/embed], and definitely check out Ash's work over at Ash Darling Photography! Highly recommended by me :D and I believe I'll be working with Ash soon on an up coming wedding, really looking forward to it!
Believe it or not, I have been doing some videography too! In between editing the health and wellbeing videos, and on the pre-production sketches of the telecare animation I spent a couple of afternoons in The Woodland Garden in Bushy Park; one of my favorite places to go to switch off work mode, relax and shoot some video for personal projects. I've named this one 'Waterhouse', it's the name of the part of the garden where a balcony looks over a pond with a waterhouse to the left. It poses interesting thoughts to its original function, the bricks and foundations holding strong throughout years of use and bad weather. Virginia Creepers pursue to edge up its sides, gripping on to reach the sunlight through the tree canopy.
The edit is complete, but I am now working on a quirky hipster logo/title animation for the beginning of the video so as soon as it has been animated and comped into the footage I will upload!
The kit I used for the 'Waterhouse' video include; Manfrotto 755Cx-3 tripod, Edelkrone Slider+ v2, Canon 5D mkIII, Canon 100mm F/2.8 macro (hence why the shake on the slider is slightly more visible than without IS/OS, but I have used Warp Stabilizer where I can). Tamron 24-70mm, Sigma 70-200mm, Samyang 14, 35, 85mm cine, Nikkor 50mm. After using the Canon macro lens, I have totally decided to purchase the Sigma 105mm F/2.8 OS macro lens; firstly because of future video productions where a small minimum focus distance is necessary (product, people, detail shots), also it has optical stabilization which I found was needed when moving the camera and lens on the slider, and lastly its around £400.. Bargain!
Things I've learned so far from doing this kind of work;
- Shoot with a widespread histogram (unless I wish to isolate the subject from shadows behind).
- Lightroom is awesome, try playing with the presets I linked to work on the developer tools.
- Regardless if it has been a long day filming, if you want to talk to someone, always, always, always do it!
- I want a macro lens for intricate detailed shots, as my current range does not let me get close enough to the subject.
- Take some hand held lights for kicks and fills; the venue room where the table decorations were photographed was very dark. With a tripod and a couple of lights I would have had much more control over the lighting composition.
- Dabble in a variety of work types, to keep it interesting and different!
- I need a slider for cinematic moving shots; I have made my choice; not the Edelkrone! There will be a whole blog post on this coming soon.
Inspired by Framestores recent Eastenders tv advert, in which they created cinemagraphs to depict the suspected murderers of Lucy, I decided to embark on my own cinemagraph to complete my showreel. I'm deep into After Effects, for this kind of animation I am using one still image, with no plate to make it difficult for myself. However, its a good job the subjects have high contrast against the white background or I would really struggle with this! I will be uploading more as I go, but for now I must dive back in!
The Epsom and Ewell Borough Council Recycling video is hereby complete! Wow it feels good to get the videos finally exporting. This has been a great project to work on, combining 2D animation with live action video which is something I haven't done in a while!
I'm so happy I've had the chance to work on this, it has made me realize much more about how we as a community treat this green land, and I hope that this video makes a difference.
The finished video will be uploaded and shared very soon!
Blimey, wiping the dust from my blog I can see it has been neglected over the last couple of weeks. I can explain this, I've buried my head deep into working on a recycling video for my local council. For this I have designed and animated original graphics in Illustrator and After Effects, to be edited together in Premiere Pro. I can't give too much of what I'm working on away until the video is publicly released on the council website and other displays around the town of Epsom! But as you are a dedicated lot, and showing you the techniques I used won't do any harm!
Here's a screenshot from my AE window. Here you can see the little graphics floating around in the background, and overlaid on top is animated text.
I've used pre-comps here to create different sections of each 'clip'. This allowed me to keep my timeline and frame tidy as I would only be working on specific parts of the clip at a time. For example, in the above frame the little graphics are pre-composed with their animation keyframes, so I can layer up the blur and text on top to be revealed later. For each 'clip' I also pre-composed all of the text as these are animated individually using various effects.
Some of the more complex motion graphics, here I used falling particles (Particle World II) to fill up the alpha channel of a recyclable object, where a mask then revealed a solid; making the object look like it is filling up with the falling particles. To create this effect I changed the physics parameters to allow the particles to fall slowly, and spread as they go. Remember to use random seed when duplicating effects like this too ;)
To add to the emotive feeling of the video, it was important to include human thoughts and processes on why recycling is important and beneficial to the environment and us! This is me interviewing Alan about how easy it is for him to recycle.
Equipment used includes: Canon 5D mkIII, Tamron 24-70mm F/2.8 VC, Zoom H6, Sennheiser ENG-G3, Rotolight RL-48, Manfrotto 755 carbon fibre pro tripod and MVH500.
This was a quick and easy shoot, using DSLR for videography means I have great light sensitivity in post places and it is easy to set up. I used the Rotolight to kick a little more into Alan's face, and recorded using a wireless lav mic and the XY stereo mic on the Zoom for a backup. Setup-interview-de-rig took one hour.
Pleased with the outcome, I got onto editing the sequences together now that the animation was looking good!
In Premiere Pro, I used the Luma Corrector and RGB Curves to adjust the exposure and colour balance of the clips, here you can see the split view with the original on the right and the edited on the left. The Luma Corrector does a great job of removing Gamma, which takes out a gamma curve (grey) from the footage and can be used with contrast to create a really punchy, cinematic look.
With still more to go, and an aerial shot from a DJI to go and film, I am eager to see peoples reactions when the video is complete!
Blimey lots has been going on over the last week, I hope it has been as hectic for you as it has been for me! Monday started with continuing the design of the graphics for a recycling animation, a daunting task which put my drawing skills to the test. Bearing in mind I've spent the majority of the last year behind a camera, I took my time to learn the techniques I would need to use Illustrator properly. I would usually use Photoshop over Illustrator, but until I recently found out PS is not truly vector, and as I would be using a combination of the Pen tool and others to design the images this was very important, as I would need to transform the graphics later in After Effects.
My best mate Glen came down from Wycombe for a surprise week to, so I spent plenty of time catching up with him and chatting about work. He gave me so very important advice; "Everything is too complicated these days, you should keep it simple and your audience won't know the difference, especially if it is moving and animated anyway." True words, and I took Glens advice which not only sped up the process, but made me more confident with the work I was producing.
Here's a screenshot to show all of them! (I think I am working on a 10K canvas).
The graphics design has been on-going, I practiced when I was first commissioned, but it just shows how familiarizing yourself with the tools and applications can ease your work! A very very important part of this process was to intensively storyboard and plan each scene, so I know what graphics can be generated beforehand, so I spent a good couple of days story boarding and sketching the graphics I would need, followed by a long list of assets I would go on to to create.
For the rest of the week I started importing the graphics into After Effects, and setting up the 15 scenes. I am finally starting to see progress! I am still working on this section, and it will take another week or so to complete all the animations. Again, I storyboarded this in the planning, so I know exactly what to produce for which scene which saves so much time. Also, the best thing about this planning part is that it does not have to be a work of art to depict your ideas, just a simple sketch to represent what you will need to create.
On Thursday I joined a crew of fashion designers, hair stylists and models to film a magazine photoshoot for Sherman Hawthorne (the hair stylist and creative director of the shoot) at The Lemonade Factory studios on Queenstown road. With eccentric styles and art direction, I set about to capture high contrast, dramatic footage which will compliment the photos. It was an early start, here I am waiting for my train at Clapham Junction;
I was a single shooter, I had the pleasure of transporting the equipment to the shoot which included a steadicam vest that I ended up not using. I've learned my lesson here not to take extra kit!
My kit list was as follows:
Canon 5DmkIII (A camera), Canon 60D (B camera)
Tamron 24-70 F/2.8 VC, Samyang 14mm T/3.1 cine, Samyang 35mm T/1.5 cine, Nikkor 50mm F/1.4 manual, Samyang 85mm T/1.5 cine, Sigma 70-200 F/2.8 OS
Manfrotto 755CX3, Manfrotto MVH700AH, Manfrotto Hydra arm and super clamp,
CamSmart camera rig + Lilliput field monitor, CamSmart Stabilizer vest, Flycam Nano
Zoom H6, Rotolight Roto-mic.
As with all of these shoots, time runs short so I was restricted to short burst of filming time with the models to capture the specific ethereal and industrial motif, but I also shot around the photographer to maximize my usable footage. I made use of the 50fps slow motion for the moving shots, so that the models movements are exaggerated, as well as stabilizing the shot.
As the props included wire fencing and chicken wire, aliasing was a problem when shooting shallow depth of field, or at an angle to the object. To remedy this I used a lower aperture (F/4-5.6) for some shots, but also I can add a Gaussian blur in Premiere Pro when editing to soften the lines, gently smoothing out unwanted aliasing.
A couple of frame grabs from the shoot!
Weekends are always working weekend for creatives and freelancers. I spent yesterday working on the animation of the recycling project again, continuing to compose the scenes using simple 2D shapes and animation styles that have become very popular recently.
I also came across this post from Chase Jarvis about how to manage your time properly, its a great post with a detailed outline of 90-minute working slots that should improve your productivity, I urge you to read it if you're someone like me who can't stop working, then apply the plan to your working life. I know I will be!
I haven't had many #videoquestions come in recently, so please keep them coming so I can help with tips for the community of videographers and creatives! Send them over to me @Plowman91 on Twitter.
Finally, ending with a must watch video, check out Philip Bloom's video shot with the Blackmagic Production Camera, the 4K one at Miami Beach, what do you think of it? Is it worth investing now the Panasonic GH4 is on pre-order and it looks like Sony will have a 4K DSLR announcement coming at NAB2014 too..!!
That's all for now folks! Keep the creative juices flowing!
It has been a very busy couple of weeks since BVE, which by the way was great this year. I was over the moon to see the new finalized range of Manfrotto LED Spectra light panels which I got to test out a couple of years ago. Seeing products develop over a long period of time is interesting, even more so when your opinion is considered in how the final product should perform. Manfrotto also had their re-designed SIMPLA rig to demo, a much lighter and more ergonomic model I must say which is compatible with 15mm rig accessories like their matte box and electronic remote control.
As well as that, Manfrotto have also joined forces with Schneider Kreuznach optics (page in German), who have a new range of cinema lenses, specifically designed with ease of use in mind. All of the lenses from 24mm to 135mm have the same filter size, length and focus rotation to make filming with a range of the lenses effortless, simply change the lens and your peripherals stay in position. The optics of the lenses blew me away. Even in the well lit Excel, the background bokeh was stunning, soft yet so crisp. I cannot wait to get my hands on them. I think the combination of the new Manfrotto 055 tripod, the SIMPLA rig and Schneider glass will be a killer cine kit, delivering incredible visuals, making your shoot run smoothly, and at a low cost. Give it a year and this will be the go to package for production rentals, and part of every kit bag.
In other news, I've been working with EEBC on a couple of projects; a short video on recycling and another about a Wellbeing centre for those suffering with dementia and their carers. Both projects have messages that are close to me, so I've been working hard to blow my clients expectations out of the water. For the recycling video, I'm combining video with animation to show why recycling food and material waste is ever more important today; generating renewable electricity and resources. The Wellbeing centre video will be live action video, featuring the range of activities available to those in the community as well as the vast benefits to carers and visitors to the centre.
So, busy busy at the moment. I'm also meeting some designers from the fashion label ACF (Art Comes First) next week about another video featuring the design process here in London. Very exciting, I've been patiently waiting for an art-collaboration project to come along, it's what I started the business for!
I've had no #videoquestions for a while, so remember to keep them coming to @Plowman91!
Remember, inspiration is everywhere so take your camera with you!
EDIT!!!! Just remembered to include this, I spoke to an un-named informant about the new Samyang/Rokinon VDSLR cine lenses and whether any new models are going to be released. Our brief chat resulted in confirming rumours of a 50mm and 135mm cine lenses coming very soon! I think it's exactly what the lens range needs, and I will certainly be investing in the 135mm if it is at T/2.2, or pushing it at T/1.8 would be a dream come true. So hear my thoughts Samyang/Rokinon!
I've been working on the title graphic for the Rotolight BVE video, sometimes I can get going straight away with designing and animating however (and I presume this is due to getting up early to start working) I was stuck for ideas.. VideoHive is a great resource for re-made graphics sequences for After Effects, but they are also great for getting inspiration on how to create the atmosphere and effects for your own work. I spend a good half hour looking through the pre-made effects and gathered some ideas.
One key point I've found to make the graphics seem realistic, and to give it an ambience there are a couple of things you can do to make it more life like. Number one is to use a particle generator to create dust to naturally drift around the environment. The particles can be given physical attributes like gravity and wind, which makes the animation more realistic.
Number two, using light and lens flares; this leak of light appears to give the environment in which your text, graphics etc seem to be in a 3D space shot through a camera - these are naturally occurring when out filming and in our eyes, so it can be used too.
Number three; textures and patterns; for a graphic based (not so much vfx based) title, tiling textures and patterns to create a wallpaper background is visually appealing, as is only using a number of tones from a simple colour pallet.
Number four; interpolation and motion blur. Again just like in real life, our brains process the images we see at around 16 frames per second, and fills in the spaces in between. In graphics this motion blur needs to be added, to correctly interpolate the animation and blur of a subject or object. The local and global motion blur (bouncing ball) icons are easily found on the timeline so be sure to click!
Number five; depth of field. In cinematography the director uses the depth of field to move the audiences attention through the frame to reveal new parts, to uncover secrets and ideas. This can be done in motion graphics too, by using a Camera. When you have a camera in your composition, be sure to check 'enable depth of field' and to set your aperture to a low F stop (F/1.8 for example) and increase the blur amount. After Effects then generates depth of field using the camera settings; making objects close and far away from the camera blurred.
Here's a snap of the working-graphic for the title, for a cinematic look to the video I have also applied an anamorphic aspect ratio overlay. I might make some changes later, but for now it is off for comments and feedback. If you have any questions about the graphics or videography then give me a shout!
I'm a big fan on Andrew Kramers work and contribution to the industry, running the After Effects tutorial and blog website, creating the title sequence for Star Trek Into Darkness film, it has had a big impact on my learning.
I first started using VideoCopilot when I was 16, designing a title sequence for a series of webisodes I had written and was planning to film, direct and produce. It never got made, and I'm sure I've got the original work somewhere. My point being is that to this day I still use this amazing resource for my work now, learning new techniques for effects creation. If you haven't checked it out before, I urge you to do so immediately!
Here's the latest tutorial, creating '3D' volumetric light rays which will look great in mysterious, dark trailers or titles!
I've often pondered whether it is possible to generate geometrical, point and fractal graphics using algorithms in After Effects. Fascinated by expressions since starting in CS3, I have always experimented with different types of generation and control to create more organic motion graphics, and animate them. After learning and working with Trapcode Particular and Form, which specialize in amazing particle effects, I further played around with ideas and animations combining the particles with expressions, auxillary particles and physics to recreate a realistic particle graphic. I had varied success, but I still couldn't find a unique effect.
It has been a while since I stepped back into After Effects; I usually float between applications until I need to use them so I got myself back up to speed with AE and tried my hand back at fractals - not the ones generated by fractal noise or turbulent noise either.
After a couple of days experimenting (bearing in mind I am still working on my laptop, and not my editing supercomputer) I had got to grips with generating graphics, but with this technique the results are partly random generations so occasionally I end up with a result that is completely different to what I expected but looks fantastic! With the curves following Bezier, they look naturally pleasing too.
My fractal tests -[gallery ids="979,978,977,976,975,974,973"]
http://vimeo.com/81897582 Documentary title sequence.
I've been busy over the last couple of days, working on both John Sinclair videos, as well as the arrival of the professional camera rig I designed. It is still a prototype so some changes will be made, but so far it is a great fabrication of my design I proposed 18 months ago!!
I've since been working on the John Sinclair documentary, which I've titled 'Behind The Smoke' in Adobe Premiere, which has been going very smoothly. I've also finished the title sequence using footage from the Amsterdam gig rehearsal, as well as using outstanding quotes from John, it is accompanied by the track Mohawk of his new album with Steve Fly.
I used the layers blending modes to merge the layers together, as well as distorting the text (in a bold font like the 70's John Sinclair posters) and animating them in a style that conveys the subject.
I will post the video up later!
After finishing up the multi-camera edit of the John Sinclair Viper Madness video the other day, I have moved on to creating the graphics; title card, lower 3rds and credits in After Effects. I've used After Effects for about 7 years now, since CS3 so I've got to see it develop and grow over the years, just as my knowledge in motion graphics has too. I always find, if you're trying to create some kind of animated texture, no matter what it is, Fractal Noise will always have a solution.
To animate the title card, I added the Fractal Noise effect to a solid layer and changed the parameters so the fractal resembled smoke, using expressions to control the evolution over time. The result is perfect, simple and easy!